307 E. Wisconsin Ave.
The food of Ethiopia can be fiery. Alem offers a gentler version, though their hot pepper sauce still has richness and depth of flavor. Try the doro wot, chicken with a hardboiled egg, prepared with this sauce. There are also beef and lamb versions of this dish. Half of the menu is vegetarian items. Most tend to be mildly spiced, mostly greens and lentils. Every entrée is served on injera, a round flatbread with a spongy texture. This is also your dining utensil. Dig in and have fun! (J.B.) $-$$. LB. Handicap access. (414) 224-5324
520 E. Center St.
East Africa meets West Africa at Club Timbuktu, which is as much a nightspot as a restaurant. The menu ranges from Somalia to Guinea. It's the place to try tigajigi, a chicken and peanut stew, or cous cous sambusas and Mogadishu fish soup while listening to live African world music (J.B.) $-$$. Handicap access. (414) 265-7000
1824 N. Farwell Ave.
The restaurant's name refers to the traditional dwellings of Ethiopia, where the delicious stews redolent of Africa and the Near East were prepared over open fires and arrayed on a crepe-like sourdough called injera. The hearty tradition is kept alive at Ethiopian Cottage, which features an assortment of meat and vegetarian options plus Ethiopian beer, coffee, tea and honey wine. (D.L.) $. CC. LB. 224-5226