― Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird
― Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird
TOP LEFT: Ethiopian Honey Wine. [Blend of Honey & Hops] Sweet, tastes like a combination of wine and beer. The beer flavor comes from the Hops which are “female flower clusters that are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor.”
TOP RIGHT: Injera. This is a flat bread that is to be eaten with the various foods. It has the consistency of a thick crepe and is very sour tasting, more so than sourdough bread. Instead of using utensils, you tear off pieces of the injera and use it to pick up the food.
BOTTOM: Family Style Messob Sampler [Chef’s selection of vegetarian, meat, seafood and tibs and kitfo]- ”Messob” is the traditional Ethiopian communal dining experience.”Tibs” are grilled or sautéed meats prepared with onions, jalapeños and often a few sprigs of rosemary. Special tibs may be prepared with wine, tomatoes, or other ingredients. Normally, tibs of any kind are accompanied by a small dollop of red-hot-pepper paste known as “awaze.” “Kitfo” consists of minced raw beef, marinated in mitmita (a chili powder based spice blend) and niter kibbeh (a clarified butter infused with herbs and spices. Starting at the bottom in the center (the yellow stuff) and going counter-clockwise, you have: chickpeas, fish, chopped spinach, chicken tibs, lentils, beef (kitfo), cabbage, lamb tibs and salad in the center, all served atop injera.
This was a very interesting experience as it was my first encounter with Ethiopian food. A lot of the flavor profiles were earthy and spicy. However, if you’re not into spiciness, they do have dishes you can still partake in, so don’t let that stop you from trying Ethiopian cuisine! My favorite dishes were the cabbage, chicken and lamb tibs. I also enjoyed the Honey wine.
Demera Ethiopian Restaurant :: 1130 W. Lawrence Avenue
TOP: Lobster & Crab Bisque. Flavorful, rich and creamy. Basically, perfect.
BOTTOM: Cooper’s Hawk Farm Grill- Parmesan Crusted Filet Mignon, Lamb Chop and Pork Medallion w/ mashed potatoes and asparagus.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery :: 15690 S. Harlem Avenue, Orland Park, IL
Spicy Hummus & Beef/Lamb Shawarma- Hummus had a nice kick to it. If you like spice, this is an option you’ll enjoy. Beef/lamb shawarma was very flavorful, as was the rice.
Dawali Mediterranean Kitchen :: 1625 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL
Baja Shrimp Burger- [Chiles, Cilantro, Green Onions, Tomatoes and Lemon Coleslaw]
Burger Bar Chicago :: 1578 N. Clybourn, Chicago, IL
Viva Las Vegas Roll- [Kani Kama Crab & Cream Cheese Rolled in Rice & Seaweed, Lightly Tempura Battered & Topped w/ Spicy Tuna, Kani Kama Crab Mix & Sliced Lotus Root; Finished w/ Sweet Eel Sauce & Spinach Tempura Bits, Topped w/ Decorative Tortilla Chip] As you can tell by the description, there’s a WHOLE lot going on in this sushi roll! It’s quite hearty; basically a meal in a sushi roll. A good recommendation for people who don’t usually find sushi to be filling.
Monkey Roll- [Mango, Roasted Red Pepper, Marinated Artichoke & Cream Cheese Rolled in Rice & Seaweed, Topped w/ Mango & Cashews; Drizzled w/ Kiwi Wasabi Sauce] This is a tasty option for vegetarians. Fruity. Also, as a person who tends to find wasabi overwhelming, I was pleasantly surprised by the Kiwi Wasabi Sauce. It had a nice balance of being spicy w/o being overpowering.
Pineapple & Cheese Wontons- [Lightly Fried Wontons Filled w/ Cream Cheese, Scallions & Pineapples. Served w/ a Roasted Pineapple Dipping Sauce] They had me at “Pineapple,” seeing as how I generally love all things pineapple. Great blend of sweet and salty.
Cucumber Margarita- [Sauza Gold Tequila Mixed w/ House Made Yuzu Sour, Fresh Lime Juice & Triple Sec] I chose the cucumber option. Quite delicious. I loved the combination of the sour and citrus flavors and the mild and cool flavor of cucumber. Sweet and tangy!
Ra Sushi :: 1139 North State Street Chicago, IL