Beyond the Blog: October Dining

First Anniversary.  First birthday actually spent solely with my husband.  First time I experienced the magic of Ethiopian injera and Cuban cod fritters.  I marvel at how swiftly time has flown and how miraculous it is indeed that I have survived living in this apartment beneath a demon child who runs rampantly with cinder blocks for feet.  Not the point, Alya, not the point.

I realize I have been away for far too long than any responsible blogger ought to be if she desires to travel the gastronomical seas with her readership.  So, to make up for the loss of intrepid adventure time let me take you on a journey into the past to uncover the foodly treats that played magnificent melodies on my heart strings. I may even be so daring as to let the photos do (most of) the talking.First Anniversaries deserve something special, and for us food trumps all, so we endeavored to try something up until then not experienced: Ethiopian food, at Das Ethiopian in Washington DC.

Injera – a spongy bread round and thin like a crepe but with a tang, the perfect (and only) utensil with which to eat. Food is served atop the injera (here we have spinach rice, shrimp and chicken tibs, lentils and beans) and extra rolls of injera are served in order to eat communally off the main platter. One of the BEST dining experiences I’ve ever had outside of home.

We had stayed overnight in DC, so the following morning (the morning of our actual anniversary) deserved a bit of pizzazz as well. Being a Sunday, restaurants are overrun with brunches, but we wanted to try something outside of the usual pancakes, omelets and such (to be honest, the husband is not a fan of such cuisine, whereas I could down a huge stack of pumpkin pancakes in 5 seconds if the massive influx of carbs were not a concern). Nevertheless, we did have brunch… Cuban style.

Fried Taro Root, Garlic, Cilantro Galore
Chubby Frites with Lemon Aioli
fried egg atop sweet white potato crisps and sprinkling of cotija cheese
(blurry) Cod Fritters.. the husband's favorite
Corn muffin, churro, empanada with fruit jam filling, and some savory soft bread!

Without a doubt one of the heaviest brunches ever conceived by man, and not an easy adventure. Frankly, you must be a daring fool to risk your health eating this more than once a year. A fried feast of Cuban mastery, with tastes and flavors I never touched before. I would love to incorporate some of these ideas at home, sans the deep frying. Cuba Libre in downtown DC doesn’t skimp on the flavor, or the flair for that matter. Banking on the immersive experience of supposedly sitting in a gorgeous tropical plaza of culture, the restaurant feeds all the senses. Our check even came in a cigar box. Clever.

Last sojourn for now is the Old Ebbitt Grill adjacent to the White House, which we actually went to the following weekend with my sister-in-law and her beau, for brunch preceding a garden tour of the White House (thanks very much to my friend’s little brother for sharing tickets with us!). Now, I had withered hopes of enjoying food here because it was laden with sausages, crabs, and just unappetizing concoctions, but my veggie sandwich turned out to be something special. I’ve never had deep fried eggplant serving as the outer bred to a feast of grilled veggies within. I may have preferred if someone had warned me the eggplant would be subjected to such a fate, but the description left that out. Still, I admit to its tastiness even if my pores were crying to sweat out the grease I was forcing in. Sigh. Half a sandwich will do, thankyouverymuch.

However, we did enjoy a delightful spread of hummus and edibles, and the husband had the best thing you could ever eat: dessert for brunch. Not the best Crème Brulee (our wedding’s version was absolutely divine) because it was a bit too thick and the sugar shell on top was too difficult to shatter, but still, he was pleased. Don’t get the wrong idea though, we had had our tasty oatmeal at home already just in case… and it was a birthday weekend, so exceptions are allowed on such occasions.

There you have it. And now I am back to trying out new recipes, and revamping old ones, so soon we will be back to exploring the wide terrain of food. My mom-in-law even gave me a fun recipe for shrimp that I’m trying out tonight hopefully. More on that in the offing my friends! In the meantime, eat Ethiopian!


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