Enat Ethiopian grocery store in Shoreline – an overdue visit

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Photo from google maps

Phone: (206) 367-8387
Shoreline, WA 98155
Monday - Sunday: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Story and photos by Megan Kogut

For six months, I’ve been meaning to visit Enat Ethiopian, a newish grocery store on 15th Ave NE south of Hamlin Park. The Black Lives Matter march and strike on June 12 was my overdue notice. I visited the store and bought some groceries, and I of course had a good time, and here is my report. It is my hope that I inspire other locals who, like me, are too timid or stuck in a comfort zone that doesn’t normally include Ethiopian grocery stores, to try it too.

Enat Ethiopian is focused on providing a comprehensive selection of ingredients for making authentic Ethiopian dishes at home, including flours, spices, grains, and vegetables such as molokhia, which is like spinach but maybe even more nutritious.

The flour and grain aisle

The woman behind the counter was kind and friendly, with a gentle sense of humor. The place was clean, and everyone was wearing COVID-19 masks. I felt underdressed below the neck, however, since the other women in the store were wearing beautiful, colorful full length dresses.

If you weren’t already also focused on authentic Ethiopian dishes at home, you could find an Ethiopian recipe and take your grocery list to the store for a culinary adventure. Everything is clearly labeled, and the spice aisle is organized in alphabetical order. So even if you are unfamiliar with your ingredients, you’ll look like you know what you’re doing if you have your list.

The organized spice aisle

I just browsed for a few things to stretch my boundaries. Since I didn’t have a list, I forgot the besobela, which is similar to basil. But I bought a jar of niter kibbeh, a spiced clarified butter. I tasted the cinnamon in it right away, and the slight sharpness that followed was intriguing and pleasant. Niter kibbeh seems versatile and would work well with many recipes, as well as on toast with jam for breakfast.

I also found harissa in a squeeze bottle and locally made tahini in small and large jars, both of which I have been meaning to use more often in salads and sandwiches. I also bought some barley couscous, and a beautiful orange spice that I will put in the couscous, and do some research on while I eat it.

Their Ethiopian beer selection is very small and focused on lagers, but you won’t be able to find the three brands they carry in any other grocery store. I bought a six pack. They also carry an Ethiopian honey wine (made in California to style) and a large selection of soft drinks.

The store also sells injera, which is a huge, soft, sour, spongy flatbread used to pick up meat and stews like an edible tablecloth. Injera is made out of teff flour, so is practically gluten-free. They are sold in bags with enough bread to cover a typical dinner table.

My groceries at home

The injera are made at Enat Ethiopian Restaurant, owned by the same people and located about three miles south of the grocery store on 15th Ave NE and NE 117th Street. The restaurant is doing delivery and takeout, and getting five star reviews.


Kris B June 13, 2020 at 9:04 AM  

Thank you so much for this very informative article and for putting this store on our shopping radar. Very much appreciated! I will be checking it out this weekend.

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