Takeout from Gojo Ethiopian on Thompson Lane is so not the same old thing. Gojo's food is exceptionally good, and Ethiopian food in general is a dramatic departure from the ordinary, both in flavor and in what experts call "the delivery method."
Tear off a piece of the springy, slightly sour injera flatbread and use it to pick up a bite of doro, a bite of tickel gomen, a little kitfo or misir. The tangy bread offsets the richly butter-drenched and spiced vegetables. The method can be off-putting at first for adults, but children cannot believe their luck in being allowed to eat with their hands.
The distinctive bread doesn't age well or travel well, so homemade injera is a must. It's a lot of work: besides finding teff (a nutritious grain that's rare outside Ethiopia) and mixing the batter, there's an overnight (or longer) fermentation that results in the tangy taste. Then they're cooked, one at a time, like crepes. It made me wonder who makes Gojo's ample injeras.
Maregn herself is the injera cook, working on her own, scooping 10-ounce portions of batter onto a 15-inch grill and waiting 1 to 3 minutes for it to cook, then stacking them in a large, clean round plastic tub for transport. She didn't have an estimate for how long it takes, or how much she makes, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation comes up with maybe 50 to fill the tub in question.
I'm tentatively planning an Ethiopian dinner with friends. We'll cook the vegetables and the stews. Happily, Maregn sells her breads to the public, so we'll forego the clumsy experimentation and just buy from a professional. Just give her a day's notice so she can make extra batter. Contact Gojo at 332-0710.