BEST EAST AFRICAN RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2001 - Blue Nile
Since moving from its cramped Lyn-Lake home to more spacious new quarters on the West Bank, this beloved stalwart of the local restaurant scene has added a bar, a basement-level dance club, and a weird decorating scheme that suggests Tex-Mex by way of Addis Ababa. But what's best about the Blue Nile is what has stayed the same--namely, the food. The smartest way to sample the restaurant's cuisine is still one of the Gosa-Gosa platters--a reasonably priced (between $7 and $10 per person, depending on appetite) array of spicy delights on a bed of light, spongy injera (or biddeena) bread, which serves, variously, as utensil, plate, and napkin. A traditional Ethiopian meal is all about generosity: It's something to be savored, lingered over, and shared with friends. And, insofar as the Blue Nile remains the best communal dining experience in town, we're happy to savor this generous old friend's success.