Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Skyline Café

Skyline Café in Falls Church is the place to dine for international food lovers looking for something new to tickle their palates. Located in a strip mall in Falls Church, this Ethiopian eatery isn’t afraid to serve up big, bold flavors at reasonable prices. spotlight1

Skyline Café in Falls Church is the place to dine for international food lovers looking for something new to tickle their palates. Located in a strip mall in Falls Church, this Ethiopian eatery isn’t afraid to serve up big, bold flavors at reasonable prices.

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Skyline Café (Photo: News-Press)

Though the exterior of the restaurant is nothing special, the dining room has a clean, modern look. Dark wooden tables line the neutral-colored walls, which set the stage for colorful artwork. Music seems to play a big role in Ethiopian art, as each painting comes to life with free-flowing figures swaying back and forth and playing instruments. Equally mesmerizing are the Ethiopian melodies that reverberate throughout the café.

Prepare to be charmed even further by the authentic Ethiopian cuisine. The wait staff is welcoming and informative, so newcomers need not worry; they don’t have to trek through the menu all alone.

Diners might notice that Skyline doesn’t come equipped with utensils. That’s right; guests should come ready to get their hands dirty (in a good way, of course).

Each combination comes with either a meat or vegetable medley served atop a large platter of injera, a traditional Ethiopian bread made out of teff flour and comparable to a thin, spongy pancake. Guests are expected to dig right in, using their hands to tear off pieces of the injera to scoop up the vegetables or meat.

Before diving into the entrées, however, patrons should start the meal with a hefty Sambusa ($3), a handmade pastry shell stuffed with lentils, green peppers, garlic, onions and cumin.

As far as the main dishes go, vegetarians can fill up with the Vegetable Combo ($10.50), a hearty combination of Missir Wot, a lentil stew with a spicy house sauce, Kik Alitcha, split peas served with onions, garlic and ginger, Gomen, chopped collard greens, Atkilt Wot, a vegetable stew of cabbage, carrots and potatoes and Shiro Wot, roasted chick peas with puréed onions and tomatoes in a hot berbere sauce.

Meat options include the choice of chicken, beef or lamb. But beware; the chef doesn’t hold back the spice. Diners who can’t handle the heat can ask the waitress for a milder alternative. Beef eaters should try the Tibs ($11.95), fleshy cubes of lean, tender meat served with onions, tomatoes and green peppers and seasoned with Abesha spices. Another beef option is the Gored-Gored ($11.50), succulent prime rib cuts sautéed in house butter and hot sauces.

For those in the mood for chicken, there’s the Doro Wot ($10.95), tender poultry marinated in lemon juice, sautéed in seasoned butter, a red pepper sauce, onion and garlic and served with hard-boiled eggs. Lastly, lamb lovers should sample the Yebeg Wat ($10.95), lamb infused with ginger root, cardamom, garlic and other exotic spices.

Skyline Café is an excellent choice for foodies who want to expand their flavor horizons or friends who want to share a finger-licking meal. For guests who find it hard to pull themselves away, the restaurant also has a full bar and live Ethiopian music after hours, so feel free to stick around and enjoy the show over cocktails.

Skyline Café

3821 S. George Mason Dr.
Falls Church, VA • 703-820-0240

Hours:
Monday – Saturday, 10 – 2 a.m.
Sunday, 11 – 2 a.m.