Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Gojo Ethiopian Food on Alberta Street in Portland

As if the easy access and the great hotel weren’t enough, within four minutes of our hotel is a delightful little Ethiopian restaurant, and we can’t get Ethiopian food in Pensacola. There were two or three groups already eating, and the smells drove us wild.

We ordered quickly, a vegetable combination plate and Doro Wat, a spicy chicken that always comes with a thick, hot sauce and a hard boiled egg. Actually, I don’t care that much about the chicken or the egg, it’s that thick hot spicy sauce I love. We also loved the smokey green beans and the vinegary greens, the pickled cabbage, the beet colored potatoes and the red and green lentils – it was all good, and not dumbed down.

Our meal:

 

Extra injera:

 

There are so many good possibilities for good food in Portland, but we are so stuffed we think we will never eat again!

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April 11, 2018 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Local Lore, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nile: Ethiopian Food in New Orleans

It’s just not fair. There are NO Ethiopian restaurants in Pensacola, but there are two, on the same street, Magazine,  in New Orleans, and not far from one another. We ate at one in late October, when we were in New Orleans for the day getting a new passport, Cafe Abyssinia. We would have gone back, but they were closed for the holidays, and we decided to try the Nile, just up the street.

Oh. We are so glad we did!

 

From the outside:

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The menu; short, sweet, everything you need.

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The interior is light and bright, even on a cloudy day. I loved the high ceilings and the spacious feeling.

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But best of all is the food. We ordered the vegetarian assortment (on the left) and the Doro Wat, a mildly spicy chicken dish, sometimes called the National Dish. I first heard about Doro Wat in Vargese’s Cutting for Stone, and have been ordering it whenever I could. This time, it was just spicy enough (we like spicy). I like the sauce so much, I don’t even care about the chicken, or the hard boiled egg. Just the sauce is so delicious. It is messy, you eat it with the spongy bread, injera, and even if you are very delicate, you usually have a mess. I use a lot of napkins, and even when you wash your hands, hours later you will still smell the spices on your hand (in a good way).

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There is a whole basket of the rolled injera in the upper left corner, as well as more underneath the vegetarian selections and the Doro Wat.

January 1, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Cooking, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick trip to The Big Easy

On the road by six to make our appointment, every now and then things go just right and you can’t forget to be thankful. The process worked, and I should have my new passport . . . tomorrow! It is such good news I can hardly believe that things could go so smoothly.

And we have time for a really fun stroll through the nearby French Quarter, a drive through the Garden District and lunch at the Abyssinian Cafe; New Orleans has the nearest Ethiopian food to Pensacola.

One Cable Place, where the Westin Hotel shares space with offices in the tower, including the Passport Agency 🙂
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One of the Bevolo custom gaslight making workshops:
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I was tempted, but where would I wear it?
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The Cafe Abyssinia at 3511 Magazine, tucked back behind a shoe repair shop. It has a parking lot for outdoor parking, and outdoor seating for this most comfortable time of the year . . .

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We would drive to New Orleans just to eat this feast – Doro Wat, a Vegetarian assortment, Lamb Tibs and a basked of freshly made injera. Heaven on earth.
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And back in Pensacola in time to make my late afternoon meeting! Life is sweet!

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Local Lore, Pensacola, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tucson, and the Great Saguaros, and Zeman’s

On our way to the interstate from Tombstone, we see our first giant Saguaro, one of the reasons we wanted to stop in Tucson. It is awe-inspiring, just growing in someone’s front yard, about two stories high. Did you know that these giant cactus only grow in a very limited environment? Tomorrow, we are going to the Saguaro National Park; we can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, we check in to our very odd Residence Inn. It is near the Tucson airport, and it looks like a resort, but when we go to use the pool, it isn’t even filled, it is being repaired. Repaired? It looks brand new.

It is in an area with a lot of other new looking hotels, near the airport, but while in other places there are usually a lot of restaurants around the airport, in Tucson, there are few, and not ones we care about.

Using our Trip Advisor research, and our Google Maps App, we find Zeman’s. Zeman’s is Ethiopian, and gets great reviews. We love Ethiopian food, and because most of what we order is vegetarian, we also know it is really good for us.

It is an easy drive into the big city, and we find Zeman’s right where it is supposed to be. We are warmly welcomed when we go in, and take a look at the menu.

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They do something we really like; they have a combination where you can order one meat and two vegetables. We ordered two combinations, as did most of the other customers, and it was delicious!

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We really loved the ground beef, which was exotic and spicy, and the collard greens, also exotic and spicy, but with different spices. I always think of Vargese’s Cutting for Stone when I eat Ethiopian food. When I read it, I felt like I had grown up in Ethiopia.

It’s in the university part of town, and most of the customers appeared to be students and faculties who enjoy good eats at reasonable prices. Zeman’s is exactly that. Tucson is blessed to have such a delightful restaurant. I understand there is another Zeman’s and even a third one in the planning. 🙂

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Books, Eating Out, Food, Hotels, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Queen of Sheba in Atlanta, ReVisit

We’ve talked about the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant in Atlanta ever since we found it several years ago. We know just how to get there, so we wait for Atlanta going-home traffic to die down. Atlanta is an hour ahead of Pensacola, so we have time before we get hungry.

It is so cold, and the cold results in a sharp, clear night in Atlanta. All the buildings are beautifully lit; Atlanta looks beautiful at night. We successfully navigate from freeway to freeway and miss our exit, but when we take the next exit – at Emory university – there are all the ethnic restaurants in the world, including the Trip Advisor #1 rated Ethiopian restaurant, Desta, which we briefly consider and then head on to the Queen of Sheba, just minutes down the road.

It is still there, in a shabby looking strip mall next to the Target, between the halal meat shop and the dusty looking shop that sells international plugs and wiring.

We order our favorite, the Vegetarian Injera, and we also order a Tilapia.

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Every taste on this Veg plate is different from the other. It is a fabulous dish, enough for two, filling, but also satisfying because of all the tastes. While I don’t normally care about tilapia, the Tilapia below was the best I have ever eaten, crispy and perfectly cooked. You pull the fish off the bone with pieces of injera (the pancake on which you can see the veg dishes) or even with your bare fingers. It was all as delicious as we remembered.

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We have so many wonderful restaurants in Pensacola, but no Ethiopian restaurants. The closest is in New Orleans. We know we will be coming back again to the Queen of Sheba.

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Road Trips | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atlanta: Ethiopian Adventure and Macy’s

One last entry from our recent trip, a happy ending to a happy trip. This is how sweet my husband is to me.

We find Pensacola a very comfortable place to be, and have only found two things lacking. There is no Macy’s, and I do like Macy’s. There are no Ethiopian restaurants, (remember, I just read Cutting for Stone) and we like Ethiopian food. We know Atlanta has both, so we plotted our return trip with a just-enough-time-for-Ethiopian-food-and-shopping.

Isn’t life funny and wonderful? We know Atlanta has Ethiopian restaurants – several – because an almost-niece who has worked in Ethiopia lives in Atlanta, and could recommend several. Using the handy iPhone, we found a Marriott Residence Inn hidden away in a quiet neighborhood near Macy’s and not far from the Queen of Sheba. Although the hotel was full, they had a wonderful room for us, with a view of downtown Atlanta:

We found the phone number for the Queen of Sheba, called – and they were open for lunch!

When we got to the plaza where the Queen of Sheba was located, we just laughed. We were back in Kuwait!

And here is what the Queen of Sheba looks like from the outside:

Inside, daytime, the atmosphere is serene:

Nights and weekends, they have jazz and lively evenings:

We ordered the Vegetarian mix, a variety of Ethiopian vegetable/legume based dishes, a variety of tastes and heat, served on Injera, the large, pancake-like bread. When it came, it was beautiful, and it tasted as good as it looked. They gave us a tray of extra injera, and we ate almost all of it!

It was so good. SO good. We decided we would go back for dinner, after shopping. AdventureMan took me to Macy’s, and only called me twice in the hours I was looking and trying on.

Here’s the problem. I have a style, but I am terrified someone is going to recommend me for What Not to Wear, so I try to find a couple little things now and then to update my look. I have a tactic: take armsfull of clothes into the dressing room. Try on quickly. You usually can tell immediately.

Here is what you hear. “No.” “Oh, NO!” “No” “No” “No” “Hmmm, maybe” “no” “Holy Smokes, NO!” “Hmmm, maybe” etc. Then I try on the maybes, and out of twenty or thirty items, I might come out with one or two. Some young styles are just too young, some skirts just too short, some camis just too revealing. I don’t want to be one of those pathetic older women trying to be hot, I just want to look decently attractive, that’s the goal.

Meeting up hours later with AdventureMan (I know, I know, I owe him big time for this) we laugh to discover we are neither of us hungry for dinner. We decide to go back to the hotel, but dinner time comes and we are still so full from lunch that we can’t consider dinner. Even though the dishes were vegetarian, that injera must have swelled in our bellies. We can’t eat another bite!

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Experiment, Family Issues, iPhone, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Road Trips, Shopping | , , | 5 Comments