Finger lickin' good: Ethiopian food by the handful at Blue Nile

Blog Slacker

Yes, I've been a blog slacker the past few days. I've been an email slacker, too, and a flat-out voicemail ignorer (is that a word?).

Next week, you'll see why.

Anyway, yeah, I've been a little sidetracked, but not from eating. It's usually when I'm most stressed out that food takes on an almost religious importance. Sounds ridiculous, but you haven't seen me when I'm ravenous. I will bite someone's head-off -- at least figuratively -- when the blood sugar starts to plummet.

Today I planned ahead, and stopped by Blue Nile Cafe in Tempe for an awesome little Ethiopian lunch. I never think of eating Ethiopian food during daylight hours, for some reason, but today I just got a random craving. Wow -- I am super impressed with their lunch specials! I think it was around eight bucks for a combo plate that included a meat dish, a veggie dish, a veggie side, injera (that moist, tangy teff bread), and a drink. Any place where you can stuff your face on good food for under ten dollars is a keeper.

Even less expensive was lunch the other day at Asadero Norte de Sonora. It's this totally bare bones little joint on 16th Street, between Washington and Van Buren, where all their meats are mesquite-grilled. You can get a half or a whole chicken, a parrillada (i.e. a big-ass platter with various grilled goodies), tacos, burros, etc., for probably even less than at the food court at Phoenix Ranch Market up the street. (They're cheap too, but I haven't been in recently enough to compare prices.) At Asadero, I got a really delicious chicken burro (so big I could only eat half), chips and salsa, veggie salad, charro beans, and a medium jamaica for all of $6.31. That's pretty ridiculous.

Comparatively pricey was the Delux burger I got the other night, but it was worth it. I need to get my fix every so often, and then all is well with the world. (Must be the protein.) Sat on the patio, drank a cold Hoegaarden White Ale, and watched some sweet cars cruise by, on their way to Safeway.

Thinking of Hoegaarden -- a fruity, slightly spicy, wheat Belgian beer that's got a lot in common with Hefeweizen, if you're into that -- reminds me of an insanely good drink: The Dirty Ho. It's half Hoegaarden and half Framboise. To the uninitiated, Framboise is a Belgian lambic beer heavily flavored with raspberries. Lindeman's sells it in a heavy, dark green wine-bottle with a Art Nouveau-style label. Neat to look at, but much better to open up and drink. It's really fruity and unique, so even people who don't like beer tend to reconsider it when they taste it.

(I'm thinking of my mom, an all-time teetotaler whom I corrupted when I took her to Postino and got her some of that. One glass was enough to give her quite a buzz -- how cute! Back in PA, though, a lot of the state stores don't carry it, and I don't think she'd resort to drinking piss beer. At least I hope she wouldn't...)

Well, I thought I successfully avoided a food coma today, but that Ethiopian feast is finally making me feel a little drowsy. Off to the Coke machine...

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