Sunday, July 20, 2008

Adventures in Eating

This weekend I ventured outside my comfort zone and ate at Lalibela, an Ethiopian restaurant.

Let me tell you....this was a biiiiiig deal. Until about 3 years ago, I only ate fruits and (raw) veggies, chicken, pasta (usually without sauce), and sometimes a steak if my grandpa thought I was looking too thin. I am very picky, and once I find something I like I usually don't try new dishes. After meeting Alson and later moving away from my hometown I started getting a little more adventurous (by that I mean eating more like an adult), but still nothing very exotic.

Now that we live in DC and are surrounded by ethnic restaurants, we felt it was necessary to start developing my palate. Alson loves spicy foods so I now enjoy food with a little heat, and also recently ventured into the world of Thai food thanks to Raku and The Regent. At both places I have only tried the Pad Thai (refer back to the last paragraph and the "picky" sentence....maybe someday I can grow out of that too), but I liked them both very much. The one at Raku even had tofu in it, albeit fried, but I thought it was quite yummy!

Anyway, back to Ethiopian and how I came to eat spongy bread and lamb, among other things....

Our neighbors invited us to have dinner with them and their friends who were visiting from London. Their one friend used to live in DC and frequented Ethiopian restaurants. Apparently there is not good Ethiopian cuisine in London, so on their list of things to do was eat Ethiopian food. I was pretty scared when they were describing the communal nature of the dishes and the use of your hands to eat the food, as well as the prominence of lentils and beans (are lentils beans?) in all dishes. Despite my initial queasiness, I decided to suck it up and accompany my husband (!) and our new friends to dinner.

I must say it was quite the experience! The spongy bread is like no carb I have ever tasted before, but it worked with the different entrees we ordered. Speaking of the entrees, they all came on one huge platter for everyone, and you just kind of ate what you liked. Ripping off the bread and using it as a utensil was difficult at first, but eventually I got the hang of it and was eating like a pro. I personally liked the chicken (surprise right? in my defense, it was quite spicy), the lamb, spicy beef, split yellow peas, and (dun dun dun) the lentils. There was a mild beef, but I thought it kind of tasted like cotton candy, and there also was curried cabbage and carrots, but I didn't try that.* A girl can only be so adventurous in one night!

Picture from

Overall, I would say the meal was a success....not to mention fun!

*I did promise Alson that I would try Indian food in the near future, so if anyone has any recommendations let me know!


  1. So brave! I'm picky also and tend to stick to my "signature" dishes - but I have recently started stepping out of my comfort zone too. It feels good and I find that I have a stronger palette than I thought.

  2. I'm with you on being a picky eater. I just started adding sauces to my pasta and anything else three years ago when I did a study abroad in Spain and was forced to eat things. I'm still picky, but I'll try a lot more as long as I know exactly what's in it. We should go out to dinner sometime and try something new. Speaking of Thai... have you ever been to Bangkok Bistro in Georgetown? Amazing pineapple fried rice and pad thai.

  3. I have not tried Ethiopian, but want to! There is a good Thai place on the Hill too, I haven't been in ages. Indian...yummmmmmmm!