I have been to a few Ethiopian restaurants, and this one is definitely the best, even if it is a bit pricey. For starters, I sipped on the Ethiopian Honey Wine.
James, Diana, and I shared the vegetable combo: Shiro–chickpeas cooked with ginger and seasoned with a hint of spice; Alitcha–potatoes, broccoli, carrots with spices; Tsebhi Hamli–Collard greens cooked tenderly with garlic.
Ethiopian food is typically served on Injera bread which is made from the wheat grain Teff and contains no added salt or sugar. The food is eaten with your hands using torn off pieces of Injera to pinch up small bites.
Injera has a sourdough flavor and a smooth, thin texture. We came very close to finishing the entire platter, and after cleaning up with complimentary wet naps, we headed down to the village.
Our first stop was Washington Square Park.
Of course, on a hot and humid day, there were plenty of people swimming in the fountain. We were fortunate enough to see one kid attempt to sit on the source of the biggest spray of water, and in his feeble attempt, lose his pants. Poor Diana just happened to be snapping a picture at that exact moment. We wandered around the village trying to peek into as many apartments as we could, and eventually ended up in the Meatpacking District. James and I had been to the new High Line park right after it opened, and wanted to show Diana and Kevin around. It was beautiful up there, and a nice breeze was coming from the Hudson. We sat here for a little while, New York providing the stage:
After walking around so much, a drink was in order. We found a random bar with a happy hour special (2 for 1), and got a couple drinks. Sipping my gin gimlet:
Diana got some great pictures of us on her camera, so hopefully I’ll be able to add one of those when she sends them to me!
Next up… a two mile walk to Little Italy worked up a ravenous appetite. If you have never been to Little Italy, it’s basically a few blocks of nothing but Italian restaurants. There has to be a lot of competition between restaurants, so at each entrance, a host stands outside with a menu promising delicious food and specials. How to choose? Lucky for us, Diana had been to one of the restaurants before and remembered it being very good. We picked Casa Bella, and sat outside under orange umbrellas.
My usual dish at nice Italian restaurants: Gnocchi!
But sadly, these Gnocchi were not that great. Cooked with egg (!), that is all I could taste. When you have been vegan for a long time and start eating non-vegan once in a while, anything (and I mean anything) with egg in it becomes overpowering. However, I snuck a bite of Diana’s Rigatoni alla Vodka which was fantastic!
After a hot subway ride home, we all passed out from exhaustion.
This morning we woke up hungry, if you can believe it! Kevin really wanted to go to the famous Tom’s Restaurant (of Seinfeld), so we walked the few blocks anticipating a delicious diner breakfast. We were all let down. It may be fun to visit this well known location, but perhaps counting on their fame, they don’t try too hard to make the food good. Although, I did take a risk ordering strawberry pancakes. I was expecting strawberries to be cooked in the batter. This is what I got:
Remember Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries cereal (you and the cap’n make it happen) from your childhood? That is what this tasted like. Things I will never eat again: processed strawberries in gooey syrup.
A wonderful freegan weekend with good company. A 5 mile run planned for this evening. A new job and a full work week start tomorrow.