Saturday, April 8, 2017

My First Taste of Ethiopia

honey wine
kiwi juice
 I tried Ethiopian food for the first time last night.  I didn't really know anything about Ethiopian food except that utensils were not often used and you picked up your food with the injera bread.  I figured that would be the biggest surprise and I really didn't need to know anything else.  I went to Asmara.  I must admit that I picked Asmara because Yelp said if I went there and used the credit card I had linked to my Yelp account I would get 7% of my money back.

mints and wet naps with the check
They let you pick between a traditional table and a standard table.  I would have chosen the traditional basket type table but I had drug my friend along and had not told him about the no utensils thing so I figured I should let him decide where we sat.  And being comfortable is important because you are going to be sitting for a while.  We were seated quickly but then everything was a long wait after that.  Even just for my glass of honey wine.  I only ever saw two people working there so it doesn't look like they have a large staff so that might be the issue.  We got there around 5:30 and it was pretty empty but about a half hour later there was a line of people waiting for a seat.

I wish I hadn't looked under the injera
best air hand dryer I have ever used
We got the spicy chicken wing appetizer.  The sauce on them was very good but I would have liked them cooked a little more because the skin was still really flabby and it was not a good texture.  They gave us a knife and fork to eat the chicken wings, but took them away before the entree. For the entree I ordered the Ahimilti Bebaynetu, which is the vegetable combo.  I didn't even try to pronounce anything so I just said vegetable combo.  And my friend got the spicy salmon fillet.  It comes out on this big plate dished out on top of big pieces of injera with more injera on the side to eat it with.  I wasn't even sure what one of the things I was eating was but it was all delicious.  My friend let me try his salmon too.  I am not a huge fan of salmon but the sauce on it was awesome. Everything came in a very flavorful sauce.  The injera under the food and the injera served to eat with were different colors but they tasted the same to me.  It is a pancake or crepe like bread and has a slightly sour taste.  And I am not sure you are meant to eat the injera under the food, but I did.  Because all the yummy sauces had soaked into it.  But I almost wish I hadn't because when you lifted it up you could see pools of grease underneath.  The food didn't taste unpleasantly greasy but my heart did not like to see how much grease I had just eaten.

mixed berry cake
We had to get more injera to finish everything.  But getting to order anything after the initial order isn't easy.  Our server was polite and friendly but always in a hurry since she was the only server I ever saw.  She did come to check on us on occasion but as soon as one of us said something she was off like a shot.  So I intended to get another glass of wine but I was not quick enough after my friend asked for a ginger ale and she was gone.  I didn't really need the wine so it wasn't that big an issue but it was a little annoying that you could only ask for one thing at a time.

vegetable combo and spicy salmon
The dessert menu is mostly sorbetta and gelato.  But I wanted the mixed berry cake.  Mostly because it had Chantilly cream in it.  My friend wanted the pear tart but he was told when he tried to order it that they didn't have it.  Which would have been nice to know before we had made our choices. But he adjusted and we both got the mixed berry cake.  I am almost certain it had been heated in the microwave.  The cream was warm and leaking out of the sides and the berries on top were still frozen in the middle.  It was okay but not as awesome as I had hoped.

spicy chicken wings
The bathrooms are clean and smelled nice and they have the best air hand dryer I have ever seen.  The air comes out of there at hurricane force and your hands are dry in like two seconds.

I liked the food and would like to try it again but I might choose another restaurant.  If you go to Asmara get ready for a long leisurely dinner because you will be there a while.

Weekend Cooking is sponsored by Beth Fish Reads. See the other posts here.


Carole said...

How adventurous! Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Beth F said...

Sounds like a mixed experience -- too bad the service wasn't better.