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It Takes Tuwo

Suya Hut serves a slice — er, ball — of West Africa in Houston.

Steve was beaming at them from our corner of the dining room. "I feel like I'm back in Ghana," he said.

The eponymous suya here is available with four different types of meat: beef, chicken, shrimp and gizzards. They're all marinated in the same spice that made Suya Hut possible; the owners were so inundated with requests from friends for authentic suya that they eventually decided to open their own restaurant. The meat starts off sweet, the vague taste of peanuts in the background of the marinade, before building to a crescendo of heat leading off with ginger, paprika and then a punch in the throat from habanero peppers. If you love spicy food, it's the exhilarating equivalent of a roller-coaster ride. If you don't, Nigerian food might simply not be for you.
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Everything at Suya Hut has some level of spice associated with it, as the young man at the cash register warns me every time I go in.

Spend a leisurely afternoon eating egusi soup and kebabs and drinking beer.
Troy Fields
Spend a leisurely afternoon eating egusi soup and kebabs and drinking beer.

Location Info

Map

Suya Hut

11611 W. Airport
Stafford, TX 77477

Category: Restaurant > African

Region: Outside Houston

Details

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

• Beef suya: $1.29
• Chicken suya: $2.25
• Tilapia pepper soup: $7.99
• Lansir: $2.99
• Jollof rice: $5.99
• Miyan taushe: $9.99
• Egusi soup: $10.99


READ MORE:

• Slideshow: Skewers and Soup at Suya Hut
• Blog: Tuwo and Suya and Egusi, Oh My!.


Suya Hut
11611 W. Airport Blvd., 281-265-1411.

"That's very spicy," he said with a raised eyebrow as I ordered pepper soup one afternoon, again visiting with my friend Steve.

"I know," I replied with a smile.

But while I might prefer the tuwo/fufu here, I was sad to taste the pepper soup and find it wanting compared to my favorite at Finger Licking Bukateria. It also wasn't quite as peppery as I'd hoped, and the tilapia floating in the thin, almost clear broth had barely absorbed any of the flavor from the soup itself.

Not to despair, the jollof rice and lansir were far better and — along with a meal of peanut soup and yam-based tuwo — made for a filling and delicious meal nevertheless.

"I don't like jollof rice," said Steve as it arrived at our table. Here at Suya Hut, it's usually served alongside suya and fried plantains, but I'd wanted it as a side item this afternoon. "You can get it in every roadside stand in Ghana, but I never found any I liked."

I scooped a fat forkful into my mouth and instantly liked it. Different strokes and such. It tastes like paella rice sans the saffron and seafood, and I imagined putting a fried egg on top of it to further coat the grains of tomato-saturated rice.

Along with the peanut-saturated lansir salad — diced chunks of tomato and onion and nearly an entire garden's worth of cilantro thrown together in a bowl — it made for a satisfying, if simple, summer meal. Steve contentedly ate every last bite of the miyan taushe, peanut soup thickened with spinach and goat meat, while I ate as much of the sweetly spicy jollof rice as I could, washing it down with a pint of Guinness as I went.

At the end of our meal, there was still plenty of the jollof rice left. I packed it in a Styrofoam box and hurried it home. A fried egg waited to crown it the next morning for breakfast.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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4 comments
Side Show Bob
Side Show Bob

That dish looks like something that came out of me this morning, beings PAY for that ????

mysteriousways
mysteriousways

Love to see African food highlighted, but again, I ask: where the heck in Houston can you get some Senegalese/Malian/Guinean cuisine?! I've been craving some cebbujen, yassa poulet, etc... I need my fix! Houston Press help me out!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

More for the rest of us, which I'll eat with a fat ol' smile on my face. You're missing out, Bob...

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

That is a very good question. My best friend has been looking for the very same thing (Senegalese food) to no avail. Especially for cebbujen.

 
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