Sunday, October 31, 2010

What is Halloween like in Ethiopia?

BOO! Happy Halloween!

Did you know that the Ethiopian holiday, Buhé (boo HAY) is similar to Halloween in the United States? Buhé is celebrated on August 19th (or 20th during leap year) which is during the rainy season in Ethiopia. On the night before Buhé, households get injera ready in the fermentation process for baking the next day.

On the evening of Buhe, groups of children go from door to door asking for injera. They sing a song called "Hoya Hoye" along with other songs and jump up and down until they get their treat. Unlike the Halloween here in the United States, Ethiopian children do not dress up in costumes.

During the night each house lights small bonfires of twigs and everyone gathers around the flames. Parts of this celebration are said to come from the story of the Lost Children who wandered away and were found by torch light and given injera to eat.

Injera is a traditional Ethiopian flat bread generally made from several different flours including teff, whole wheat flour, barley, rice, and/or corn meal. This bread can take several days to make. The dough is left to ferment from one to three days creating a bread that tastes similar to sour dough bread. This bread is then cooked on a hot griddle on one side only. Injera is a very thin bread with a soft texture that is perfect for scooping up soups and stews.

Check out Melody Kettle's segment with Hot from the Kettle" on Baristanet, for a peek inside our kitchen at Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant of Montclair, NJ, to see how we make injera. We also share a recipe with you!

Have a spooky Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hilarious Halloween video featuring our Mesob staff & special guest

Our spooky new Halloween video...featuring Mesob's very own Shewita, Mahlet, Arega and Amanuel... & special appearance by 7'1 Celtics guard, Shaquille O'Neal!

Shaquille O'Neal makes a special guest appearance, and as a guard on the Celtics, he makes a great 7'1" appearance!

With our monthly brunch falling on Halloween this Sunday, October 31st, we hope you join us and try our new Pumpkin Kita special!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Please share with your friends, and let our Mesob staff know if you like this!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Tasteful Experience and Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant

A Tasteful Experience, at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, NJ, 2009
 Mesob is proud to be a featured restaurant in the signature fall event, A Tasteful Experience, to benefit the Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation.  The event will take place on November 8, 2010, at Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, NJ.

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant will specially prepare and donate food and staff time for the evening, alongside 40 of the area’s finest restaurants, caterers and purveyors of spirits.  The event will raise funds to benefit Clara Maass Medical Center programs and services.

The evening of exotic culinary delights and wine will allow guests to sample Ethiopian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Irish, Mexican, seafood, and continental cuisines as well as gourmet desserts.

 “We are delighted that so many outstanding chefs will be participating in this year’s event,” said Jane Newman Kessler, CFRE, vice president, Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation. “Michael Carrino, owner of Restaurant Passioné and winner of Food Network’s “Chopped” will be participating for the fifth year, as well as owner of CulinAriane and Bravo’s “Top Chef” participant Ariane Duarte, and NBC Today Show featured chef Ryan DePersio of Montclair’s Fascino, and Berekti Mengistu, Owner of Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant of Montclair, NJ, featured on ABCNews Neighborhood Eats.”

“I am proud to be part of ‘A Tasteful Experience’ once again” says Mengistu, owner of Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant.  “This is a very worthwhile cause, and we strongly believe that eating food should make you feel good.  We hope that people join us for a charitable event that does just that – make you feel good.”

Food and wine aficionados can attend the Main Event, beginning at 7 p.m. for $95.  For the VIP Experience, guests can purchase a ticket for $150, which offers early admission at 6 p.m. and a luxury swag bag.  To purchase tickets, visit or call 973.450.2277 for more information.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Live and Become - A Poignant Movie with Ethiopian Culture & History

If you want to see a glimpse into the history of Ethiopia, we highly recommend you check out "Live and Become."  We hope that it will make your Mesob Ethiopian Dining experience much more heightened (ex.  Ethiopian coffee pots (jebenas) and injera (Ethiopian bread.)

Ths movie is based on real events, this epic story of a Christian Ethiopian boy who is airlifted from a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel in 1984 during Operation Moses.

You can read a New York Times review by Stephen Holden.

You can also rent this film on Netflix.

An uplifting but tragic story at the same time.  Have you seen this film?  What did you think?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant Launches “7 Words for 7 Years” Contest

Happy 7th Birthday Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant!
Our first-ever creative contest for Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant of Montclair, NJ's 7th year in business.     

How much can you express about your Ethiopian food experience in just 7 words?  Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant wants to know how much the Ethiopian food and experience inspires you.

Mesob is seeking entrants who want to share their experience with the rest of us.  Seven words.  No more, no less.

Entries can be in a creative sentence, or in a 2-3-2 catchy 7 word sequence (Much like the 5-7-5 Haiku non-rhymed verse genre).  An example of this might be “Eat meat. Or go vegan. Eat Ethiopian.”

Entrants are encouraged to dispense sentiment and wisdom.  But please no profanity.  Entries can be submitted in person at Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant, or by e-mail to

The “7 words for 7 years” contest coincides with the 7th birthday of the Montclair, NJ restaurant, which opened its doors October 28, 2003. 

A sharing of Ethiopian culture is part of the charm of this eclectic restaurant.  Berekti Mengistu, one of the two Ethiopian sisters who own Mesob, says, “We want to share just more than Ethiopian food with our community, but also our culture.  Our recent Ehiopian music and dance event opened up more culture to our community.    We would love to know what people think not just about Ethiopian food, but also the experience you can find at Mesob.”

The contest runs for over two weeks starting Thursday, October 14, 2010 through Friday, October 29, 2010.

The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate for Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant. The winner will also gain notoriety as the first-ever and only Mesob “7 Words for 7 Years” contest winner.

Start writing.  Send your comments.  And win!

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant is located at 515 Bloomfield Avenue, in Montclair, NJ.  For reservations or more information, call 973-655-9000 or visit Mesob online at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

History of Ethiopian Coffee

The earliest historic records of coffee were between 575 and 850 A.D.

Legend has it that a young Ethiopian goat herder, Kaldi, saw his goats jumping around and acting frisky after eating some red berries from a bush.

Kaldi tried some of the berries himself. He amazingly felt awakened and began to dance around with his goats.

So coffee was discovered in a goat!

So, next time you enjoy an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, think of the dancing goats who we must be be thankful for!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

As Seen on TV - Ethiopian Beef Stew Recipe (Tibs Wet)

Here is the recipe for Tibs Wet prepared daily at Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant of Montclair, NJ. This recipe was shared on a recent appearance on WABC7 Eyewitness News Neighborhood Eats.


Heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan
Wooden spoon

3 cups chopped shallots or red onions
2 cups vegetable oil
1 medium tomato minced (optional)
1 cup Ethiopian hot pepper
1 tsp ground nigella seeds
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tbsp Ethiopian spiced butter
1 lb beef cut in cubes
2 cups boiled water
1/2 tsp false cardamom
Instructions: Sauté onions over low heat, stirring until translucent and soft. Add oil to the onions, stirring gently to mix well. If you choose to use tomato, add into the mixture at this point. Add Ethiopian hot pepper and salt (to taste) and mix together. Add garlic, ginger, and nigella seeds, mixing well. Stir occasionally. Cook for 15 minutes or when oil starts to rise to the surface and the mixture is a deep, rich, reddish color add the meat. Cook for 10 minutes and add boiling water. Add butter and false cardamom, cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
(Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)