It had to be more than five years ago, our first visit to the Blue Nile Cafe. It was on 39th Street then, I still was a pretty strict vegetarian, and I had never tried Ethiopian food, so things were a little different all the way around. We loved the food, though there was a bit of confusion when the server brought out our vegetarian combination plate with the monotone declaration "Here's your meat." That statement still holds up today as a hilarious way to present someone with food, especially if it isn't meat.
Last night, while driving through the City Market through the hordes of motorcyclists congregated at Winslow's, we spotted the Blue Nile and decided to stop in. I was on my way to hungry, but the smells when we walked in the door pushed me right over the edge. The City Market space is small but really comfortable, the service is joyful and fun, and the food is remarkable. To eliminate any decision-making, we had the non-vegetarian Combination plate (here's your meat, for real this time), which came with little mounds of all seven veggie dishes. After sampling it all, bite by bite, wrapped in that deliciously spongy injera bread, there was no room for either bean or carrot pie for dessert.
Blue Nile Cafe
20 East 5th Street