So y'all know about my love affair with Ethiopian food, right? SO IN LOVE RIGHT NOW! I mean, I've loved Ethiopian food for years, but Kittee Berns' Teff Love cookbook really just reignited my passion for injera and wat and firfir and fitfit and all that deliciousness.
Memphis was already home to two awesome Ethiopian restaurants (Abyssinia and Derae). But now we have a new Ethiopian joint, and it's right in the heart of Midtown (where I live). It's called The Blue Nile, and it just opened a couple weeks ago. My editor Susan, our intern Alexandra, and I checked it out last Wednesday for lunch. Look at the walls! So pretty.
I went with the Ethiopian Vegetarian Platter because injera.
There is just nothing tastier than a spicy lentil stew sopped up with spongy, tangy injera bread. The Misir Wat (the red lentil dish) is my very favorite Ethiopian dish, and The Blue Nile's version was spot-on. The yellow split pea wat was also amazing. And the greens. And the cabbage. And the potato and carrot dish. Everything was just perfect.
Susan, who is also a vegetarian, and I agreed to split a few things, so I shared the platter with her. And she shared this Lentil Sandwich with me. It's a cold lentil salad with tomato and lettuce on soft bread. Owner Ermyias Shiberou came by our table and told us he was going for a vegan version of a chicken salad with this. And he nailed it. Such a tasty sandwich.
We also split an order of the Tofu Kabobs.
Let me just talk about these kabobs for a second. So Ermyias also runs a food truck called Stick 'Em that specializes in kabobs. He's been traveling around town, peddling food on a stick for quite some time. And Susan and I have long agreed that Ermyias' tofu kabobs are made with THE BEST TOFU IN TOWN. No kidding. There's a lot of tofu to be had in Memphis, and Ermyias has the best. It's firm and chewy and juicy and full of char-grilled flavor.
The Blue Nile had a few other vegan dishes on the menu that I can't wait to try. There's a Vegetarian Firfir (injera soaked in the wat!!), Shiro Wat (chickpea stew), and you can get Mesir Wat with injera by itself. You can also order the veggies separately, and the Tofu Kabobs can be ordered in a platter with rice and veggies.
The Blue Nile is located at 1788 Madison Ave. Call 901-474-7214. Or check out their Facebook page!