Sunday, February 19, 2012

Das Real Good

   Our last night in DC, a few of us wondered over to Georgetown for Ethiopian food at "Das".  We were having a small goodbye dinner for Bruce, who was sadly leaving our tour, and Bruce requested Ethiopian.  I am certainly no connoisseur on Ethiopian cuisine, but I do know that the few times I've had it, I have loved it.  So I was looking forward to dinner at Das.
    If you've never had Ethiopian food, it is similar to Indian Food.  The spices are simple and strong and the food is delicious.  It is served without silverware, but with a sponge-like bread called injera that you tear apart and use to scoop up your food.  It is made out of fermented teff flour, is very light and folds like a tortilla.  The actual dish itself is served on top of a large peace of injera, which soaks up the sauce and juice from the vegetables and meat and becomes flavorful bites of soaked flatbread that finish your meal perfectly.
   We decided to order a few vegetarian entree samplers and Chicken & Beef entree samplers for the table.  The vegetarian entrees include a Harvest Stew of cauliflower, string beans and carrots simmered in stewed tomatoes, Split Pea Kik Alicha (a puree of yellow split peas mixed with onions, garlic, and green peppers), Red Lentil Miser Wot (lentils cooked in a red pepper sauce), Collard Greens Gomen, and Cabbage with Carrots in Sauce Tikile Gome (ginger and garlic). 
The vegetable entrees are closest to you, while the meat entrees are in the middle and back of the plate.
    The meat sampler included Chicken Doro Watt (chicken in red pepper sauce and served with a hardboiled egg), Beef Kaey Watt (in a spicy red pepper sauce), Beef Alicha (prepared in an herbed butter) and Beef Segana Gomen (mixed with collard greens). 
    It all tasted amazing.  I loved every entree, but I think my favorites were the collard greens and the Chicken Doro Watt.  But truly, you can't really go wrong with any of them.  It was all absolutely delicious and incredibly filling.  The use of spices in each dish creates a unique diminsion of taste specific to each entree.  They range from mild to spicy, but the spices never overpower the taste of the food they are a part of. 
    Another reason I love Ethiopian food is because it is such a community food.  You share large platters of food, break bread together, and eat off the same dish and small pile of food together.  Ethiopians believe sharing food from a common plate signifies the bonds of loyalty and friendship.  It was the perfect meal for us to have before sending Bruce off with our well wishes.


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