Has anyone tried Makeda, the Ethiopian spot in New Brunswick?
I am a schoolteacher in new brunswick and
I eat at Makeda a lot. Obviously no competition,
but I've eaten enough similar food elsewhere to
know the difference.
Everything is very fresh and good. I do love spicy
food, so if you don't, make sure you let your server
know and they will steer you in the mild direction.
I highly recommend sharing one of the feasts with
a friend. Plenty of messy good food and fun to boot.
My favorite is the seafood version.
Hi - I'm a fan of this place. We recently moved to NJ from an area in Boston that had many reasonably priced, yummy eateries with a neighborhood feeling and fun vibe. Makeda is the only place I've been to in NJ that had that feeling. Funky, fun, with lots of regulars. The food is delicious and well-prepared. I think the seasoning is a bit watered down to cater to many tastes, which is fine by me.
I also love Makeda, especially the seafood. The only downside is that the prices keep it in the "special treat" category for me.
I recently went to Abyssinia in West Philly, and was also impressed. This is a much more casual and inexpensive place with excellent Ethiopian food. The menu is a little smaller, and alas, there is no seafood. I live between Philly and New Brunswick, so I will continue going to both!
I tend to agree with joonjoon. I went there for dinner last night (last-minute decision) and wasn't blown away as many on the board. Although this was my first taste of Ethiopian food it seemed like some of the dishes lacked flavor. Some of the spices are the same as in Indian dishes, but something was missing. We had D'Jal BL Basla, for an appetizer, which was so mild (which we asked for) that it seemed like we were eating a warm salad. For entrees, we ordered Shrimp Alecha and Beg Alecha (lamb). The shrimp were cooked perfectly but the lamb felt like beef stew, almost tough. We did enjoy the sides, particularly the beets and lentils. The server brought spices (at our request) which added a nice kick.
The restaurant itself has a nice ambience, however, the lighting makes it a litte difficult to see. Aside from a mixup with the appetizer, the service was good. If you sit along the wall, be prepared to hear the conversations of those sitting next to you. Overall, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as I expected.
We were taken to dinner there a few months ago, and really enjoyed it. Not easy to describe the food, which is very different in its preparation and presentation, but there are some spicy dishes on the menu as well as mild ones. Go and enjoy.
Definitely for a special meal--special in every way. I have eaten a fair amount of Ethiopean food in Washington DC, and this is up to the standard. And the ambience and service also make it special.
Without question Makeda is the best of many Ethiopian restaurants I've eaten at (my work often has me travelling around the US and Canada). First impression of this place is the cleanliness...something clearly lacking some of the other places of this sort I've visited. There are no bad choices on the menu, and there is something for both carnivore and vegetarian. The best bet is a shared sampler. Some of my own favorites here are Kik Aleche (yellow split pea), Doro Wat Chicken (spicy and very HOT!) and ZilZil Strips (lamb)...accompanied by a glass or three of Tej (traditional mead).
When you are being seated, be sure to ask to sit at the traditional woven wicker tables in the front rather than the American style restaurant tables in back, and PLEASE...resist the urge to ask for eating utensils. This food is meant to be eaten with your hands, using the wonderful Injra Bread to pick up your morsels of food. This is essential to experiencing this great restaurant. If you can't handle spicy food by the way, don't panic...not everything will burn your taste buds off...and the very helpful wait staff will happily describe the dishes and guide your choices to whichever end of the heat spectrum suits your tastes.
Can't say enough good things about this place...I've been a happy patron of Makeda for ten years or more.