Finfine Ethiopian Restaurant

A savory way to start (or end) the day
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PREVIEW There's only one thing better than a mimosa brunch: a mimosa brunch you get to in time to eat. Which is not what happened when my friend K. and I attended a morning birthday celebration in Berkeley on a recent Sunday morning. Yes, we got there in time to see our friends in their pajamas — and one particularly fabulous pair of car-shaped slippers — although, alas, no matching Underoos. And yes, we got there in time for both mimosas and fantastic Bloody Marys. But we completely missed the breakfast train, as everyone was already full and lazy by the time we got our asses across the bridge.

So when K. and I left the daytime slumber party, we were famished. Enter Finfiné, an Ethiopian restaurant we happened to pass on our rambling path (read: we were lost) back to the freeway. To be fair, we were so hungry that an Egg McMuffin might've satisfied us. But Finfiné was so much better than melted cheese product on microwaved eggs. The Ye-Tsom Beyaynetu vegetarian sampler came with six different dishes, including savory collard greens, a spicy red lentil stew, a garlicky green lentil salad, and a chickpea concoction resembling hearty hummus. And the Ye-Doro Tibs proved to be perfectly cooked, high-quality cubed chicken in a spicy, but not overwhelming, sauce.

Plus, the combination platter featured enough food to provide K. and me with nearly two meals apiece. Show me a brunch that does that.

FINFINÉ ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT Mon. and Wed.–Sat., 5–10 p.m.; Sun., noon–10 p.m. 2556 Telegraph, Berk. (510) 883-0167, www.finfine.com

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