I have eaten at almost every Ethiopian Restaurant in Chicago, in additon to other establishments around the country. The food at Ras Dashen (5846 N. Broadway)on Chicago's Northside is unparralled. The Owner & chef (Zenash) was reknown in the Sudan and Ethiopia for her cooking. She has run the restaurant with her daughter for the 3 years. She uses the finest ingrediants, even the injera (the sponge-like pancake bread that is used in lieu of silverware) is made with authentic grains that are not typically used by the other Ethiopian Restaurants around the city. Their beef and vegitarian dishs are outstanding. I would highly recommend the Gored Gored (chunks of beef brisket cooked in a spicy sauce) and the Sega Wat (diced beef. The restaurant is also Vegitarian & Vegan friendly. I am a particular fan of the Quosta (spiced spinach with garlic), Misser Wat (Spiced, mashed red lentils), Kik alicha (spiced , mashed yellow lentils), and their side salads for the vegitarian sides. Also try the traditional Ethiopian coffee brewed & served in a Bunna (coffee pot)...the coffee is brewed with cinnamon & cloves and is not for the faint-hearted.
Zenash or her daughter are almost always at the restaurant. I have noticed that there is sometimes a difference in the taste of the food on the rare occassions that they were not there, so please give the restaurant a second chance if you have an average meal. Also note that your meal can take upwards of a 1/2 hr to prepare the meal since it is made from scratch. So please be patient.