Ibex Ethiopian Cuisine & Bar: Follow that Cab
For a Taste of Africa

Categories: First Look

ibex.jpg
I was tipped off to Ibex by an airport shuttle driver who was born in Ethiopia. When I told him I'd heard there wasn't any great Ethiopian food in Dallas, he looked at me quizzically and asked "What about Ibex?"

Ibex opened three months ago on the ground floor of a generic-looking office building on Greenville Avenue just north of Forest Lane. It's earned a steady following in the local Ethiopian community: The restaurant's so sure of its clientele's heritage that a sign seeking cooks is posted in the women's bathroom.

Ibex's menu includes all the greatest hits of Ethiopian cookery, with platters of lamb stews, fried fish, raw beef tossed in spiced butter and jerky on offer for about $10 a serving. I ordered the doro wot and a vegetarian combination, a patchwork of sauces and salads mounded on a base layer of injera and served with four rolled-up injera pancakes for sopping and scooping.

Injera is central to Ethiopian cuisine: The sour, spongy bread functions as a plate, utensil and ingredient. Ibex's dusty-colored version is perfectly pliable and soft.

The chicken thigh and hard-boiled egg in my rusty red wot were both slightly overcooked, but the smoky, dried-chile sauce, bustling with cardamom and ginger, was lovely - and made an elegant partner for the crumbled house-made farmer's cheese. The same sauce was put to good use in a preparation of simmered red lentils. I also liked a clean-tasting mix of green beans and carrots, touched with tumeric. But my favorite dish was a garlicky split pea puree.

Ethiopian food, with its oversized platters, is made for socializing. And so is Ibex's dining room, which is arranged so tables and chairs can easily be removed to accommodate dancing. According to Ibex's brand new brochure - I think I was the first customer to request it - the restaurant has the best dj's in the town.

The man who identified himself as the brochure's designer chastised me for not taking my leftovers home. I explained biking with a to-go box was inevitably messy, but now - thinking back on the white lentil dip I didn't finish - I wonder if I should have listened.

Ibex Dallas
1255 Greenville Ave.
972-234-4239

interior.JPG
Injera is central to Ethiopian cuisine. The sour, spongy bread functions as a plate, utensil and ingredient. Ibex's dusty-colored version is perfectly pliable and soft.

The chicken thigh and hard-boiled egg in my rusty red wot were both slightly overcooked, but the smoky, dried-chile sauce, bustling with cardamom and ginger, was lovely -- and made an elegant partner for the crumbled house-made farmer's cheese. The same sauce was put to good use in a preparation of simmered red lentils. I also liked a clean-tasting mix of green beans and carrots, touched with tumeric. But my favorite dish was a garlicky split pea puree.

Ethiopian food, with its oversized platters, is made for socializing. And so is Ibex's dining room, which is arranged so tables and chairs can easily be removed to accommodate dancing. According to Ibex's brand new brochure -- I think I was the first customer to request it -- the restaurant has the best DJs in the town.

The man who identified himself as the brochure's designer chastised me for not taking my leftovers home. I explained biking with a to-go box was inevitably messy, but now -- thinking back on the white lentil dip I didn't finish -- I wonder if I should have listened.

Ibex Dallas
1255 Greenville Ave.
972-234-4239


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