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Dec 13, 2009 06:29 PM

Annapurna horrible disappointment

I used to love Annapurna for their homestyle vegetable dishes and really moist, highly seasoned tandoori chicken. They jacked up their prices and started skimping on various things (e.g. no free Afghan bread, just stale papadam) a few months ago but I was willing to tolerate it. They now seem to have changed the kitchen staff and everything is bland. The waitstaff is unprofessional and alternatingly indifferent and rude. I will refrain from going into more detail about the service as I understand that non-food-related rants are generally not tolerated on this board. I won't be sad when they finally close up shop.

FYI, you can pay for a gift certificate on, but Annapurna will not honor it, and you will have wasted your money.

Annapurna Restaurant
2088 Massachusetts Ave N, Cambridge, MA 02140

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  1. Seems odd that they won't honor a gift card, did they give a reason?

    2 Replies
    1. re: tallullah

      It's a long story that's been detailed on some other websites, but the basic idea is that certificates aren't really gift cards, and legally speaking it is likely that nobody is strictly required to honor anything. The reason given was that "the manager doesn't take these anymore," but they refused to give me his contact information ("he is out of town"), or to put this in writing. The waitstaff's attitude with the whole thing was really just unpleasant and certainly ruined the meal.

      1. re: Luther

        Let know and they will probably credit you back for the certificate.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. It's a shame, because my previous visits to Annapurna were really enjoyable. It's just that the food is now both overpriced and of poor quality. The bad attitude regarding the coupon just made the whole experience even worse, as I don't think it makes any sense to pay the prices listed on their menu for what's they're now serving. gave me back my certificate to use at a different restaurant with fairly little hassle. But I still had to buy food at full price that I wouldn't have purchased if I'd known the coupon didn't work.

        1. re: Luther

          Same exact experience with the certificate at Annapurna except i was dealing directly with the owner. He seemed to understand certificates were issued for his restaurant but refused to accept them. The food was actually decent, but i wouldn't return as the prices and food portions didn't seem to jive.

      2. When did the price increase happen? I had a good meal there maybe 5 weeks ago and don't recall the prices seeming out of whack. We got free papadam and dal, and found the service fine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Parsnipity

          The prices went up within the first few months of opening. They also used to offer Afghan bread and butter instead of stale papadam and chutney... and the dal had a lot more flavor.

        2. I too had quite a negative experience at Annapurna: Owner refused to honor my cert -- despite my pointing out that I had paid good money for the cert and probably wouldn't have visited his establishment without it.

          Luther: You wrote: "legally speaking it is likely that nobody is strictly required to honor anything". I disagree. Annapurna entered into a contract with when it agreed to let promote Annapurna. We customers are clear third-party beneficiaries of that contract. Massachusetts consumer protection law is also on point. A restaurant cannot authorize an agent to distribute promotional offers, allow customers to arrive and incur expenses in expectation of beenfiting from those offers, then unilaterally refuse to honor the offers. No way!

          I've visited dozens of restaurants. This is the first that ever refusedt to honor a cert. Though the food met my expectations and the location is convenient, I won't be back.

          5 Replies
          1. re: bedelman

            I guess to clarify, I meant "legally" within the terms and conditions. There well may be MA laws that require the restaurant to take the certificate, or to stop offering them to consumers after the restaurant has opted out, but I figure that's beyond the scope of what's worth my time...

            1. re: Luther

              I know in Rhode Island, that all gift certificates are redeemable for eternity, they NEVER expire and an establishment that doesnt accept one can face huge fines. I d contact the attorney general

              1. re: joe777cool

                Same in MA. Unfortunately, a "dining certificate" is not a gift certificate. It's a coupon with a pile of fine print.

                1. re: Luther

                  I would still call, this restaurant seems shady

                  1. re: Luther

                    I credit that gift certificates do not have every characteristic in common with ordinary gift certificates purchased at face value.

                    That said, imagine a restaurant attempting to avoid honoring state consumer protection las as to gift certificates. "Our marketing agent sold you this piece of paper and called it a gift certificate, with our authorization by contract. But it was all a ruse: It wasn't actually a gift certificate; we just chose to call it that for our marketing convenience." I don't think so! Having chosen to call it a gift certificate, I believe they're stuck with that term, and all the consumer protections that then attach. In particular, having called it a gift certificate, I believe they're estopped from denying the consumer protections that apply to gift certificates.