Saturday, June 09, 2007

Spontaneous Saturday Surprise Adventure Time!

"Let's go eat African food!"
Kevin came over after his Japanese final exam and we decided on Assab, an Eritrean restaurant that I have passed numerous times and have always thought to go try. Located at 2845 Geary Blvd between Wood and Collins Streets (near Masonic), this restaurant has an unappealing exterior but hidden inside is a charming... interior!

No picture of the interior! Straight to food. We ordered the meat combination (left) which has Zigni, Tsebhi Derho, and Alicha Beggee and the Kelwa Beggee (right). See the menu for full descriptions.

Included with the meal is this African spongy bread called Injera. They were steaming a bit when they arrived so pictured above is Kevin pretending his injera is a hot face towelette.

Spongy detail

Surprised? That was a big plate. Another this was that you ate with your hands. Kevin called it "the most liberating meal I've ever had" - the eating with his hands in public part. Plus the fact that the food was great. The honey wine made for a sweet complement. Our total bill rang up at $29 (+tip). Not my favorite price but for this city's going rate, well worth it. The experience alone is interesting. The service was very personable. I must work on my hand eating techniques. I'll be back again to make a run with my vegetarian friends as we tackle the veggie portion of the menu. 7.5/10

A funny story. After dinner, we went to Clement St. Kevin was looking for some sweets. I got really lucky getting a parking spot so quickly on Clement St. that when we were leaving I thought it was a shame to have "wasted" my parking spot to leave so quickly so we wandered into this tea shop. I was actually wanting to make some tea back home so this was perfect. Free tea samples. The shop owner was very open about his drug dealer business model offering free samples, starting with the mellow teas and working his way up to the "show stopper" of teas. I really like tea so I did not mind his tactics and fully appreciated his honesty. He did teach us a lot about tea. The difference between Green Tea and Oolong tea. Green tea is dried indoors. Oolong is sun-dried. White tea (which I knew already) is young tea leaves. Herbal teas and from tea plants and contain lack caffeine. He showed us the difference between his $60 a pound oolong and his $300 a pound oolong. Oolong teas are more dried than green teas so you need hotter water to open their leaves. Of course you can just not care and drink the tea as is which is what I think I tend to do but it was certainly fun to learn. It was fun and educational. Edutainmentional.

So I have entered the realm of Tea snobbery! Well not really but I do own (look closely) Blue People Oolong tea. Made of real Blue people! (not really!) Come on over and partake in my new drugs~~~

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