I like Dukem
My college-aged daughter, who's a vegetarian living in Florida, remembered Dukem from when she was visiting D.C. on a high school field trip. So when we were in town for a funeral a while back, she HAD to return to Dukem, because there's just not a lot of choice for fans of Ethiopian food on the Gulf Coast. It's great that Ethiopian food is so veggo-friendly.
I like Dukem, but I've liked every Ethiopian restaurant I've been to, starting during MY university days during the early 1980s when the only places you could find that cuisine was on the "Ethiopian row" in Adams-Morgan where Meskerem and Awash are. Holy Haile Selasse are there a lot of Ethopian restaurants in D.C. now! Dukem's not as funky with its decor as most of the Ethiopian places I've been -- more polished and refined inside, if that's what you like. Good bathrooms, too! Hey, you eat food this explosive, that counts for something... And it's air conditioned. Some of the Ethiopian places I've dined in D.C. weren't, and I like a cool room with food this spicy.
As far as the food, decently spiced, typical "wots" (as they spell it, not "wat') and other Ethiopian standards. We didn't have any problem with the servers, as other reviewers have, but we're good at deciphering other people's accents. To me, someone whose command of English is not that good adds to the ethnicity of the experience, and hey -- their English is better than my Amharic, so who am I to whinge about how THEY speak, eh?
But overall, I'd rate Dukem as average. It's all good, but to me, it's all interchangeable. I'd go back next time my kid and I are in D.C., but the problem is, there are so many other places I haven't tried yet...