The Place: Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine, locations at 468 W 47th St and 124 MacDougal St, NYC
The Plate: The Vegetarian Combo (of course), a large platter of 7 lentil and vegetable dips (wat) served with injera, a sourdough crepe-like bread used for scooping. No utensils needed!
The Damage: The Veg Combo for 2 was about $13/person.
I have been dying to try Ethiopian food since I first heard you eat with your hands (!) Yes, that’s right. No forks. No knives. Just hand to mouth (with the help of some yummy injerabread to sop it up.) When my friend Kait suggested we meet for a bite before The September Issue, I immediately thought to try Ethopian.
Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine on MacDougal St. in Greenwich Village is located across from Cafe Wha?, the famed underground club once frequented by the likes of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. The restaurant was unassuming, plainly decorated and occupied by a handful of tables. The food, however, was not. Kait and I skimmed the large menu and immediately gravitated towards the vegetarian combo. An Ethiopian smorgasbord, the waitress brought us a large silver platter with dips and stews of every kind – delicately seasoned lentil wat, spicy vegetable tibs, sauted Swiss chard. Smoky chili powder contrasted with mellow red onions, a staple of Ethiopian cooking. Notes of ginger were accented by hints of garlic and the creamy richness that could have only been butter. The injera was plentiful, and it’s slightly sourdough flavor was the ideal compliment to the varying flavors before us.
If you are looking for something a little different (ok, a LOT different), scout out some Ethiopian food. Better yet, make some. Hey, that’s not such a bad idea…to be continued!