Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Zoma - Land of the Brown Faced People

Zoma is an Ethiopian restaurant in Southwest Harlem, 113th and Frederick Douglas. I was first introduced to Ethiopian food by a very good friend of mine who himself is Eritrean (the northern neighbors of Ethiopia). This amazing cuisine, with its smooth textures and its metacarpal eating style, involves grinding, pounding or pureeing food into exciting combinations with unapologetic use of spices. The most fun part of the experience is the injera, on which the food is served. Similar to naan, injera is a spongy crepe, used in the same manner as naan to scoop food into a little pinch of heaven.

I would recommend the shiro wett, a spicy chickpea concoction, with undertones of jalepenos, and the buticha, a chickpea puree reminiscent of hummus. I usually only do vegetarian food when I eat either Indian or Ethiopian, but the Awaze Tibs (pan fried tilapia) is lightly fried, perfectly seasoned, and tantalizing to match with either of the vegetarian dishes I mentioned. I have found a good, sweet rosé would be the perfect match (researched via take-out) however they lack this option on their menu. I purchased a quality bottle from Harlem Vintage, my favorite wine store uptown. They do have a good selection of beer, my favorite being the Dominican Presidente. Those Dominicans make some amazing libations….

Dinner provided some interesting conversation, the peak of which included a call for weekly introspective goals for the UE to push himself to new levels. I am challenging myself to a personal, dietary and professional goal each week. This Epicurean moves forward, never backwards, at all times. What about you?

-The UE

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