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This is no Ethiopian Diamond

November 27, 2011

I had Ethiopian food for the first time my second year of college in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. The restaurant was Ethiopian Diamond, a big, almost warehouse-like rectangle room with a mix of wooden tables and chairs and mesobs with stools. We ordered three dishes that came to us on a large circular tray covered with large pieces of injera. Everything was pleasantly hot but the warm injera allowed us to eat easily with our hands. The food was delicious and I found myself enjoying the vegetarian offerings more than the meat!

I haven’t had Ethiopian food since then and so was excited to be visiting Lucy’s Ethiopian Cafe with two friends. I knew for certain that I would be ordering the peanut tea, which has received much praise, and that there would be injera. But Lucy’s is a small-ish storefront near Symphony so we waited awkwardly in the middle of the main dining area while the harried waitstaff of two attended to small groups of two or three. When we were seated, beef seemed to be on our hungry minds. I was in a simple mood, so I went with beef cooked with collard greens. The lentils in red sauce were a surprise accompaniment but I lamented the need (due to limited table space) to serve the injera in rolls rather than as a base to catch flavor and sauce.

While the food was fine if not spectacular, the peanut tea was very satisfying, less sweet than expected and rich in flavor without being too dense or oily on the tongue. I’m not sure if I would eat again at Lucy’s, but I’d definitely have this drink again and give their other blended drinks a try.

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