Monday, 16 April 2012

Mmm Monday...Feasting at Fassil












A tantalizing hidden gem in Calgary lies embedded in Forest Lawn on International Avenue SE, where some of the city's best food exists.  Because of the richness of ethnicities in this area, centuries of recipes passed down from generation to generation have aged with fine flavours and cooking methods.  Ethiopian food has grown in popularity over the last few years, but still keeps a fairly low profile it seems. 

This week we are very excited to feature Calgary's best Ethiopian restaurant, Fassil.  In fact, with a fairly experienced palate in this cuisine from coast to coast, I will go as far as saying it's the best of its kind I've tasted.  The owner and cook is extremely hospitable, and often runs the front of house and kitchen so a little bit of patience is sometimes recquired.  With good company and a decent house wine, you can create a very enjoyable atmosphere with some interesting African background music.  I recommend you take someone you're romantic with, or some tight and intimate friends. 


I have a usual, and I believe I tend to order by requesting 'the usual'.  Now that I think of it, I probably sound like a chump lol.  But because of my love for variety and wanting my guests to try various dishes, I order a Veggie combo and Meat combo.  Both are EQUALLY as tasty.  The veggie here consists of four different styles of lentils in either a blended or chunky form.  All of them vibrant with unique flavour.  Also there is a spinach accompaniment, which is my favourite, with a simple flavour to emphasis the excellent taste of these leaves.  
For the meat stews (Wat) I have ordered a combo of lamb, chicken and beef.  All cooked to delicious and moist perfection.  The beef shown here is called Kitfo and is essentially a ground up beef tartare, sometimes lightly seared for a few moments to warm, but served raw.  I've seen it flavoured with butter, salt and paprika.  Interesting flavour and a surprising addiction!  The lamb (sega wat) and chicken are diced and a tossed with green and red peppers and onions.


This tasty best of both worlds item (crepe and bread-like) is called Injera and is the platter for your meal, as well as being served on the side for tearing off and scooping food with.  There is nothing sexier than eating with your hands folks.  This bread has a fun, squishy texture and a slightly sour taste.  It pairs really well with the flavours served on it. 



A seriously all around really great experience. Don't forget to have coffee. I've never seen so much care and love put into coffee. I can't end a meal without a long espresso sweetened with Bailey's.

In my old book of culinary ideas is a concept for an upscale Ethiopian restaurant lounge with an intimate and relaxed atmosphere fostering a warm and interactive setting.  It would be a place I would love to go myself.  Let's see where Jane Bond will lead us.

We had a serious weekend starting renovations for the food truck.  Catch Jennifer tomorrow for that story complete with videos and demolition pics. 

Cheers friends,

Jenny

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