Last night (as I write this), some friends and I ended up going out to eat at an Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant that we had tried to go to earlier on our own but had found to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, unbeknownst to us. At any rate, last night we got to eat there finally and we were largely anticipating a dinner full of lamb to eat, which did not end up being the case because the restaurant was out of lamb dishes, leaving us the choice of only vegetarian, beef, and chicken dishes. In addition, there were far fewer drinks than we had expected on the menu as well. Taking this to be an issue with suppliers, not an uncommon problem in the contemporary world when it comes to restaurants struggling to get the items that they have on their menus, we all made different choices about what to eat and drink and managed to have a fair bit of variety among those dishes, with two of us ordering vegetarian dishes, two of us ordering beef dishes, and two of us ordering chicken dishes. As far as the drinks go, I had plenty of water, which was served in a carafe, but one of our party had mango juice and another had guava juice and both of them were approved.
As far as the food is concerned, the plates themselves were pretty hearty. I was the only person at the table who finished my meal, which was a chicken topped with tumeric and served with rice, lentils, and a mix of vegetables, and was quite mild. My mother had the gomen, collared green with chopped spinach, green bell peppers, and mild spices. My stepfather, along with one of my friends, had the alicha tibs, which was similar to my dish only with beef instead of chicken. Another one of our party had the yellow lentils in sheba sauce that the rest of us had with our meals served on top of injera bread. Again, I was the only person who was able to complete the meal, which demonstrates that even though we all came hungry, we did not leave hungry, which indicates that the restaurant performed its primary task of filling us with tasty and excellent food.
That is not to say that this restaurant lacked its quirks. The restaurant is in a strip mall location behind a nondescript entrance and is only open five days a week but inside the tables are well covered and the walls have on them artwork that shows the influence of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity as well as photos of old churches from the Middle Ages. One of the other aspects that is worth paying attention to is the fact that this restaurant did not take credit or debit cards but only cash, and had an atm that charged a fee to those customers who showed up without cash. As someone who happened to have cash on me this time but usually does not, this would have been a nasty surprise to me had I not had some cash on me. Those who come to the restaurant would do well to keep this in mind, though.