With school fast approaching, the teenage foodie daughter and I took a trip to Park City in Lancaster a few weeks ago.
Rather than eat traditional shopping mall fare, I opted for a more adventuresome stop, namely, Addisus' Ethiopian Restaurant in Lancaster, which is only several miles from Park City. I had never had Ethiopian food before, hence my fascination with this type of cuisine, which is fairly hard to find in Central Pennsylvania.
Ethiopian food usually consists of thick stews made with spicy meat, vegetables, and hearty grains like lentils.
These stews are served on a large sourdough pancake and are traditionally eaten by scooping up the stew in the pancake with one's right hand. That means - utensils are generally not used.
The mango juice, which had the consistency and appearance of orange juice, but had a sweeter more tropical flavor, was excellent.
Coffee is also an important part of Ethiopian cuisine, as its history there goes back perhaps five hundred years. After big meals, a coffee ceremony is performed in a special pot. We were anxious to get to the mall, so we didn't stay after lunch for coffee but I admired the glass pots, which were at every table. Addisu also has a small grocery section, where one can buy Ethiopian coffee, lentils, and Berbere spice mix, which is a combination of powdered chili pepper and other spices.
After lunch we made our way over to Park City. Along with our necessary school shopping, we found other culinary highlights, including a soda machine with video games, a giant trough of fun candy (shown at right) just beckoning to be scooped up and eaten, bubble tea, and a walk-up sushi stand.
Some other highlights included:
We went to the Williams Sonoma store, where we checked out all the gadgets, sauces, and cookbooks.
In the back, we found a mini Nespresso Machine loaded up and ready to serve free samples.
Although we initially had a little trouble loading the cups, once we did, the machine instantly poured out a perfect cup of espresso. If I hadn't already exhausted the budget on school clothes, I might have actually been tempted to get one!
Being a green tea fan, I was mesmerized by this shop called Teavana, which offers many different varieties of tea. Samples of hot tea were offered throughout, and there were numerous elegant and beautiful teapots, sets, and cups for sale.
There were many modern tea gadgets, cups, and diffusers as well.
In the back of the store, the sales lady opened a large tub of fresh dried tea and fanned the lid so I could smell the aroma and then I was hooked. I purchased a scoop of Imperial Green Tea and a sweeter Chai tea mixture.
Tea tins are sold, which keep the tea fresh for at least a year.
Prices here are not inexpensive, ranging from $10-20 per ounce, but if made correctly, a small amount will make dozens of cups. Plus the range of diverse flavors offer a welcome alternative to coffee.
I stumbled across Zoup on the way back from my car, between dropping off a large bag of school clothes and tea, and returning to the mall for another round.
Intrigued, and thirsty, I had to go in and check it out.
I was still too full from Ethiopian food to order a meal, but I picked up a jar of their intense looking chicken broth, and a soda.
After further checking out the reviews online on Yelp and Lancaster Online, I am going to make sure to make this place a stop next time.
The on-line reviewers liked the cleanliness, free taste tests, and friendliness. Plus vegetarian and gluten free options are offered.