Berbere-spiced lentils have lately become this carnivore’s first thought when venturing out for a bite, and credit for that should go to Rochester’s recent wave of excellent and affordable Ethiopian spots. The latest is Taste of Ethiopia (155 State St., 503-4056, tasteofethiopiarochester.com), which offers a typical American restaurant experience alongside a more traditional — and way more colorful — Ethiopian one that involves communal dining out of a tall lidded basket.
PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
The well-executed food doesn’t stray too far from the other local offerings (with the exception of tripe and liver, which I haven’t yet noticed on other Ethiopian menus around here), and there’s an array of customizable combination platters that showcase this increasingly popular cuisine in all its complex yet satisfying glory. The Monday-Friday vegan lunch buffet is currently a shockingly inexpensive $6.99, and I’m not lying when I say that Agegil ($12), a layered dish with both chicken and beef tucked in injera, provided me with delicious dinner for three days. Tying it all together is owner Mesrak Tesfaye, who displays seemingly inexhaustible amounts of both patience and passion while explaining her dishes.