While I never felt unsafe in Arusha, I was told it wasn’t the kind of city to walk around in at night. This proved to be difficult when it came to dinner, because I was staying in a hotel on the outskirts of the city. This meant my eating options were limited if I wanted to avoid getting mugged (which I’m still not sure was an actual possibility). Yet, there were a couple restaurants near my hotel that catered to foreigners like myself. The prices were steeper than the local places in the city, but you can’t put a price on safety. Or something like that. On my first night in Arusha, I opted for The Blue Heron.
This place had an awesome garden area with cozy table and chair covers to sit at and a wood-fired oven for cooking up pizzas. I wasn’t in a rush, so I started things off with an ice cold Serengeti Beer. As I sipped away, I logged into their wireless internet and just took in The Blue Heron’s comfortable atmosphere. As I looked at the menu, I realized the prices were not simply for the food, but for the setting as well. I’m normally against this, but after climbing a mountain and spending a couple of days in the hustle bustle of Moshi and Arusha, simply chilling out was very welcome.
I ended up ordering their margherita pizza, which was a vast improvement from the pizza I had tackled at The Coffee Shop. The cheese had been nicely melted and the sauce and basil flavoring were immediately welcome on my tongue. The crust was still well-short of being great, but honestly beggars can’t be choosers. I was eating good pizza. In Tanzania. And it made me happy.
I ate my pizza slowly, not simply to enjoy its goodness, but also to take in the atmosphere of The Blue Heron. I considered ordering another beer to extend my stay, but I didn’t want to push my luck with the dangers of Arusha too late into the evening. I still don’t understand how it could get dangerous in a place that felt so safe during the day, but at least those supposed dangers led me to some decent pizza near my hotel.