“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Estimated time to read: 6 minutes
Since starting the Beese Eats series, I’ve mainly focused on West Africa. Not to ostracize any part of the continent, simply because familiarity begets familiarity – right? But then my friend Fana was watching a video and simply asked, “Why don’t you come over to East Africa?” I replied – “Well, why don’t I?”
We then endeavored out to Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland a few weeks later. With the first location located in Silver Spring, Maryland, Bethesda’s location opened just eight months ago and is already carving its own path among its neighboring restaurants.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the restaurant was its amazing décor and ambiance. Our host, Lucy owner Mr. Abraham, took us around the restaurant allowing us to see the intricacies of the venue. It honestly is one of the best designed and cleanliest African restaurants I have ever been to – with detailed paintings all around the walls and bar, square black tables with matching chairs, and smaller rooms to host private parties and gatherings.
Now I have had Eritrean food (which is the same as Ethiopian food) a few years ago with a very good friend of mine. And I must admit – it was an acquired taste to that of West African food. The main reason? The staple of the meal, Injera, is a sour, thin spongy bread. For people who don’t typically like sour, it may be a turn off to be honest, but for people like me who like all types of food – be it sour or sweet – and are willing to try again, it can taste better the next time around.
And I must say, Lucy did not disappoint me in the least bit. The food was absolutely immaculate – from the lamb to the tomato and onion mix, to the lentils all the way down to the Injera. All of the ingredients of our Vegan combination platter were very fresh, sautéed and cooked to perfection (yes, we ordered the Vegan combo platter and then added lamb to it – because we could =). Now I will like to note, Fana had the traditional Teff Injera, which is gluten free, and I had Injera with gluten in it (aka the Westernized version). …Well I actually had both so that I could tell you: when you have Injera and need it to be gluten free, make sure you order Teff Injera, keeping in mind, that it has an even more “sour” taste to it.
Sticking to [African] tradition, Lucy serves its food family style for everyone to share and utensil-less … meaning we eat with our hands. There was no forks, spoons, or knives in sight. I absolutely love this because it brings you right to the basics of it all – spending time and creating dialogue with the people in your [physical] company.
With the delicious food and wonderful customer service and reception we received from our waiter for the evening Alfredo, I truly couldn’t stop raving about this place to my [immediate] family and friends. So much so, that my brother (in love) and a good friend each went to visit Lucy the following two days afterwards. I will not tell you all about places I do not recommend or wouldn’t go back to myself. Lucy is perfect for meat lovers, pescetarians, vegetarians and vegans alike. Now what are you waiting for? Head over to Lucy and tell them Adebisi recommended it to you because it’s #BeesesApproved.
What’s your favorite Ethiopian dish?