Deciding how many stars to give Nile was really a struggle. I ended up writing this entire article before deciding that Nile was only worth two out of five stars. Ethiopian cuisine typically consists of spicy vegetable and meat dishes in the form of "wat" or thick stew, served with, atop or inside "injera" which is a large flatbread but seemed to me more like a large spongy sourdough crepe. Ethiopians do not use utensils.
Xtra's Cafe is a new gem in the heart of Carytown that offers a great variety of dishes in a fun and slightly retro atmosphere. Xtra's just opened on Cary Street in September and has since done an excellent job of filling a niche for eclectic American dining with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options as well. Brand spanking new, Xtra's Cafe is a fun spot for families, dates or groups of friends. The restaurant is named after the co-owner and daughter in the father-daughter proprietary pair, Xtra Moore. The same family owns the bead retailer on the first floor, above which Xtra's Cafe is nicely situated. The upbeat ambiance and assorted menu are what have Xtra's Cafe named one of the 15 restaurants to look out for in 2011 by Richmond Magazine. The zig-zag tile floor and the brightly patterned booths are just the beginning of Xtra's interesting vibe. There is a full-service bar with a serpentine shape that spans almost the entirety of the main dining room. There is also a second and slightly smaller dining area and outdoor patio with space heaters to allow for outdoor dining during the winter months. The colorful decor complements the colorful menu that the timely waitstaff is happy to serve. On the menu, the distinctive appetizers are sure to catch your eye.