Donna Cooks


Ethiopian at Queen of Sheba
August 23, 2006, 12:39 am
Filed under: DFW Restaurant Reviews

This was my first encounter with Ethiopian cuisine (or any kind of African cuisine for that matter) so I can’t comment on the authenticity of the experience.  I’ll just review it from a general point of view.  I have to say I didn’t go in with very high expectations (after all, aren’t we always sending food to the hungry in Africa?).  The exterior of Queen of Sheba didn’t exactly excite me, either.

sheba-exterior.jpg

Typical strip mall exterior.  But the inside was a pleasant surprise with rich gold and black tones, hardwood floors on various levels, and column and window architectural details.

sheba-interior.jpg

Onto the food!  Though the four of us ordered different entrees, we chose for the food to be served family style, all on the same platter.  The colorful assortment of food was served on injera, a spongy bread along with a side basket of injera.  Injera is used in bite sized pieces to pick up the food off of the main plate since no utensils are provided.  Using hands=more fun, Ethiopian food was starting to look appealing.

sheba-plate.jpg

Some of the items off of this massive dish:

    • African salad – chopped tomato, jalapeno, onion, and injera salad.  Spicy and refreshing, this is what pico de gallo bread pudding would be like.
    • Doro wott – spicy, slow cooked chicken.  Our portion included a drumstick and a hard boiled egg, covered in a sauce that reminds me of mildly spicy Mexican mole.  The chicken was fall off the bone tender (but impossible to pick up using just the injera, so we had to resort to using our fingers).  The boiled egg seemed like an odd choice here.
    • Yebeg wott – spicy, slow cooked chunks of lamb.  Similar taste as the doro wott, but definitely different texture, still tender however.  If I didn’t know I was in an Ethiopian restaurant, I would’ve thought this was Indian food and asked for a side of naan.
    • Tibse (center of serving plate) – chunks of beef cooked in a wine and butter sauce.  Not as spicy as the chicken and lamb, but still very flavorful.  Beef was cooked medium well, not too tough.
    • Missir wott – pureed lentils in a spicy sauce.  This was the spiciest thing on the plate!  I liked this a lot, I can see eating just this and some pita wedges on a movie-night in.
    • Shiro – pureed yellow peas in a mild olive oil sauce.  Much milder than the other dishes described above, something to break up all the intense flavors.
    • Missir alitcha – pureed lentils in a mild sauce.  Like the missir wott, but not as intense in flavor.
    • Yataklete alitcha – mild saute of cabbage and carrots.  Had a mild curry-like flavor, interesting but not impressive.
    • Gomen – garlic sauteed greens.  One of my favorite quick veggie sides is sauteed spinach with garlic, this definitely hit the spot.
    • Queen’s garden – assorted veggies cooked in olive oil.  Bland and tasted like boiled vegetables.

Served with toppers of chili powder, yogurt, and homemade cottage cheese.  The plate above was more than enough to satisfy our group of 4 (including 2 guys with sizable appetites) as you quickly fill up on the injera.  This is a great group dining experience since it is totally interactive and hands-on, literally 🙂  All in all, Ethiopian food reminds me a lot of Indian food, intensely flavorful slow cooked meats and pureed vegetables.  It was a fun first experience and I will probably come back to explore other parts of the menu (the downside is that the menu doesn’t have that many options).

Service was very friendly but a little slow at times (this may be because we sat in a separate room since we were there for a friend’s birthday and they let us have some privacy in a different dining area).  However, they gladly did us the favor of bringing out the birthday cake we brought for our friend at the end of dinner despite a minor candle mishap, so kudos to the waitstaff for being so accommodating.  Total bill was $72 after tax and tip for all four of us, not too bad at all.

If you’re adventurous and would like to try Ethiopian food, I would recommend visiting Queen of Sheba.  They also have an Italian portion of the menu for the less adventurous (as strange as that seems, I would assume there’s better Italian to be had than that which is served at an Ethiopian restaurant).

Rating: 4 /5

Queen of Sheba
14875 Inwood Rd
Addison, TX 75001

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1 Comment so far
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I had an Ethiopian roomate at a Bible School in Sweden. I quickly found Ethiopian to be my favorite. If you eat it a few times you will find yourself craving the unusual combination of the sourdough flavored injera and the predominate cumin/turmeric spices. I love the food at Queen of Sheba and also buy my own injera at Emru’s Ethiogrocery at the S.W. corner of Belt-line and Jupiter. You mentioned sending food to Africa. While watching TV reports of the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s my Ethiopian roomate said those areas were the ones resisting the Communists who were blocking food to them. Other parts of Ethiopia were not like that. She said her family was cooking fine meals in Teflon pans and having ice cream for desert.

Comment by Karen Dunning




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