Friday, January 8, 2010

Ethiopian Cottage Restaurant – Milwaukee, WI

A couple of years back, FunHater tricked me into going to get Ethiopian food with him in Milwaukee. I absolutely loved it and have been dying to get back to an Ethiopian place ever since. So when I found myself back in Milwaukee, I knew I had to go back to where he took me to eat… oh yeah, and take Callous-un there too. Hahaha

I shot FunHater a txt and told him I was going back to Ethiopian Cottage Restaurant and he sent me back what we got last time. The hilarious part is he misspelled some things, so I had no idea what he was talking about even after I had the menu in front of me. Like last time, the place was almost dead inside. I have no idea how this place is still open, but I’m glad it is. It’s amazing food.

The menu is actually very simple. Very basic meats and vegetable options, some spicy and some regular. We clearly were going to go with the vegetarian combo:
Yemisir Wat – Red lentils in spicy onion sauce
Kick Alicha – Split peas cooked in a garlic, ginger, and onion sauce
Gomen – Chopped collard greens simmered in garlic and onions
Dincha Alicha – Potatoes and carrots cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, and other spices

And I needed meat of some sort (obviously). So I got the Tibs Wat: tender beef pieces sautéed in a spicy ginger, garlic, and onion sauce. I’m all about spicy, don’tcha know.

While we were waiting for our food, Callous-un made a comment that they were playing the same song over and over again. So I called her out on it: “RACISM!!!” Might have yelled that a tad too loud, thankfully, it was completely dead inside (like girls), so no one heard it.

If you’re not familiar with Ethiopian food, it’s eaten with Injera (sort of a crepe-like bread). You don’t use utensils. You tear off a piece of bread and then use it to scoop up various piles of tasty mush organized on another piece of injera. It’s awesome. I think there are customs where you feed each other, but there was no way I was letting callous-un anywhere near my mouth with her skill at dropping and spilling food. You’ll find that most of the piles of food generally look like mush (because they ARE) and they’re just different colors. However, you’ll also find that each pile of mush is freakin delicious. At least at Ethiopian Cottage Restaurant they are.

The pile in the middle is the red lentil mush, the pile on the right is the beef (dur), at the top is whatever mush comes with the beef (lentils of some sort), the bottom is the split pea mush, the left is potato and carrot mush, and the bottom left is the collard green mush. I absolutely love everything on this plate (my mother would be proud, considering what a picky eater I was as a kid). Obviously the meat is my favorite even though it isn't nearly as spicy as I had hoped, but the lentil mush piles are a close second. Callous-un and I put the smack-down on this platter of food and got totally stuffed. It was awesome.

If you get a chance to try this place (or any Ethiopian place), do it. You won’t be disappointed. I don’t know how you could screw up a pile of mush (I guess my sister NotMomsFavorite could burn it…), so you’re likely to go home super full and super happy.

Top 5 things about Ethiopian Cottage Restaurant
1. Tibs Wat (the spicy beef)
2. Yesimir Wat (red lentils)
3. Whatever the mush is that comes with the beef
4. Kick Alicha (two bowls of split plea soup, please – quit making me laugh)
5. Dincha Alicha (potatoes and carrots)

Bottom 5 things
1. We shouldn’t have eaten twice before coming here. There are starving people in Ethiopia… wait… inappropriate in this situation…
2. The water that Callous-un got might have been from Ethiopia. It was fine after she got a refill
3. We ran out of injera towards the end (I claimed that was the reason I stopped eating)
4. Eating here without FunHater mad me a tiny bit sad, but I also know if he had been there, Callous-un and he would have smack talked me the whole time
5. I’m completely at a loss when trying to work the word “injera” into some sort of awesome Ethiopian Roller Derby name

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