Breakfast Worth Waking Up Early For at Boston's Lucy Ethiopian Cafe

Hub Grub

A weekly profile on a favorite New England dish.


Che'che'bsa: crumbled corn-based bread sauteed with a sweet-hot, berbere-like spice blend and plenty of butter, and served with rich yogurt and honey. [Photograph: Liz Bomze]

The Che'Che'Bsa ($7.99) at Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, a glass-front eatery perched on a busy Symphony corner, is easily one of the most satisfying, and most underrated, breakfast dishes in the city.

This version of che'che'bsa, another name for the dish known as kitcha fit fit, consists of chewy, corn-based bread that's crumbled fine and sautéed with a sweet-hot berbere-like spice blend in what must be a generous glug of clarified butter. Adding the optional scrambled eggs (+$1) makes the rich, nutty-tasting mixture heartier, not to mention more savory. And just as the heat of the bloomed spices is getting to you, there's a scoop of thick yogurt—if it's not Sophia's, it's darn close—and streaks of honey to cool things down.

You're probably not meant to scoop up a bread dish with more bread, but I'll admit that this stuff wrapped in a swatch of Lucy's sour, bubbly injera is great. Even better: this Ethiopian breakfast staple is served all day.