Thursday, December 23, 2004

Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine

124 Macdougal St @ W 3rd Street, 212-777-8111


Cost per person: $15
"YGWYPF" factor: 7/10 (you get what you pay for)

Adequately exotic to satisfy the urge of diners tired of the usual fare of West Village, yet normal enough to satisfy the hunger of most people, this little basement place near Mamoun's Falafel offers the uniqueness of Ethiopian cuisine - large, shared central plate containing all the ordered food items together, heaps of mildly sour but towely soft Anjira bread, and absence of side plates. Food may go from oily to healthy, spicy to sweet at sour. Among the dishes I tried and recommend: 10. Yebeg Alecha Tender pieces of lamb marinated first with Ethiopian butter then sauteed with ginger, garlic & curry. (mild), 13. Doro Wat Chicken pieces seasoned with onions, garlic, fresh ginger, then sauteed with better and red wine and finished with berbere sauce...(served with hard boiled eggs), and one of 20. Vegetable #2 Fresh cabbage, potatoes & carrots sauteed with garlic, ginger and curry or 21. Vegetarian Combo Combination of Miser Alech, Miser Wat, Shro Wat, Vegetable #1 and #2. The Doro Wat is on the oily side, and the chicken takes a lot of effort to eat with the soft bread, but I like the way the egg tastes in the gravy. I also recommend the Ethiopian beer - it had a really nice nutty aftertaste that I love.


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