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Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 11 reviews )
Contact 973-655-9000

515 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, New Jersey, USA, 07042

Serves meat, vegan options available. In Ethiopian cuisine you will find spiced vegetable and potato dishes. This place offers appetizers and vegetables dishes that are vegan suitable. Modern dining atmosphere combined with some traditional Ethiopian decor. Brunch last Sunday of each month til 3pm. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-10:00pm.

Category: Ethiopian, African, Non-veg

Reviews (11)

First Review by GodivaSweety

Awesome VEGAN options - Edit

Had the pleasure of going here last night and was wonderfully surprised. They are listed as "veg-options", but HALF THEIR MENU IS FULL VEGAN! :-) :-) :-).

I had never had Ethiopian before, but will certainly be back...the food was fantastic.

Pros: 50% full vegan, great food(different from anything I've had), teas, good prices, especially considering the quality

Cons: substituted rice for the traditional bread (avoidi

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A family favorite! - Edit

I have been a regular at Mesob for about 10 years, and it is one of my favorite restaurants in NJ. The owners are kind and welcoming, and always happy to see you. The service is very attentive, if a little relaxed, which I prefer rather than being rushed through my dinner. This is not a restaurant to visit for a fast meal, but rather a relaxed dining experience. It's BYOB, which is great, and there's a nice liquor store with a decent selection right across the street.
There is quite an extensive Vegan section of the menu, including dessert. And in fact, the Vegan items, to me, are the stars of the menu. They are expertly seasoned and prepared, and are consistently good. My favorite is definitely the butitcha, but the Indugai tibs is also very good.
I don't typically order appetizers, because the entrees are so filling, especially consuming the amount of injera that you do. But I understand the appetizers are just as delicious.
I highly recommend capping your dinner off with a pot of Ethiopian coffee, which takes a while, but is worth the wait. The beans are roasted to order, and the server will bring them out on a large straw bowl right after roasting for you to smell, which is a tradition. It's strong, flavorful, and delicious.
I haven't been to the Sunday brunch yet, but look forward to trying it soon.

Pros: Extensive Vegan selection, DELICIOUS, Friendly and attentive staff

Cons: A little pricey, Slow paced

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Yum - Edit

The food here was delicious. Total comfort food. They were extremely busy, but the food came out right away... I was very impressed. That, and it's a BYOB, which is awesome. I would highly recommend it.

Pros: Delicious, Fast Service, BYOB

Cons: Small desert portion

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Great food, Lots of Vegan Options - Edit

I have extensive experience with Ethiopian restaurants and have had Ethiopian from multiple places in NJ, DC, NY (do not even bother with NY Ethiopian, terrible), and California. This is one of my top 3 favorite Ethiopian places. It's absolutely great for vegans as they are very clear what is vegan (in other establishments you need to watch out for clarified butter and are often wishy washy about what is vegan). Additionally, they provide fantastic desserts. The vegan chocolates and cookies are phenomenal. My husband and I both got the Vegetarian sampler, which allotted us to try a total of 12 vegan dishes. Pretty much all of them were fantastic. I believe only a few were ok. Can't wait to go back. Unfortunately, our in-laws did not have a good experience with their meat options but they can be picky. Reservations are necessary for dinner. When we were there on a weeknight, they were turning away people. Also, service was horrendously slow. I was starting to shake from low blood sugar because of an unexpectedly long wait. We even had to wait 20 minutes to be seated despite having a reservation. Our server was very nice though.

Pros: great food, lots of vegan options, friendly staff

Cons: slow service, a little on the pricey side

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Love love love this place - Edit

My family has been coming here for years. They are very vegan friendly and always very welcoming -- far beyond the traditional warmth and hospitality for which Ethiopians and Eritreans are known. The food is absolutely delicious (our favorites are kik aletcha and gomen) and they are generous with the amount of injera they serve. The ambiance and service is more upscale than many Ethiopian restaurants.

Pros: Fantastic food, Kind and friendly staff, Nice atmosphere

Cons: A little pricey

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Mesob review - Edit

Tonight was my first time going to Mesob's and actually my first time ever eating Ethiopian food.

For appetizer I had Timatim Fit Fit which I enjoyed. It was pretty mild though (I was expecting it to be hot since it had jalapeño in it).

I had a glass of mango juice which was bad. It tasted sugary & processed.

As an entree, I ordered the vegetarian sampler and enjoyed most of it. The sampler allows you to choose 6 vegetarian options, the six I chose were:
1. Misir Wet
2. Kik Alicha
3. Dinich Wet
4. Tikil Gomen
5. Atkilt Alicha
6. Ye'shimbra Asa
(I numbered then in order of how I liked them--1 I liked best, 6 I liked least).
I really did love the lentils & split peas the most. If I come again, I would definitely order that. They were just so perfectly seasoned & cooked. I actually liked all the options I chose for my sampler except my 6th choice Ye'shimbra Asa. I couldn't quite pinpoint what I disliked about it, I think it may have been the texture of the chickpea biscuit. I personally wouldn't get that again.

The food portion they give is pretty generous, I couldn't finish it all and therefore had no room for dessert. I did have a cup of the Ethiopian coffee though. It was good, really strong.

Service was not bad at all. Very kind, courteous & helpful staff. The place was busy but we were seated right away with no reservation. The place was clean & I liked the decor/atmosphere.

All in all, had a great time, enjoyed the food & will come again in the future. I'd recommend trying this place.

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Very vegan friendly - Edit

I was impressed at the attention given to vegan options at Mesob - though not impressed with the injera. As a lover and regular consumer of Ethiopian food/ injera, I had to try this establishment. Since it's far from the DC mecca of Ethiopian food, I didn't have the highest expectations, but still high, because of the location. Also, the prices imply that the food has good quality. Upon reviewing their menu/ website, it was clear they would have great choices for me, but the question was whether it was tasty.

YES, the food was very tasty. All the veggie dishes we tried were delicious in flavor. NO complaints about the food flavor/ heat/ preparation. However, the portions were smaller than traditional DC portions for a higher price, and the injera was not the most flavorful and somewhat dry.

For dessert, there were 2 options: handmade chocolates and cookies! They were pretty tasty, and I was happy to have tried them. Worth it to have a little something, but the oatmeal cookies aren't the best - a bit dry, crispy and thin, but awesome that they are wheat free. The chocolates were good and understandably expensive to produce, but I wasn't so impressed that I would spend the $8 again unless I was dying for some chocolate. It's good, but for me, a bit pricey. If someone bought them for me, I would be happier.

All in all, I was pleased. Compared to the other well-known Ethiopian restaurant in NJ, I would go back to this one FIRST! Yum!

Pros: Rich flavor for veggie dishes, Vegan dessert!, Vegan appetizers!

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Great Food, Fun Dining Experience - Edit

Mesob is the best Ethiopian restaurant we've found in this area. While service can be slow, the food is great and we always enjoy our meal.

We normally get the Vegetarian Sampler for Two. They place in front of you a large platter covered with injera (a spongy, crepe-like flat bread with a pleasantly sour flavor). They then bring out six different dishes, which you get to choose from their large array of vegetable entrees (each of them vegan). Each dish is spooned out onto the injera, and additional bread is provided for the scooping. (They will bring extra injera when they notice you've finished your supply.)

One of my favorite dishes is Shiro (pureed split peas and chick peas cooked with onions, garlic and spices). It has a thick, creamy texture, rich savory flavor, and just enough heat. The runner up is Misir Wat (lentils cooked in a spicy berbere sauce). The berbere imparts a lovely deep red color, complex flavor, and perfect amount of heat; this is probably the spiciest dish of the bunch. The Kik Aletcha (yellow split peas simmered with onions and spices) is mildly spicy with a slightly tangy flavor; it has a chunkier texture than the other legume dishes. The Ingudai Tibs (sliced portobello mushrooms cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes & spices) is very flavorful, with a meaty texture that adds variety to an array of mostly soft-cooked dishes. Gomen (collard greens cooked until tender with onions and spices) and Atkilt Aletcha (green beans and thin strips of carrots simmered in a mellow sauce until meltingly soft) are simply spiced but very flavorful, and round out the meal nicely.

Of course, the best part of the meal is the food-soaked injera, which we tear apart at the end! Yum...

We always follow our meal with an authentically prepared Ethiopian coffee. House-roasted coffee beans are ground and brewed to produce a thick, richly flavored espresso-style coffee. It's served in small demitasse cups with milk that I think is warmed with spices - I definitely detect a hint of cardamom. Delicious! Just watch out for sediment on the bottom of the cup.

We don't bother with dessert. Flourless Chocolate Espresso Torte and Creme Brulee seem mundane and out of place after such an exotic meal. They do offer gourmet vegan chocolates which are at least infused with traditional flavors (berbere spiced ganache!), but I haven't tried these yet. Honestly, it would be nice to see a few more imaginative dessert offerings.

Overall, a truly fun dining experience!

Pros: Warm, hip-yet-relaxed atmosphere, Wide variety of vegan dishes, Extremely flavorful and satisfying food

Cons: Service can be slow, especially if busy, Does get quite busy on a Saturday night!

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Lovely food and lovely owners - Edit

I have no idea how they do it, but Mesob seems more delicious every time I eat there. One of my absolute favorite places to eat in Jersey. I have had Ethiopian food at restaurants across the country and Canada, and Mesob stands out as the best. All the veggie food is vegan, cooked in dedicated pans, I believe. If you call a day before you can order a gluten-free injera (teff only). I have dined at Mesob many, many times over the years and am always welcome by the warmth and true caring go the owners and staff. We are blessed to be close by to this treasure. I'd give it a 5 if I could but, alas, they also serve meat.

Pros: Quality of Food, Excellent staff, Atmosphere

Cons: Vegan cookies aren't gluten free, Also serves meat :(

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Must go!!! - Edit

Best collard greens ever!!! Must try the chickpea biscuits. All veggies are prepared Vegan!!! There are even yummy vegan cookies... I will definitely make a repeat visit. The servvice was just as great as the food. Try the vegetarian sampler, when you go.

Pros: Veg Sampler, Great Service, Vegan options

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