Thinking back I remember some email drama surrounding the then rookie now sophomoric Elizabeth and her unrelenting Stamos-esque positivity. So did it live up to expectations? Or, was it a flop? Did we have the bestest time ever? Or was it another ho-hum get hammered while stuffing African food in your face at Lalibela evening? Read on good reader.
Besides the hype, the other defining factor at Lalibela was the HUGE number of BYOB rookies and guests. It was like the Real World Road Rules Challenge The Inferno XXIV Rookies Versus Veterans, but with more drinking (we are so awesome!!) and less sex in the sand. In all 10/23 attendees were virgins (not counting Tusk). As you can imagine, BYOB credentials drove some considerable variation in scoring.
and with that....to the scoreboard!
My first thought on entering Lalibela was...thank god I didn't just slip and crack my head open on the slipperiest doorway in Africa! For serious! I didn't even know they had ice in Africa. Then I recovered and took in the view of authentic (maybe?) wooden chairs, sexy African art (boobies!!), grass chain curtains and mostly empty tables. There were a few regulars (the Miz, Coral, Abe, Veronica, etc.), which is typically a good sign, but overall the place was fairly empty. Even without a crowd, some voters really loved the scene. Maybe they were in wine-love with the greatest club in the world? Or maybe they simply enjoyed the amazing floral arrangements in the ladies powder room. Oh BTW...I think I heard Coral and Miz getting frisky in there! Are silk sun flowers an aphrodisiac? OMG!
Group Rating: 2.89
This is where things get dicey. Although there is no hard evidence of the Rookies having an alliance with the server, well, let's just say that his tug-of-war skills weren't what kept him in the game. On the real tip, the server or perhaps owner was friendly, courteous, helpful and incredible at mesmerizing unsuspecting Rookies by wafting incense before the meal. It smelled wonderful and may have kept us sedated during the long wait for food. Of course, a wait is to be expected when you attack a restaurant with 23 hungry hooligans. Lalibela was aiming for professional and understated service..they nailed it, but perhaps left a few BYOBers unimpressed. Nevertheless I must say that the owner was one of the most earnest looking gentlemen I have ever seen. I think that makes him even more dangerous in a trust no one, stab-you-in-the-back, winner take all reality gameshow.
Group Rating: 2.83
In an unexpected, ratings-killing plot twist (MTV producers be damned!), the Rooks and the Vets really came together on rating the spongey goodness that is the Ethiopian dinner experience. Jody, Derrick and all the gang agreed that Ethiopian food, especially at Lalibela, is both delicious and fun! Who doesn't enjoy eating with their hands?! We know, thanks to the notes from one capricious Rookie, that our dear friend Diez certainly did. I quote, "The company was beyond entertaining...perhaps MacKenzie could wear a bib next time? Has there ever been a club bib?" Careful Diez, spilling too much food has been known to attract the Tusk (cat pawing with open claw sound). Of course there were a few issues such as an icky green salad and a few under-spiced entrees, but all-in-all Lalibela came correct with the grub. Surprisingly, on a mostly vegetarian menu the lamb shined through as a star.
Group Rating: 3.33
So who won the Inferno XXIV? This Veteran is declaring it too close to call. Were the Rooks impressed by the amazing BYOB Club? Were some wily Vets out for sabotage? Does it matter? Probably not. Lalibela rocked and Elizabeth came through in the clutch with a great pick (note that Stamos most certainly would have made a panic pick).
Group Rating: 3.01
A few odd and ends...
- Though the pics suggest otherwise, Crazy Tuna did not make an appearance at Lalibela. But CT (OMG the perfect RWRR Challenge linchpin!!!) did punch me in the face later that night. A loving white-wash in the snow calmed her down.
- Jordan is really really beautiful.
- Diez claims that he did not black out and also claims that he did not poop while gone missing in the bathroom for 20 minutes.
- Many BYOBers agree that Cecile's friends are most-smairting, others prefer Greg's Lisa (mostly Greg)