Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wat?! I've Discovered an Ethiopian Restaurant in SLC!

If you know Ethiopian food you know that "wat" refers to an Ethiopian stew. Couldn't resist that little play on words...wat...what...whatever...

One of the things I loved so much about living in Washington, DC was the diversity and number of ethnic food options, including many, many Ethiopian restaurants. I don't think any city in the US has as many Ethiopian restaurants as Washington. I could be wrong - if you know otherwise, set me straight.

One of the things I feared the most about living in Salt Lake City was losing good ethnic food options. I have made a few gem discoveries here: Himalayan Kitchen for Nepali food and The Red Iguana for killer Mexican food, and my search continues. But I never, ever thought I would find an Ethiopian restaurant here!!!

I am so excited!! I love, love me some Ethiopian food - always have. I don't want to eat it a lot, but I do love to eat it now and then. My entry to Ethiopian food came when I was an exchange student in Nairobi, Kenya for a year - a very long time ago. I had Ethiopian friends and would have meals with them at their home and also out at restaurants. A guy from that family moved to Philadelphia and my mother and I used to go to that restaurant sometimes (she loves the food too). Then when I moved to DC (again, a very long time ago), I used to go to a number of the Ethiopian restaurants quite often. Given the social way of eating - you all sit on the floor or a table around a communal plate and dig in with your hands and injera (a type of sourdough flat spongy bread) - it was a fun thing to do with a group of friends. And if you have vegetarian friends - there are always lots of options. I actually like the vegetarian dishes more than the meat ones. A long time ago back in DC I used to work at a fun little company and sometimes we would order delivery Ethiopian for lunch (hopefully my former colleagues who did that with me will read this). Fun memories.

Anyway, imagine my surprise to just discover the African Market & Restaurant - which apparently is an Ethiopian restaurant. I was cruising Yelp! for some restaurant ideas here in Salt Lake and I found this. I love you Yelp. You are so much assistance to me all the time in finding places to eat. If you do not know about Yelp, you should definitely check it out. Brilliant information source. Anyway, all the Yelp reviews are good for the African Market & Restaurant so I can't wait to try it out.

My husband graciously tried Ethiopian food for the first time when we were back in DC and he did not like it, so he won't be too thrilled about this discovery. Everyone I know who has tried it either loves it or hates it. I need to find some local friends who also love the stuff or who would be willing to experiment. This is not the kind of place you can go alone. Mom, sorry I discovered this after you just left town - it would have been fun to take you there, especially as it has been far too long since you've had some good wat. I will go and check it out and if it is as good as the Yelp reviews say, we'll go next time you are in town. Anyone want to join me for some Ethiopian food next week?

Photo compliments of Wikipedia.

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