Eating Ethiopian with a 2 Year Old

As a kid, my idea of adventurous eating was that I went to a deli that served tongue. (I never ate tongue, but the mere presence of it on the menu was enough street cred for me.) Admittedly, I didn’t live somewhere with a whole lot of options – all we had in my town for years was a couple of average Italian restaurants, a pub, and a Friendly’s.

But now, living in the D.C. suburbs, we are absolutely spoiled for choice. D.C. itself has a thriving foodie culture and our suburb has a number of immigrants who have brought their delicious food with them. So I’m dedicated to ensuring Sprout is exposed to all sorts of cuisine. So far, we’ve had Indian, Thai, Lebanese, dim sum, and authentic Chinese dumplings. But last weekend, we went a step more adventurous than we ever had before – Ethiopian.

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A Yelp Review from a Newborn

With everyone having an opinion on the internet today, why not newborns? They’re certainly good at letting you know when they’re not happy. When my son was only a few months old, my husband and I would joke about the review he would write about his daily meals.

Name: Sprout
Location: My house
Number of stars: 2

Many people say that the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, if so, I must be insane, because I keep returning to this place day after day despite the limited menu and inferior service. At least the food is healthy and the price is right.

The menu is extraordinarily limited – nothing but milk! The same thing, day in and day out. And always breast milk; they never even switch it up with cow or goat. There’s no question that it’s good, but a baby wants something different every once in a while. Fortunately, they do provide a bit of variety in the delivery, alternating between the intimacy of nursing and the efficiency of the bottle.

Speaking of delivery, the service is atrocious! At first, I always request my meal quietly, almost silently. Because they sometimes miss this initial cue, I then have no choice but to raise my voice. Even then, I still have to wait; they never understand the urgency of the situation. The one with the breasts is often ready right away, but I get hardly more than a trickle at first. The tall one takes ages to bring the bottle, but at least it comes out quickly once it’s served.

Then, halfway through and at the end of my meal, the waitstaff insists on manhandling me! They pat me firmly on the back for minutes on end despite my protests otherwise. I don’t know why they put me through such torture – I don’t mind a little (or a lot) of spit-up, so neither should they.

The one major advantage of this establishment is that at least it’s free. It also appears to be quite exclusive, although I can’t blame anyone else for not demanding service. I suppose you get what you pay for, especially when all the proprietors expect is an occasional smile in return.