Good Eats in the 'Hood

This weekend, I was dispatched by my wife to go out and bring home dinner while she bathed the kids. As I strolled around the neighborhood in the very brisk winter air, I marveled at all of the new restaurants that have sprouted up in the last few months that are within easy walking distance of our house:

* There's the relatively upscale (i.e. entrees cost more than ten bucks, inside decor is actually something you could take a date to) Ethiopian cafe within eyeshot of our front porch.

* The Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi place up the street that we tried last month, whose layered spices delighted our mouths.

* A new Lebanese bakery a block from our house that gave me a free donut hole when I asked for a take-out menu.

* A Moroccan fusion place whose dishes looked and sounded delightful, and whose staff was eager to emphasize that they deliver.

And, finally, not a new place, but some recent good coverage in the local paper for Kaffa Crossing (Ethiopian), whose owner I've intersected with before at The Enterprise Center; when I dropped in to ask for a take-out menu, the wait staff breezily said they were out, "but check us out on the web." They were early on the "free wifi" perk, and it's worked: the place was packed, with young people with laptops and multiple piercings.

I've dutifully sent menus and reviews to my sister and my brother-in-law, who live in California and are always up for exploring new food options, in the hopes that they will be motivated to visit us sooner rather than later. And I extend the same invitation to all, to visit or to relocate. We may have fires and stabbings, but we also have really good eats.

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