Here’s another one in the Bon Appetit series (get used to it!). I left the African west coast this week-end to venture in the eastern side of the continent, at least in terms of cuisine. If you don’t already know, I dedicated my week-ends this summer to African food, from all corners of the continent. You can read about it here. So yesterday I headed down to this Ethiopian restaurant called Meskerem (468 W 47th St, between 9th & 10th Ave). It is a couple of blocks away from the more popular Queen of Sheba but I have a habit of rooting for the underdog (no I didn’t pick the Cavs to win the NBA championship!!!). You can tell from the moment you step into Meskerem that it is a bit rundown but that’s no turn off (whatever, you’re here for the food right?). The décor is ok as it is very minimalist to my taste but like I said: “whatever I’m here for the food”. As the waitress walked away with our orders I started noticing something odd at the other tables, or rather the absence of something. Yes no silverware here as Ethiopians are accustomed to eating with their hands, which is also common in Africa when it comes to dishes such as fufu, foutou banane (talk about finger food). You also have the option of literally sharing a plate with your guests, simply meaning that you eat from the same plate. Keep one thing in mind though when you order Ethiopian: the presentation of the food is very different! Don’t expect the same portions of beef or lamb you would get from a West African restaurant for instance:-D. My reaction (ghetto as some may call it) was “whoa son! Where the meat at?” It was a nice experience though, and at least now I’m a little more familiar with Ethiopian cuisine and will know what to expect the next time. There are few Ethiopian restaurants in the city (mostly Manhattan), just run a Google search to find them (you didn’t expect me to do that for you now you little buggers :-).
Bon Appetit: Destination Ethiopia