I have a dream of visiting almost every country in the world. But alas, monetary constraints and limited PTO days typically put a stop to those dreams (and I’m too scared to ever just quit my job and see the world jumping from hostel to hostel and job to job while abroad – which is why Liz at OneTwentyFive is so amazing – because she did just that… and a lot more!)
So I came up with an alternative idea. Use my close proximity to the melting pot that is NYC to eat my way around the world… without leaving the metro-New York area. We started several months ago with me heading into the city on Friday in the evenings until my work schedule got in the way, but I’m hoping to start it up again soon. But until that happens, I’ll regale you on where I’ve been in the world so far!
First up was Ethiopia
This was perhaps the best place to start with because the food was so different from anything I’ve ever had before, yet absolutely amazing.
First up the food: 2/2 Musubis
For some context, the main basis of an Ethiopian meal is their bread (injera), a spongy crepe that was used as both a plate and an eating vehicle (as you eat your food with the bread, not with a fork or knife). Not having a clue as to what dishes we might actually like we went with their big combination platter called the Meskerem Combo , which included Tibs Wat (a prime beef dish served in berbere sauce), Gomen Besaega (Prime beef finished with collard greens), Yebeg Alecha (lamb stew), Miser A Lech (split lentils), and Miser Wat (uh…. More split lentils). We also ordered a serving of Kitfo (think beef tartar) – this one was my favorite.
And I had to get a glass um bottle of their honey wine. Delish!
Service: 1/1 Musubi
I give my server a lot of credit. She didn’t speak a lot of English but as we were the only ones in the restaurant that looked / sounded like it was our first time, she really worked hard to make sure we didn’t order anything we wouldn’t like – her big concern was that we didn’t understand that Kitfo was raw beef.
Ambiance: 0/1 Musubi
They are getting a docked point here because well… there just wasn’t any ambiance. But I actually thought it added an authentic feel to the place – crooked pictures on the wall and our table was almost in a hallway connecting the main dining room to the back room, and my chair was sort of broken. But seriously, don’t let any of this deter you!
Price to Portion: 1/1 Musubi
I hate discussing money but I’d want to know… before tax and tip, a dinner that included 2 entrees (which filled up two pretty hefty eaters) and a bottle of wine was around $56. In NYC. And I think half our bill was that bottle of wine. Rachael Ray could even come here on her $40 a Day show and eat even cheaper because she would tip crappily. (Going off on a tangent here but have you ever done the math on her show? She’ll be like “at $18 plus $1.30 for tax and tip…” Seriously?!)
In summary: that’s musubi