Friday, August 7, 2009

They eat?

Tonight was Ft. Collins Friday - an outing I tried to start last year. The intention is to take one Friday each month to go to Ft. Collins, Colo., and have a nice dinner at a fun ethnic or non-chain restaurant.

Sadly, we only did it once last year, so it kind of became an annual event versus a monthly one.

But I'm changing that!

We started the new era of Ft. Collins Fridays off strong with dinner at Nyala, an Ethiopian restaurant. I'd eaten Ethiopian a few times in D.C., but the experience was a first for the rest of the group. I am pleased to say everyone was super into the idea of trying it, and everyone - EVERYONE - loved it!

This shouldn't be a surprise given what others had to say about the place. I'd heard from several reliable sources it was very good and really traditional. In fact, some of the dishes weren't available because, according to our server, the owner makes them and she was in Ethiopia as we sat there visiting family and gathering more ingredients.

That could have been a tall tale, but I chose to believe it.

Our reservation wasn't until a little later, so we tried Cafe Vino for a drink beforehand. I've been wanting to try this place for a long time, but I had no idea how freaking amazing it would be! We look like a bunch of lushes, but it really wasn't that bad. Everyone ordered a white wine flight. For $11 or $12 you got three half glasses of wine. It was awesome! Molly, Don and Annie enjoying their flights...


April, me, Todd and Brandon sipping ours...


Another photo of an ENORMOUS Brandon hand. He really had that glass singing, which, I guess, when you have hands that huge shouldn't be too hard...

So, the food at Cafe Vino looks amazing. Thin, crusty pizzas; cheese plates; tapas - all very Napa-esq. I'm eyeing the next table's pizza...Y.U.M. This will likely be the next Ft. Collins Friday, FYI...


Inside Nyala...

We opted for a couple bottles of wine - one a honey wine that was good, but waaay to sweet for me, and this one, which is from Adis Ababa, the capitol of Ethiopia. It was quite tasty...

Cheers to the 2nd Ft. Collins Friday!

Everyone reaching to try the first platter of food to come out. You use your hands and the injera bread they give you. I had a hard time with injera the first time I tried it in D.C. Carrie beat me to trying Ethiopian and wasn't a fan. Her description? Injera is like the lining of a cow's stomach. Imagine having that in your head the first time?! I didn't share this with anyone before they tried it last night. The taste of injera is hard to describe, but I think Don hit the nail on the head - it tastes like, "an undone sourdough-tasting pancake." That's about right!

We ordered one of each of the combos: one lamb combo, chicken, veggie, and beef. Each combo comes with three little "piles" and two sides. It sits on another injera pancake...


When I sent out the evite about Ethiopian all the expected jokes came out: "They eat?" "We'll be sharing a grain of U.N. rice," and so forth and so on. Not one of us, however, left that place hungry. Ethiopian food, likely because of the injera, is extremely filling! You can tell from the cleared platters it was well liked too...

You can't take this group anywhere... April waiting for the bathroom and pretending to be a "starving Ethiopian" reaching for food...


Further evidence that its not advisable to be seen in public with us: Molly and Todd unable to resist the urge to use the table baskets as costumes...

A real testiment to the deliciousness of the food? Brandon, who is using injera as a mask and who we clearly can't take anywhere - and who I was sure would be the hardest one to please with Ethiopian food - said, and I quote, "It just makes me want to be a missionary in Ethiopia to eat their food!"

That's quite the stamp of approval!

4 comments:

Greg said...

I'm a bit spoiled--good Ethiopian food all of 1 1/2 blocks from the bookstore. Congrats on the find.

Julie said...

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Cheers,

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