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awful Ethiopian

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Just had dinner at Blue Nile and it was bad. We were the only ones eating in the restaurant (aside from staff) and waited 45 minutes for any food to arrive. They got our order incorrect (beef instead of lamb) and when I questioned it the waitress said she would ask about it, but then said she got busy eating and forgot. There was zero service, and although the food was interesting. the sauces with the meat all tasted the same, the Ethiopian "bread" (really more like a bubbly pancake) was served cold and even if that is authentic we wouldn't know because the waitress did not take the time to explain what was served to us.
The impression we got was that they just couldn't care less about the patrons, and although we professed to be new to their food and restaurant, no effort was made to make us feel welcome.
Avoid this one at all costs.

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  1. I'm guessing this is the Blue Nile in Calgary?

    If so, I agree that service is consistently abysmal. However, I've had the vegetarian combo a few times and it's always been really good. You get twice as much food as you would from Marathon, at almost half the price. And it's better.

    I've also been to the Blue Nile in Victoria, but it was buffet only at dinner. Nothing memorable.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jetgirly

      Yes, Blue Nile in Calgary. We ordered the veg platter as well, but funny enough 2 of the 4 veg items were cold. It might have been ok if we were told that when we ordered, but when it is -35 degrees outside we were hoping for some warm comfort food rather than slow service, cold food, and incorrect food delivery.
      If this is good compared to Marathon, then I think I am done for Ethiopian in Calgary.

      1. re: naj1

        You've eaten at Marathon, but you had no idea what injera was or how to eat with it? How is that possible?

        FYI it is always cold, or at least room temp.

        1. re: naj1

          I've only been to the Blue Nile once but I remember the food being good. It has been a while though so I'll have to go back and re-evaluate. My husband and I love Marathon and go often. Service is often (always) really slow but we go expecting that we won't actually eat for quite a while after getting there. I once pulled out a granola bar while we were there to tide me over. I find that some ethnic restaurants have a more laid back attitude towards service compared to our western one. Portions seem small but we can never quite finish our veggie platter for two so it's more filling than it appears. I'm curious how many questions you asked you server? When I eat food of an ethnicity that I'm not familiar with I ask tons of questions about what I'm eating and how to eat it. When you ordered did you ask about the temperature of the dishes you were ordering? If not, why would you assume that the waitress would tell you before you ordered. Bad service is definitely the restaurant's fault but it sounds like a lot of your complaint is with the whole category of Ethiopian food.

          1. re: LLcoolC

            No, this was my first go at Ethiopian and I had never been to Marathon. We did ask questions but the first server didn't know the menu at all, and the second one didn't seem to know the English words to describe what we were eating. Some of the flavours of the food were actually quite nice, and we are adventurous eaters, so it was not the category of food that was a problem at all, but the service.
            At any rate, with a literally empty restaurant and all the staff in front behind the bar drinking and eating their dinner while we waited, I was pretty disappointed that they couldn't even get the order correct. Or care enough to ask about it when I queried.
            It sounds like marathon may be the better bet, but I think that Ethiopian restaurants seem to have the hallmark of very slow service.

            1. re: naj1

              That's for sure. Even in other cities Ethiopian restaurants have slow service. If you do decide to go out for Ethiopian again be sure to try the really strong coffee as an after dinner treat. It's really good but it takes a really long time to come so order early. Good luck.

      2. I'm curious to know where as well, as I didn't know there was another Ethiopian Blue Nile, besides the one here in Edmonton.

        1. Hi naj1 & Welcome to the Board :)

          In future please be more specific in the title of your post. This is a regional board and it is helpful to your fellow Chowhounds to add (Calgary) to the title so people living elsewhere can "filter" what posts are relevant to their area.

          Thanks!