Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Addis Red Sea - South End

Never having been to Ethiopia nor having tasted Ethiopian food before I can neither vouch for the authenticity of Addis Red Sea nor deny it. However, I can attempt to reveal it's tasty factor.

Other than having a name reminiscent of a Melville novel, Addis Red Sea is a small Ethiopian restaurant on the main drag in the South End. The staff do not wear uniforms, rather they don flowy robes and skirts that I assume are suitable to African cultural wear. I'm not sure if that interests you, but if you are a rare fetishist then perhaps you'll appreciate me.

The picture above may mislead so let me explain to you that this is not a plate of food; it is a rounded basket with a large saucer atop it that is covered with 3 large pita-esque pieces of porous bread each covered with a few different types of food. The idea here is that eating is very communal and everyone shares and eats with their hands (there are no utensils). There is supplemental bread which is used to pick the saucy and curry-like foods up with. The food ranged from fried crispy fish, collard greens and thick beef stew to tomato salad, lamb and lentils. If you like to have a little of everything then this is a great place for you.

The types of food are somewhat various. Our prix-fixe menu had an equal amount of meat and vegetarian parts that blended well. Pricing is fair with a prix-fixe option made for two coming to $25. All of the food was good, but nothing stuck out significantly--although the cottage cheese appetizer shown above was a above-average beginner. I recommend Addis Red Sea to all, but warn that the cool, porous, bread used to eat everything with is heavy and has a undeniably "eggy" taste to it, which can fill you up in an unsettling way if you are a big eater. Addis Red Sea is definitely a suitable place for groups of people who want to socialize casually and take their time snacking.

544 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116, 617 426 8727, www.addisredsea.com