Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge- A Unique Experience

Restaurant: Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant & Lounge
6800 SW Freeway Houston, Texas 77074
Buffet or a-la-carte: A-la-carte
Date of visit: 8/31/2013

Photo Credit (

Salam/Hello everyone. Welcome to another unique review! Today I will be reviewing Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge. This is, in fact, the first time I am trying any sort of African food. Classes at the University of Houston began last Monday and I was at my Chemistry Lab class. With no food with me from home, I immediately thought about going to here, since I couldn't the last time I was at UH for some work earlier this month. Ethiopian cuisine is very similar to Indian cuisine, except that their spice level was completely different. They have a similar type of curry called "Wat", except that it is cooked completely differently than the normal curry. First, chopped onions are slowly cooked until its moisture goes away. Then the fat, the herbs and spices, and finally the meat are added and slowly cooked in a pot. Another similarity is the bread they eat. Indians mainly eat naan bread, and its Ethiopian counterpart is called "injera". Injera is like a flatbread but made from a Ethiopian millet or teff. It is very spongy compared to naan because it is yeast-risen. Very interesting to be honest. So finally after waiting for a while, I finally head off to the restaurant.

Let The Experience Begin!
Lucy is located right after the intersection of US 59 and Hillcroft Ave. It has a very dark setting. Outside, it is all black windows, but inside, there are tables, a bar, 3 TVs, and a traditional sitting area. Most of the light inside the restaurant came from the Sun. I also noticed a disco bar on the roof, so I am guessing that at night there are parties. Not the best place to go for Muslims for dinner because there would be a lot of drunk people there. There is also Ethiopian music playing in the background, and some of the songs were catchy. The waitress noticed me, and politely greeted me. She then directed me to the table, and gave me the menu with free water. I told her that this was my first time eating Ethiopian food, so she was happy and had told me to take my time ordering.

Let's Eat!
I ordered the Alitcha Wat, which is, according to the menu is "Chopped beef and ribs, simmered in a mild and flavorful onion, garlic, ginger and herb sauce." It comes with enjera and salad. Quite interesting to be honest. I did not order soda, as I did not feel like it. So I stuck to the water. While waiting for the food, I was watching the A&M-Rice Game. I noticed that the waitress was the only one that was waiting the tables, and there were people sitting at other tables. Despite that, she did a very good job making sure that the customers get their food and are satisfied. It isn't easy to have one waiter/waitress working with more than one table occupied. For example, at the table opposite me, one of the customers had requested something on her meal. With a smile, she said yes and did the work, and that made the customer really happy. She even helped one of the customers stand up and give her the crutches because the customer had a broken leg. The wait for the food was the longest out of all the restaurants I have reviews on this the blog: 19 minutes and 30 seconds! I ended up paying around $16.18 (tax included) and tipped. Anyways, the food came and I began to dig in. 

Menu: Quite interesting to be honest. There is a lot of really interesting things to try. One thing that I do not like is that the qintot (combo) plates are $26.95 each! Why so expensive???? (Ethiopian cuisine experts- please help me out!) This restaurant is also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Alcohol is served, but not used in cooking. Link:

Alitcha Watt with Enjera, Salad, and Water

The Verdict:
While the service was really good, the food had its ups and downs. I took a bite of the injera and it felt sour. I didn't know bread could be sour. I always thought that bread, regardless of type, would be in between sweet and sour. But then again, I am new to this cuisine. The Alitcha wat, however, was delicious! The beef was very tender and had flavor. The accompanying sauce was flavorful and fitted perfectly with the beef. When I took the wat with the injera, the taste was completely different. The sauce had made the injera turn from sour to delicious! I soon learned that the injera is supposed to be eaten with the wat, NOT by itself. The salad, however, was very disappointing. There was too much dressing on the salad. I couldn't taste the lettuce and tomato. at all. All was washed down with a glass of water.

Lucy is a decent place to eat. Their injera might be sour, but it is meant to be eaten with the wat. Their wat is simply amazing, with the right spice level and quality. I will only advice you to avoid the salad and get just the injera. A word of caution. This place is best during lunch on all days and dinner on weeknights. This is because during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, it turns into a party place. It mostly resembles a club. Do not stay away from this restaurant however. Lunchtime is functions as a proper restaurant, and you can also reserve the restaurant for a special occasion where there would be no alcohol or clubbing, like a graduation party or a wedding reception. Now I know there would be some religious person out that will bash me about how I am "doing haram by eating at a restaurant that serves alcohol". The truth is that the quote that I just typed is completely false. In Islam, if you are at a table with halal stuff being served, and another table with people that you do not know has alcohol on it, then you are not sinning. Plus, the owners are non-Muslim, so they have no restrictions on serving alcohol. Also, it is absolutely OK for non-Muslims to serve halal meat. Regardless of the presence of alcohol, I will come back and try new things. If you want to try something that is unique and not normal like the food you get at home, then this place should be considered.

Service: 10/10 (Hardworking, friendly waitress = impressive) 
Food: 8.5/10 (Everything was good except the salad. I will not deduct points for the injera)
Waiting Time: 10/10 (19 minutes 30 seconds. Longest so far, but still within the time limit)
Total: 28.5/30 = 95% (A)
Pricing: $$$ out of $$$$ (The extra $ is for the $26.95 qintots)

Restaurant Information:
Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant & Lounge
6800 SW Freeway Houston, Texas 77074
Phone: (713) 334-0000
Timings --> Mon: Closed; Tue-Thu & Sun: 11 AM - 11 PM; Fri-Sat: 11 AM - 2 AM
Caters: Yes

Feel Free to Comment Below!

Zain Mohammed


  1. here at this restaurant I got some good food to go with really. I will again go to Cajun Restaurant

  2. Thanks for the review - and confirming the halal status of the place. Will definitely check it out.

    Just a small note: Injera is supposed to be sour tasting. It is made from the teff grain; which is the smallest grain you can find with the highest amount of protein for any grain in the world. When it is ground into a flour, the protein spreads out but maintains its' sour taste.