Once again my wife and I found ourselves in possession of an online Groupon-like discount, this time for Ethiopiques. I’m rather fond of Ethiopian food, so we were eager to try this, though admittedly we sort of forgot we had the coupon until it was nearly ended.
We made reservations for a Sunday afternoon of daylight savings day, being told by the restaurant that 2pm would be the earliest they would take us. That seemed late for lunch, but we thought it would be all right if we killed a little time beforehand.
We arrived just a tad late due to traffic to find the doors closed and locked. Scratching our heads, we knocked repeatedly to no avail, and calling the restaurant also received no response. Two other groups, also with online discounts, arrived, also expecting a 2 o’clock opening. With the deals expiring soon, none of us could reschedule easily, so we all waited together in perplexity until someone finally opened the restaurant around 2:45.
We finally entered, and the decor was actually quite nice. It was obvious that they had spent a fair amount of thought and money making it appealing. But then, one of the other pairs sat down only to have a mirror behind them crash to the table, just grazing one of them on the head. She was all right, and the mirror was actually intact, but it shattered a candleholder on the table (one of the few in the restaurant, strangely). They moved to another table, rather irate, but were fine. A troubling aftermath, however, was that all they received were repeated apologies, and it was perhaps 20 minutes before someone brushed up the glass from the table and floor. Given that the waitress walked across the debris, as did a couple patrons heading for the washroom, this was potentially rather dangerous.
We ordered the vegetarian sampler as well as the meat sampler to get the full range. I’ll not dwell on the food too terribly much, as it was strangely the least notable part of the meal. Most parts were tasty, though there were significant bones and gristle in a few of the meat dishes, and everything seemed just warm as if it had been pre-cooked and only re-warmed, but hurriedly and not completely. When you take away these, the platter was actually excellent, but they are definitely black marks.
I will note that near the end, another employee, possibly the owner or manager arrived, and everything seemed to run much more smoothly afterward. Perhaps the whole experience would have been better had he been there to run the show? Other reviewers suggest that their experiences have been far better, so perhaps it was just a fluke? Sadly, all I can write on is my own meal…