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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two Dark Dinners

Dark, in both senses of the word. Guys, haha, I don't know how to say this, but I'm not a very stable person. There are, like, weird things in my head.
Here is Valentine's dinner at Zaytoons, a Middle Eastern place in Brooklyn that G has been wanting to go back to - I had never been. It's BYO so I picked up a bottle of wine (my first drink in 2+ weeks now that the medication is over.)


Sorry, we had started eating. We shared a veggie kebab platter (roasted vegetables with rice, green salad, and hummus) and a selection of small sides (mujadarra, foul, tabbouleh, grape leaves, and a olive/hot pepper mix). Tahini on top, with warm pita on the side.


Then something happened (I'm not being vague - I have no idea what snapped) and I had a couple panic attacks and went kind of catatonic and that was horrible. I lost a collage I made, broke a lamp, and made us both really upset. Sorry. Sorry, sorry.
As a sort of make-up dinner G and I went out again after work on Saturday. We attempted to go to Cafe Blossom (Groupon!) but I called ahead and they were full for the night. It didn't really dawn on me that there would be people going out post-Valentine's day on a weekend. Because I'm not a sane person. We walked around the West Village for a while and I just got really tense because weekends are a horrible place on weekend nights in the city. Drunks and yelling people and crowds and college students and ahhh.
But G and I eventually stopped into Meskerem, an Ethiopian place near Washington Square Park. I have never had Ethiopian food before! It's a small place and it was a little crowded but better lit and G showed me how to calm down ("Repeat after me. 'I will enjoy this food no matter how greasy it is... I will not get poisoned...and we will have a nice time'.")


We split the Vegetarian Combo:


(miser alech; miser wat; shro wat; somethin'; somethin' else; sauteed cabbage, carrot, and potato; sauteed string beans; sauteed collards) On awesome, spongy, injera.
Necessary:


"Ooooh! Fingerbowl!" I squealed.
Happy Stupid Valentine's Day, Greg. I like you. I'll make you a new better collage.

35 comments:

  1. The only thing that shocks me in this post is that you've never had Ethiopian food before.

    So when you break the lamp, do you get to 'buy it/keep it', i.e., you break it you own it?

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    1. Well, see Greg's reply. It was my lamp and technically I only broke the lightbulb. I think we've settled our accounts.

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  2. Glad to hear you are doing alright now! I've had anxiety attacks before, so I can kind of imagine your panic. Not fun. I hope you do something nice for yourself - long bath, massage, read - whatever it is you love! Do it, and often!

    I've not had Ethiopian food, but it looks good. As does the Middle Eastern dish.

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    1. That's a good idea, Ingrid. Thanks.
      The Ethiopian was better than the middle eastern stuff. I'd recommend it if you can find it near you! Apparently D.C is a hotbed of great Ethiopian food.

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  3. IMO stability is overrated. :)

    That's great that you had a nice make up dinner. I've never had Ethiopian food before, either, but would love to dig into what you had. Everything laid out on that inerja bread looks so pretty!

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    1. Well, I do tend to agree. It keeps things interesting, I guess.
      The Ethiopian was great. You'd probably like it a lot. maybe there's something in yr Fire and Spice book?

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  4. Yikes, I'm sorry you had such a rough time. I definitely know how debilitating anxiety can be and I'm with Molly, stability is definitely overrated ;) Glad you seem to be doing ok now.

    Your meals look so good. That middle eastern meal pretty much sounds like my perfect meal. I've never had Ethiopian food before either and that meal looks damn good. I'll have to add both of these spots to my list.

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    1. Yes, I am doing better, thanks! It comes and goes. I'm sure you know how it is.
      You know, the dolmas were not the best I've had but middle eastern is one of my favorite cuisines too.

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  5. Replies
    1. And I guess the clicker was weird anyway? Yeah F that lamp.

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    2. So the picture of dinner was just dark, not cuz you broke the lamp at the restaurant? As a college graduate, I don't think I am alone in my perception from the post that your meltdown was in the restaurant and not at home later with your own fixtures. Guess it was written for dramatic effect (successfully I might add). And why does 'BYO' just look like 'BO'? More of my poor reading comprehension I guess.

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    3. Oh, maybe my bad. As soon as we left the restaurant I flipped. It was just poorly lit.

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  6. I'm sorry you had such a stressful time! Feel better, ok?

    We used to live a block from they Myrtle Ave Zaytoons! Man, I miss BYO restaurants--they don't seem to exist in CA. And Ethiopian food--so good. It's like the perfect vegetarian meal, with all the different kinds of lentils and dark greens and fermented bread.

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    1. Thanks, Eileen. I am constantly working on it :)
      Did you ever get to Zaytoons when you lived over there? How long ago did you move? BYO is always appreciated. It's a nice experience for waaayyyy cheaper.

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  7. I'm sorry you had a rough week, but I'm happy that it ended with you getting Ethiopian food. Injera is one of my favorites, and getting to eat all of those vegetable stews with my hands.

    I hope this week is better, and full of calm and good feelings and all that. Take care.

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    1. Thank you Nikki! I hope so too.
      Injera was lovely. I've actually had the bread before. I kept saying, "It's so fun!"

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  8. Ah sorry you've not been so great, much love and positive thoughts coming your way! Your food looks wonderful, hummus, roasted veggies and pitta are my favourites right now :) I think it's great that you share this sort of stuff by the way, it's easy to gloss over stuff like that and blog like it never happened. It's good to get stuff off your chest and show others they're not alone if they feel that way too. Take mucho care-o pleasums! :) xxxxx

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    1. You know, I appreciate that comment. It is important to share our frustrations. Blogging often sort of whitewashes life and it can give people unrealistic expectations.
      Sometimes we make delicious, healthy food, and other days we eat far too many cookies and want to throw a tantrum. We all feel like that sometimes.
      And yes, the hummus and roasted veg are a constant source of pleasure :)

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  9. Aaaw sorry for the tough times. Forgive and forget is my favourite approach to those sort of things. We can only go forwards :) Middle Eastern and Ethiopian are a couple of my favourite cuisines- I love that they're naturally so veg-friendly. I've started making my own injera and accompanying dishes at home too- that way you can control the oil as well.
    I'm with you on hand wipes- they get me excited too!

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    1. I agree on the oil point! The Ethiopian was a little heavy, but delicious and worth it.
      Gonna stock up on hand wipes for next time.

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  10. Stability is overrated...or that's what I tell myself at least :)

    I'm super jealous of your Ethiopian eats--what I'd give for an Ethiopian restaurant around here. Super fun, right?

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    1. Haha, yup, life (like love) is a rollercoaster. We just gotta ride.
      Definitely fun but I need to carry extra napkins around in my bag.

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  11. OMG! Dark restaurants are a trigger for me. They used to give me severe panic attacks. They are the worst! The same thing happens to a few people I know.

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    1. Restaurants in general used to freak me out really badly, Believe it or not, I've gotten better, ha! I'm glad you're better with it too! I know lots of people can't sit with their backs to the door.

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  12. The Canadian singer-songwriter Ferron, has a line in one of her old songs that I think about a lot. "Life don't clickety clack down a straight line track, it comes together and it comes apart." The song was about a broken relationship, but the words really apply to life in general, don't you think? Hope you're feeling better.

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    1. That's a pretty apt lyric, Andrea, thanks. I'll check out the song. I'm sure pretty much everyone can relate.

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  13. I'm shocked that you've never had Ethiopian before and I'm glad you finally did; it's awesome! I haven't been to Meskerem, but that looks delicious. I hope the ceremony did you good. Also, you really must like Greg a lot. I'd shove my mother out of the way to eat that whole plate of food myself. Ok, I'd just make her order her own, but still.

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    1. Where have you gotten Ethiopian? In the city? A couple co-workers used to go somewhere they liked every week but I can't remember where it was.
      I hope VM doesn't read yr comments on other people's blogs...

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    2. HA! She knows the deal. When we order Ethiopian she says, "Separate plates, please; otherwise, I won't get any." TRUTH.

      Queen of Sheba in Hell's Kitchen is good, although the service is super sloooow and they could use a little refurbishing. I used to do Makeda in NJ a lot, but they got really weird about whether or not their veg options were vegan. Mesob (also in NJ) is another good option. I've heard great things about Awash but haven't been. I'm dying to go to Little Ethiopia in Washington DC and I bought Kittee's Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian, but I'm lazy so I just like to look at it.

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  14. Ugh, panic attacks. Why are brains so ornery? I've been there. Sorry it ruined your Middle Eastern meal. I'm glad your first Ethiopian experience went better! And hope you're feeling better now in general.

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  15. Thanks for sharing this with us, friend. I think it sounds kind of flippant to say "we're all kind of unstable," but I really think it's true. And as someone who has had panic attacks, I can definitely say that *I* am kind of unstable. Not fun, but not something to be ashamed of.

    Sounds like G is a stand-up guy. My partner has had me make similar proclamations in an effort for me to enjoy, rather than be terrified of, food.

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    1. Thanks, Raechel, I appreciate it. We should all probably be more honest with ourselves and others. Unhappiness and fuck ups happen.
      And, yes, G is pretty amazing. I owe him a lot. Partners like that are really special and I'm glad you have one too.

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  16. Panic attacks are the worst. When I was in my early 20's I had pretty brutal anxiety and would experience them several times a week...not cool at all. I was just so freaked out to do anything. But it passes, eventually. And I apologize for the caps but HOW HAVE YOU NEVER EATEN ETHIOPIAN FOOD BEFORE?! Is the bestest. Is my favoritest. Take care man.

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    1. Did yr anxiety just eventually stop? Or did you do something to make it go away? I figure at this point in my life they'll always be a part but I'm not good at all at dealing with them or figuring out when they'll happen.
      Also, I PROMISE I WILL EAT A LOT OF ETHIOPIAN FOOD FROM NOW ON TO MAKE UP FOR WHAT I'VE MISSED

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