My mother and her partner were in Lethbridge today. Getting here was quite the adventure. They flew from Montreal to Vancouver, drove from Vancouver to Seattle and back in a rental car, and then got on a bus to get to Calgary by way of Sicamous, BC. Entering Yoho National Park, there was a terrible accident involving an RV that had them stuck there for over three hours! They finally made it to Calgary at 11PM when they were supposed to arrive at 7. This morning, they got a rental car first thing and headed to Lethbridge, arriving for lunch!
I’d been told to make a list of restaurants, so I suggested sushi for lunch. Jody’s daughter recommended O-Sho and online reviews were good, so we headed there. The food was great! One of the things we ordered was the ‘special assortment’ of nigiri, one of which was especially pretty:
It was octopus, which I have never had! I was told to go ahead with it so I eagerly tried it out. It delicious, with a very mild taste and a ‘meaty’ texture. It was nothing like squid (which I love).
I thought I got a good shot of part our spread, but it’s blurry. 🙁
We also had hot sake. Can you believe that I’d never had sake before?!
Our delicious lunched ended with a hazelnut-chocolate ice cream shaped like a pear, a lovely palate cleanser.
The restaurant itself is very nice. It has western-style tables at the front and traditional tables at the back where you take off your shoes and sit on the floor with your legs in a hole. Service was great. I hope to get a chance to go back to O-sho!
We went to their hotel to gab for a bit and this came out of their luggage:
That brick (because it weighs as much) is one of their fruit cakes. I brought one back from Montreal last November and it barely lasted a week. I laughed and laughed at the thought of how far this fruit cake traveled and am very grateful for the thought!
For dinner, I decided to introduce them to a cuisine that I adore but haven’t had in my three years on the road: Ethiopian. They bravely went along with the idea when I assured them that while the food is spiced, there are many non-spicy options. Lethbridge has a good population of folks from that part of Africa and I found great reviews for Abyssian Ethiopian restaurant, which has a comprehensive menu of common Ethiopian dishes. We ended up sharing two dishes, doro watt, which is a chicken stew, and some puréed lentils mixed with the berber spices. I’ve only ever had vegetarian Ethiopian food so the doro watt was new to me and something I’d been wanting to try for a while. It was sooooo good. I will admit that Ethiopian food doesn’t look as tasty as it is:
The food is served on a giant ‘pancake’ which is called injera. We each had our own basket of the bread. You take a piece of it and use it to scoop or pinch food. Your fingers should be clean at the end of the meal! I’m happy to report that my dinner choice got rave reviews.
With dinner, I tried a Tusker, which is a savory Kenyan beer brewed in Nairobi. It is crisp, thirst-quenching, and has a spicy finish:
The owner of Abyssinian really impressed us. She came over from Sudan three years ago. In three years she learned English, dropped an abusive husband, bought a thriving restaurant whose reputation she has maintained, and remarried. And she’s just 24 years old.
I am most impressed that Lethbridge has both a good sushi and a good Ethiopian restaurant!
Tomorrow, I’m heading downtown to meet them for breakfast at their hotel and then they’re heading back to Calgary and flying home. What a quick visit!