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Posted by anonymous on 05/18/2008
I've had a lot of good Ethiopian in DC, so New York restaurants are mostly disappointing. Meskerem is no exception. Their food is too salty and not very spicy, and the injera is all wrong. At least it's cheaper than Ghenet and Awash.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/01/2008
I absolutely love Meskerem. It is my restaurant of choice on MacDougal. The portions are always huge, yet I am always amazed at just how much I can eat there. I really love the doro wat (chicken in kind of a thick spicy sauce with hard-boiled egg) and all their vegetable dishes, and I always get the avocado salad. The staff has always been really pleasant and prompt, and it's pretty cozy. I'd almost be afraid to eat Ethiopian food anywhere else, because I like this place so much!
Posted by Gastronomical Liz on 10/13/2007
I had always wanted to turn down from Macdougal street into the depths of this Ethiopian abyss, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Knowing exactly what I was in for due to research rather than experience, I chose a very spicy lentil dish, while my friend chose chicken tibs. Both were great and slightly tear-inducing, which I like. Presented to us on a huge, tan-colored "plate" of spongey, addictive injera with other accompaniments, along with a platter filled with more injera (I initially mistook them for large, folded napkins), our utensil-free meal was more than satisfying. Yes, we were seated rather close to other patrons, as it is a very small restaurant, but there was something about the dim lights and the welcoming atmosphere (and price) that made it cozy. I'll definitely return, even if it's to carry away two stacks worth of injera in my tupperware.
Posted by Jonny Reviewer on 06/12/2007
Meskerem is the only Ethiopian restaurant I've tried, and I love it. So I was puzzled at why so many people I asked to try it with me claimed to hate Ethiopian food. I convinced a few friends to try it (and dates - eating with your hands and sharing food is a great way to break the ice), all of whom claimed to dislike Ethiopian cuisine, and every one of them loved Meskerem. Apparently Meskerem is the cure for bad Ethiopian experiences. And on a side note, make sure to try some of the vegetarian options. I avoided them the first few times before going on a date with a vegetarian. We had the first veggie special, which was unnamed, but was yummy. Now I want to try them all. Nota Bena: The only reason I gave atmosphere a 3.0 instead of a 4.0 was that it's a bring your own alcohol establishment (and they charge for you to do so, at that!)
Posted by Anonymous on 11/13/2006
I came here for lunch, when the entrees are considerably cheaper ($6-7 each). The portions were extremely generous despite their lower prices -- I expect they are the same size at dinner, only more expensive. We had the Special Tibs (lamb sauteed in wine sauce), Tibs Wat (beef in spicy berbere sauce) and Doro Wat (chicken in berbere). My favorite was the beef, which was flavorful and delicious; the chicken was tough and the lamb was not as exciting since it didn't come in a stew. The food was a little more greasy than I'm used to at an Ethiopian restaurant. The injera was also a little doughy, but it served its purpose adequately (and in my opinion, any injera is better than none at all). Maybe Meskerem uses less Teff and more all-purpose flour than most restaurants. The food at Meskerem is not as high-quality as it could be, but if you come here at lunchtime, the value simply can't be beat.
Posted by valerie s on 11/12/2006
Having never tried Ethiopian food and having read some of the not so positive reviews on this site I was skeptical to try Meskerem. However I am thrilled to say I was most pleasantly suprised. The ambience was great, cozy and inviting although I wished they would play traditional Ethiopian music rather than the sort of bland backround tones that were on. From the minute we walked in we felt like we were at someone's home. Our server was warm and while not over solicitous was certainly attentive, giving us great reccomendations since we were first timers. We started with a great avocado salad (complete with instructions on how to utilize the injeera) and the beef sambosas. I was a bit nervous about the spice factor but I got a great underlying smokiness rather than an assault of spice. We then moved onto dinner where we had two lamb dishes without anything being redundant. Two completely different textures, flavors and experiences. Again plently of the salty yet light injeera to soak up our meal as well as all of our sides (mild and spicy lentils and beef collard greens) To top it off two appetizers and two HUGE entrees all for $34. A complaint on this site was that the portion sizes were too small, and on the contrary we were pleasantly stuffed. My only tiny criticism was that some things were a bit too salty but that was remedied by the plentiful glasses of water, brought with lemon, always on time without having to ask. Meskerem - we will be back SOON!
Posted by trey on 10/31/2006
My fiancee and i went here for dinner the other night, mostly because we like the uptown restaurant a lot, and didn't want to catch the train. I have to say we were fairly disappointed. The service, as noted was pretty slow. The waitress was quite friendly, and nice, but it took a long time to get our food. We ordered the avocado, the tuna and the veggie combo. Normally, when we order it at the uptown place, it all comes together on a large platter of injera, which was what we wanted and were expecting. This time, they came separately, and the combo took forever. While we thought the tuna and avocado were fairly good, we were pretty disappointed by the rest of it. The food, normally quite good uptown, was bland, and uninteresting. The cabbage and carrot was nice, but the rest of the dishes really suffered from lack of flavor. This was our first visit to the downtown restaurant, and we won't be back. It turns out the food is worth the train ride.