Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant & Lounge
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 50
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 49
4.94/5 rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Visited for Al's birthday and prior to that, the Darkness release last October 30.
This is a cool place that offers loads of surprises. The bar is set toward the front of the restaurant and offers an exotic feel due to the finish and appearance of their decorating.
Make no mistake... this is Al's house and as such, he is committed to offering a number of fine imports and high-end domestics on tap and FRESH! Service is friendly and fast and on top of that, there always seems to be at least one or two fellow BA's to share some great conversation with.
A great place to visit with a commitment to be a leader in the local bar scene. Great job Al!
07-04-2008 13:33:05 | More by Beerking721
4.8/5 rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Great little place. When I went I could tell they were into beer. It was quiet and comfortable. I had a glass of darkness there and as I was reviewing the beer the bartender cheerfully asked me if I was reviewing which made me smile. I was impressed with the prices as well as the selection of beer from all over the world. They had a nice stage for a band to play on as well. Overall an exellent place! I wouldn't change a thing. Even the way everything looked as cool all the way to the outside of the building. Truely a place for a ba
11-26-2008 03:27:05 | More by jjanega08
4.78/5 rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Been by the Nile a couple of times. Impressed everyone of them. Building looks like maybe it used to be a Mexican place being that it is all Stucco or southwest looking. Cool murals have been painted on the exterior now. Ample parking. This is an Ethiopian place so the furnishings etc. are different than what you see almost everywhere else. Immediatley inside the front door there is like a living room area. Large couches etc. for gatherings. THis is kinda cool. Dim lighting throughout lends to a comfortable relaxing atmosphere. The bar has a varied selection. A couple of nice beers, Hop it Urthel and a Grand Cru were what I had. Both very nice. They also had a couple of Bell products on tap and a few others I don't remember. I don't see how you couldn't find a beer or two you wanted to have while visiting here. Service was very prompt, corteous and professional. Wait staff and Al (the awesome barkeep and fellow BA) were all very knowledgeable about the food offerings and very patient and willing to explain the menu choices. I think I have had the Schwarma and a Lamb dish the two times I have eaten here. Both were very tasty. This place is definitley worth a try, and in my opinion worth visiting whenever you are in the area and have the opportunity.
10-27-2005 14:15:46 | More by corporatejim
4.75/5 rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
After years of going to the Blue Nile, I'm finally doing a review after attending last night's Battle of the Belg. I didn't try them all, but filled in my list with a few new beers. Last night's sampling included De Ranke XX Bitter and Harriet Brewing Dark Abbey. Both fine ales, but in different categories for the head to head format of the tasting. Tried both Epic Brainless on Cherries and Kasteel Rouge in the fruit category to finish the night--for me, Kasteel wins hands down, but I walked away with more respect for the Epic ale than I had when I tasted the bottle last fall.
Over the years, I've added 50 new drafts to my list with excellent beers ranging from St. Amand French Country Ale to Boulder's Killer Penguin, and many of those--like Monk's Flemish Ale--are difficult to find other places. Since I live over 20 miles from the Nile, I'm an irregular regular at best. But it's always a treat when I do. Bar manager Al McCarty--aka feloniousmonk--always does a fine job of not only bringing in great beer, but you know that the beer is always going to be well served in its proper glass. The beer you're drinking is the beer the brewery wanted you to drink. For me, there's no greater compliment.
Food is excellent as well. My favorite meal is from the bar menu, and is the falafel sandwich, made with simple, fresh ingredients makes it my usual. I've tried the range of vegetarian options of authentic Ethiopian food and have enjoyed them all. While the menu may be new to many, the descriptions of the food and the help from the servers makes ordering and indulging accessible for everyone.
In short, if you haven't tried the Blue Nile and stopped in to say hi to Al, you are missing out of one the most unique beer spots anywhere. When I belly up to the bar for a special event or walk in for a Saturday afternoon pint, I simply ask Al--what am I drinking today? And, I'm never disappointed.
10-16-2011 19:08:45 | More by FightingEntropy
4.68/5 rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Nile is a place every BA should try. It's a BA's bar in many senses, probably owing to the BA behind the bar, Feloniousmonk.
The Atmosphere in this place is amazing... like no place in the Twin Cities, African with a jazzy side, dark but not foreboding. Feels hip but comfortable. With the lounge area, this place is where I would prefer to be sipping pints.
Felonious makes sure there are good beers on tap at all times, always two belgians, some bell's, a nice seasonal, and something for the hopheads.
The service is excellent, the bartenders know their beer, and Felonious is a terrific host.
The food is so far removed from pub grub, that it requires it's own posting almost. Ethiopian/north African is the style, and it's just amazing. This is a perfect change of pace from fries, burgers, and pizza.
Prices here are very resonable for the area and quality. Parking is plentiful, and Zipp's is just down the road for any off-sale needs.
02-03-2006 22:04:07 | More by CultureJamMN
4.66/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
If judging by the parking lot and building itself, this is one of the last places you would suspect to have a great beer bar. Once at the bar though you will quickly discover the goodies to be had. I was there for the start of the 20th Anniversary Celebration. On this weekend, all of the taps were local brews including several different Surly's including Wet, some Schell's, Flat Earth and Summit. They also had a cask of Summit Oatmeal Stout dry hopped with Fuggles. Al knows his beer and provides great service. Also, they offer happy hour two for one's from 4-6 and then again later in the evening. I will have to try the food next time I'm in. All in all a great place to get some quality beer.
10-11-2009 14:33:19 | More by jera1350
4.64/5 rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited on 06/28.
First thing that sucked was having to pay a cover for a crappy two person band that sounded like they were still in high school. Hoping that felonious would be working, but of course not. The bartender that was there was not very personable and just your average bartender. No food available when I got there at 9:15, which sucked. On the bright side, they did have a pretty good beer list, albeit small. 10 taps, all good stuff with the exception of PBR, and a small, but solid bottle list. Had two beers and left this place that seemed like a kiddy hangout on this night.
I wanted to add that felonious was good enough to read my review and call the bartender that was working that night and figure out what happened. That kind of service is something you just don't see anymore. Thanks a lot Al. You are quite the asset to the Blue Nile.
I had to adjust my ratings after some more visits to the Nile. Totally different experience when Al is working. Go here, you won't be disappointed.
06-30-2006 22:58:44 | More by JeffKrenner
4.64/5 rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Very interesting place. Nice bar close to the entrance, and in the back tables and the stage with good music from a Togo band.
The bar has a very good beer selection. Although I only partook from the on-tap, very fresh brews, there is also an extesnive bottle list.
On tap four different Surlys (including Bitter Brewer and Cynic), Rodenbach plus additional "local" stuff, Russian River and Flat Earth among them.
Food looked very good with some unusual items that are probably worth trying, but I concentrated on the beer.
Service is just exceptional; everybody is friendly and knowledgeable. And then the Monk, which is in my humble opinion enough reason to visit the place. Very knowledgeable and pleasant, a great company, a craftbeer encyclopedia.
All in all a very plesant place, one that I will definitely go back whenever I have a chance.
06-22-2007 14:09:28 | More by brdc
4.63/5 rDev +6.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I walked in to a nice lounge bar with a bar in the middle of the room and chairs on all sides (like cheers :). Then was escorted into the resaurant seating area where I ordered some of my first Ethiopian food and Furious on tap. Great service as the beer and the food came timely-I'm glad I came on a Saturday night that was fairly slow I guess? The beer was great, the food was amazing. Not unlike some Indian foods, but different spices. Had a good time here and hope to visit and have more great experiences.
09-22-2009 02:48:31 | More by Erdinger2003
4.6/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I had been meaning to come her for months, if not longer. I was actually looking for Zipp's, because I heard they had gotten in Hair of the Dog (which they had). Anyways, I went the wrong way for a couple block, and when I made a u-turn there was a very small sign on the street corner for Blue Nile. It wasn't that hard of a decision of whether to go there or not, I had heard that a keg of Abbaye des Rocs Triple Imperiale was recently tapped there.
The bar was very unique and obviously miles away from a chain restaurant (from the decor to the freedom the bar manager had in chosing his featured beers). The service was extremely fast, the beer was high quality. The taps were the afformentioned Abbaye des Rocs Triple Imperiale, Victory Golden Monkey, a couple Bells, a Rush River, with many more in bottles. The only bottles that I did see were the ones Al was loading into coolers or serving. Duvel, Taj Mahal, Chapeau, and Lion Stout (I am sure there were many more. Great bar, with very rare taps. A definite stop in the Twin Cities.
07-23-2005 02:37:37 | More by TastyTaste
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Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant & Lounge in Minneapolis, MN
95 out of 100 based on 49 user ratings.