Ras Dashen, a wonderful Ethiopian Restaurant on the northside of Chicago

Chicago as a city has so much to offer; fun sightseeing, good theatre, great nightlife and definitely some good eating! When you come to Chicago you are bombarded with an array of different cuisines that will blow you away. I try to venture out to a new local restaurant that I have not been to about once a month. Let’s be real guys, most of us are not billionaires, so like the rest of us I’m trying not to break the bank and still be able to enjoy what Chicago has to offer.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting some friends at ‘Ras Dashen’, an Ethiopian restaurant. It is located on the north side of Chicago on Broadway. If you are traveling from out of town and staying with us at the Hampton Inn & Suites, just take the red line at the grand stop and head north! This was such a great experience! Beware! If you do not like spicy food, this is probably not going to be for you. Since it was our first time there we did not know what to expect. Totally exceeded my expectations. As we entered the restaurant, there was a band playing which was awesome! Then, we were seated at a table that was not really a table (they have actual tables there too, but we wanted the full experience!). They had four chairs surrounding this tall basket in place of a table. As the table top, they used a round tray with Ethiopian art.

The Dining Room at Ras Dashen

The Dining Room at Ras Dashen

We started off with some drinks. I ordered a Peach Martini, usually not a fan of very sweet martinis, but the restaurant recommended it, noting it was quite popular. I took a chance and it was delicious. For the appetizer we ordered the Sambusa, this is such a great dish. It was a little spicy but light and full of flavor. We all ordered our entrées and sides (with an entrée order every table gets a choice of three sides) with the thought of sharing in mind, and good thing too because they prepare the meal on one plate for the entire table. The preparation of the food is so unique. They use a very large round tray as a plate. At the bottom they put Injera, which is the traditional word for flat bread. Then they place the entrée on a section on the Injera in front of the person that ordered it. In between each entre, they place one of the sides in order to provide a little variety. Then you dig in! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that they do not use utensils. You use the Injera to grab the food and you eat with your hands!

Whether you are a local or someone that is visiting from out of town, I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that is daring and likes spicy food.

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L.A. traffic versus Chicago traffic

I have always heard that the best cities in the United States are New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta….what about Chicago??? After doing a little research I was able to pull some statistics that were online and yes they do also include Chicago, but it’s all very blah stuff. It is nothing that will really get anyone excited about coming to the city. So….. because I am such a wonderful person and although not originally from here (originally from L.A.) I have grown to appreciate and love the city and the easily accessible transportation options.

I moved here about 5 years ago and I didn’t really know what to expect after moving here from L.A. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw and experienced in the city. First and foremost I want to say that the transportation is AMAZING!!! Being from L.A. where transportation is non-existent, well,  it is a life saver! No more being in my car and wanting to kill someone because I can’t seem to go faster than 7 miles an hour. AHHHH I mean really it is a life saver to be able to hope on the ‘EL’ and travel from the north side of the city to the south side of the city in an hour or less. If I attempted to travel that distance back in L.A. it would seriously take me 2 hours. So anyone that tells you that it is a drag or that they would rather drive, well then you can just call them a “DIVA” ‘cause this is one of the best parts of Chicago. I mean there are lines and buses that run 24 hours!!! What is better than that?!? In a city that is alive 24 hours a day there is never a shortage of things to do.

 

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Did you know Chicago got a facelift?

I have always heard that the best cities in the United States are New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta….but what about Chicago??? After doing a little research I was able to pull some statistics online and yes, they do include Chicago, but it’s all very blah stuff. It’s nothing that will really get anyone “excited” about coming to the city. So….. because I am such a wonderful person and although not originally from here (originally from L.A.) I have grown to appreciate and love the city.

I moved here about 5 years ago and I didn’t really know what to expect after moving here from L.A. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the transitions I saw and experienced in the city during this time. For being a city in the Midwest it is quite lovely because of Lake Michigan and its constant beautification which includes the lake paths. Anyone can enjoy the lake paths while running, biking, or even just walking. These paths are accessible from anywhere.

The city has hired some amazing artists to transform the underpasses with murals and my favorite one is located at the Belmont exit off of Lakeshore Drive. Not trying to be biased because that is my neighborhood, but it is by far the coolest mural I have seen around the city thus far.

Our city is really trying to make Chicago one of the best cities in the U.S. and I really think that they are on their way. Between the amazing transportation, the lake paths, the clean city and the really awesome murals, what could be better?

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