Ethiopian Cuisine, Better Than Everything

I have written many times about how I think Ethiopian food is the best food on the planet. My rants in favor of this cuisine are archived o...

I have written many times about how I think Ethiopian food is the best food on the planet. My rants in favor of this cuisine are archived on the internet hereherehere and here. I love it so much that I served it at my wedding. All of the photos below were taken by my wedding photographer, the incredibly talented, Meg Haley

I love a good overhead action shot of a food spread. Here is one that I feel could be the centerfold of a food magazine.

We hemmed and hawed over what food we would serve at our wedding, but ultimately, we both knew from the very beginning that it had to be Ethiopian, and it had to be from Mesob. 

They were able to do exactly what we wanted, and the food came out perfect. Almost everybody loved it. We made special accommodations for our gluten-free guests to have special gluten-free injera prepared for them, and had rice on hand for anyone who wasn't into the injera (???). Basically, if you didn't like it, you had to try pretty hard not to. This food was so goddamn good, and my favorite of all time.

We picked all of our favorite dishes and had our guests make their own sampler. The Ingudai Tibs, spicy mushrooms, are the best!

They also make the best Butecha! It is kind of rare to see it in restaurants, but it's one of the best dishes in my opinion. Mesob's is obviously the best kind.

Even some of our pickiest eaters really loved this food. I was especially worried about my brother-in-law liking it, as he has very specific tastes, but he ended up loving it!! So many people came up to me telling me how impressed they were with the food who had never tried Ethiopian food before.

 There were also a very large number of vegans and vegetarians amongst our guests, as we are friends with the most amazing, smart and compassionate people <333. So this all-vegan Ethiopian spread was a welcome variation on your average chicken/beef/fish wedding entrée options. I once attended a wedding where just fish and rabbit were served as the entrée. Needless to say I drank a lot of red wine, danced without mercy and had to leave around 8:30 because of excessive schmamerrness. It wasn't the first wedding I had basically no food to eat at. One time at a wedding I was served the leftover raw vegetables from cocktail hour... and there was NO taco bell nearby.

I pretty much can't pick a favorite Ethiopian dish. I want to say Misir Wot, with it's spicy, meaty consistency, but then I remember how good the Atkilt Alicha is, super tender green beans and carrots, but then it's like, how could something be better than butecha? Then you dip your injera in shiro, and you're like... oh wait. This is my favorite. 

We had cute little menus that they made up for us, with a little crash-course on how to eat Ethiopian food, and the descriptions of all the dishes. It may have been a lot of our guests' first time having Ethiopian food, so we wanted to give them the best primer possible.

My favorite tradition that I learned about is when you make a bite for someone, and feed it to them! It's called "gorsha" and they always taste better <3.

No Ethiopian feast would be complete without some amazing after-dinner coffee, called Bunna. It is the best coffee ever! It's so smooth and so strong! Usually, extra bold coffee is too much for me to handle. The bitterness makes me shake my head after each sip. I only drink unpalatable beverages when a drunken stupor is promised to follow. This coffee is nothing of that sort, an amazingly fragrant, smooth and rich coffee. I knew it would be the perfect thing to have before or with cake!

We love going to Mesob as often as possible. It's probably our favorite restaurant of all time, and we've been going often for the past 7 years! I can't wait to go there on my way back up north!
If you have ever had Ethiopian food, I'd love to know your favorite spot and what your favorite dish is!

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  1. Yes, Ethiopian is absolutely the best. I'm still so jealous that you served it at your wedding. I want to get married all over again just so that I can do the same. Gomen is my favorite dish. Slow cooked greens really do it for me. Rahel in Los Angeles is my favorite Ethiopian restaurant & favorite restaurant - full stop. Bunna in Brooklyn is also terrific. I haven't been to Mesob, but I'd love to go someday!

    1. It was the best :)) I love gomen, but when faced with tough decisions, I can't sacrifice any of my other faves! If I ever make it out to LA, I will go to that spot! I've been to Bunna a handful of times. The food is usually pretty good, but the service is usually pretty bad :/. I miss when they used to come to the shop up and you could get your fix easily!

  2. What a great wedding feast! Thinking about my relatives, it would be a bit risky to do this, so I'm glad your people were mostly open-minded and ready to be surprised by something new. Everything looks delicious!

    1. There were a few relatives who didn't like it, but like I said, at weddings, I typically don't even get accommodated, so if they didn't like the wonderful food we served them, it was their own problem. 95% of my friends and family really enjoyed it!

  3. I am clearly missing out on Ethiopian food. I mean I've had it before, I've cooked a few dishes, but it seems like I've read, oh 10 posts this Vegan MOFO about how awesome Ethiopian food is. I even have that cookbook written by Kittee.

    I love how you took such a different approach to wedding food. I am similar where I think people should try different foods, and if someone is a picky eater I am very unsympathetic. I guess it is from all the food restrictions from being vegan XD

    1. It is the best! I am really not a picky eater at all, so it's hard for me to comprehend not liking food! Especially when it's so good!