This category couldn't have existed in 2006, but the past year has seen a boomlet of East African restaurants opening in St. Louis none more welcome than Meskerem. The first Midwestern outpost of a very small chain (there are two locations in New York City and one in Charlotte), Meskerem offers something for everyone. Longtime fans of Ethiopian food not to mention dedicated carnivores will relish the kitfo, a dish of raw beef with clarified butter and chile powder that's so good you'll imagine you've never really tasted meat before. Vegetarians will be happy to discover the attention Ethiopian cuisine lavishes on vegetables and legumes. (Ethiopian Orthodox Christians observe many fasting days.) Everyone will enjoy the tangy injera bread you use to scoop up your food and the warmth and hospitality of the staff.
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