Restaurant Review: Nile Ethiopian Orlando, FL

My bf and I were just reminiscing on our expedition to Nile Ethiopian and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the restaurant as well as give a couple of pointers to those of you who’ve not yet ventured into Ethiopian cuisine.

  1. Only invite people that you really really like and feel are really really hygienic to enjoy Ethiopian with you. I say this because there are no utensils and the food is all sat in the center of the table to be shared family style. So, make sure all your mates wash their hands before they dig in.
  2. Order the honey wine. Do not think twice about this, just do it. It is absolutely delicious and you’re taught to drink it in a traditional Ethiopian manner. Tricky at first, but you catch on in no time. I love learning the ins and outs and actually feeling like I’m there while enjoying international cuisines.

Nile itself is located in a strip mall off of International Drive– a highly unlikely location for this restaurant, but don’t let that deter you. Once inside we were ushered to our own little private room within the space. It was separated from the main room by a half wall so we were still able to see out, etc but had the feeling of privacy. Definitely ask for one of these little rooms rather than sitting in the main dining area. The table in the private room isn’t a traditional table — it’s a colorful piece made of straw and you sit on tiny stools. I loved the feeling of authenticity.

Our server was extremely helpful and was quick to give us recommendations– can’t thank him enough for telling me to try the honey wine! He also recommended a beer for the bf, which he enjoyed but said the honey wine stole the show. The food was delicious, we ordered an extremely meat dense meal– two of the Nile Meat Combinations and another meat that the server said was his favorite. You’re given a spongy pancake like sourdough bread which is how you eat the food– you rip a piece of the bread off and use it to collect the bite you want. To me the bread was a bit sour, but my boyfriend loved it. (Disclaimer: I’m a total carnivore so I could care less about bread at this or any other meal.) About halfway into the meal I decided to forgo the bread all together and ate only the meat straight from my hands– luckily my bf loves me and trusts my hygiene!

Overall I’d give Nile an A, the food was delicious, server was very helpful. The location was less than desirable, but this place is a gem. I won’t hold it against them that they chose a location hoping to get some tourist traffic. If you’ve not tried Ethiopian I’d certainly recommend giving it a go!

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