Hot From The Kettle ™: Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant

by Melody Kettle

My first visit to Mesob was at the insistence of my vegan friend. My second, third, fourth, and fifth visits, however, were by my own craving.

Seven years ago, two sisters from Ethiopia, Berekti Mengistu and Akberet “Aki” Mengistu, opened Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant, at 515 Bloomfield Avenue, in Montclair. Berekti and Aki prepare and serve traditional Ethiopian food.

There is no item more ubiquitous in Ethiopian cuisine than the crepe-like, soft, spongy, slightly tangy, almost sour, and completely addictive flatbread, known as Injera. According to Berekti, Injera is unique and indigenous to Ethiopia and made no where else in Africa. Injera plays an essential role in Ethiopian table culture by encouraging, if not demanding, family style eating. At meal time, a large Injera is laid on a plate, while other preparations are placed on top of the Injera. Injera is both utensil and bread; to eat the food, one rips off a piece of Injera, uses it to pick up the food, and eats both together.

Want to take a peak inside the Ethiopian Kitchen? Watch the video to see Berekti make authentic Injera, and check out what else is cooking inside the Ethiopian kitchen. 


For Berekti's Injera recipe, visit the Cookbook.


In honor of it’s Seventh Anniversary, Mesob has launched their first ever creative contest, the winner to be awarded a $25 gift certificate. The challenge is this: express your Ethiopian food experience in just 7 words. Entries can be in a creative sentence, or in a 2-3-2 catch phrase, here’s an example, “Eat meat. Or go vegan. Eat Ethiopian.” Entries can be submitted in person at Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant, or by e-mail to contest will run until Friday, October 29, 2010.