Tasty, too. Made from a fermented grain called teff, the Ethiopian flatbread injera has a gentle, sourdough-like flavor. It serves both as platter and, when gently torn with the fingers of the right hand, as utensil. The spongy texture is ideal for soaking up stews like shiro wat, ground chickpeas colored burnt orange by the chili-pepper spice blend called berbere. In this lunch special ($8), the shiro wat was accompanied by stewed lentils and cabbage with carrots; out of frame, additional rounds of injera awaited mop-up duty.
Meskerem, which opened in 1995, spun off two more locations, one near Lincoln Center (since closed) and one in the West Village (now under separate ownership). The restaurant's original chef continues to cook here, in Hell's Kitchen.
468 West 47th St. (Ninth-Tenth Aves.)