“Love at first bite!”
My best friend and I have been talking about going to an Ethiopian restaurant for a few years now. I had often exclaimed about how it was one of the most amazing ethnic foods I had ever tried, and she really wanted to try it too. Problem is there isn’t one anywhere near us. As her graduation approached, I figured we should finally make the trek out to Ann Arbor, where the closest Ethiopian restaurant resides.
The restaurant is called Blue Nile. Not to be confused with the West Nile, of course.
If you’ve never had Ethiopian food, well, you should probably change that. It is one of the most delicious, healthy, and interesting cuisines around. It centers around injera, which is a light airy bread which could only really be compared to a crepe. Instead of utensils, you generally just use injera to grab the various stewed meats and vegetables and eat with your hands. Injera can also be fried, and served like pita chips.
Four of us went to the restaurant, and it was everyone’s (except me) first time with Ethiopian food.
We ordered two appetizers, and we all ordered Ethiopian iced tea which resembled chai tea. I learned on that day, that it is never necessary to order appetizers at an Ethiopian restaurant. I am known for having a large appetite, but I was full to the point of moaning for hours after devouring every last bite on my plate.
This was a trio of dips consisting of a hummus, azifa lentil salad, and timmatim salad. These were all super yummy served with both fried injera and soft injera.
We also ordered what was called a begolo cake.
I loved this appetizer and it was really interesting to see that African American cooking has roots in Ethiopian food. This was a corn cake served with stewed greens and a light cheese. It was crunchy, sweet, and satisfying.
Each entree comes with a stewed meat of your choice, and two vegetable sides chosen from various options. These three stews come served on a plate covered in injera bread. There are also vegetarian options. I ordered lamb dish called yebeg alecha, Abe got a chicken dish called doro wat, Nicky and Amber both ordered the beef zizil wat. Everything was great, and although maybe not as amazing as the first time I had it years ago in Cleveland at Empress Taytu, I have to give Blue Nile two big makizavellian thumbs up.
I read on their site that there is an Ethiopian custom of feeding one’s partner as a sign of affection. I brought this up and everyone thought I was just making things up, so I asked for back-up from the server who just left me out to dry. So this direct link from their site goes out to all you haters: “It is considered a gesture of affection, called gursha, to offer bites to your partner.”
Until next time,
May the fish be with you, young rainbow trout!
~Maki Zavelli, over and out <(^_^<)