By Jennifer Biggs |

We’re a blessed city when it comes to our diverse dining culture. Tom yum to tacos, fattoush to feijoada, dosas to dolmades — you can find a great variety of food, particularly for a city our size.

And now, with the opening of the fifth Ethiopian restaurant (Blue Nile Ethiopian Kitchen) in the area, you can score a plate of tibs or a bowl of doro wat just about any time you take a notion. While I can’t, at least not yet, explain the fivefold increase in local Ethiopian dining over the past couple of years, understanding why the food has developed a local following is easy enough to do:

First, it’s new enough to be novel. People want to try it. They hear about the injera, the spongy bread used to scoop the food, and it sounds like something fun and different. And it is. But what seems exotic on its face is actually familiar, as much of the food is a spicier cousin to Southern favorites: Greens, beans, cabbage, chicken stew. And it’s absolutely delicious, which is what matters in the end.

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