Saturday, July 6, 2013

Visitors try Lucy Ethiopian

My parents hosted a German exchange student this past school year. They enjoyed it a lot and he fit in unusually well with my family. It was more like finding a long-lost brother than welcoming a new addition. At the end of the year his family came to pick him up, and everyone sort of realized why he had fit in so well. His family and mine seemed very similar - in personalities, sense of humor, even looks. Another thing that makes the world feel small, in a good way. 

A feast! One of three trays we tried
I wish we had a future of spending time together, but it's unlikely we'll see them often. As it was, we had one night together in Buffalo when they flew in to the airport. I was tasked with finding a suitable restaurant to eat dinner together. Not so simple: it should be cheap, open somewhat late, easy to get to, able to seat 14, a place I knew and liked, and of a cuisine that they hadn't tried before. That meant one place: Lucy Ethiopian. I talked to my friends Abba and Naima, the owners, and they were of course thrilled to host us. (For those of you who don't know them, I say "of course" because they are some of the nicest people on the planet)

I remember excitedly following Buffalo Rising articles when Lucy's was just a rumor. I hadn't tried Ethiopian food before but knew that some of my friends traveled to Rochester just to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant there. I loved the food the minute I tried it, and I've had a great experience every time I've gone to Lucy's. Abba remembers customers and is enthusiastic about seeing them again. Their coffee ceremony id fantastic. I confess that I haven't tried any of the newer Ethiopian places that have opened recently, because if I have the money for Ethiopian I am on my way to Lucy's. The only exception is coffee - I'll always accept coffee from anyone who's selling it! 

S: "Never. Happening. " R: "Instagram!" J: "Bet it tastes like chicken."
I was worried that not everyone would like the food, but even the picky eaters gave it a shot and found dishes they liked. I've only ever had their vegetarian options, but people eating the meat preparations declared them top notch. No one asked for forks, but used the injeera to scoop up the food (okay, so I MAY have purposely neglected to mention to them that forks were an option. Hehehe). Abba made sure not only to roast our coffee fresh, but to bring the steaming pan of browning coffee beans over to our table so we could see and smell where our coffee was coming from. I also made a few converts that night to Lucy's sweet, spicy, indescribably good tea. I managed to keep myself to one cup this time, but usually I have two.

Only my brother and his wife live in Buffalo, and sad to say it was the first time I'd brought them there. My brother loved it and we made a date to come back for his birthday later this summer. The guests of honor, our visitors from Germany, declared everything superb. Apparently they had eaten Mexican and Thai with my family, and they told me, "We came to visit the USA but so far we have tasted the world."

Still smiling after the food's gone = success!

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