Monday, April 21, 2014

Ethiopian Tibs

The town we live in currently isn't as culturally diverse as the town we formerly lived in. As a result, your choices for eating are much slimmer especially when it comes to ethnic foods. Surprisingly however, we did have a new Ethiopian restaurant open up here in town and we went down to check it out despite all the social media reviews.

Our town has a couple social media sites where a couple people posted pictures of the Ethiopian food, (essentially pictures like what I have above only not as good as quality) and the reviews weren't very good. Several people just commented that it looked disgusting and they wouldn't eat it. Then others called them close minded and a bickering fest ensued which is typical for social media sites like that. Not one person however said the food had tasted good and I suspect that was because most people hadn't yet tried it.

So we went during prime eating out hours and as it turned out, had the restaurant to ourselves for most of our time there which confirms my suspicions. Normally new restaurants up here are packed for the first month or so upon opening. The young man running the place was extremely nice and walked us through the menu and answered our questions. My wife got a lamb dish, I a beef dish and my MIL a chicken dish. The cuisine style was called Tibs.

Above is the Beef Tibs which came on a hubcap sized plate. The diameter of my plate in the picture is probably 18 or 20 inches across! The beef had been marinated in garlic and tomatoes among other other things before being stir fried. In the upper right there is a pile of sweet potato and cabbage. Going clockwise it also came with a pile of salad greens, some lentil mash and then the green mash in the upper left was from green and white beans. All this was served on top of a bread like tortilla that the server said was made from teff grains.

It came without any utensils and one was supposed to tear off a piece of the bread and use it to grab onto hunks of meat and vegetable while dipping into the mashed beans. I cheated and asked for a fork anyway. The whole thing was very delicious and we tried each other's dish so I can say with confidence that the chicken tibs was by far the best tasting. The beef was very delicious but a little bit more chewy.

The server kept coming back to make sure we were enjoying our dining experience and even brought us out a bowl of some stewed kale like greens with chunks of meat in it that was also very delicious. We ended up taking large portions of our food back home to finish another day since none of us could finish our servings. We will most likely go back for as long as it stays open but I doubt it will stay open for long. I think judging from the lack of people there on a weekend eating out night shows that most people aren't willing to give it a chance. It is also situated in the industrial part of town away from most of the other eating establishments so one has to go out of the way to eat there. It was my first time to eat Ethiopian cuisine and I must say I really enjoyed it.


Ron said...

It sounds and looks good to me.

I often marvel at how reviews differ from my own experiences. One would think it would be easier to make decisions with reviews on everything these days.

warren said...

Sorry to hear it but it sounds doomed to me looks fine though!

Ed said...

Ron - I have learned to take reviews with a grain of salt too. I have wished there was a more reliable system for figuring stuff out.

Warren - I haven't been back yet to see if it is still open but whenever I do go back, I plan on having a plan B in case it is closed.

sage said...

I enjoy Ethopian food and never mind using the bread to pick it up. The sour bread goes well, in my opinion, with the spices. I'm glad you had a good experience.

edifice rex said...

Looks good to me! Sad that people won't give places like that a chance.

Ed said...

Sage - My wife and MIL both picked up their food with pieces of bread. I guess I'm just a sloppier eater with my hands!

Edifice Rex - Lots of stereotypes for sure. I know in my younger years I probably never would have eaten there but I've become a lot more adventurous in my eating habits as I get older.

Anonymous said...

I tried to comment via the tablet but it wouldn't take for some reason. Anywoozies.
I think all those new restaurants are missing a trick. If I was starting one in a smallish town with a tradition of eating out I'd visit all the other popular places and blatantly nick their most popular dishes. Ethnic, is but a hook to get people in the door. But people aren't really all that adventurous with regards to food. So Ethnic like the Ethiopian/Abyssinian food, which lets face it for a certain generation, ours, is something of a contradiction in terms. I'd have about 20% of the menu populated ethnically. The rest, T-bone and fries with pepper sauce, and the ilk.