Victoria Pittman and Lou Harmon

Two Liberian Diaspora Sisters Offer Taste Of African Cooking At U.S. East-side Restaurant

Rosemary McCoy

Victoria Pittman and Lou Harmon

Two sisters originally from Liberia have opened a restaurant featuring African cuisine on the east side of Sioux Falls.

Lou’s Joy & Vick Kitchen is the creation of Lou Harmon and Victoria Pittman. It opened in March in the former Sahara Grill & Cuisine space in Neighborhood Market at 4309 E. 12th St.

The menu features six signature dishes that are available daily and four that rotate each day on a weekly basis.

The dishes come from Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and the Ivory Coast in West Africa and Somalia in East Africa.

“Our seasoning is unique,” Harmon said of African cooking. “The spices, we try to make it not too spicy. We make it for people from different backgrounds, so if they want extra spice, we cook that on the side, and we give them it in a little container to take along.”

The Ivorian dish attieke is popular with customers, she said. It’s made with fermented cassava pulp that has been grated and dried. After it’s cooked, the texture is similar to couscous. Lou’s serves it with a choice of fish, goat or chicken. It also comes with sides of stir-fried bell peppers, fried plantain, fresh avocado and a hot or mild pepper sauce.

Liberian fried rice and dried rice dishes also are popular, Harmon said. They also come with a choice of meat.

One of the rotating items on Wednesdays is a uniquely flavored dish from Sengal, she said. Yassa chicken and rice has lemon and vinegar, giving it a sour taste. The chicken is fried, and the dish also has onion, carrot, hot peppers and garlic.

Some of the prices have increased since the menus were printed, but most of the meals are $20, and the portions are large, Harmon said.

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