Day: February 4, 2014
An Exiting Ethiopian Experience
After 3 weeks in Italy, we weren’t necessarily tired of Italian food. Our hunt for the best pizza, or gnocchi was aided by TripAdvisor, tour books and local recommendations. We arrived in Nice, and one of the restaurants with the highest recommendation was La Ville de Siena, an Italian restaurant in Little Italy in the old streets of Nice. While we thoroughly enjoyed the dinner, the next night we were once again searching for a delicious and enjoyable meal, but maybe something other than Italian this time… On TripAdvisor we put in a search for vegetarian food and up came one listing for Ethiopian Cuisine with excellent ratings. Hmmmm, none of us had ever eaten this type of food, and we were ready for something different.
After finding the place, we immediately noticed the low seating and woven basket tables only 2 feet high. The colors were bright, and the smells were enticing but different! The hostess was so welcoming, and lucky for us she spoke excellent English. We sat at one of the low woven tables with a colorful matching cone cover. She explained the typical way of eating Ethiopian food: A large platter is brought out with several different foods presented. Everyone eats from the platter, which is placed on the woven table. The most exciting part for us is that there are no forks! The food is scooped up with your fingers and this thin millet bread similar to a tortilla or a crepe. We had green beans, spinach, spicy and non-spicy lentils, cabbage, chicken, and rice each cooked with its own unique blend of spices and additions. We happily tore off the millet bread and scooped up the delicious dishes until there was nothing left. The flavors were full and savory, but like nothing we had ever eaten before.
After we had finished our feast, we were relaxing and marvelling at the delicious food we had just enjoyed. The waitress had told us that her mother was the cook, and that she likes to come out and meet guests after dinner when she can. Lucky for us, we were there early in the evening, and the place was not so busy yet. She came out and sat down with us and another couple sitting nearby. We told her how much we loved the food, and she was so pleased to see that the kids had eaten and enjoyed it all as well.
The food, the environment, the people, the lack of utensils, the whole experience was a feast for the senses!