Thursday, November 4, 2010

Winners Announced in Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant’s “7 Words for 7 Years” Contest

We are excited to officially announce eight winners who created inspiring quotes for our 7 Words for 7 Years contest!

There is a First Prize winner and 7 Runner-up winners in our first-ever creative contest today.  The contest, which ran for 2 weeks, celebrated the our 7th birthday, when we first opened our doors on October 28th, 2003.

Entrants were asked “How much can you express about your Ethiopian food experience in just 7 words?”  Over 200 7-word creations were received via entries that included both e-mail and in-store written entries. The creative entries varied between prose, poetry, modified haiku, alliteration, and acrostics.  All demonstrated creativity, sentiment and connection to the restaurant.

The restaurant contest winners were selected by a committee comprised of Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant staff members, including owners Berekti and Akberet Mengistu.  The winner received a $25 gift certificate for Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant, and notoriety as the first-ever and only Mesob “7 Words for 7 Years” contest winner. Runners-up received $10 certificates.

The Winner
“Essence of love is Mesob’s secret ingredient.”

Deborah Kanter, a holistic wellness educator from Montclair, NJ, who submitted the winning entry says, “From the first time a friend took me to Mesob, a positive energy permeated the physical surroundings and the food as well, I knew that the energies came from the love that those who created and served the food brought to their work and subsequently to those dining there…What a wonderful dining experience—as if the excellent food…weren’t enough!”

The Seven Runners-up
1. “Come Hand Feed Your Soul at Mesob”
D. Excelsior Kutney, customer since 2004, and also a haiku poet, says inspiration was immediate.  “The Mesob dining experience inspired my seven words by going beyond merely nourishing the body, and beyond simply feeding the soul.  Mesob leaves your soul feeling hand-fed, which makes perfect sense since you eat with your hands at Mesob.”
2. “Anticipation Beckons Savory Succulent Homemade Handheld Deliciousness”
Jennifer Smith-Miller, an active fan in the Mesob Facebook community, who also reintroduced a new item to the restaurant menu with her requests and correspondence e-mailed her entry. “When I think of Mesob, my palate starts to get excited, begins to water in anticipation of the deliciousness to come.” says Ms. Miller. “I already can imagine holding those tender morsels in my hand, that were just freshly made, and can't wait for the food to arrive!”
3. MESOB… Many Ethiopian Specialties on Bread...yummm”
Leslie Debbas submitted this entry, a creative acrostic spelling the restaurant name and says, “From the first day that I ate at Mesob I have been a truly devoted customer! There is nowhere else in the area to enjoy such a unique dining experience as well as such exotic flavors.”
4. "Mesob - Visit Ethiopia without leaving Montclair NJ!"
Runner-up Dr. Audrey Longson, submitted multiple entries, as the restaurant did not want to limit participant creativity.  She says, “My husband and I are major foodies and love to travel the world together in search of new and exciting cuisines.”
5.  “Tasty stews on porous bread - hunger absorbed”
Runner-up Karen Gooen says, “I love the injera at Mesob--it's spongy and light, and it absorbs the flavor of each of the delicious stews…it absorbs my hunger as well, leaving me perfectly sated.”
6. “Mouthwatering Ethiopian Succulent Outstanding Blissful Wonderful”
Kier Bowers was chosen among multiple hand-written restaurant entries.  He says, “I enjoyed my first Ethiopian dining experience. The food, service and ambiance are pleasurable as well as memorable!”
7.  “Mesob Yum!  Palate Loves Aromatic Cloves. Exotic!”
Catherine Brown was not available for comment on the inspiration for her winning creative acrostic for “My Place.”
Vickie Smith-Siculiano, Marketing & PR Manager for Mesob created the first contest for this small, suburban local restaurant that she has also been a fan of since they first opened their doors.  “I know the deep connection that a patron can have with a favorite restaurant because for Mesob, it was also within me.  I am also thrilled to engage restaurant patrons in social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, the restaurant blog and News and Events on the new recently redesigned multimedia website.”
Berekti and Akberet Mengistu, owners of Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant who are also sisters, feel that sharing Ethiopian culture is very important to enhance the dining experience and charm of their eclectic art-filled restaurant.  A new art display soon to debut will contains all the words of all entries to this contest.  Berekti Mengistu says, “We loved reading what people think not just about Ethiopian food, but also the experience you can find at Mesob.  We did not realize the power of just 7 words.”

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