Oakland: Cafe Colucci
It'd been a while since LN, my former coworker, went back to Socal, so quite a few of us (both former and current volunteer attorneys/interns) were very eager to see her and bask in her presence when she came back to the Bay for a visit.
LN said she'd been craving Cafe Colucci for some Ethiopian for the longest time. Six of us gathered there for a much needed catch-up session:
And dinner. Most importantly for dinner.
LN got me really excited about the fried potatoes at Cafe Colucci. I don't know who was more disappointed, LN or I, when our server informed us that they'd run out.
How do you run out of potatoes?! Really?
Our expressions must have looked quite tragic because our server brought us some veggie sambussa on the house:
Helloooooo sambussa! I can't even complain about them being vegetarian. Filled with lentils, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and green onion, they were fantastic.
My favorite part about Ethiopian cuisine is the injera:
Spongy, sour, and so addictive.
We let LG and LN take charge of the ordering. LG because she's Ethiopian so she's the expert. LN because, well, she's been to Cafe Colucci so many times that she probably knows the menu inside out.
As I was not a part of the selection process, I can only guess at what we ate that night by pouring over the online menu after the fact.
Two platters were brought to us. The first came with the veggie combo, one chicken, and one beef:
The veggie combo came with azifa (lentils), buticha (chickpeas), messer wot (spicy lentils), kik-alicha (split peas), gomen (collard greens), and ata-kilt (cabbage, carrots, and potatoes). The chicken entree was the doro tibs or marinated chicken sauteed with onions, jalapeno, garlic, and tomato. The beef entree was the sega tibs, prepared very much the same way as the chicken with the addition of rosemary.
Our second platter came with two lambs and a shrimp:
The shrimp tibs was made just like the other two tibs. The two lamb dishes were the begue wot (lamb cubes and shank) and the begue alich fitfit (bone-in lamb).
We rotated the platters around so that everyone could try everything. You can tell how well our parents have trained us from how no meat was left at the end of the meal. Only veggies. Lots of veggies. I could hear my father's voice in my head, "Eat the expensive stuff and leave the rest if you must!"
We all left Cafe Colucci in pain. From eating too much and laughing too hard.
Love the food, especially how the meat dishes come on a sizzling plate and are scraped onto the large platter tableside. Love the laid back ambiance.
Miss you, LN! You should come back...permanently. Really. Move back. We need you here.
On a totally unrelated note, I'm off on my two-week Europe whirlwind adventure tomorrow with T, AF, and my sister. The next time you hear from me, I'll be blogging about croissants and shepherd's pie. Woot! Until next time!
6427 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609