Monday, June 23, 2014

Addis Red Sea: Ruined by Scamminess

Of all the Ethiopian places around, Addis Red Sea has to be the one with the best decor. 

It's not just the paintings on the walls but the chairs and the bowl tables where they place your smorgasbord plate-bowls.



We were excited to try a couple of the Ethiopian beers, but they were out of every single one.


So then we pivoted to Ethiopian wines. I'd already tried the honey wine at Asmara, so we ordered Gouder. We asked for a bottle, but she said she had to ask whether they could do a bottle that night. Turned out nope. Why would this be? Wouldn't they want to sell us a bottle? After we finished our two glasses they asked us if we wanted more, so it's not like they didn't have more. Did they have a bunch of open ones to use up but no full bottles? It tasted like normal red wine, so I started thinking maybe they have some cheap, generic wine back there, so on nights they're out of Ethiopian they just sell glasses of Two Buck Chuck or whatever. I wouldn't have been that skeptical if it weren't for what happened later with the bill (see below).


Addis Red Sea Special Combo - Doro Wot, Doro Alcha, Lega Tibs, Zenge (Exotic Beef Stew), House Salad and Gomen Wot. For Two - $24.95

I think the injera here is better than anywhere else in Boston. The dishes were good, though the "house salad" was just tomatoes really. The meat ones were good except the lega tibs, which are cooked too long and just too chewy and not spicy, but that's how they are everywhere. I just need to remember not to order those.

So here's the weird part. When they were handed their bill, I overheard the two women next to us being asked by their server, "Please give us cash, but if you have to do credit card, okay."

Which they thought was a weird way to put it.

When our server came up to us at the end, she was taking away our food and I had to ask if we could have it to go. Then she said, "Oh, you want to take? Okay. Please give me cash?"

Just like that.

Clearly they prefer cash, so my girlfriend, in an attempt to be helpful but not having the $42.50 plus tip in cash (she only had a $20), gave the $20 and the credit card to her, like maybe that would be better for them than putting it all on the credit card.

The woman said, "half and half?" like she thought we were splitting it, so I said, "Oh no, just, you know, take it off."

She smiled and said okay.

When she came back, she handed us the credit card to sign, smiling and saying, "Thank you very much. Have a good evening."

The $20 was gone, but the bill was still $42.50. So she'd prematurely taken for herself a 47% tip. What the fuck. And the credit card had already been run so it was really too late unless we wanted to make a whole fucking stink about it. But was it really a misunderstanding? Why would we tip early? Why would we tip almost 50%? And what's the deal with the wine, anyway?

Anyway, if you want to be cash only, say you're cash only. This was some shady, fucked up shit. We'd had such a good time until this crap. Now I never want to go back because I feel such distrust for the people here.


Addis Red Sea on Urbanspoon