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Discovering Lucy

More surprises from Ethiopia - restaurant with generous portions, good food and a place to dance away the calories after dinner.

The kitfo — one dish that a few folks were nervous about ordering — was a huge hit, the raw beef so well seasoned that one friend remarked he'd never know it was the Ethiopian version of steak tartare. Our vegetarian combo platters contained bright, jewel-toned scoops of red and yellow lentils, dark green collard greens, savory stewed cabbage and the tangy, tomato-and-jalapeño-laced salad I love so much, all of it deeply seasoned with fragrant garlic and ginger.

And the doro wat, my personal favorite, had that signature deep red hue from the berbere spice mix used to impart a dusky spiciness to the stewed chicken, the same deep red color that always stains my fingers through the sheets of tart injera bread used as edible spoons. And the bread kept coming, something I appreciated considering that many places have started charging for extra baskets of the stuff.

On another visit, I was pleased to find the food again in huge portions and branched out even further to dishes I'd never tried in the past: fish dulet, finely flaked fish in a curry rich with mitmita, the spice blend that's warmed by cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and spicy peri peri peppers; lega yebeg tibs, cubes of dusky lamb meat stir-fried with rosemary, garlic and onions; and gored gored, the chunkier version of kitfo that sees raw cubes of beef dipped ever so lightly in more of that fiery red mitmita sauce.

The Ethiopian food at Lucy comes out hot, fresh and in heaping portions.
Troy Fields
The Ethiopian food at Lucy comes out hot, fresh and in heaping portions.

Location Info

Map

Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant

9400 Richmond
Houston, TX 77063

Category: Restaurant > African

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Sheba Cafe

6251 Bissonnet
Houston, TX 77081

Category: Restaurant > Ethiopian

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Details

Hours: Noon to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, noon to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Lucy burger: $9.95
Doro wot: $10.95
Kitfo: $12.95
Tibs: $12.95
Vegetarian combo platter: $16.95
New York strip steak: $17.95
Meat combo platter: $26.95

READ MORE
SLIDESHOW: Discovering Lucy: Houston's Newest Ethiopian Restaurant
BLOG POST: Lucy: Making Ethiopian Food Look Good

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I'd taken with me on that visit a neophyte, someone who'd never so much as even considered Ethiopian food prior to his trip to Lucy. On my first visit, my friends brought along their curious five-year-old, also new to Ethiopian cuisine (as five-year-old American children tend to be). Neither newbie was confounded by the food; both took to it like ducks to water, eagerly tucking in with their fingers — an action as easy and primitive as breathing — finding a surprising level of comfort in the familiar meats and vegetables, in the spice blends that aren't too different from Indian or Italian or any number of other cuisines we eat every day.

Lucy encourages this simple act of discovery through its modern, accessible atmosphere; its kind and helpful service; its easy-on-the-wallet prices; and its generous portions. And if you go on a Saturday night, you'll get the added bonus of being able to dance it all off after your meal.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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