Wednesday, June 4, 2008

ethiopian!

so, my very favorite kinds of food are those with chunks of stuff (meat, potatoes, chick peas, quorn, whatever) in a thick sauce, which you can sop up with bread. beef stews, indian curries, whatever. therefore, you'd think I would love Ethiopian food. however...until the thirtieth year of my life...I'd never had it before. not once.

why? well, it became kind of a "thing" for me--something I was sure I would love, and therefore always put off. kind of like how I've never read a Faulkner novel despite being an English teacher. I figure one day when I'm 40 or 50 I'll read a whole bunch of his stuff. something to look forward to in old age! (and why I've dragged my feet on mopping up the last couple of Nabokov novels I've never read...how depressing it will be when there's none left to read). I even lived across the street from an Ethiopian place in Philadelphia (but making $85/month was not conducive to going out...in fact I think I NEVER went out to eat).

anyway, a month or so ago, an Ethiopian place opened on 4th avenue, one block from me. it was an outgrowth of Ghenet (which is in Soho, I think). so, I guessed it was time.

on Friday, Bill and Priya and I went there to check it out. because I order anything that has pear in it, I got a $10 cocktail made with gin, tej, honey, and pear puree (it was okay...the honey wasn't completely dissolved for a long time, and the gritty thickness of pear nectar I love was somehow not present). for dinner we ordered the vegetarian platter
and got one of everything on the menu: misir wett (dark, powerful-tasting lentils), aterkek aletcha (split peas in light sauce), shiro wett (spicy bean--very very good), shiro aletcha (mild bean), gomen wett (lemony collard greens), fasolia wett (string beans and carrots--the carrots kind of tasted like frozen boxed carrot pieces. bleh), mushroom in a dark sauce, and atkelt wett (cabbage and potato). although we were three, we ordered it for two, and it was more than enough food--we had leftovers to take home!

I had been looking forward to trying the bread (having heard of its disturbingly skin-like texture) and it was decent, but surprisingly sour (at first I thought all the dishes were sour, but then Priya was like "umm, the injera.") I really like the eating method, but I think I need to get used to the sourness and learn to like it--sometimes I found myself wishing that I had some naan or pita or something so I could actually taste the dishes themselves more...

no pictures because it was much too dark. we left feeling pretty pleased, I think. oh, and one of the waitresses was a student teacher at my high school this year--weird!

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