Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar

Cleveland's first Ethiopian restaurant on the west side just opened on December 30th, Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar, and it's right in our neighborhood of Old Brooklyn! I've been meaning to go to Empress Taytu for years, and then Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant opened last year, but somehow I just never got around to trying either. I'd never had Ethiopian cuisine before, and now I was going to get to try it right out my back door. How exciting!

It's on Broadview Road, in a bar-turned-half-restaurant-still-half-bar space, which can make for some interesting dining. During our weeknight visit, the dining room was separated by an accordion wall and the atmosphere and noise of the bar area did not flow over (on our second visit on a Friday the half wall was open and the pop/rock music overpowered the traditional music that was also playing).

We enjoyed taking in the authentic music and decor...
..including their traditional coffee ceremony setup, where they will roast, grind, and brew the coffee beans right in front of you. But you must allow about an hour for the ceremony, and you should call in advance to schedule it. Traditionally, it is held three times a day, involved with all three main meals in Ethiopia. The owner was so kind to take the time to talk to us and explain quite a bit about their culture and the food we were enjoying.
For a newbie like me, it's best to go for one of the Combination plates. You get a little bit of a couple main dishes and sides. I selected the Beef Combination ($16).
It was all tasty, but my favorite was the Kaywat (pictured front). It was a large plate of food, and you're served additional Injera (sponge-like, thin flatbread made with teff flour) too. Traditionally, utensils are not used and you use the injera to scoop. It took some getting used to, but then it was just plain fun to eat with your hands. It did surprise me that they didn't provide any sort of hand-washing method like a wet towel or wipe beforehand though. Just head to the nearby restroom before you get started.

I don't have anything to compare it to at this point, but we liked it enough to head back there two weeks later with friends again!

Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar
2218 Broadview Road
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 417-2550

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Weekend Bites

The first weekend of 2018, and it was off to a good start. After seeing an Instagram post of the Tremont Tap House's burger special of the month, I just had to get my hands on the lamb burger with caramelized shallots, Gouda, and a lemon-thyme aioli.
Yes, it was as good as it looks, and they continue to be one of my favorite burger spots in the city.

Saturday morning, we headed to Cleveland Bagel Co. because I created a bagel/lox monster out of Mr. H while we were in NYC last month. They've added sandwiches to their menu, and one includes housemade lox, cream cheese, red onion, and capers. He approved. I was just as content with my classic bacon, egg and cheese. They make a darn good bagel.
Next stop on Saturday morning was grocery shopping at Ohio City Provisions. While you can't always count on specific cuts of meat, vegetables, etc. that you are looking for, you really can't go wrong just popping in to build a meal from what they have available that day. We were specifically looking for leg of lamb to make a ragu with on Sunday night, and we were in luck that day and grabbed the only one!
Saturday night brought a fun night out celebrating one of my favorite birthday girls, but Mr. H and I made a quick stop at Lola's bar for a drink beforehand. Just a stunning setting, and a great start to our night on East 4th in downtown.
The fun, and good eats and drinks, continued over at Chinato. Nothing beats the best of friends.
Due to our "amount" of fun on Saturday, we woke up on Sunday pretty unmotivated to do much. Turned into the perfect lazy day of binge-watching Blacklist and staying cozy on the couch in our pajamas for most of it. Sometimes you just need that, and after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it was just perfection!