Sunday, November 16, 2008

Eating With Our Hands

Last night we were craving Ethiopian food. What an off-the-wall craving, right? Well, luckily in a place like NYC, you can easily satisfy your food whims as diverse as Ethiopian, Romanian, Senagalese, Polish, or Russian.

We went to Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant, one subway stop from our home. Meskerem is located in a tiny basement space with only about a dozen two-seater tables.

The great thing about eating Ethopian food is the communal feel of sharing your food on a large platter, as long as those you're sharing it with washed their hands thoroughly because you eat with your hands. How it works is after you've made your entree selection from their beef, lamb, chicken, or vegetarian offerings, they put the food on a thin spongy bread made from an Ethiopian grain called Injera. We selected their Vegetarian combo and their lamb cubes.

The vegetarian offerings we tried included several different types of lentil stew, another stew with chickpeas, collared greens, cabbage and potatoes. Unfortunately, the lamb cubes were too thick and hard, which didn't work well without a fork and knife.

The dishes come with a separate plate of injera which you use to scoop up the food with your hands. The spongy bread had a flavor like that of sourdough bread, perhaps a bit too much of the sour taste which conflicted with some of the vegetarian stews.

Although this wasn't the best Ethiopian food we've tasted, it was good and very filling. It was too much food for two people but a good deal at $26 total. This restaurant is BYOB and charges a whopping $7 corkage fee, which the table near us foolishy agreed to.