Ethiopian Face-Off

When you can consume the entire meal placed before you - plate included - you know you’ve found a winner. While we realize there are more than two choices for sampling this north-eastern African cuisine in greater Boston, these are two of our top picks.

First off, we must explain why we love Ethiopian cuisine and its many dishes, all heaped together as one. Injera, the huge, spongey bread on which all the food is presented, is often considered the most notable of the Ethiopian dining experience. Salads, pastes, tender meats, crushed lentils, and stews fill the bread, and everything can be consumed at once, tearing apart the bread to use in place of Western flatware.

Asmara, the smaller and sometimes lesser known Cambridge/Central Square restaurant, is unparalleled because of their unbeatable homemade mead, or honey wine. In business since 1986, diners at Asama are seated around the traditional Mesob, a woven basket-like table that comfortably holds the entire shared meal. You’d better like your dinner companions if you suggest this place.

Addis Red Sea, a staple of the South End culinary scene, expanded last year to a Porter Square Cambridge location as well. A bit more Westernized than Asmara, table or Mesob seating options are available, and the standard range of mild to spicy foods are also up for communal dining debate. Are they giving their competition a run for their birr? This remains to be seen.

Asmara [Official Site]
Addis Red Sea [Official Site]

[Photo: LollyKint/Flickr]

Ethiopian Face-Off