So we had a grand birthday dinner celebration yesterday evening in honor of Meg's birthday at Ethiopian Diamond. As faithful readers may already be aware, this is currently one of our favorite restaurants in Chicago. We have been known to spontaneously get a craving and subsequently drive 50 minutes just for their red lentil dish.
If you haven't dined Ethiopian style before, one aspect of the experience is eating off of a communal plate with other members of the dinner party. Being that there were 19 of us arranged in a long, rectangular table, a gigantic plate was really not an option. So six of us ordered together, and Meg and I talked up the red lentils a great deal. The number of red lentil dishes to split among the six of us was a matter of great debate. Everyone except me seemed to think that 2 orders was enough, but I refused to stand down and insisted at no fewer than 3 orders would be sufficient. After making my case, everyone eventually gave in.
The food arrived not long after, and the six of us proceeded to virtually inhale the entire communal dish, lentils and injera bread included, in about five minutes. We looked over at other dishes down the table, and we somehow had managed to beat everyone else hands down. After being slightly appalled at how fast we had eaten, we looked at each other and decided to order a fourth plate of red lentils to round out the evening. Seriously, if you live in Chicago and have not tried these lentils, you absolutely must go try some.
Almost all present were contra dancers, some of who do not come to the dance on a regular basis anymore, so it was great to see all of our friends again. I sat next to our good friend Miriam1. She had been having trouble interpreting some vaguely-worded short-row heel directions, so she brought her knitting and I helped her figure out what the pattern designer actually intented2. Revital came as well, and she made an important prediction about us. We'll know if she was right or not next week.
We followed up our delicious dinner with dessert at Ben and Miriam's. We chatted into the early hours of the night and had a fantastic evening. I wish we could do it all the time.
1This is the same Miriam who inherited her mother-in-law's yarn stash. It was so large that the upstairs room of her place could pass for a yarn store.
2I also couldn't help but think that, were the pattern written in KnitML, it would be easily understood and we wouldn't have to try to figure out what the designer meant by 'first stitch.' Maybe someday my dreams will be reality.