As you probably know by now, the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site tends to look at more than a few particularly unique and unusual restaurants, as many naturally seem to lend themselves toward being hidden gems. And the words "unique" and "unusual" can certainly be used to describe Addis Red Sea (especially if you're used to old-school American restaurants or sports bar), an intimate, funky Ethiopian restaurant located in the heart of the South End of Boston. And unless you are a fan of exotic and offbeat restaurants, there is a chance that you have never been to a dining spot quite like this.
Dark and moody, with attractive carpeting and drapes as well as colorful touches throughout the room (including African artifacts), Addis Red Sea is a very attractive spot. The waitstaff at Addis Red Sea is particularly friendly and helpful if you have questions on any of the menu items. Wide stools and hand woven baskets that are used for tables are scattered through the cozy room. Addis Red Sea is below street level, adding to the intimate feel of the restaurant.
Most of the food served at Addis Red Sea is simple, with healthy ingredients such as lentils, lean beef, and vegetables of all kinds, and you actually use your hands to eat the food here, or to be more accurate, you use pieces of a spongy bread called injera to scoop up the food. Some of the entrees bear a slight resemblance to those found in Middle Eastern or Indian restaurants. And some items at Addis Red Sea are very spicy, but those who prefer mild dishes also have many options from which to choose. A few dishes of note include sambusas, which are dry and crusty pastries filled a delicious variety of items, such as one with lentils, green peppers, garlic, onions, and a number of warming spices; dabo, a slightly sweet bread flavored with cumin and basted with oil; doro wot, which is a richly marinated and spiced chicken in a red pepper sauce; lega tibs, or chunks of lean beef mixed with peppers, onions, and rosemary; gomen wot, or chopped collard greens that have a boost in flavor from garlic and herbed oil; zenge, which is a simple yet flavorful beef stew; and yasa tibs, or fried fish. Ethiopian beer and wine is served at Addis Red Sea, including a hearty Hakim Stout and a sweet honey wine. A variety of teas and coffees are also offered, including a cinnamon-based Ethiopian tea and rich-tasting almond espresso.
Addis Red Sea is perhaps not a restaurant for everyone. If you are looking for more "familiar" food, you might be better off heading to such nearby places as Metropolis or Picco, both of which are terrific, by the way. But if you're feeling adventurous, drop on by to Addis Red Sea. It might end up being one of the most memorable, unusual Boston dining experiences that you have had in some time.
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