Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ethiopian Gringos

Friday night Joey and I did something that was totally out of character ,thanks to our more adventurous friends, Bonnie and Russ. We went out to dinner...Ethiopian style. And before anyone makes any Ethiopian jokes, yes, we were full at the end of the meal.

For the most part, Joey and I eat at places whose ethnic food goes no further beyond what a Chili's might serve and consider ethnic. This being Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and "American". Every once and a while we'll branch out, but we always go back to the basics. For me, I think this is in part due to growing up in a small Texas town where you had your choices of Mexican, Fried fish, Mexican, Barbecue, and oh right, Mexican. And not until in the spirit of wild and crazy college life, did I have my first taste of Chinese food at the Imperial Garden in College Station. Some kids tried alcohol and drugs in college...I tried Chinese food. :)

Anyways, back to the Ethiopian Experience, Joey and I were the first to arrive. Instead of smelling food upon walking through the door we smelled incense. Strong incense. At that point, we knew we were totally out of our element. I'm not sure what I expected, but the place was decidedly Ethiopian. And to make sure that everyone else knew that we were out of our element, Joey called over the waitress and asked her what the "house special" was or something like that. I don't know what the equivalent word for "gringo" is in Ethiopian, but we were officially it.

Thank goodness for Bonnie and Russ! They were quite experienced and steered us clear of such apparently perilous dishes such as the Kitfo or the house specialty. Everything came out on one large platter and you used bread for silverware. I should make a note that this bread was unlike any bread I have ever eaten. It was more like a spongy crepe. The tray of bread looked like folded napkins. You would just tear off a piece of the bread and use it to scoop up the meat and/or vegetables. I'm sure Bonnie and Russ got a kick out of how huge our eyes were. We had a blast! It was quite interesting. So interesting that I thought I should write about it for memory's sake. And we of course finished everything up with a trip to Coldstone which was right in our element!

Thank you, Bonnie and Russ for making Joey and I expand our Culinary Horizons!

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