Habesha Kitfo restaurant in Gondar has apparently has been closed for a while.
A good place for Shiro tegabino (or tagamino, not sure what is the correct transcription of this one, but the dish itself is my absolute favourite) is the Lucy restaurant next to the National Museum in Addis, a very popular place with great food, a bit more upmarket, but still very affordable and while it is new, I think it may be more than a year old.
In Harar, two traditional Harari houses serve as B&Bs and are situated inside the walled city. One is managed by a lady called Rewda and the other by her sister. Prices are 250 to 300 birr per room with breakfast and usually a private bathroom. You can sit inside the traditional house, with all the decoration inside, it is really an interesting experience.
According to a friend of mine from Addis, SIM cards can now be bought for just over 100 birr. The red zebra that you mention in the guidebook is a very expensive deal compared to that. Also they will fail to inform you that if you come from addis to Lalibela during XMas you will not be able to get connection because of the saturation of the network, so no point in renting the phone for all that time. Apparently there is a trick where by you should turn off you phone when you leave addis and only turn it on once you are in lalibela, much more likely to get network that way.
Dr Liza Debevec