Awash, So Make Sure to Wash
– A RESTAURANT REVIEW
by LINDSEY WINTER
and her dining companion of the week, Mimi
Dear fellow residents,
Let us take you on a little tour of Africa – no, we won't really be going all the way there. But, at least, we'll take you as close as we recently got to that continent by taking you with us to the Ethiopian restaurant, Awash. You'll get to see the restaurant from our perspective – that of two girls presently in the fifth grade.
Awash is on Amsterdam Avenue, between 106th and 107th street. Since we both live on the Upper West Side, the restaurant's location is not far from our homes. In reality, Awash is a great little place. Although going there it is not like getting a hot piece of pizza, it is an exotic experience.
While most city kids use knives and forks to eat, at Awash they get to step outside of their everyday boxes and use their hands. Yes, that's right. No grown ups told us 'don't eat with your fingers' because just like in many areas of Africa using your hands is the only acceptable way to hold your food. Of course, this also means that kids should definitely be washing their hands before eating because whatever is on them will likely end up in their mouths.
To be honest, Awash isn't the most child-friendly restaurant out there. The waiters and waitress are very nice but the food itself is not what Americans would consider common. We advise you parents: if your child is a picky eater, do not bring them here. But, that said, the restaurant does have fun stuff to eat. Sometimes when you're sitting there, you even get the strange feeling that you are in some kind of a movie being made in a faraway place.
Is it a good place to grab a quick bite?
Maybe 'slow bite' would be a better way to say it since it definitely took us time to get what we ordered. Ethiopian food takes pretty long to cook and even longer to arrive at your table. At least, that's what our parents told us. In reality, the waiting can get a bit hard since it's kind of boring for kids to sit in a darkly lit place that's very noisy.
To wrap things up, we'd like to repeat that Awash does have great food, but the great food comes at a price; and the price is patience.
Personally speaking, for the two of us Awash felt like an adventure – it is far from usual and it turned out to be very memorable. But if your kids aren't really in the mood for something wild and new then think twice before taking them. Our best advice is, ask your kids if they want to experience something exotic and be honest enough to tell them that it means they'll have to wait for at least a half an hour before being served. Also, they should be aware that it is one of those restaurants where they will end up washing their hands both before and after eating – first for health reasons and later because things can get pretty sticky. If they're still interested, then go for it. We did and we had lots to talk about afterwards.
All the best from Lindsey's Locker,
Lindsey & Mimi