Anyone who’s said “I do” can tell you that marriage is as filled with pros (having a special someone who’s legally obligated to listen to you complain about Valentine’s Day, ingrown hairs, and the jackass who ate your sandwich/onion rings/pudding cup at work) as it is with cons (having someone who you’re legally obligated to do the same for, knowing all the while that even that single guy who ate your onion rings is getting laid way more often than you are).
Thankfully, there’s something new to add to the Pro column: having someone to double team the menu at Lalibela with. For those of you who have yet to fling yourselves headlong into the gustatory joy that is Ethiopian cuisine (and a sad, sad lot you are), Lalibela provides one of the finest examples of the style that I’ve found in my extensive research (read: gluttonous eating) in New York, Los Angeles, and many many points in-between. (Take that, Little Ethiopia).
If you’re new to the genre, do as I say and order one vegetarian sampler and one meat sampler. What arrives at your table will be a round platter of spongy injira bread topped with assorted piles of stews, lentils and mashed vegetables. Using your hands (no utensils here), tear off a two-inch square of injira and use it to grab from the piles. Pop the bundle in your mouth and prepare for speechlessness. This is a cuisine best eaten slowly with a Zen-like attention to flavor, texture and stomach fullness, which will creep up on you with surprising speed, so keep your wits about you and make note of every flavor. I promise, you’ll forget about those onion rings in no time.