Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22 - Brunch & Gojo's Ethiopian Cafe

Brunch was done twice over. First I made an awesome Arugula and Avocado Salad with Medium Boiled Eggs. Then I met up with friends at Bandidas on Commercial.

My salad was super easy. I made a simple vinagrette

Simple Lime Dill Vinagrette

1 Lime juiced
1 T Dill mustard
and Olive Oil to preference, I usually use less than normal. It's usually a two to one oil to acid. I find that to oily.

Whisk vigorously and toss with the arugula and a 1/4 finely sliced red onion.

Slice half an avocado, wrap the other half tightly with cling wrap to prevent browning. For the eggs, I got this method from my friend Joyce and it works like a charm. When I chicken out, I over cook them. Place your eggs in a sauce pan covered in enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat off immediately. If you have a ceramic halogen cook top, remove from the heat because it stays hot longer than your conventional. Set aside covered for 4 minutes. Douse in cold water. I slightly over cooked this time because of the halogen cook top. Oh well.

I then got a call from friends that they were going to Bandidas on Commercial. It's a Vegetarian cafe on Commercial. They have a fantastic menu and the option to veganise any dish. Since I'd eaten, I had coffee and munched on their food. They had a heaping order of vegan nachos and full 'English' breakfast vegan and ovo lacto. A full English means, beans, eggs (or tofu squash scramble), soy bacon and more. It was wonderfully hearty and fresh. I will definitely go back when I have already eaten.

Bandidas Taqueria
2781 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5N 4C5
(604) 568-8224

My friend B is visiting from Montreal for a couple of weeks. He was the first person to take me to Ethiopian a couple of years ago in Vancouver before he moved home. We went to the one on the Drive called Harambee. I've been a couple times since. I quite like it.

On Saturday, we went to a new one south of Broadway but still on Commercial Drive called Gojo's. C, our friend is a regular there. It's near 12th.

Since B moved back to Montreal, he's gone Vegan. He'd been vegan in the past but has decided to revert and quite permanently. When B becomes serious about something, he goes full on. He has researched and experimented with recipes. What it means to me is that I am now not the only one of this gang to want to go for a vegetarian option. So three of us got the Veggie Combo which comes with 5 various ethiopian stews on the large flat Ethiopian bread called INJERA. Injera very spongy and has the texture somewhere between a crepe and pancake. It sort of looks like a crumpet as well because of all the bubbles but can be the size of a side table. The veggie combo comes on a huge tin plate. The bread is on the bottom with small mounds of the stew neatly placed around the perimeter. Extra cut and sliced bread is served for eating. You eat with your hands by grabbing the stews with the bread.

Our combo came with (sorry, forgot to take a photo) all five of the vegetarian options: a yellow lentil stew, green bean and carrot, potato, spinach and dark lentil stew with a light green salad in the middle. Ethiopian is not highly flavourful. It's basic flavours that highlight the main ingredient. The aromatics found in other cultures are not often used but sometimes you'll find onions. The other three of us got a few meat stews. They did not have a non veg combo like Harambee where they give you a few meat and veg stews. I did not really pay attention to the meat options but one. There s a dry beef that the waitress had to stop to warn C about because if you don't know they get complaints. It's very very very dry, icecube sized chunks of beef and fat which is very very very tough. It's not poorly done. It is done the way it should be done but you need to know that's the way it's done :-D if you know what I mean. C laughed because he orders it regularly. At that point, the waitress remembered who he was.... C the white guy who'll eat the beef I guess.

Service was a bit slow and so if you're waiting on anyone like we were, go on and order. We waited for about half an hour for our food. The food and bread was fresh and tasty. If you fancy trying ethiopean, I would recommend Harambee more.

2838 Commercial Dr
Vancouver, BC
(604) 708-5394
(4 Maples on 7)

Gojo Little Africa on Urbanspoon

Harambee Ethiopian Restaurant
2149 Commercial Drive

Vancouver, BC V5N 4B3

(604) 216-1060
(5.5 on 7)

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