Monday, April 29, 2013

Culture and Ethiopian Food

Unless you plan ahead, dinner and a show can be tough. All theaters are on the same schedule, and people generally want something to eat and drink before or after the show. Because of this, there may be great restaurants near the theaters, but if you don't have reservations you'll have to fight for a seat--no matter how many options there are. After an evening show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, we knew we faced this challenge ourselves.

As soon as the curtain dropped, we darted from the theater, nearly knocking elderly patrons out of the way, in our effort to be first out the door. We didn't have any clear idea on where we wanted to eat, but we headed into the Fort Greene neighborhood, knowing we could find some good options there. Keeping one eye over out shoulder for the approaching hordes, we marched quickly, looking for an interesting option. Normally, we might wander from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus, but one of our first stops was at Bati, an Ethiopian restaurant, a cuisine we hadn't eaten in a long time, so we took it as a good sign and darted in, just ahead of the wave.

It worked out in our favor, definitely. Ethiopian cuisine can make for a fun evening; a big family style platter of sauced foods served on top of a thin, gooey bread, eaten with your hands. Maybe not the best meal for a first date, but easy to nibble on over the course of a casual evening with someone close. The dishes tend to be rich in flavor, so I selected a Monstrell from the small but interesting wine menu, looking for some deep flavors to match. The restaurant was small and busy, but despite the waves of people who followed us in looking for a seat, we never felt rushed.

One of the reasons we love Brooklyn is because it is so easy to improvise a fun evening. Last minute tickets to a show, and a frantic search for some place to eat makes for just as much fun as a carefully planned adventure into Manhattan.

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