Where To Dine In The East Village?

The East Village is filled with an abundance of great restaurants. Mexican, Italian, Thai to name just a few. But one type cuisine that doesn’t come to mind is Ethiopian.

I for one, have never tried it but am game for an adventure. So with a friend and her suggestion, we headed to Meskel Ethiopian.

Meskel (199 East 3rd St) is a cozy restaurant with 8 tables in total. Warm and intimate with great music playing in the background. Large picture windows allow southern light to stream in and of course, people watching.

The owner, Taferi Ayalew, greets us with a big smile and welcomes us to his restaurant but truly felt like his home. With his suggestion, he puts together  a sample platter for us to try some of the specialties of the house. Works for me.

Our server comes over to bring our drinks and find out that she is his daughter. She is helping out for the summer before she heads back to school. This truly is a family affair.

My friend is beaming with excitement for me to sample our meal because she can finally introduce me to something I haven’t tried. Then it arrives…..a huge platter of nibbles unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’m speechless.


This pizza sized tray featured Chicken Tibs, Collard Greens with Beef, Yellow & Red Lentils, Lamb Tibs and Chick Peas sitting on what looked like a giant Crepe. A plate of Injera was set down beside us. Our server showed us to eat. Break off a piece of Injera, a nutty spongy flat bread, take a little bit of veggies then a meat and eat. Utensils aren’t used here but she brought us some just in case. I can eat with my hands? Forget the utensils. No need for guilt with this bread. It it gluten free, high in protein, fiber and minerals and has 17 times more calcium than barley or wheat.

Of course I go for the Veggies first. I love any kind of veggies and these were phenomenal. Creamy lentils, Chickpeas that were firm and soft at the same time. Tangy Collard Greens with fork tender beef. The Tibs were basically pieces of chicken and lamb seasoned with garlic, tomatoes, onions and finished with Awaze Sauce. I have to say, I’m not a fan of lamb but these tibs weren’t gamy at all.

Before I knew it, the tray was empty and my belly was stuffed. I CAN”T BELIEVE I ATE THE WHOLE THING!

When we asked for the bill, Mr. Ayalew smiled and said; “It’s on the house.”

Thank you Mr Ayalew and the staff at Meskel for an amazing evening and incredible meal. You made us feel like guests in your home. All I can say is; “I’ll be back.”


Happiness, $25 and under.





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About The Author

A fierce love of food and twin careers in real estate and fashion taught Rose to look for the hottest item and the hottest deal. Perfect attributes for creating Cheapeatsinc.com. When friends and clients needed a great meal at a great price, she could rattle off restaurant names the way a sports nut ticks off batting averages—but with a lot more home runs. Now it’s all at Cheapeats, where you’ll find “Happiness, $25 and under.”


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