food Elilly Restaurant and Coffee House

Like many Ethiopian entrees. Elilly Restaurant And Coffee House's Awaze Tibs is served, family-style, with a salad and sitting on a tray-sized piece of injera. A flat, sourdough bread, injera is used to scoop up the meal. It essentially takes the place of utensils like a knife and fork.

Tewodros Worku doesn't if you use your hands to sample the food served at Elilly Restaurant and Coffee House.

In fact, he said injera, a flat, sourdough bread, often takes the place of a knife and fork in authentic Ethiopian cuisine.

A diner simply tears off a piece of bread and scoop up some of the flavorful food served at the recently-opened 1529 Pierce St. eatery.

Along with his business partner Makda Gebre, Worku will be featured in a story appearing in the Sioux City Journal's Wednesday food section.

food Elilly Restaurant and Coffee House

From left, Makda Gebre and Tewodros Worku, along with Mohammed Tullo (not pictured), own Elilly Restaurant and Coffee House at 1529 Pierce St. All three owners are originally from Ethiopia, said Worku, who was a college professor in his native country.

To whet your appetite for food native to the Horn of Africa nation, here is a primer on what to expect when dining at an authentic Ethiopian restaurant.


INJERA: This is a bread that Ethiopians eat for every meal. It's flat, soft to touch and is made from an indigenous grain called teff.

MITMITA: A powdered seasoning mix used in Ethiopian cuisine. It gets its aroma from cardamom and cloves and its heat from African Bird's Eye chili peppers.

BERBERE: A ground red pepper mix that also can contain ginger and garlic.

AWAZE: A (relatively) mild version of a berbere sauce. It is known for its deep, dark coloring.


KITFO: Chopped prime beef mixed with niter kibbeh (a spicy clarified butter) and mitmita. The meat can be served well-done, rare and "raw" (actually lightly seared as in a Steak Tartar).

TIBS: Beef, fish, chicken, lamb or goat served with cooked veggies in a flavored broth. 

WAT (or sometimes Wot): This is a stew that is made with (or without) meat. Onions, garlic and tomato create a sauce that may also contain different types of herbs and spices. 

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