One of the many reasons why I love living here is the abundance of unique, stimulating things to do and see. When I was little I often complained as my sister and I were dragged around the region to see new museums, try new restaurants, hike on special trails, explore small towns (and spend hours in visitor centers!), etc. Back then, it was not my idea of fun. But, just as you might expect, I have grown up to be my father's daughter. Sitting on a couch or a lounge chair by the pool is just not me. Like him, I want to be out exploring, experiencing new things, and documenting special "finds" to share with others.
So this past weekend I had a great find! I've driven on 23rd Street in Crystal City numerous times, but never noticed a little Ethiopian restaurant called Harar Mesob (at 542). My boyfriend, Sean, pointed it out, so we decided to stop.
After some research I discoverd that "Harar" is the name of a city located in the Eastern part of Ethiopia, known for its rich diversity. And "Mesob" is the name of the traditional Ethiopian table made from tall dried grass. Now I had eaten Ethiopian once before (on what I now know to be a mesob), years back, but was nowhere near openminded enough to truly appreciate the experience. This time, I was blown away. As I typical do when I encounter an unfamiliar type of cuisine, I asked our server to point out her favorite items. So we ended up ordering the vegetarian platter (containing a variety of beautiful "wats" or stews) with lamb "tibs" (what they call spicy dishes of sauteed meat) in the middle. Of course it was all served on and with plenty of the spongy "Injera" bread. And it was heavenly. I told Sean this meal may have made it onto my top 10 list.
There's nothing more satisfying than stumbling upon an amazing culinary experience! I strongly encourage you to visit Harar Mesob. You won't need to order an appetizer and be prepared for spicy!