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Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant.

Jujukit Dec 6, 2010 04:29 AM

This passed weekend at Makeda Ethiopian restaurant in downtown New Brunswick gave me so much hope for the future of the economy and reminded me of what it felt to come out to Makedas 5 years ago. Waiting for tables, squeezing in at the bar to get a drink. Great music, fun staff... I am so happy the holidays are here. For any one who has not been to Makeda, you have to give it a try. And for all you foodies and wine people definitely check out their wine tasting on December 9th. See you there!
oh by the way the address is 338 George St or you can give them a call because i suck at giving directions. 7325455115

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  1. GraydonCarter RE: Jujukit Dec 6, 2010 08:00 AM

    Juju, what is that dish in the photo? It looks like french fries on a salad, but I'm sure it is something else, maybe chicken strips?

    2 Replies
    1. re: GraydonCarter
      sockster RE: GraydonCarter Dec 6, 2010 08:46 AM

      My guess is chicken strips and mushrooms.

      1. re: GraydonCarter
        Jujukit RE: GraydonCarter Dec 6, 2010 10:40 AM

        The dish is Shrimp marinated in garlic and herbs and what you thought were french fries (not sure if I mentioned it was an ethiopian restaurant :) ) are sauteed carrot spears.

      2. s
        scott123 RE: Jujukit Dec 7, 2010 08:55 AM

        Makeda has a pleasant atmosphere and a nice decor, but, for the price, the food is only good when it should be spectacular.

        New Jersey DESPERATELY needs an affordable, non pretentious Ethiopian restaurant. Desperately.

        Meskerem (NYC) has a pretty solid dose of NY attitude (and, most likely, a fairly inflated NY rent), but, for lunch, they still manage to sell a five dish veggie combo for about 10 bucks and a 5 dish meat combo for 15. For hearty eaters, it's not a huge meal, but, for 2 people, $25 is very reasonable. On this side of the Hudson, you'd probably have to spend double that to get as much food with as much variety.

        Ethiopian cuisine is not any more complex/labor intensive than Indian restaurant food. If Indian restauranters can do all you can eat lunch buffets for $10, someone should be able to do the same with Ethiopian.

        5 Replies
        1. re: scott123
          yCf RE: scott123 Dec 7, 2010 09:02 AM

          I second scott123. I went to Makeda once for a weekend lunch a while ago. I thought the price was outrageous for the food they were serving.
          The food was interesting and tasted decent and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere but the price was just ridiculous.

          1. re: yCf
            equal_Mark RE: yCf Dec 7, 2010 10:12 AM

            Hmmm... Does seem pricey...


            1. re: equal_Mark
              joonjoon RE: equal_Mark Dec 8, 2010 09:19 AM

              +1 on the price. For the money I would only go there on a date - it's a fun date spot due to the seating and eating, but after trying their sampler platter twice I've never gone back. IMO the food was reminiscent but inferior in almost every way to a good indian place.

          2. re: scott123
            harrison RE: scott123 Dec 7, 2010 12:01 PM

            I didn't do a side by side price comparison, but take a look at Mesob in Montclair

            Mesob Restaurant
            515 Bloomfield Ave Ste 1, Montclair, NJ 07042

            1. re: harrison
              scott123 RE: harrison Dec 7, 2010 01:31 PM

              Hmmm... I'd have to see the portion sizes to know for certain, but, yes, the lunch prices are surprisingly reasonable.

              I'm still holding out hope, though, for something priced along the lines of Indian food. A strip mall, hole in the wall kind of place would make my heart sing :)

              Edit: I found a photo of the $12 lunch veggie sampler:


              Honestly, for $12, that's looking a little sparse. If memory serves me correctly, $10 will get you a bigger serving at Meskerem. It's not Makeda price gouging, but, come on, shouldn't NJ restaurants be LESS expensive than their NY counterparts, not more?

          3. a
            aklein RE: Jujukit Jan 20, 2011 04:15 AM

            going tomorrow night before a show... crossing fingers based on mixed reviews here, but curious enough to stick it out (and can't afford Daryl)... hope there's time to wash my hands to stop for a cocktail at Catherine Lombardi before curtain

            6 Replies
            1. re: aklein
              Heatherb RE: aklein Jan 20, 2011 05:00 AM

              You should be fine. The food is generally good (though not "WOW") - it's just the prices that seem extreme.

              1. re: aklein
                Jujukit RE: aklein Jan 20, 2011 05:21 AM

                you will love it. I will be there myself.

                1. re: Jujukit
                  aklein RE: Jujukit Jan 20, 2011 05:27 AM

                  now I'm second-guessing... must have read the menu items and glazed over the prices... daryl was first choice and prices seem about even... still, makeda seems more interesting

                  1. re: aklein
                    Jujukit RE: aklein Jan 20, 2011 06:21 AM

                    I have not been to Daryl restaurant but I guess it depends on what you have a taste for. food for me is about the experience. All the best. I am sure you will have fun where ever you dine.

                    1. re: aklein
                      joonjoon RE: aklein Jan 20, 2011 06:43 AM

                      I think the place is worth trying once if you haven't...I just don't think it's worth repeat visits.

                      1. re: aklein
                        mickeygee RE: aklein Jan 20, 2011 06:11 PM

                        Just had lunch yesterday - I love it. I find the sampler platter always a good choice when we go for dinner with friends. I will say that my husband and I have been know to finish a whole sampler (and then need to roll home), but it's plenty big for 4, which we've also done (usually with an app or two).

                  2. j
                    jmoryl RE: Jujukit Jan 20, 2011 07:22 PM

                    For those complaining that there are no inexpensive Ethiopian restaurants in NJ, we have two good ones in South Orange: Harrar in the center of town and Lalibela on Irvington Ave. I prefer the latter's food, but both are reasonably priced.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jmoryl
                      scott123 RE: jmoryl Jan 21, 2011 06:10 AM

                      In no way would I consider Lalibela to be 'inexpensive.' Meskerem (NYC) has a lunch veggie platter with 5 dishes for $10. Lalibela has a 4 dish veggie platter for $16.99. Unless the portions are absolutely massive, I consider 4 dishes for $17 to be highway robbery. NJ restaurants should be cheaper than their high rent NY brethren, not almost twice the price.

                      Harrar Cafe's web page is down, but I was able to pull up a cached version, and, since everything lists two prices, it's difficult to tell if they're expensive or not. I did notice one interesting listing:

                      "Injera lightly coated with kebe and berbere and toasted /$7"

                      Translation: buttered spiced toasted bread: $7.

                      1. re: scott123
                        jmoryl RE: scott123 Jan 21, 2011 11:34 AM

                        To be honest, I am a cheapskate and have always found the quantity to price ratio at Lalibela perfectly acceptable. Usually one gets a meat dish with two veg sides on injera for about $12-$14 and it is all I can eat. Sorry it doesn't live up to Meskerem - I wonder how they can stay in business in Manhattan with prices like that?

                        Harrar is a bit more, but I would never order a toasted injera for $7, but the meals aren't too badly priced.

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