Posts Tagged ‘New Brunswick’

Ethiopian After Party

June 11, 2009

Last night at our cross-company Marketing Awards, Facebook friend, neighbour and co-worker Tricia was a Finalist in the Social Media marketing category for ADHD Moms. Despite a very compelling business case, the Facebook page didn’t win, so Heidi, Kara and I decided to take Tricia out for a drink. We were joined by Caroline and Meredith from T’s agency. One of our favourite restaurants,  Makeda was just down the street from the award ceremony venue.  Their Website says “Makeda is New Jersey’s first and only Ethiopian restaurant offering exceptional cuisine in elegant surroundings.” We just like it cause it’s has good food and a great atmosphere.

Makeda AppetizersWe ordered drinks and some appetizers. So what Ethiopian appetizers do you order?  Our waitress, Xavier, was very accommodating with us by helping us order some great dishes. 

On the tray above we have Zaalouk, Kefta and D’jaj Bi Zitiune. The marinated chicken and olive dish is the D’jaj Bi Zitiune. The salt of the olives was a nice match to the sweetness of the chicken.  It still unusual for me to have heated olives but it was good dish.  The Kefta are Moroccan meatballs and with the injera bread made a nice meaty bite. Not too spicy just a smoky meaty taste. The Zaalouk is diced sauteed eggplant with garlic and spices. I am not a big fan of eggplant and we ordered it for my vegan co-worker Kara but it wasn’t bad.  Not as good as the Italian eggplant I had at the Memorial Day Picnic but it was good.

Makeda Appetizer II

The second tray of appetizers contained Loubia, Shrimp Alecha and Basid. Loubia is a vegan dish of green beans with garlic, ginger, parsley and cumin. I love green beans to start so with the addition of the spice mix these were delicious. The Shrimp Alecha was  sauteed with some green peppers, rosemary and spices. Very good but the shrimp disappeared quickly.  The Busia (spelling?) was sauteed carrots with some garlic and spices. Again another veggie dish that was great.  Together with the  injera bread and the six dishes we made a meal out of the appetizers. It was fun to eat with our fingers and the injera bread, some of us, who will remain nameless, used forks. LOL.

Honey Wine At Makeda

So what do you drink with such a feast?  So I asked Xavier, what to drink and she suggested the tej. This wine is made from 100% honey and flavoured with powdered leaves and twigs.  As you can see it has almost a bright yellow colour and it was very sweet taste that reminded me of mead. Tricia liked it but it was too sweet for me to eat food with. So I needed to change to some red wine. Xavier was having fun with us taking photos, getting the descriptions of the food for the blog and us generally being loud that when I asked for the red wine the bar sent over a sample for me to try. I have been drinking Pinot Noir lately but this was  a shiraz.  Since they recommended it I went for it. Instead of filling my glass, Xavier brought the bottle over for me to see.

Old Geezer WineSo it was Ol’ Geezer wine. LOL it was very funny. The staff was having some fun with me but the wine wasn’t actually that bad so we all laughed and continued with our after party.  I was a lot of fun, God knows what we would have done if Tricia actually had won.  Maybe next year.

We enjoyed our evening of Ethiopian food and hope you try some soon.  In the meantime, let us all know you favourite type of food is at food poll.

 

Makeda  338 George St., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901          732-545-5115

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A Sandwich by Any Other Name Would Taste as Good*

April 25, 2009

Today was a great day at work since I got to talk with my co-workers and invited external bloggers about blogging and social media as well as go to lunch with my friend and co-worker Kara.  Kara and I get to eat and talk over lunch often at work in New Brunswick and the bonus to great lunchtime conversations is that she’s a vegan.  The best part of eating out with a vegan is getting them to order first, this usually gets you the best menu review as the vegan and wait staff go thru item by item describing the ingredients.  Our office is very close to several very good restaurants so choosing which one is always fun.  Today we chose Evelyn’s authentic Lebanese cuisine.  The sunny day and outside seating gave us  a very warm Mediterranean feeling reinforcing the Lebanese choice.

Gyro & Shawarma from Evelyn's in New Brunswick

To support my sandwich survey, which I hope you will take if you haven’t already (I’ll wait while you do it) I decided to order two classic middle eastern sandwiches, the gyro and the shawarma.  The shawarma has tender beef marinated in a mixture of middle eastern spices, lettuce, tomato, onions and sauce on a thin pita.  The gyro contains spicy slices of combined beef and lamb, yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomato and red onions on a fat pita bread.  Both sandwiches had a nice crunch from the veggies and spicy meat tastes.  Although both sandwiches came on pita bread it seemed to me that they were two completely different types of pita bread. Anyone know about this?  The sour taste of the yogurt on the gyro was a nice contrast to the lamb/beef meat combo.

 

When I did my undergraduate degree in Nova Scotia, Canada, the gyro was street food near the colleges but known there as a donair and it came with a sweet garlic sauce instead of the yogurt sauce.  The donair is so popular in Nova Scotia that a chain of Greco Donairs has opened stories all over the Maritime provinces and the sweet sauce is sold in grocery stores in half liter containers. 

Veggie Salad from Evelyn's in New Brunswick, NJ

Since this was our 5th or 6th trip to Evelyn’s, Kara and the waitress quickly reviewed the vegan choices and she selected the veggie salad.  A delicious combo of mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and mint dressed with a wonderful lemon- olive oil-paprika vinaigrette.  It was a huge serving of salad for lunch so Kara was generous and gave me a side plate salad.  The crisp veggies were a great match for the lemon and paprika dressing that really brought out the best in this salad and this from the guy who ordered two meat sandwiches with a vegan lunch companion. Was I compensating for something? LOL

Another bonus eating with Kara was she usually does and did today, order the homus (their spelling).  The chickpea-garlic combo is very good at Evelyn’s.  Their version is special because of the  paprika and the high quality olive oil they top it with.  Matched with the fresh pita bread, it was a great addition to the meal. 

Hummus

 

 * Apologies to W. Shakespeare, but co-worker and friend Tricia reminded me that it was Shakespeare’s birthday this week so I had to work in some vague reference or lose credibility with all my readers that took English Lit past high school.  LOL

 Evelyn’s Restaurant & Bar, 45 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901 732-246-8792