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Posted by Ethiopian Food Lover on 12/06/2009
I should know by now that I will never experience Ethiopian food as I have experienced it in London, LA, SF, DC, and even Kigali. After reading the reviews for Meskel, I was hoping that perhaps it would make up for the 3 other disappointing Ethiopian restaurants I have tried in the city. Dead wrong. If anything, it was the most disappointing. Skimpy portions (the vegetarian combo which is usually enough for two people was barely enough for one); bland injera; stingy on the injera (we asked for more and the server brought us ONE small piece); and terrible service (and normally I really don't care/even sometimes enjoy when the service is a bit slow). Eating with a friend who had never had Ethiopian food, I was embarrassed and ashamed of my favorite cuisine. This was compounded by the fact that when I looked over at the table next to us, I saw that the family had each ordered individual entrees - blasphemous for a cuisine that has such a rich culture of sharing from the same plate. Please, someone suggest a restaurant in NYC that does Ethiopian food justice!
Posted by BrianNYC on 06/15/2009
I had never tried Ethiopian food before ordering from this place. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised and since I eat there often, enjoying the healthy and light cuisine as well as the cultural experience it offers. The experience is quite unique. You eat with your hands, and can order one large injera to share, or have individual pieces. The presentation is rather sparse, but the food is delicious. Definitely worth a try!
Posted by muirin on 05/19/2009
I used to live in DC, so I was used to eating very good Ethiopian food. This is the best place I have found in NYC! The food is delicious and a great value (for 2 people, I usually get the meat/veggie combo platter and an order of doro wat), and the staff is always nice. Highly recommended!
Posted by Betsy on 12/06/2008
Meskel is the only place I've had Ethiopian. That said, my husband and I love this place. The food is delicious - I especially recommend their tangy tomato salad (Timatim Fitfit). We usually get one of the combination plates. There are plenty of vegetarian options. The service is very friendly and a couple times I have walked by when they are closed and they have opened up early for me!
Posted by Local foodie on 01/05/2008
Do you want to know a little known secret? Meskel is truly one of the most wonderful Ethiopian restaurants in the city. The food is an absolute delight to eat and I have to force myself to slow down to be sure to savor every morsel. Each dish from the vegetarian to the meats are spiced to perfection and the injera is perfectly thin, light and freshly made. I eat here a few times a month and won't go anywhere else downtown to get my fix of this delicious cuisine. And, as far as all of the negative write-ups about poor service, I think people are being ethnocentric and foolish. The staff is always gracious and accommodating and not hurried to turnover a table. Isn't this a nice change from the norm? Meskel is a gem. (PS: Silverware is a Western construct, so awaken your cultural senses and eat with your hands as is the custom for this type of cuisine.)
Posted by Renny on 11/11/2007
I went there twice. Food was good both times. But service was kind of sloppy. To admit I went there second time only because of the food. But second time i was totaly dissapointed, the place had some very foul odour, and garbage coming out from the kitchen or somewhere. Both times we had to wait for atleast 10 minutes for the waitress to notice us (it wasn't crowded though). They just keep talking on phone or among themselves. I would recommend getting the food to-go, but some of the items won't look good when you finallu unwrap it.
Posted by Chris on 06/21/2007
Decided to try this spot after reading the rave reviews here, and was very disappointed. The service was not good - no water, napkins, or silverware. We waited nearly 20 minutes for our beers (nearly criminal to thirsty critters like me). The waitress apparently thought we only ordered one sampler, because that's all she brought out, and didn't seem to understand/care when we pointed out that we had ordered more than that. The sampler was interesting, but contained precious little actual food, although what was there was tasty. The avocado salad and sambosas were delicious as well. In all, the food was tasty, but the horrendous service made the meal an exercise in frustration and not worthwhile. The fouling up of our order and the unbelieveably skimpy sampler that did come out left us still hungry and in need of a snack when we left.