Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant, Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina (USA) – My first visit to Meskerem on Kings Drive was a tentative one. I had never tasted Ethiopian food before and my only motivation for the trip was from “The Simpsons” foodie episode in which Marge’s taste buds having a party after taking one bite into the pancake-looking bread and variety of dips.

My date and I ordered beef sambusas for appetizers, which are similar to Indian samosas. Served with a green spicy sort of chutney, the ground beef was flavored just right and tasted great with the hot, crispy dough.

When the food was served, a woman with a friendly demeanor, probably sensing the cluelessness written all over my face, walked over to the table.

“First time?” she asked. Was it that obvious? She continued excitedly, mentioning that one uses their right hand to tear the spongy flatbread, which is called injera. The injera is used to scoop up the food on the plate.

That’s right, no utensils, just hands. While complete fun for some, others might perceive it as too messy of a dining endeavor, though it’s not nearly as messy as feasting on ribs.

It should also be noted that two people usually share plates, which is cute if you’re out with someone that you’re comfortable with.

As I continued to marvel at just how much injera we were provided with, the nice lady wrapped up her lesson on how to eat.

Ethiopian cuisine, explaining that the green stuff were collard greens and the yellow stuff were lentils.

While I ordered the special lamb tips, my date ordered kitfo, which is described on the menu as being like beef tartar. This minced beef is usually served rare, depending on the constitution of your stomach.

The lightly spicy seasoned treat is like dog food for people, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Even though my lamb tips tasted fine, if not a little spicy for my tastes, I kept swiping my partner’s kitfo, and we’ve ordered it every visit since then.

Needless to say, we were stuffed about ¾ of the way through our meal. Injera is no joke and it’s always a good idea to come here on an empty stomach.

Even though meat dishes have been highlighted in this review, it should be noted that Meskerem does serve a variety of vegetarian entrees.

A dinner entrée runs from $8.99 to $12.50, while the appetizers range from $3 to $6.25.

The restaurant’s lunch special, which is from 11:30AM to 3PM on Tuesdays to Fridays, runs in the $7 range. For more information including their hours and menu, visit their website at: