Tag Archives: honey

The Nile: miles from Ethiopia, but so delicious

There we were, five visitors to Denver stuffed in a car, on a dark highway, guided by nothing more than a silent GPS unit. We were on a quest for the region’s best Ethiopian food. Based on an exhaustive survey of two Ethiopian people we met earlier that day, The Nile was where it was at.

Forty-five minutes later, we found it: an unassuming restaurant in a suburban strip mall in Aurora. The friendly server brought us Ethiopian beer and honey wine and managed not to laugh at us as we earnestly explained that we wanted to try one of everything on the menu.

An hour – and several Ethiopian beer and glasses of honey wine – later, she presented us with a giant injera covered in bright dollops of different curries. That is, it was a 3-foot diameter Ethiopian pancake that looked like an artist’s palette. Each dollop was tastier than the last, whether it was the cardamom lamb, the roasted potatoes, curried lentils, fragrant spinach, fiery curried chicken, or something else.

We ate until we were full, then took turns declaring ourselves stuffed – only to find ourselves, five minutes later, picking at a dollop of something. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It was a lovely communal experience with people who I look forward to seeing each April. At last year’s conference we experienced The Most Delicious Sandwich I’ve Ever Eaten (no exaggeration, it really was) and this year was no exception. According to the restaurant’s website:

Sharing the same bread is socially significant in the Ethiopian culture and also creates a bond of friendship and personal loyalty between the diners.  It is said that people who eat from the same plate (mosseb) will never betray one another.

On our way back to Denver, we figured out how to make the GPS talk, but not how to control the volume. It barked instructions to us all the way home, drowned out only by our giggles.

[This post is dedicated to the memory of JS, who raised a great son and tipped us off to The Most Delicious Sandwich last year. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but I wish I had. He’ll be sorely missed.]

The Nile Ethiopian Restaurant
1951 S. Havana Street
Aurora, CO
(720) 748-0239
The Nile Ethiopian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

NYC: the legendary Ferrara Cafe

Ferrara Cafe
(Little Italy)

While in New York, I spent many evenings at Ferrara Cafe. There were so many things to try, and just too little time. Tragic.

They make a mean affogato: ice cream doused with searing hot espresso. You have to be careful on busy nights, though – the affogato can sit on the counter too long before it arrives at your table, which just ruins the entire point. Specify that you want the ice cream super cold, and the espresso super hot. I tried it once with vanilla gelato (too sweet) and once with coffee gelato (just right). It would also be pretty tasty with chocolate gelato, methinks.

There are tons of tasty things in the bakery case. Just pick one. You really can’t go wrong. You can do take out, or have a seat in the cafe.

And I dare you not to be tempted by the mountain of torrone that greets you as you walk in the door. Nuts and candied fruit, all wrapped in a sticky sweet honey meringue? How can you possibly resist?

Ferrara Cafe
195 Grand Street
New York, NY
212-226-6150

Three cheers for brunch!

I love brunch. Actually, I love breakfast but I’m rarely able to enjoy breakfast. And on the weekends, I love to sleep in – which means that breakfast becomes brunch.

Anyway, I’m having my two oldest friends over for brunch today. By oldest, I mean that I’ve known one girl my entire life, and the other since I was eight. We don’t see each other nearly often enough these days, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.

I’m making French toast with boozy bananas (dark rum or orange liqueur? I can’t decide) and honey-glazed bacon. We’ll finish with lime-ginger sorbet, and wash everything down with mimosas.

The combination of good friends, food and stories – it’s going to be fabulous.

Just like honey

The Well-Tempered Chocolatier is nominated in the Best of 604 awards!  Click here to vote!

I’ve been nursing a sore throat for the past two days, and I think it’s because I was yelling a lot on Saturday night.  Silly me, trying to have an interesting conversation in a bar.  What was I thinking?

I have prescribed myself a steady stream of lemon tea with honey.  Aside from being tasty and sweet, honey is generally known for having antibacterial properties.  I say “generally known” because I’m sure there’s some bureaucracy that prevents me from attributing antibacterial properties to honey without five clinical trials and FDA approval. 

Think about it: when was the last time you had a jar of honey go bad? 

I’m going to add honey to my list of Things That Are Good For Me and Also Taste Delicious.  It can make friends with red wine, dark chocolate, and kale.

Luxury, how I have missed you

It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of fine dining, and I realize now how spoiled I was to work in a high-end restaurant. Foie gras? Meh. Truffles? Well, sure. Valrhona chocolate everything? Sigh, if you must.

I know that it must seem like I live a semi-charmed life.  Fine dining, art auctions, and what I’m about to tell you – that yesterday, I attended a luncheon that cost $150-$500 a ticket – must make it seem like I’m living it up.  In reality, I’m one of the volunteers in the background who’s trading her time for food.  Actually, aside from the food, I really enjoy people-watching.  People-watching is always interesting, but people-watching the fabulous wealthy is such a treat. 

So.  Yesterday’s World AIDS Day luncheon at Cioppino’s was a lot of fun.  I’ve never been to Cioppino’s, but it’s well-known in Vancouver for having the best spaghetti a la vongole (that’s spaghetti with clams in white wine) in the city, and is perpetually voted “Best Formal Italian” in Vancouver.  Top it off with Pino Posteraro’s recent cookbook release, his winning the Gold Medal Plates in 2007, and his being voted Best Chef by Vancouver Magazine in 2008, and I hope you understand why I was so excited to attend this event.

Continue reading