Eating with one's hands, a practice generally discouraged by families who own silverware, makes clumping hummus into a shape that resembles a burning VCR possible. Enjoy silverwareless eating experiences with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of food and drink at Demera Ethiopian Restaurant, located in Uptown.
In an embrace of authentic Ethiopian dining styles, no utensils are used at Demera. Instead, diners eat with their hands, scoop up sustenance with injera—the spongy sourdough flatbread made from fermented teff flour—or simply intake the cuisine through telepathically charged diffusion. The restaurant, unlike the myriad Ethiopian drive-thru fast-food restaurants that have popped up around Chicago in recent months, focuses on authentic Ethiopian cuisine made from fresh ingredients. Commence consumption with the sambussa sampler ($6.50), traditional dough shells with beef, chicken, tuna, spinach, and vegetarian filling. Diners can split a messob platter, choosing from Demera's bevy of dishes—get six vegetarian portions ($25.95), such as the ground chickpeas of the ye-shimbra assa or the mixed legumes of the berbere-sauced shiro, or curb carnivorous urges with six meat portions ($28.25), such as the doro alicha wot, lemon-marinated chicken drumsticks stewed in a mild mix of veggies and spices. Individual dishes are also available in vegetarian, beef, poultry, seafood, and lamb variations.
Demera roasts its own buna, or Ethiopian coffee—enjoy the beans of its labor with a pot for one ($2.50) of the brew. Ethiopian beer and honey wine are also available. As a bonus, Demera will give customers a free glass of wine if they redeem their Groupon in September or November. Tether motorized donkeys to Demera's hitching post and step inside its intimate interiors, decorated with evocative art, for traditional and tantalizing Ethiopian fare.
Time Out Chicago gives Demera Ethiopian Restaurant four stars:
- The doro alicha wat (lemon-marinated, slightly sweet chicken legs) had been stewed long enough that it needed only the lightest pinch with injera to come off the bone; the kitfo (Ethiopian steak tartare) was cool and pure in flavor, and offset by the spicy chile powder sprinkled over it. – David Tamarkin
- The setting is small and intimate. It is in a great location to go out on the town afterwards! – Opentable.com user who dined on 04/09/2010
- The food was really good, and there was a lot of it! We ordered the sambusa sampler (or something like that), and it came with spinach, lentil, beef, tuna, and chicken sambusas. They were crispy, hot, and flavorful. – Jenny G., Yelp
Demera Ethiopian Restaurant
Tigist Reda and Girmai Lemma have always loved to entertain. So when they set out to bring a piece of their homeland, Ethiopia, to Chicago, they naturally decided on opening a restaurant. With the restaurant's menu and atmosphere, the two have recreated their home—Centerstage Chicago marveled that upon entering the eatery, you “immediately feel as though you've been whisked off to another continent”.
As chef, Tigist handcrafts sauces and seasonings to authentically flavor entrees such as doro wot—a pair of chicken drumsticks marinated in lemon and berbere. Diners can enjoy their meals in the traditional Ethiopian fashion by ordering from the messob menu. Designed to foster communal dining, messob-style meals include many small portions of dishes from the restaurant's list of 29 options. These samplings are served on layers of injera bread, which diners use instead of utensils to scoop up bites of spiced meat and vegetables. After dinner, patrons can order cups of coffee roasted from the restaurant's own Ethiopian beans.
Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown—the neighborhood's premier business association since 1923—works to nurture a diverse, vibrant, and thriving Uptown. The organization has partnered with Groupon to curate a deal collection that embodies the vibrant character of this Chicago neighborhood. Conveniently located along the Red Line, Uptown is known for its historic entertainment district, which includes the Aragon Ballroom, Riviera Theater, and Green Mill Jazz Club. It's also home to the bustling strip "Asia on Argyle," a destination for Vietnamese and pan-Asian cuisine. As a part of this campaign, Groupon will donate $1 for every Discover Uptown deal sold through May 11, 2017 (up to $2,500) to support educational programs in Uptown's public schools. Shop the full collection here.