Eating Ethiopian: No Forks or Knives Needed.

Apparently if you’re craving Ethiopian food, you’re not going to find it in Bergen county! So we recently took a trip to Montclair with 2 of our more adventurous friends where we had several to choose from. We settled on Mesob Restaurant. As I entered the warmly lit restaurant filled with intoxicating, our smiling hostess showed us to our table as I inhaled the exotic aromas of herbs and spices.

I have wonderful memories of an Ethiopian restaurant in the west village. I remember how exotic it seemed sitting around the tall circular basket that was filled with injera, a soft and spongy Ethiopian bread that’s made from teff flour. The injera serves as your plate and utensils. The injera is like a lining in your basket or in this case, on an oversized plate that we shared. The sharing is what eating Ethiopian is all about and was even fun for non-sharers like me. The vegetables and proteins are placed in dollops inside of it. Then, you use pieces of the soft injera to scoop up your meat and veggies.

We chose 4 proteins to go on our injera: Dolor Sit Amet, beef sautéed in a spicy sauce; Kifto, beef tartare seasoned with Ethiopian clarified butter & Ethiopian chili powder; Lega Tibs and Ye’ Beg Alicha which are both tender pieces of lamb in a mild sauces with spices & herbs. The Dolor Sit Amet was all of our favorites–we all have spicy palettes! We also added some sides: lentils, potatoes and chickpeas. I don’t usually get coffee after dinner, but couldn’t resist because I knew it would be nice and strong; it was. Don’t forget to BYOB when you go!

Mesob Restaurant, 515 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey. (973) 655-9000.

Their photo is much better than mine!


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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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