480 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.363833 -71.101452
Mon-Wed, Sun 11am-12am
Neighborhoods: Area IV
Awful door policies, rude workers – My girlfriend and I made a 3 hour trip to see a show here and after having to go back to get her ID (being from CT and unaware of a supposed law that you need them regardless of intention to drink or not) we were still denied entry to the show. People at the door seemed amused by our misfortune and we made the trip only to have to go all the way home. No band will make me buy tickets for another Middle East show.
Nice mid-size venue – The Middle East is definitely a staple for hosting mid-sized bands that trek through Boston. The Downstairs venue has got to be my favorite: there are Christmas lights strung all over, the lighting is perfectly dim, and the sound is pretty great. And who could forget the $2 PBRs?! Cheap ticket prices - I've never had to pay more than $15 for a show. Keep bringing back the ska bands, Middle East!
Rude service, bad food – Cons:
The wait staff (some, not all) are rude. I showed up with 2 other people on a Friday before a concert. In short, they really didn't want to serve us drinks or food. I was reminded 3 times that they have an $8 minimum for sitting at a table. Once is fine, I say... 3 times is rude.
Ordered drinks and we never got them. 15 minutes later they wanted to take away one of the two sewing-machine tables we were sitting at to give to some other people who wanted a table. Great, so 3 people can comfortably sit at a 12" square sewing machine table with no leg room...
Saw the concert downstairs. Would be fine if they would turn a vent fan on once in a while. It went up to 80 degrees and 90% humidity. Good thing I didn't get a chance to eat anything first...
Went there another time for dinner. It was cold (ok, winter) but it was about 55 degrees upstairs and they wouldn't turn the heat up. The pieces of pita that came with whatever I ordered were obviously leftovers from a day or two ago. Stale and dry.
I've vowed to not go back, at least until I hear they've changed their act.
Multi-purpose venue with several rooms offers alternative rock and dependable bar food from its namesake region. – This legendary landmark exudes a woody, lived-in feel that works quite well around about midnight, when things usually get hopping on the dancefloor and around the bars. Local bands and national acts alike bring sweaty throngs to the Downstairs. Upstairs is significantly smaller and brighter. Admission to each room is separate. Belly dancing takes over the Corner, however, on Sunday nights, with no cover. The restaurant is nothing fancy: A basic coffeehouse setup, with recycled treadle tables and scuffed-up captain's chairs, though the menu surprises by including a wide array of inexpensive, classic Middle Eastern dishes to choose from.
Photo by Christine Liu
Bizarre ID policy, lying bouncers, rude ticket-takers result in angry customers – Why would you turn away a balding guy obviously over 30 from the 18+ show he drove 25 miles to see with his wife because his ID was expired -- instead of just giving him the "under 21" bracelet? And then why would you tell him that this is because you are "following the law as it's written" when you and he both know that there is certainly NO such law? I have no idea; you'd have to ask the management of The Middle East. Deliberately alienating your customers by irrationally keeping them out and then lying about the reason seems like a strange business strategy.
The music is good, but the food and service isn't – Catch a show- but not the food.
Our party of 3 wasn't given the proper number of utensils when we were seated, and the waitress almost threw them at us when I asked for a third set. When one person went to the bathroom and we placed our drink order(s), the waitress didn't return to collect the third person's drink order.
A friend declared "the juices are great here!", so I ordered a Cranberry juice- and watched as the waitress used the soda gun to make it. It was sickeningly sweet artificial junk, served with an r0tten slice of lemon cut too thin to squeeze.
We ordered our food, and the waitress had to RETURN TWICE to ask what we had ordered; once for two of us, and then a second time for one of the orders she had asked about already.
Two out of our party of three were served our meals; it was several minutes before the third plate showed up and we could start eating, and the 'late dish was identical to mine. The 'steak' kabobs were clearly the cheapest meat they could get their hands on and very chewy, though they were at least cooked correctly. The salad had a disgusting dressing, and beans on the side were soupy. A huge chunk of onion was placed next to the kabobs; do they not understand that the veggies and onion go TOGETHER on the skewer?
good – if you do not like small places dont go. i love it, it feels like it was a show in freinds basement or somthing.
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