George and Julia's Vegan Underground

Ethiopian Fever

With Michael, Darla and the Charming Hipsters

When Marcus Samuelsson won Top Chef Masters a few years ago, New York’s eyes focused on Red Rooster, his upscale Ethiopian restaurant in Harlem.  These days, Ethiopian food is everywhere.  Julia wrote about Ethiopian food once in June and then again in July. The Vegetarian and Vegan Meetup Group announces there next outing is the Ethiopian classic, Awash. Over the weekend, I tagged along with some Brooklyn hipsters and artists and guess where what we ate?…Ethiopian!  That makes it official, Ethiopian is officially trending.

Just down the street from B.A.M., we dined at a quaint place called Bati. If you didn’t know this already, Ethiopian is by nature, vegan-friendly so I wasn’t too surprised to see the word “Vegan” on the menu.  Sometimes “Vegetarian” means vegan and sometimes not.  When Chrissy Hydne opened up a “vegetarian” restaurant in Akron Ohio, she was asked why she didn’t just call it vegan (because technically it was).  Hydne said most the people of Akron don’t know what that is. That was in 2007, perhaps times have changed for Akron.

Bati had a very nice vibe. The staff was attentive and friendly.  It was a small place but with the lights dimmed, I was so relaxed and never felt crowded.  I even felt…interesting.  My new comrades (there were about 10 of us) couldn’t have been more charming.

 

Bati has beef, poultry and lamb but you know I wasn’t having any of that. Our table went family-style (sharing).  My good friends from the group, Darla and Michael got stuck on the vegan side (my side) of the table.  Always sports although, Michael made it clear he did not get enough food. Here’s the vegan options:

Missir Wett – Split lentils in a stew

Ater Kik Alicha – Split peas in a mild sauce

Shiro – Ground chick peas in a thick sauce

Fasolia – Sautee of string beans and carrots

Gomen – Finely chopped collard greens seasoned with garlic & ginger

Tikil Gomen – Green cabbage seasoned with garlic & ginger

Buticha – Ground chick peas in a blend of onion and pepper

I got a combo and got to pick four.  It all sounded so good so I had the waiter pick out what he considered the house best.  I know that can be an annoying way to order but it just felt right.  Picked for me was Missir Wett, Gomen, Shiro, Ater Kik Alicha.  Missir Wett was by far, my favorite. It was spicy and almost had a sloppy joe texture.  I loved it so much, next time I might just get that. The rest was excellent too.  The ingredients were fresh and firm.  The flavors were exactly where they were supposed to be.

In classic New York fashion, at least two people proclaimed it was damn good but they knew of a place that was even better.  Bring it hipsters!  I know Julia (sadly missing from this outing) would like to try them all.  I’ll be back. To me, the place was absolutely lovely.

Bati is at 747 Fulton Street, (Between Elliott Pl & Portland Ave) Brooklyn, NY

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