Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Use QR Codes at Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant

Another wonderful video and post by Melody Kettle of

Hot From The Kettle™: Enhancing the Dining Experience at Mesob
Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 3:24PM

The code to left is known as a Quick Response Code, commonly referred to as a QR code. The information-bearing squiggly lines are also referred to as Smart Tags or 2D Codes.
Many industries are beginning to incorporate these codes into their marketing, using them as a form of unobtrusive communication, by linking the QR codes directly to a url.
Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant is one of the first restaurants in the country to use these codes in their restaurant. Vickie Smith-Siculiano, Director of Marketing for Mesob, and her mother Debi Smith have created and placed information bearing QR codes throughout Mesob.

This presents an opportunity for the diner to enhance their experience. If you’re waiting for your meal to arrive and happen to be curious about the process of making Injera, or if you want to watch an Ethiopian fashion show, you can do this directly from your chair by simply picking up your smart phone, downloading the free app, (NeoReader is suggested for the iPhone, and Bar Code Scanner app for others) and scan the code. Voila! You’re taken to the video!

Speaking of which . . . click here to see the video.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How To Eat Ethiopian Style

Melody Kettle visited Mesob and filmed several videos for and

Hot From The Kettle™: An Ethiopian Experience!

by Melody Kettle

Each time I go to Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant, I find myself warmed from the inside out.
Of course this can be explained on a chemical basis. Ethiopian cooking is dominated by warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom, not to mention the capsaicin packing spice mixture, berbere.

There's an intangible warmth at Mesob resonates beyond food science.

If you've ever hesitated about going to Mesob, or any ethnic restaurant that suggests eating without utensils, do yourself a favor, put the knife and fork down, use a moist towelette, and dig in.
Tear the injera, and with a claw like motion scoop combinations of wots. Then mix and match as you like, perhaps doro wot (traditional Ethiopian stew) along with farmer's cheese or greens. It's delicious fun!
Once you're comfortable eating with your hands, you can assimilate further into Ethiopian table culture and give, or receive a gursha. A gursha, a tradition most hand-santizer toting Americans would consider unthinkable, is the Ethiopian act of hand feeding another. The feeder, notably, cannot be denied by the feedie, as it would be an insult and very embarrassing.

The gursha illustrates expressly what is so endearing and admirable about the Ethiopian culture: trust. They trust deeply who they are dining with. They simply open and receive with graciousness. The gursha is a beautiful tradition that provides connection to the food, and is, moreover an affirmation and declaration of family. I thank the Mengistu family for sharing their tradition with me and my family.
Watch the video to join us at the table.

How to use our Injera as a utensil wasn't all we learned that day. We happened to visit Mesob on Ethiopian Christmas Day.
Large pieces of grass and fragrant Eucalyptus decorated the peg hardwood floor, and the aroma of roasting Ethiopian coffee beans, for the traditional coffee ceremony, wafted through the air.
Curious? Watch the video to learn all about traditions surrounding Ethiopian Christmas.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Traditional Ethiopian Music and Dance in Celebration of Valentine's Day at Mesob!

There'll be a One Night Only performance of traditional eskesta dancing at Mesob this Valentine's Day, Monday February 14,2011. The restaurant will be opening only for the 2 dinner seatings: 6:30pm and 8:30pm - by reservation only. Reservations can be made by calling 973-655-9000 or online at Open Table

Ethiopian-born Frehiwot Bireka and Daniel Kebede are eskesta dancers returning from a 12-state tour. Wearing traditional eskesta dress, they will dance around the restaurant to Ethiopian music. The Ethiopian name "eskesta" means "dancing shoulders." Practiced mainly in the Northern parts of Ethiopia, the dance is performed both by men and women with their head, neck, chest and shoulders shaking in specific movements.

Berekti Mengistu, one of the two Ethiopian sisters who own Mesob, says "We love to share our rich culture with our diners. What better day than Valentine's Day to show this love!"