Last week I had the pleasure of trying Ethiopian food for the first time at Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant. img_0226 I learned a thing or two about this cuisine, such as their omitting utensils of any kind and the symbolic act of feeding a partner/friend with your bare hands and a new level of intimacy it ensues. Traditionally everyone would be gathered around a concave bowl shaped table lined with these thin crepe-like but uber waxy spongy bread. The meal, consisting of spicy to mild sauces of chili consistency, melting tender pork and beef chunks steeped in sauce and leafy vegetables, are spread in neat piles around this bowl-as-table-as-taco-shell and the fingers soon dig in. You take a piece of this spongy bread and pinch an anomly of the great dishes and direct it into your mouth. The kinetic hand eye taste coordination makes it a super interactive experience without losing the intimate and immediate touch that you would with a fork and knife. The distance is narrower and connection deeper as you literally feed yourself without the use of tools and it’s even more fun, sexy even, when you get to feed your friend a bit of your concoction. This is sort of like when Mellow has his selfish fits and refuses to eat unless hand fed by me. Its an attention grabbing gesture that I so admittedly give into only because I love and adore him, so in that way I will feed you this mound of spongy saucy meaty goodness to show how much I really care…


This particular restaurant we attended on MacDougal and West 3rd Street was small, on sub-basement level with 2 narrow rows of tables and on the wall were really nifty collage works displaying cultural themes made out of plastic bags and hankerchiefs. And although we didn’t have the traditional bowl inset table and had our foot set on pizza platters it was a pleasurable treat. We walked out with bellys pregnant and moods a cheer. Check it out.



Filed under Food

2 responses to “Ethiopian

  1. thanks for this write-up. is it still BYOB? we like ghenet which i think used to be one of the only ethiopian restaurants in the city. i would love to see how this place compares. i LOVE the injera… this place seems a bit cheaper too.

  2. Joann

    It certainly is still BYOB although for some odd reason we weren’t in the mood to mix gored gored and sambosa with beer. It wasn’t dirt cheap but pretty average in price ($8-10 for entree dishes). Injera is so weird in its waxy spongy-ness, but I’m a fan!

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