Dear God

3228 11th St, NW

A reader reports:

“Either this is a very realistic Halloween decoration or they have a serious rat problem! Do you know if this place is vacant? In the mornings I always see a man loading up injera bread in a car, and I think he’s coming out of this place! This is next door to Bad Saint! Yikes!”

Ed. Note: You can file a complaint here. And look up addresses here.

34 Comment

  • I’ve seen rats in my alley, not near any restaurant, plus one in front of a house on my dog walk. I’ve never seen so many as I have recently in my dozen years living in Petworth.

    • Is there any construction (especially something like a basement dig-out) on your block or on adjacent blocks?

      • I think the “Alley-Palooza” (the alley construction through much of Petworth) has something to do with it.

  • Argggh!!! WTF is going on there for this rat to be out in the day? And please don’t tell me they are making food in there….

    • SusanRH

      From doing a quick google search it looks like this place is (or used to be) Melifia Injera and they make Injera for Ethiopian restaurants in the city.

  • justinbc

    Guess we know what the special for tonight is!

  • Mental note: Find out who supplies the injera at my favorite Ethiopian spots, and possibly revise list of favorite Ethiopian spots.

  • If they are making food in there good luck getting DCRA or DOH to do anything about it. I tried to get them to do something about an unlicensed food business in my neighborhood and got the total runaround. The business is still operating without a license and without the proper occupancy to be cooking food.

  • This headline is sensationalist, exacerbates unwarranted fears of rising D.C. rat rates, and should be investigated by Brianne Nadeau’s office.

    • For a rat to be out like that in broad daylight, the problem inside has to be pretty bad. Anyway, wether it is one, or an infestation, if this place produces food consumed at restaurants, this is a significant health violation. Not to mention how it could affect the brand new restaurant next door. This place should be condemned.

  • Is it illegal to have a pet rat? I’m afraid cats evoke in me the same level of yike-ness. Never understood, the point of cats as pets.

    • The point of cats is they kill rats. I’ve lived with cats, it’s somewhat less unpleasant than living with rats.

    • Ally

      FWIW, Rats actually make very nice pets (as do cats). But, the rats you adopt at the humane society (yes, you can do that!) or get at the pet store aren’t city rats, which are an entirely different thing. 😉

  • Melefia Injera

  • Question for the reader who reported this: Was the rat just standing there, or moving/scuttling along?

    • Oh, it was moving back and forth along the window until it decided to go back behind the blinds. BTW, the lights inside were on……

  • justinbc

    Is anyone else surprised to see a rat in a business and it not be a Manny & Olga’s?

  • I’ve also seen a rat in the window at the injera place (actually my dog saw it first, and chased it along the sill), months, maybe a year+ ago. I’d be curious if that place has a business/food handling license.


  • Why wasn’t this posted under Afternoon Animal Fix?

  • Emmaleigh504


  • This past summer, I saw a guy loading bread from here into the back seat of his old Ford Taurus. The car was cluttered and not very clean looking. Can’t imagine that that is within code. Oh well, probably much more common in food establishments everywhere than we want to know.

  • I work adjacent to this fine establishment and can confirm it’s one of the grossest food production places I know of. In addition, I’ve spoken to my cleaning chemical rep about restaurants around town and he’s strongly dissuaded me from visiting the bulk of the Ethiopian spots as they have pretty filthy kitchens.

  • OP, please do the city a favor and report this to the powers that be… It’s really disgusting

  • Ew. I bet if you tweeted that pic/info to DCRA/Health Dept and Mayor Bowser, you’d get a quick response. The city and exec office of the mayor are remarkably good at responding to tweets, believe it or not. In related news, was planning on trying to try zennerbach before they closed/moved…now I will pass…unless someone knows for sure they don’t get their bread from this place and their kitchen is super clean.

    • justinbc

      You are totally fine eating at Zenebech.

    • Ally

      Don’t pass on the Ethiopian food due to one possibly-health-code-violating injira supplier. Ethiopian is just that good and totally worth the risk (I am only slightly kidding).

      • justinbc

        Many of them actually produce their own injera. I know Zenebech used to, not sure if they still do.

        • Most places make their own injera since is easier and doesn’t last more than a few days. I would assume they provide injera to markets. I luckily get injera from my family! But I also live on 13th and I’ve never seen anyone making or packing injera. I’ve only seen El Salvadorian baked goods.


  • Now, I’m not a rodentologist, but isn’t that somebody’s pet gerbil, getting some free-range exercise?

    Either way, an unfettered housecat or alley cat would look after the problem.

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