Having never had Ethiopian food before, I was excited to go out for dinner at Addis. New and foreign cuisines can seem scary, but I found that once learning a little bit about Ethiopian culture, the adjustment was easy and also delicious.
At first, the environment of Addis resembles any other eatery in the Bottom, with the exception of being one of only two Richmond restaurants specializing in traditional Ethiopian foods.
Brian and I started out with a sweet honey white wine imported from Ethiopia, which restaurant manager Alexandra Mossa told us helps to bring out the rich spices of many of the different entrees. Alexandra also informed us of the wide range of Ethiopian beers and wines that Addis serves in addition to full bar service.
One of the appetizers we tried after a glass of wine was tomato fit-fit, which is a blend of tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and cut-up pieces of injera bread.
The entrée consisted of an assortment of colorful dishes ranging from chicken tibs to yeabesha gomen collard greens to misirwot, extremely spicy red lentils cooked in a red pepper Bebere sauce.
While trying new cuisines seems risky, I was really struck by how dining is viewed in Ethiopian culture. Ethiopian cuisine is a prime example of the slow-dining movement. Think the opposite of a fast-food drive thru, where family and friends gather to unwind, share a meal together, and really enjoy one another’s company.
Addis upholds the traditional Ethiopian dining experience by serving all meals family-style, which means everyone at the table eats from one large plate, with a plate of injera bread. We were told of the Ethiopian saying, “no boarders to any plate.” Ethiopian food allows you to use the flat, crepe-like injera bread as a utensil to scoop food up. It goes without saying, that Brian and I really got a kick out of eating an entire meal with our hands!
Addis has been open since 2008 and Ethiopian-born owner Dilnesaw Bitew, prides his restaurant to serve only organic, grass-fed meats. Often traveling to Washington, DC multiple times per week to acquire the freshest ingredients.
Addis is located in Shockoe Bottom at 9 N. 17th St., across from the farmer’s market stalls; lunch specials are offered from 11 am to 2 pm, Thursday through Sunday and happy hour on weekdays from 5-9 pm.
Fair Trade Fashion Show
Words by: Emilyn Teh
Ten Thousand Villages was the “hot spot” of Carytown on Saturday, June 4 where many gathered for a fashion show to witness the unveiling of a new line of clothing and to support a good cause.
The fashion show was put together by the store manager and executive director, Karin Taylor with the help of stylists and 17 prominent folks from the Richmond community to model the countless beautiful pieces.
The fair trade fashion show featured three fashion groups- Global Mamas, Mata Traders and Blue Hand. Global Mamas features uniquely African hand sewn batik clothing designed in Ghana by women artisans, Mata Traders features various fashion and home décor items from Nepal and India whereas Blue Hand features brightly colored batik sarongs inspired by the flowers of Bali, Indonesia.
The Body Shop of Short Pump contributed to the fashion show by providing make up for the models in conjunction with their recent launching of their new product, a honey bronzer made from community trade honey from Ethiopia.
Ten Thousand Villages is a great supporter of fair trade, which is a partnership that aims at sustainable development for excluded, disadvantaged producers. Fair Trade producers are certified by the World Trade Organization, which also establishes the 10 criteria for Fair Trade. “Ten Thousand Villages has played a vital role in the Fair Trade movement and I am excited to support the movement by continuing to volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages of Carytown” Uliana also said.
Please visit the Ten Thousand Villages website for more information about fair trade and how you can support this movement in Richmond.