I have a list of 24 things I want to do before I turn 24, and that list includes a lot of food adventures. One such food adventure I longed to experience was eating at an Ethiopian restaurant. Dave was my sidekick on this adventure and together we set off to Westchester’s only Ethiopian food restaurant, Lalibela. It was in a little pedestrian shopping strip with brick sidewalks and budding trees.
We found the restaurant in a side street, right next to a People’s Bank. There was a trail of petals through the doorway. “Ooh, they’re trying to seduce us,” I said. These petals were the product of flowering trees and spring winds.
Dave and I took a seat at the window and picked an appetizer to share. Ethiopian dishes are presented lumped on an enormous, crepe-like bread called injera, which tastes like a bit like sourdough bread. It’s made from a grain called kamut that is indigenous to this part of the world. We received our appetizer, an avocado salad, heaped onto some injera. There are no utensils. We ate with our hands, pinching up the meals with torn off strips of injera. It was delicious.
Just when you think you’re jaded to the disorienting nature of faraway cuisines, someone takes away your utensils and bids you use your hands. Yes, there is still magic in the world. Like the first time I used chopsticks.
Next came the entree, a spread of lentils, cabbage, green beans, and collard greens. One mound of lentils was spicy and the other was buttery and mild. I liked them both, but the spicy one was unsurprisingly my favorite. The lentils and avocado salad were the stars of the whole meal, and the injera was very moist and fluffy like a pancake. I found myself at home later thinking to myself, I wish I had some injera now. Sigh.
Now that I have conquered Ethiopian food, I need to cross of Sri Lankan food off my list next. This adventure will take me well out of Westchester, I am sure.