Around the World in 30 Minutes…

I went to Ethiopia today!!!… sort of… but more on that later. This AM I had a quick cup of gluten free Corn Flakes while checking my emails. Then I showered and headed out to run a few “elf” errands. (I sent some gifts to people! That is one of my favorite things to do!) Then I checked out a local Co-Op and Vegan Juice Bar called Namaste Cafe. It was a cute little juice bar on the second floor of a local co-op. The menu is completely vegan and includes, coffee, juices, and smoothies. The owner, Drew, was very passionate and eager to share his products! Everyone in the Blog World seems to be trying Green Smoothies and Juices lately. Until today, I had never tried one. So… I decided to take the plunge and go all the way. I got…. a Mega Green Juice Deluxe! It contained Dark Kale, Regular Kale, Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Garlic, Ginger, Flax Oil, Chili Powder, and Apple Cider Vinegar. Intense right? Here is Drew making my juice. Hi Drew! And, here is my Green Juice. Well, it tasted like… greens. I was only able to drink half of it. (I took it “to go” because I didn’t want to hurt Drew’s feelings.) I know it was VERY good for me, but I’m just not that hard core yet. I also bought some Vegan sushi and Vegan nori/jerky rolls for later. (look for them in a later post)
After my adventure at the co-op/juice bar, I bought some milk for the hubby (ironic after having an intense conversation about veganism with Drew!) and headed back to the hotel. By then, it was definitely time for lunch. We were going to try a local Mexican restaurant, but I didn’t feel comfortable with the restaurant or the menu. (they didn’t have any vegetarian options! What’s up with that?) One thing I’ve learned on the road, trust your instincts! If you don’t feel comfortable eating at a certain restaurant there is a reason for it. Trust you guy, pick up your things, and leave! Instead we decided to be adventurous and ate at Makeda, a local Ethiopian restaurant. This was our first foray into Ethiopian cuisine. I knew most Ethiopian food was safe. The only thing I needed to check on was the Injera bread. Traditional Injera is made with Teff, which is a gluten free grain. However, at Makeda, as with many American Ethiopian restaurants, the Injera is made from a mix of Teff and regular flour. ALWAYS ASK! The hostess and owner of the restaurant were very helpful. I was super excited because the only thing I could not eat was the bread! YAY!!!! I chose the Vegetarian lunch platter. I got to choose 4 vegetable dishes. (Perfect for me and my indecisive self!) I chose:
Atakilt Wat – Fresh green beans carrot potatoes green peppers cabbage and onions sautéed with garlic ginger and tomatoes…
Gomen Wat – Fresh Collard Greens sautéed with fine onion, garlic, tomatoes and Ethiopian spices.
Kik Alicha – Yellow Split peas cooked and flavored with green paper, onion and Ethiopian herb.
Mesir Wat – Lentils cooked with chopped onion, garlic, olive oil and mild berebere sauce.

Everything was A-MAZING!!!!! Seriously, try Ethiopian food! If you are in New Brunswick, NJ definitely hit up Makeda!
After lunch, my OH and I were stuffed so we headed over to Starbucks for a quick afternoon latte fix and decided to walk off our lunch. We explored an old grave yard at a church across from our hotel. (morbid… I know…) It was actually quite pretty. There were also some gorgeous flowers. Flowers make everything better, don’t they? I also took some pictures of the lobby of our hotel. It’s really modern and cool looking. That’s all I’ve got for now. There’s not much else to do around here. Tomorrow we will be heading to Philadelphia for our closing weekend. (happy dance happy dance!!!!) I am seriously so excited/scared for this tour to be over. I have decided it is time for me to go off the road. My OH and I signed a year long lease and are hoping to settle down and find “grown-up” jobs. You know what I mean? Jobs that don’t require you to keep the schedule of a college student. I am excited to be able to settle down and make friends, but I am scared about finding a job! I know what I want to do. I want to start a gluten free food service/consulting business. It’s just a matter of getting started and building a client base. It’s like starting all over again! LE SIGH… Well, I guess I just need to be brave and take the plunge. My husband is super supportive of my dream, so that helps. It’s still scary though. Okay… enough worrying! I’m going to watch the Dog Whisperer now!

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