Monday, November 25, 2013

Nile Ethiopian Cuisine



I have had three experiences with Ethiopian Food in my life. The first was in New York City about ten years ago with a group of about six people. I didn’t know what to expect and although I thought it was an interesting experience all I remember is sitting on the floor and eating this food that was way too hot for me (so hot in fact that I really couldn’t enjoy any of it, and there was not enough water in the world to cool me down).
The second time was at Nile over three years ago at their old location (the new location is next door in a much larger space, and the old location is now a Hookah Bar). That experience was a little more heat-tolerable, but some of the dishes were more enjoyable to me then others, and some of the meat dishes were strange to me and still a little on the hot side.
Now fast forward to 2013 for my return to Nile, where I truly fell in love with Ethiopian Cuisine!




First off I was really impressed with the look and d├ęcor of this new location.
It sits off of International Drive just behind Buffalo Wild Wings, not visible from the road so you definitely have to look for it.
Nile opens at 5pm during the week and we were the first ones to arrive.
I had previously looked at the menu and knew that we were going to order the Taste of Nile Vegetarian Special for Two. (Portions of Cabbage, Red Lentil, Split Peas, Collard Greens, Shiro, Azifa and Tomato Fitfit $29.95)

Now as you look at this picture please note that the dish is probably 18-20 inches across, so it is actually quite large and holds a lot of food.




So for those of you who still haven’t experienced Ethiopian food it goes a little something like this. It is generally a large plate with one or several types of food which could be compared to a Stew or Curry. There are no utensils, but you are served Injera (a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, spongy texture), which you tear into pieces to pick up and eat your food with.
The whole process can be a little weird at first, but once you get use to it you might be surprised how much you enjoy it.




On our platter were ten different vegetarian dishes, and I can honestly say that I loved eight of them (the other two were flavored with Mustard Seed and that is not one of my favorites), however that is the nice thing about getting these platters, you get to try several different things. I especially liked the flavors of the Green Bean dish and a couple of the Lentil dishes, perfectly seasoned with really nice spice combinations (plus I just think eating in this bohemian manner is kind of fun).




As you can see from the last photo we didn’t have any trouble finishing our food.



If you are looking to try something a little “out of the norm” Nile will make a unique and satisfying experience. The staff is great and the food is something you will not forget (and very affordable), so step out of your comfort zone for an evening and give them a try.

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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