WHAT I ATE: Meskerem Combo and Honey Wine

WHY IT’S GREAT: An array of complementing flavors, textures and colors. 

WHAT’S ON THE MENU: I had been looking forward to eating at Meskerem forever and now was my chance to experience a piece of their culture through their food. Spices filled the air, clearing my mind and preparing me for the meal to come.  The Meskerem combo consists of 5 traditional entrees all in one dish. On top of your traditional injera bread, which not only acts as your plate but also your utensil (yes you use your hands to eat), you will have several tastings of wot.  Wot’s are traditional dishes of Ethiopia, which are mixtures of vegetables, meats, spices and sauces.  While eating the injera with the different wot I experienced flavors of sweetness as well as spiciness, which created a balance for the palate.  Along with the meal I ordered a traditional honey wine, which softens the flavors in the food and acts as a sort of cleanser between each bite.  The honey wine also called Tej is an Ethiopian sweet wine, similar to mead, that is made from fermented honey and a special kind of hops called gesho.

COST: $16.95 for the Combo + $6 for the Honey Wine. The Combo is easy to share between 2-3 people


THE SPACE: Step out of the West Village and into Ethiopia. Easily overlooked as you enter this basement / underground space, Meskerem is quite simple.  Consisting of about 25 seats, wooden tables, hieroglyphic type paintings, tiled floors, a mirror lining one wall and colors of brown, green, gold and burgundy.  This space looks like it hasn’t been touched in years!  A true MacDougal St. gem.  You truly feel the authenticity of the Ethiopian culture in this warm and very casual dining atmosphere.

FUN FACTS: The word Meskerem (meaning September) stands for the first month of the Ethiopian calendar.