Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ethiopian restaurant: Queen of Sheba

Saturday night my friend and I went to the newly re-opened Queen of Sheba in the Timberlyne strip mall on Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill. It closed at its original location about 18 months ago and I was broken-hearted.

I am happy to say that the new location is an improvement over the old location which always seemed a bit rickety and gloomy to me. The new place has a warm, cheerful interior with tables packed in snuggly.

The food was as good as ever. Friesh, the owner, cooks great food. If you haven't tried Ethiopian, I recommend it although it might be an acquired taste. The dishes are heavy on curry and spices. They are served on a large piece of soft, flat bread called injera. Injera is made from teff, the grain of a tall grass. It's high in iron, fiber, and other good stuff.

To eat the dinner, you pull off a piece of injera, scoop up some food, and eat. No forks and knives required. Eating with the fingers is kind of sexy. I like it.

I ordered my usual: a garlicky chick pea starter called buticha and the vegetarian combo which is a sampling of several dishes. The meat and fish combos are good too. If you go, ask if you can have the collards side dish and the potatos side dish with your combo dinner. These two and the tomato salad are my favorite sides.

Be sure you order Ethiopian coffee after your meal. And yes, you want it with butter. It's pitch black, spicy coffee with a touch of butter melted in it. I know that sounds weird, but when was the last time you ate something with butter that wasn't tasty?


Matthew said...

Why the change in the website?

K said...

It's only a color change. I got tired of looking at pink.

prairievisiondesign : handmade said...

Sounds tasty. Hi Kelly.

Anonymous said...

woo hoo friesh! I love Ethiopian food!

Anonymous said...

This warm, friendly place is in the Timberlyne Shopping Center off Weaver Dairy Rd...near two movie theaters and just opened Nov 1st! Wow what a great date night location. Well ...upon my first visit as customer, there was a sincere welcoming. We waited a bit, and it was WORTH IT! We sat at one of the round tables that holds a large round tray, provided with bread (injera) first on bottom, then some of the most delicious smelling vegetable and meat servings I've ever sensed, was artfully placed table-side. [Wash your hands when you arrive], there was intimacy in eating Ethiopian-style with one's fingers - you can ask for silverware. We drank the hot spiced tea, a delight on a cool evening. Beer or wine is there if desired. At the end of this well prepared meal, the server recommended their Ethiopian coffee with refined butter - a tasty, delicious and creamy coffee - no after effects (rapid pulse, etc). There is soft Ethiopian music in background. I expected to pay at least $65 for THIS meal for two people- but didn't come close to it. If you'd like an authentic Ethiopian experience, this is the place. Just know that from scratch preparation does take time - plan accordingly.Enjoy! Thanks so much Queen of Sheba for being such a place we'll return to REAL soon!