South End Adventures: Part One – Ethiopian Food
Just got back from dinner at this fabulous Ethiopian restaurant, Addis Red Sea. This tiny places is located on Tremont Street in the South End of Boston. When we arrived at the restaurant, we had to walk down a few steps into a very small waiting area, which was basically the threshold of the door. After a few minutes wait, we were seated in their downstairs seating area. As we walked through the restaurant to the stairs, we got a glimpse of the kitchen. Amazing smells wafted out of the kitchen and into the already great smelling seating area. Ethiopian masks and art decorated the walls and traditional rugs covered the floor. We made our way downstairs into a small room that was packed to full capacity. A bar was situated on the far wall of the room and about ten tables surrounded it. There were two parts to each table: the first part was a small wooden table with a candle, the second was circular and beaded with the top cut out. Two small upholstered stools were placed around the two tables.
This being our first time to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant, we had no idea what were getting into. All I knew was that since watching Along Came Polly, I had been wanting to eat Ethiopian with my hands. Although, I had to look around to see if other people were actually eating with their hands. They were. I would have been highly disappointed if they hadn’t been. I got a Coke, and amazingly they gave me a glass filled with Coke from a glass bottle (you can really taste the difference between fountain soda, plastic bottle Coke, and a good glass bottle of Coke).
We ordered Doro Alcha which is chicken simmered in a mild sauce of butter, ginger and onions and Yesega Alcha, tender beef cubes simmered in a sauce of butter, onion, ginger and tummeric. The food came by way of a very nice waitress and served on a platter of Ethiopian bread, known as injera. But, before we were allowed to devour our food, the waitress gave us hot hand towels to wash our hands. How sweet.
The food was amazing to say the least. I finally got to fulfill that inner need to eat with my hands like an infant. The injera was spongy and cool, a perfect contrast to the hot, spicy, tender chicken and beef. Our food was gone and we were pleasantly stuffed in a matter of minutes. Afterwards, we ordered a fruit tart and a slice of layered chocolate mousse pie with a graham cracker crust. The tart was refreshing and the pie was creamy and succulent. After everything we received the bill, which was $43, not bad for really good food, and two moist towelettes.
My first experience with Ethiopian food was great as was my first venture into the South End. Highly recommend it.