First of all, thank you all so much for your advice and input on self hosting. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do, but it will probably take me awhile to get it done since I want to do my research first. NERD ALERT!
In other news, I went somewhere pretty incredible the other day that I really wanted to be able to share with all of you. For months, my brother has been bugging us all to try Ethiopian food. Being a fairly adventurous eater, I was definitely up for it, but I seemed to be the only one. Solomon just didn’t want to, and when we were home with my parents, my father didn’t want to go anywhere where he had to eat with his hands! Recently, my parents went with my brother and his girlfriend to an Ethiopian restaurant near Rutgers that they all loved (and yes, my dad ate with his hands!). I was, of course, super jealous that they had all gone, and I didn’t get to try it! So since I have been home, my mom and I decided to go for lunch this week.
The restaurant is called Makeda, which was the name for the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba. The restaurant has a very urban feel, but still manages to feel traditional. We chose to sit at a small, low table in the front. Each one was different, and looked to be handmade.
Even though it was lunch, we decided to try some honey wine. This was kind of thick, and very sweet! I usually don’t like sweet wines, but this was different, since it paired so nicely with the food. Surprisingly, one glass was really strong, and we were both feeling it by the end of lunch!
For lunch, we chose to do the lunch special, so we could sample several foods. I went with the vegetarian option, and my mom chose the meat option. She only chose one meat dish though, so I was able to try everything else. Here is what we got:
Doro Tibs – Boneless spices of chicken sautéed with an Ethiopian herb sauce awaze sauce, hot peppers and onion
Atakilt Wat – Fresh green beans carrot potatoes green peppers cabbage and onions sautéed with garlic ginger and tomatoes
Makeda’s Ethiopian Tossed Salad – assortment of green salad tossed with special dressing.
Kik Alicha – Yellow Split peas cooked and flavored with green paper, onion and Ethiopian herb.
Mesir Wat – Lentils cooked with chopped onion, garlic, olive oil and mild berebere sauce.
FitFit – Finely chopped tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno peppers, combined with Ethiopian spices and then tossed with a bit of injera.
I was completely surprised to like everything! I’m not usually a terribly picky eater, but I do have my moments, and I thought trying Ethiopian would be one of them. My favorites were the Atakilt Aat and the FitFit. The Atakilt Wat seemed to be a very fall dish, and was nice and hearty. The FitFit was sweet, and so different from anything I have ever tasted. It was very lemony, but not at all overpowering.
All of the food came served on one tray, on a GIANT piece of injera, which is an Ethiopian bread that is very pancake-like. The meal also comes with sides of injera, for eating with. All you do is take a piece, and use it to scoop up some of the food! You can also rip it straight off of the plate, so you get a lot of flavor from whatever was sitting on top of the bread. The bread was amazing, with a soft, doughy texture. It freaked me out a little at first, since it looked like tripe, but once I got past that, I couldn’t get enough!
This was an amazing meal, and I can’t wait to have Ethiopian food again, and to drag Solomon to it, because I know he would really like it. If you have ever had any interest in trying Ethiopian food, DO IT! It’s so good!
Have you ever tried something you thought you wouldn’t like that you ended up loving? What is your favorite kind of “ethnic” food? I really enjoy Thai food, it seems to satisfy all of my cravings somehow!
P.S. Here’s a preview of our entry for the Chocolate Adventure Contest
P.P.S. Don’t forget to enter Allison’s Vega giveaway!