Thursday, January 20, 2011

Queen of Sheba: Wet Naps Included

Queen of Sheba
2804 Taylorsville Rd.

This was the most anxious the Lunch Pail Gang had been to date. I use the word "anxious" because we were unsure of what to expect. Ethiopian cuisine was uncharted territory, but nothing will stop us from diving in feet first...or should I say fingers first! Queen of Sheba offers an authentic Ethiopian experience where all your party's food is served together on one large platter. Each platter comes with rolls of flat bread called Injera. Ethiopian food is commonly eaten with your fingers by taking a piece of the Injera, scooping up your food, and shoving it all in your mouth.  Ethiopian food is actually quite healthy and the bread is low in carbohydrates. Queen of Sheba stands by their tradition of using zero canned or frozen foods. All veggies are fresh and all meat is USDA approved.

We started our meal with two orders of Sambussa, fried pastry shells filled with your choice of Beef or chicken mixed with peppers, garlic and Ethiopian Spices. The pastry shell had the perfect crunch of crispiness and the filling was packed with so much flavor we were all very satisfied. To be honest, the sambussa made us feel more comfortable about the mystery of the meal of which we were about to indulge.

After a short wait, our lovely waitress (who by the way was very helpful in our selections since we had no idea what we were ordering) laid in front of us the platter of assorted meats and side salads. We decided, with the help of our waitress, that we should try a little of everything. Our meal included an order of lamb tips, beef tips, and the traditional chicken stew. Each order came with fresh salad and lentil stew called Kik Wot. At first glance one might second guess themselves. It's not what most Americans are used to, but once you breathe in the aroma and notice the preparation that goes into the display of the food you can't wait to get a taste.

The gang enjoyed it all very much. Chickadoo was the most skeptical, but once she got over the spongy texture of the bread I think she was satisfied. Man 2 loved it to the very last bite...literally. And I will be going back that's for sure. Overall, we would say the lamb was the best and a must try to any newcomer. Queen of Sheeba also offers a wide menu for vegans. A friendly vegetarian couple allowed us to take a picture of their platter (see below). They ordered collard greens and mushrooms.

After your meal, and if you are a coffee consumer, we suggest trying some of Sheba's authentic Ethiopian coffee. It wasn't like anything I have tried before so the best way I can describe it is by calling it very rich and full of flavor - a hint of clove. Just trust me and try it! If anything, the pot it comes in can act as a great center piece for the table.

Step out of your comfort zone of cheesburgers or sandwiches for lunch and step into Queen of Sheba...Try something new.

Melkam Megeb! (enjoy your meal)

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