Friday, August 5, 2011

Ethiopian Cottage

After finding some inspiration from a few local bloggers, I feel like I want to include a few more Milwaukee-related things in my blog. You know, just really document MY experiences in this awesome city. I've done some of that over the time I've been here, but I feel like I want to share a little bit more about the things I've been doing and the places I've been going. Let's rewind.

Last weekend, a very dear person in my life (who will be referred to as "L") came down to MKE to visit me for part of the weekend. We had a fabulous time as usual. When he first arrived on Saturday, we thought about just making or ordering some food. However, after glancing through my 2011 Shepherd Express City Guide (a lifesaver since I moved here), we decided to venture out and try something different. There's an entire dining section in this guide, divided out by type of cuisine. L's eyes were almost immediately drawn to a place called Ethiopian Cottage. I'll spare you the entire description, but long story short, it sounded far different from anything either of us have ever tried. Without much convincing, off to dinner we went, and lo and behold, we were the ONLY people in the restaurant. Definitely added to the experience! We went traditional and sat at one of the places that included a basket-like "table," rather than your typical restaurant table. If we're gonna do this, we might as go all out, right?! :) Anyway, we ordered somewhat blindly, but knew we wanted a variety. Check out the menu here. We weren't sure what to expect, but if I remember correctly, I believe we went with Kitfo (#6), Ybeg Tibs Wat (#13), and Gomen (#23). As for beverages, I tried an Ethiopian beer called Bedele, and L got a glass of honey wine. We considered an entire bottle of wine, but we drove, and we also didn't know if we'd like it, so a glass seemed safer. Too bad, because it was delicious! Out came the food, and we dug in. I don't know how to describe it. Almost overwhelming, because it was A LOT of food, and eating without utensils isn't exactly normal for us. Yes, we ate our entire meal without any utensils. I loved that aspect, though! I'll be honest, the crepe-like sourdough that basically served as the utensil (that you ate) was a tad on the sour side for my liking. Another confession. Out of the beef, lamb, and veggies, L and I both concurred that the veggies were by far our favorite. Seems kind of wrong when meat's involved! Anyway, we hung around for awhile and soaked in the atmosphere. Very cool to say the least. In terms of a recommendation, I'll say that you should surely have some adventurous tastebuds if you want to check out this place. I'm SO happy we went, and I'd probably go again. We racked up a bit of a tab (thank you, L, for treating me:), but like I said, the experience was very memorable. Definitely a little more out of the box than the Midwest Diner we went to on Sunday morning (which was still awesome, by the way). Check out the photos below to get a sense of our experience. They're not MY photos, but they help show what it was like. Gosh, I love this city for exposing me to new things! :)

Crepe-like sourdough called injera

Spices and goodies

See the basket? This was our "table."

Dig in with your hands!

Ethiopian beers (I tried the one in the middle.)

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