I have been been a fan of Efendi's in Cranston since it first opened. I've been there often for both lunch and dinner, and have never been disappointed. In fact, I don't think I've ever left without wondering why I don't go more often.
Last night's meal, however, was plain awful.
We started with the hummus and pita, which I usually dream about for days after. It was totally bland, and the oil on topped looked like Wesson corn oil.
Then the bread came, and another bottle of oil (in a ceramic container, oil not visible). Sure enough, upon pouring it on the plate, it was clear as water. I'm not sure what kind of oil they're serving now but if it ain't the good stuff you've got no business serving it with bread, as far as I'm concerned.
My husband got the shrimp fra diavolo. It was cloyingly sweet and just plain disgusting, with large but rubbery shrimp.
I ordered the veal marsala, which I'm 99.9% sure was pork. It was tough and the "sauce" tasted like gravy out of a jar. The rice pilaf tasted like rice-a-roni, only without salt, if you can imagine that.
The one and only highlight were my vegetables, which were bright and flavorful, and every single one cooked to perfection (it was a mix of carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and peppers, so that's saying something.)
(This was all accompanied by a keyboardist/vocalist, who was way too loud for the dinner hour and kind of painful to listen to.)
If it had been just one thing that was disappointing I'd be willing to give them a pass, but with so many things so horribly wrong, it's obvious they've made some real changes to their level of expectations of their own food. Efendi's is near my home and has outdoor seating, I am so so sad to see this one go to pot.
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