Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge in Houston, Texas serves Ethiopian dishes in a colorful setting that includes a lounge in the back of the restaurant

By Lauren Heller (The Rice Thresher) |

In one of the most diverse cities in the country, we have the unique opportunity to expand our cultural horizons by eating at a wide variety of authentic ethnic restaurants. Coming from a suburb, I had not been exposed to several cuisines until I came to Rice, including Ethiopian food.

Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge serves Ethiopian dishes in a colorful setting that includes a lounge (somewhat randomly placed) in the back of the restaurant. Lucy is a great spot for newcomers who are unfamiliar with the culture or food. First, they explain Ethiopian terms on the sides of the menu. Although I went with a large group, none of us were very familiar with the dishes on the menu. As a result, our server graciously ordered all the food for the table after taking into account our dietary restrictions and explained what was in each dish as it was served. I highly recommend going to Lucy in a group, both to maximize the amount of food you get to try and to order the special entrees.

My group started our meal with sambusas and roasted red bell pepper hummus. Sambusas are reminiscent of Indian samosas but are filled with onions, green peppers, lentils and beef. The sweet chili sauce provided a nice tang to balance the starchy sambusa. The roasted red bell pepper hummus was a blend of chickpeas, tahini, roasted red peppers and garlic served with slices of toasted pita. This appetizer outshone the sambusa with its creamy texture and richer flavor.

The next course consisted of the special entrees, which are large sampler platters big enough to feed a few people. There are several special entrees to choose from, are all served with injera. Injera is similar to a crepe but with a spongier texture. We were told to unroll the injera and tear it into pieces that we could use to grab bites of food from the platter and eat with our hands.

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