Head East… To Oakland!

America getting you down? It’s been a year since I left the country, so you know I’m getting anxious and I have a feeling a few of you are feeling the same way. But, if you can’t drop everything and head overseas here are two spots to alleviate your red, white and blues:

Enssaro Ethiopian Restaurant
A huge, family style platter arrived at our table, the yellow of the pigeon peas matched the wall to my right, the turmeric set off the amber drapes on the ceiling, and I noticed that there’s something special when the hues of your food and your environment combine harmoniously. I enjoyed every flavor of the Yetsome Beyaynetu (veggie combo) and the Bozena Shirow (finely grounded splot peas, and chickpeas simmered in minced beef).

Oasis Market
One of my favorite things to do when I lived in Istanbul was take the tram to the spice bazaar and walk through the piles of turkish delight and saffron, past the coffee roaster, and up through the districts of fabric stores and electronics as they twisted and evolved into the Grand Bazaar full of antiques, carpets, and hookahs. My other favorite thing to do was stumble out of bars at 3 a.m. and follow the scent of döner, a rotating spit of lamb sliced off and served to order- especially good after a long night out. Oasis Market fills those two gaps in my life as best as any market could. Call it what you like, shawarma, gyro, al pastor, rotating roasts hit the spot and you can get a good one there with freshly baked pita and all the fixings (tahini, humus, onions, etc.) for $8. There’s also an entire selection of pistachio and date-filled pastries, savory pies, feta cheese, and mezzes.

They also have fresh veggies (yay for more fresh veggies in Oakland!), a huge selection of middle eastern staples, and hookah supplies. Afiyet olsun!
Got the travel bug?
Enssaro Ethiopian Restaurant

One thought on “Head East… To Oakland!

  1. Yes, I’m there. Well, in April I’m there. You make it all sound so good. So the bars close @3am in Istanbul? Good to know.

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