by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor
In a tight space, Manna Bistro & Bakery packs in a mini-market, a display case of pastries and a few tables for dine-in Ethiopian. Fenot Berhane owns the similarly titled Mena Bakery & Carry Out in Springfield and approached her sister Rediet, then a program analyst for a contracting company, to join her in starting a restaurant.
“After having a set income and going into something unpredictable, it’s scary,” says Rediet, after almost a year in business. The mini-mart offers injera, even the rare 100-percent teff product, plus seedy and mildly spicy Ethiopian mustard.
The shiro, a chickpea sauce, packs plenty of peanuty depth, the kitfo (raw beef) is a marvel in balanced heat and aromatics and the collards, spun with butter and chili powder, show its flexibility as a green.
The “family” affair continues: The lamb in the stew was raised on Fenot’s farm in Haymarket. / 14215-X Centreville Square, Centerville; mannabistro.com