Travel Tip Thursday brought to us byPseudonym High School Teacher. For today’s Travel Tip Thursday, I thought I’d review a couple of new restaurants at which I’ve recently eaten. One is a barbecue joint in North Carolina, the other a vegetarian Ethiopian restaurant in Michigan. I tried to get a picture of the Ethiopian food with my blackberry, but the shot didn’t turn out very well. I did get a photo of the sign to the barbecue establishment.
The Little African, Grand Rapids, MI. I felt a tinge of guilt for not being able to finish my plate at the Little African, a restaurant featuring vegetarian Ethiopian cuisine on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. The food was delicious, but there was so much of it. I’d ordered a combo plate, picking three of their specialties. Kik is made from split peas and prepared with a sauce of tomato, onions, garlic and red wine. Gomen is the first collard dish I’ve had in Michigan. It is made with collard greens mixed with onion, Jalapeño pepper, ginger and garlic. I normally like my collards with hot vinegar, but the jalapeño and ginger made a good substitute. My third selection was soy curry (I forgot to write down the name) which was ground soy beans simmered in tomato paste, curry and cayenne peppers. The meal included injera, an Ethopian flat bread that also serves as an eating utensils. With no forks, slurping up the food with the bread was expected. For a drink, I had spiced tea. The Little African is just a small storefront, with maybe ten or twelve tables inside. The servings were plentiful (actually huge) and I had to stop after eating about 2/3 of my plate. But it was good and very reasonably priced. The combo was $9 and the pot of spiced tea another $2.50, quite a bargain. The first Ethiopian restaurant I ate at was on Jones Blvd in Las Vegas. It was ten years or so ago and I had no idea what to expect, thinking that Ethiopian food probably consisted of a few grains of rice and a half dozen peas. I was pleasantly surprised. That restaurant also served meat dishes and their lamb, which was fixed in a spicy stew, was delicious. I was hoping for lamb on this night, but I found the vegetarian fare to be pretty good.
The Pik n Pig, Carthage, NC. As you might have guessed this is a barbecue joint. It’s located just south of Carthage, NC, off Dowd Road near the Gilliam-McConnell Airstrip. Last week, with a bunch of us staying at my Grandma’s house, I asked around to find the best Q was in Moore County and was sent to the Pik n Pig. I picked up dinner to take home for the crowd. Their hickory smoked barbecue is delicious, especially with their hot vinegar sauce. The meat is cooked all night over hickory and hardwood charcoal and by daylight, it’s heavenly. They serve it pulled-pork style. Their Brunswick stew was okay. It seemed to have an overabundance of corn and not enough tomato, at least to my taste, but it was still pretty good. They have very good slaw. I like slaw where you can taste the cabbage and I hate slaw drowned in mayonnaise or other sauces; their slaw was of the first variety. Hushpuppies were also good, light and springy, obviously made from a combo of cornmeal and flour. Enough food to stuff five of us set me back $25. There motto: Some people say we're crazy for cooking our meat all night long over a wood burning fire. We say, "It's not polite to talk with your mouth full"
Where's a great place to travel? Why not use the Travel Tip Thursdays as a writing prompt and share your suggestions. Good eating!