Ok, so let’s get down to business. Sitting just across the street from a fantastic taco stand next to the old Sears on State Street, the Blue Nile Ethiopian is a quiet little restaurant that I might otherwise have never found, but for the suggestion of a friend, criminal defense attorney and food blogger Marco Brown.
The Blue Nile is not your typical restaurant. I was greeted and seated, and the first thing I noticed was that there wasn’t any conventional table. Marco and I sat facing each other with a low, woven, basket-type table on the floor between us, with a smaller table slightly to our right that held our drinks and napkins. The waitress, after asking whether I had eaten Ethiopian before, explained that one does not eat with utensils or at a table in Ethiopia, and so they were trying to keep the experience as authentic as possible.
Because we were new to Ethiopian, we ordered a mixed order of the meat combo and the vegetable combo, and, to be honest, I have no recollection of any of the names of the samples that were in each. All of it was served on platter over a spongy flat bread was reminiscent of a sour dough. The meal was also accompanied by several rolls of the bread which we ripped and used for dipping and scooping the food. I enjoyed the samples, so in spite of not being able to name them, let me see if I can describe regardless. Using the picture (nearby left), I’ll go clockwise starting at the top with the salad.
Salad: really, this is probably the least Ethiopian thing on the platter, and I think served the purpose of a cleanser.
Item 1: Some kind of lentil, boiled and mashed with some curry.
Item 3: This slightly spicy beef was good, if a little dry. I especially liked the sauce it was cooked in.
Salad 2: Same as salad above.
Item 4: This dish was the favorite, and Marco and I gobble it down.
Item 5: More lentils, or split peas. I don’t recall Marco being a huge fan, but I liked them. Not sure the spice that they used, but I wouldn’t have minded more.
Item 6: Another lentil, or split pea, or something like that.
Middle: The middle dish is an egg, hard boiled, and a leg of chicken. The chicken fell off the bone and was moist and delicious. I can’t imagine how long it was cooked or how to make it taste that way.
All in all, a good experience. Not sure how to describe better–but it’s been a few days, and the names were unpronounceable. I did enjoy, though, and I would return again.