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Reviews from nymag.com
Posted by Anonymous on 05/26/2008
Compared to other Ethiopian restaurants the food here was not so great. . We did enjoy the fava bean appetizer and the lentil stew however - but were otherwise quite disappointed with the main course. The service was adequate - slow and inefficient, but pleasant. The vegetables were really overcooked and the other items (lentil special, pureed pumpkin) were really bland and without any of the familiar Ethiopian flavors. I had never seen a "lettuce salad" alongside all the other main dishes. It was almost as if they were trying to cater to the American palate - but why would anyone go to an Ethiopian restaurant if that's what they were looking for ? Will likely not go back.
Posted by Anonymous on 04/10/2008
Based on some of the reviews, I expected to wait a while for my food, but 45 minutes? It was just too long. They didn't even bring out our appetizers to give us something to be hopeful about. At one point I looked around the restaurant and not a single table had any food on it. By the time the food came, I was so hungry I would have eaten anything. I think the food was pretty good, but I question my own judgment because, again, I was so hungry. I got the vegetable combo, which was alright. I thought the beef dishes my friends got were a bit more flavorful, but I was not too disappointed. Atmosphere is really nothing special (there's a lounge downstairs, but who wants to sit in a musty NYC restaurant's basement next to the toilets, and besides, it was unlit), and I think the value is okay, considering you can't leave without feeling pretty full thanks to the wonderful bread. Apart from having to wait forever for our food, the service was pleasant, but slow. Drinks and water refills took too long, and we had to specifically ask for everything, including menus. Massawa is really not a bad place, and I might go again armed with the knowledge that I may not eat for an hour, but I think that there are some other local places that have better atmosphere and marginally better service.
Posted by foodlover04 on 03/16/2008
The food is wonderful! This was the first time I tried Ethiopian food and my friends and I had a great time. However, everyone's food came all at different times. One appetizer came and then a meal, then the other appetizer came and then the other people's food. If you are just looking for great food, this is the place to go. If you are looking for a quick bite, with great service, look for some place else. Overall, though, it was very good. A bit pricey, but pretty much worth the price.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/19/2008
This was my first time eating Ethiopian food so I can't compare it to other places, but I had the regular tebsi lunch special and thought the food was just so-so, not very flavorful. Great atmosphere, there is a little lounge-like area by the restrooms downstairs.
Posted by J Reed on 12/28/2007
I found this place by mistake, and I am so glad I did! The food is great, especially the beef sambusas (hope I spelled that right). The fact that you can share 2 dishes with another person across the table while eating with your fingers can make this an intimate experience- perfect for a date or just somewhere to go when you need good food! (Try the Habesha Tebsi- actually all the beef dishes are great, along with the Tebsi Derho (chicken) with collard greens.) It's not cheap, but I wouldn't call it expensive either- It's slightly more expensive than say (insert generic restaurant here- Fridays, CPK, ect.) but the food is 1000% tastier. Figure just under $50 all together with a drink (get the guava juice!), and appetizer (beef sambusas!). The servers are very nice and polite and we usually wait about 15 minutes btw the time we order and when the food arrives. I go there at least once a month and have never seen a cockroach (one of the reviewers had a complaint) and have never really had any complaints about the place period. Bottom line- This place is great- stop reading and go now!! P.S. I went last week, and I may be wrong but I think they increased the entrée prices a little- about a dollar or so on most. I think I recall most entrees running about $15.
Posted by columbia student on 12/09/2007
the food is amazing, both vegetarian and meat dishes are phenomenonal. I've been to a couple of Ethiopian restaurants around the city, and Massawa has the best shiro, hands down. I'm glad it's so close to campus, I eat it as often as I can. However, the service is horrendously slow, you practically have to make a spectacle of yourself to get a waitress to notice you. They take forever to get your order, it takes forever for the food to come, the water takes forever to get refilled. Only go if you have a long, slow evening to spare.
Posted by FoodLoverNYC on 10/02/2007
I love Ethiopian food; coming from Washington, DC I am especially critical of the Ethiopian food in New York. But I LOVE MASSAWA...I could actually eat it every day and never get bored. Their shiro is incredible and I dream about their spinach and collard greens. I am a vegetarian and my meat eating friends have told me that their meat dishes may not be as good as other Ethiopian restaurants in the city. For a veggie lover it cannot be beat!!