Enatye Ethiopian Restaurant

275 Sunset Park Dr
Herndon, VA 20170
Phone number (703) 435-2166
www.enatyerestaurant.com

A new gluten free ally has come to our little corner of Reston/Herndon. As always, I must make it known to all. Once in a while I get a major hankering for Ethiopian food. The issue has been that they were always so far away. I would either have to traipse to DC, Chantilly, or some other vista too far off in the distance.

I am happy to report that this issue is resolved. Enatye has moved in to the Sunset Park shopping center. This unassuming little number sports a great menu, and friendly knowledgeable staff.

So when I crave Ethiopian, I crave vegetarian. Like Indian food, it really does not need meat. I ordered the vegetarian sampler, which includes: Spicy split lentil (misir wot), split lentils (alecha misir), yellow peas (kik wot), collard greens (gomen), and cabbage (tikil gomen). The highlights of this meal were the split lentils, cabbage, and yellow peas. The spicy lentils were a little too sweet for my liking, but every restaurant is different, with different specialties. They were good, just not my favorite.

I left the best part for last. A good Ethiopian meal can never be consumed without the delightful bread like substance known as injera. It is a cross between a crepe and a soft tortilla. It is your utensils for the entirety of the meal. I simply will not eat this cuisine if I cannot have injera.

This has been the issue for a long time. Traditional injera is made with teff flour, which is naturally gluten free. Americans are not as fond of this flour, so most restaurants blend it with wheat flour to make it more palatable for the masses. Only one place carries both, now there are two!

Now, not only can I feed my need for this delicious grub, I can have it right around the corner from my home! Woot woot!

The Mosaic District Heaven

I just discovered a delicious landmark, Mosaic District Shopping Center. There is a cornucopia of goodies waiting for the gluten free foodie. Today I met up with a girlfriend at the Mosaic District Farmer’s Market.  What I can tell you is that there are many jewels to uncover there. The vendors I got to try are listed below.

  1. Out of the Bubble Bakery: They make delicious gluten free brownies, cakes, and cupcakes.
  2. Pappardelle’s Pasta: They have a selection of gluten free handmade pasta and orzo.
  3. Zayna’s Delight: Delicious humus, the best baba ghanouj, and fantastic garlic aioli.

There are lots more, but these were the ones I interacted with. This is a fantastic market held on Sunday’s, 9:30am – 2:30pm. Mosaic is located at 2910 District Ave.; Fairfax, VA 22031.

On this little outing of discovery, I also stumbled upon a wonderful sandwich joint called Taylor’s Gourmet. They make high quality sandwiches for the gluten consuming crowds, but a lot of their menu can be made on a gluten free wrap. I am told the wrap is Udi’s, but it was fantastic! It could have completely passed as a regular gluten containing wrap. What they put inside is pretty damn awesome.

I had the Filbert breakfast wrap (A wrap filled with Smokey Bacon, Hot Capicola, Farm Eggs, American Cheese, Arugula). Pure heaven. I could have easily consumed two.

In addition to all of those goodies, this shopping center also has Four Sisters Vietnamese restaurant. They sport an entire gluten free menu that is divine. Plus Mom’s Organic Market is just around the corner.

Mosaic has so many options, I could spend an entire day sampling its bounty.

Al Nakheel – Vienna, VA

340 Maple Avenue West
Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 938-4220
http://www.alnakheelvienna.com/

I know it has been a long while since I reviewed a restaurant, and I hope to change this in future. Today I cover Lebanese cuisine. Al Nakheel is located in a small strip mall in Vienna. It is small, unassuming, and attached to a wonderful little market.

The staff was small but very sweet and attentive, but the star of this visit was the food, as it should be. I got the Kabob Trio with chicken, lamb, and kefta. It came with rice and salad and I nixed the bread of course.

I have to tell you that these were the BEST kabobs I have had. Juicy, even the chicken. I am very picky about chicken, if I like it, it is good. The lentil soup was delectable but my favorite part of the meal was a garlic paste, called thoom. It was made with only roasted garlic and olive oil, and I could eat a bowl. The thoom came as a condiment, and OMG it rocked!

Most Middle Eastern food is gluten free, just stay away from the usual suspects and you should be good to go.

A Good Egg

First off I want to apologize for my absence. Things have been a bit crazy as of late. But I am back, so let us move on.

This post is one that is near and dear to my heart, eggs. Eggs are often over looked in the American culinary palette. Often submitted to the agony of being over cooked at IHOP. Never seen for it’s potential for greatness, a perception I hope to change.

This noble protein is versatile, delicious, naturally gluten free, and nutritious. It is true that if consumed in excess, the egg can contribute to certain health problems. As always, moderation is the path to righteousness. In this, I agree with the french philosophy, it is much better to have a little of something delectable that lots of something mediocre.

Today I bring you the perfect scrambled egg.The most important points are do not over salt, and most important DO NOT OVERCOOK. Here are some pointers for making a good egg.

Make sure to set you stove to medium at most. Very important, use real butter to melt in the pan (Preferably unsalted since Americans consume way too much salt.). Remember, moderation is the key. Butter is fine is you do not overdo it. Repeat after me, “Butter is not the devil.”

First, beat eggs very well. I once heard that a french chef at a fine restaurant would beet the eggs for 15 minutes strait. I am not suggesting you do it that long, but beat them until a slight foam appears at the top. Once your butter is melted, if you want to include other things, like onions and mushrooms (My favorite), now is the time. Please note this step is optional.

Pour eggs into pan, which is set to medium heat and stir, stir, stir, and keep stirring. In fact, do not stop till done. This step provides that perfect texture. You do not want flat lifeless eggs. You want fluffy happy eggs. I prefer mine a little on the wet side. If you have not tried them this way, I highly recommend it. Viola, the perfect scrambled egg.

Now that you are armed with the proper method, go forth and scramble.

2015/01/img_0022.jpg

Sadness thy name is Whole Foods

In a previous post about GF bread, I told you about LivWell brand and how wonderful it is. Whole Foods was the only place I know of who carried that brand imported from England. Every time I went in to purchase more, they were out, and I finally got the gumption to ask why? 

It turns out that Whole Foods was starting to have trouble with the company so they severed ties. No more yummy bread? NOT fair…