100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: No. 79, Goat Pepper Soup at Peppersoup Cafe

​This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

Peppersoup Cafe isn't just another Nigerian restaurant to crop up along Bissonnet, the heart of Little Africa in southwest Houston. It's the result of the children of Houston's many Nigerian immigrants coming back around to their parents' restaurateur roots, the second generation bringing Nigerian cuisine to an even broader audience than before.

Here, Michelle Ukegbu offers an array of healthy, hearty Nigerian dishes, from plantains and scrambled eggs with tomatoes for breakfast to goat pepper soup for lunch and dinner. Of course, you can eat pepper soup -- with goat, catfish, oxtails or any number of other ingredients -- for any meal, and it's one way to wake up nearly instantly on a sleepy weekend morning.

As the name would suggest, pepper soup packs a punch. Its already spicy broth is seasoned with garlic, chopped chili peppers and a variety of Nigerian spices purchased from the nearby Nigerian grocery stores, then further kicked up by the addition of a thick, red paste Ukegbu calls "alligator spice," brought straight from her mother's village. Add it carefully; it will singe your tastebuds right off otherwise. Even if you don't add any, you can still enjoy the sweet, dusky taste of goat in the pepper soup and, yes, that lovely chewy tripe as well.

The list so far:

No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella No. 94: Mulligatawny soup at the Queen Vic No. 93: Helado de Lúcuma from Pollo Bravo No. 92: Black bean burger from Natachee's No. 91: Chupacabra pizza from ERA No. 90: Roast chicken from El Norteño No. 89: Eggs El Salvador from Brasil No. 88: Frank the Pretzel from Eatsie Boys No. 87: Caldo Tlalpeño from Tacos del Julio No. 86: English pea soup at Brasserie 19 No. 85: Falafel from Zabak's No. 84: Buttermilk-fried pork loin with fried eggs at Canopy No. 83: Grillades and grits from BB's Cajun Cafe No. 82: Haemul dolsot from Seoul House No. 81: Pandan waffles at Parisian Bakery III No. 80: Pita bread and hummus at Phoenicia

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Katharine Shilcutt