Location: 17 Northwestern Ave West Lafayette, IN (map it)
Phone: (765) 269-9980?
Review: We decided to head out to eat tonight and decided on Blue Nile in West Lafayette. It’s on Northwestern in that strip where the Subway and Potbelly are, but you have to walk up almost like an alley to find it. We’d never been there, so we wandered around for a while trying to locate it. When we did go in, we were greeted warmly and taken to a seat. I presume it was the owner, but the nice lady who greeted us informed us that their air conditioner was out right now, but gave us a nice spot right next to an open door with fans blowing nearby. We stayed quite cool, but she did check on us later to make sure we were comfortable.
The restaurant isn’t fancy at all, just tables and chairs scattered throughout the long eating area. In fact, I don’t remember much in the way of decor, so there must not have been much to look at. That’s okay, what I really went was for the food. The reviews I’d read online went on and on about the Lentil Soup, so I knew I had to try that. Beyond that, I was open.
After being seated, we were greeted by a server. She brought us water and asked us if we knew what we wanted. We’d been seated for about two minutes, so of course, we didn’t know what we wanted. I asked her if she had any recommendations and she told us that she doesn’t eat the food there. Stop. Wait a minute. What? What kind of ringing endorsement is it when your servers don’t eat your food? I have no idea if it’s because she didn’t like it or what, but that is a huge pet peeve of mine. The servers should know the menu and be able to answer questions and tell you what’s good.
I ordered the Lentil Soup and Chicken Couscous and my husband ordered something that I don’t remember the name (probably I should start taking notepads to these places) but what was more or less ground beef shish kebabs with rice. I ordered the hummus as an appetizer and he got a yogurt salad.
The soup and salad came out and I would say that for all the hype the soup got on the reviews, I was unimpressed. It wasn’t bad, but I was expecting more I suppose. My husband says his yogurt salad was very tasty.
Next came the hummus. I love hummus. I could eat it all day. And again, I was unimpressed. The pita bread was dry and bland, more like the Kangaroo brand you buy at the store to stuff with chicken salad. And the hummus wasn’t really that great.
Finally the main entrees came. My husband reports his beef kebabs were awesome. The chicken couscous was pretty good. I’m not experienced in the ways of couscous, but I thought it had a nice flavor and texture. It had vegetables too (cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, carrots) and a smattering of almonds which were happy surprises in your mouth when you found one on your fork. It was pretty good.
The service wasn’t great. The server, as noted, didn’t know much about the food and mostly just ignored us aside from taking our order and bringing our food. I’m not sure if they were having an off night, but the food was kind of hit and miss as well. I think this one may take another trip or two before I can make a final decision on whether I would recommend it to others or not.