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Blue Nile vs Addis vs Asmara vs... for birthday dinner

janbrady Oct 16, 2013 12:55 PM

Hi all, I know there's hot debate about the best Ethiopian in the Boston area. I'm trying to throw a birthday dinner for a group of about 10. The birthday boy wants the best/most authentic, someplace that's truly Chowhound-approved, over best ambience. But of course, should be a place that will be amenable to a group. What think?

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  1. t
    Taralli RE: janbrady Oct 16, 2013 01:09 PM

    535 Main St
    Malden, MA 02148
    (781) 399-0868

    1. m
      mwk RE: janbrady Oct 16, 2013 02:49 PM

      I went to Blue Nile once and absolutely hated it, so I'd advise you to pick some place else. The food was not good. The Kitfo was tasteless, the Tibs were hard and dry and really chewy. Just not enjoyable food.

      Habesha is excellent, but has no atmosphere, so go for the food only. I love Addis and it has nice atmosphere as well. Currently though, my favorite is Asmara. Decent atmosphere and really tasty food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mwk
        eatanddestroy RE: mwk Oct 17, 2013 10:31 AM

        I've been to Blue Nile a number of times, and I really like it. I've found the food to be consistent and quite good.

        I find Addis to be a bit more expensive when compared to other Ethiopian restaurants, and I like the food better at Blue Nile and at Fasika.

      2. Jolyon Helterman RE: janbrady Oct 16, 2013 04:01 PM

        Though I probably like Habesha the best right now, the downstairs area at Addis Red Sea (South End) is excellent for a group, and the food they serve is definitely solid---I've had a couple of birthday gatherings there myself! I'd recommend it.

        1. j
          junior coyote RE: janbrady Oct 17, 2013 10:48 AM

          +1 for Habesha. An ethiopian friend of mine agrees.

          1. j
            janbrady RE: janbrady Oct 20, 2013 09:47 AM

            Thanks all! Leaning towards Habesha for the authenticity factor. Will report back.

            1. j
              janbrady RE: janbrady Nov 20, 2013 08:02 AM

              Update: Took a party of 13 to Habesha. As other reviews have dictated, while the food was good, the service was horrendous (albeit very very sweet). Food took forever. Drink orders were incorrect and no one came back to take second drink orders. One of the waitresses tripped coming out of the door and spilled an ENTIRE PLATTER OF FOOD on guests. The fire alarm went off for a loooong time and firemen arrived. All this kind of overshadowed the deliciousness of the food. Might have been a different experience had we been a smaller party!

              7 Replies
              1. re: janbrady
                dulce de leche RE: janbrady Nov 20, 2013 12:50 PM


                Slow = all Ethiopian restaurants, but the rest...!!

                1. re: janbrady
                  bear RE: janbrady Nov 20, 2013 02:12 PM

                  Talk about a meal from hell. Not a fun way to spend a birthday!

                  1. re: janbrady
                    junior coyote RE: janbrady Nov 20, 2013 03:14 PM

                    I'm told it's proper etiquette to wave to get a server. No wave, you might not get what you want.

                    1. re: junior coyote
                      janbrady RE: junior coyote Nov 21, 2013 05:19 AM

                      Yep, they were just way overwhelmed--not enough servers for the crowd. Our fault for bringing such a big party. We didn't think the place would be so packed, and I don't think they did either!

                    2. re: janbrady
                      janbrady RE: janbrady Nov 21, 2013 05:21 AM

                      I should clarify that I'm not warning people against this restaurant--and the birthday boy and crowd took this all in good-humored stride. And the servers are sooo nice. Just wanted to share the experience in case others try to take a large group!

                      1. re: janbrady
                        Prav RE: janbrady Nov 21, 2013 11:01 AM

                        Well, I'm glad there were no injeras reported. Wot, you don't like my joke?

                        1. re: Prav
                          janbrady RE: Prav Nov 25, 2013 09:45 AM

                          HA. Nothing so gored. I love tej jokes!

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