The last day at The Reporter, the guys took me to a typical Ethiopian restaurant. Before we began our meal, the ceremonial hand washing occured. This was a nice restaurant, so we had a pitcher, soap and basin. In other places, they will bring you a bowl of water to dip your fingers in with lime slices floating in it. I always want to keep the bowl to wash as I eat because I am a mess at this scooping and eating by hand. One may NOT keep the bowl. You can ask for them to get it for you but no holding on to it.
This young lady below, was roasting coffee beans by hand, traditional in homes here. She started with green beans and then called me over when a rich dark color like we buy in the store. The aroma was delicious. She then brewed a pot of coffee for our table but one can also sit in front of her, sip coffee and chat.
These guys ordered a "family" plate of food. It is served on a huge platter, with injieri bread underneath as a liner, of sorts. There were about six or seven different meat dishes and three men shared the whole thing. Now, Ethiopians eat bread, thin injieri bread but it, along with the meat or vegetarian dish, fills me up quickly. I have not once been able to eat an Ethiopian serving. This day, I had kitfo...a meat dish that is also served with small dishes of turmeric, and another with mashed spices and cottage cheese. One dips the injieri bread in the spice, scoops up some cheese and grabs a bunch of meat and pop it all in the mouth..of course, this is done by hand and is slightly messy. My kitfo was cooked...the controller next to me had raw kitfo and tried to get me to try this mass of meat and blood. I passed and generally, I am quite willing to experience most anything. This? NOT.
As you enter the restaurant, there are these table settings, covered as you see by the cloth. This is family seating...so had the three men sharing their platter been without the rest of us, they would have pulled off the covering, found a small table that exactly fits the platter, and sat in these chairs. Intimate. Cozy.