Wot?

So, tonight was a special night.  It was Hunger Games night.  It was Gosh night!

Gosh is an Ethiopian restaurant on Sutherland Avenue.  My fellow movie-goers and I (my husband, Brooks, good friends, Meg and Steve) were not familiar with Ethiopian food, but Brooks and I have made an elaborate plan to visit every non-chain, non-Asian-buffet restaurant in the MetroPulse Food Guide that just had its annual publication.

Brooks and I had recently been to the Hibachi Grill & Buffet and felt sorely abused by the experience.  Note to self (and everyone, really):  do not expect great things from an “Asian” restaurant that features hot wings, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and corn dog nuggets on the buffet.

In other words, we needed cleansing.  Food cleansing.

Because our friends are excellent people and adventurous foodies, too, we invited them out to celebrate The Hunger Games opening and my 34th birthday.  Meg was kind enough to gift me with a wonderful souvenir from her recent trip- a Hunger Games lanyard!  The mood was set nicely with the movie (great, not excellent) and we were off to the restaurant.

We already knew from reading a couple of reviews that the Ethiopian food is served with a thin, pancake-y, crepe-y bread that you use for your utensil.

Brooks and I ordered a Vegetable Sambbussa, a lentil and vegetable stuffed flaky pastry, as an appetizer and shared that along with a glass of Tej, a honey wine that tasted like a less yeasty mead.  Delicious!

We both opted for the Gosh Combination, which is a pizza-pan-sized piece of the aforementioned bread topped with six different dishes to try.  Your table receives a basket of rolled-up crepes to use for eating.  The servings were spot on with just enough of four vegetarian dishes and two meat dishes for two people to be satisfied.  I especially enjoyed Tikil Gomen, a cabbage, carrots, and potatoes dish that went perfectly with our bread.  I also enjoyed the Kik Alicha, a split-pea dish.  Brooks liked everything on the platter, but his most favorite is reported as Yemisir Wot, a spicy lentil dish.

Both parties felt the need for coffee, tea and dessert.  Brooks and I had the Mandazi, an absolutely delicious, dense, pastry with caramel sauce.  Unlike many other places, the dessert portion was the right size.  Our friends ordered the Date Cake and enjoyed it although we’ll warn you now- it’s absolutely soaked in rum sauce!  Both husbands enjoyed Buna (Ethiopian coffee) with dessert and I had a cup of Kemem Shay (spiced tea).  The coffee was reported as excellent, not too strong, and “different”.  My tea was a bit like chai but not as heady or spicy, just very pleasant and easy to drink.  I drained my mini-kettle!

The ambiance at Gosh is wonderful.  The lighting is conversational but not too bright, an entertaining video of Middle Easter music and dance plays in the background, and the furnishings are clean and sturdy.  No, it’s not Cracker Barrel with things hanging off the walls, but it does invite conversation and lent itself to our experience.

The service is outstanding.  Servers and all the staff were absolutely friendly, accommodating, helpful, and quick.  Food came out in a very timely manner and we were not rebuffed when we asked for lessons on how to properly say the names of the foods and drinks.  We felt extremely well taken care of and welcomed.

We will DEFINITELY be visiting Gosh many more times in the future.  The prices are very reasonable, the food is delicious, the service is outstanding, and the experience is unique and entertaining.

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