After an evening of shopping in the chaotic sales in Herald Square, my aunt, brother and I were tired and hungry. Shopping really builds up and appetite, or in my case anything builds up an appetite. Therefore, the perfect way to end a happy night, is by feeding a hungry belly and becoming even happier. My brother had never tried Ethiopian cuisine, and there was no better time than the present to begin his love for this ethnic cuisine. With this great food idea in mind and our empty stomachs we made our way to the West side, to Queen of Sheba, one of the few Ethiopian restaurants in Manhattan. Queen of Sheba is not where one would go to have a great ambiance experience, the restaurant is relatively small, and the aesthetic is not exceptionally appealing. There are a couple of tables on either side as you walk in, a small bar on the left, and past the bar there are more tables coupled with two traditional Ethiopian tables, mesobs. Despite the average ambiance, the food is divine, and that is all you need to warm a grumbling belly.
My aunt is the most versed in Ethiopian cuisine, so my brother and I were content that she ordered for us all. We ordered Chef’s Special Tibs, minced lamb in Ethiopian spices; Doro Wot, slow-cooked chicken legs with a boiled egg; Ater Kik Alicha, split peas cooked in herbs and spices; Cabbage Wot, cabbage potato and carrot cooked in herbs; and Miro Wot, split lentils cooked in herbs. All of this is served on a large round platter with Injera as the base, a type of bread that is a little thicker than a crepe, and the main dishes are placed on the injera. Separate pieces of injera are given in a basket and the method to eating the cuisine is to let the dishes soak into the injera on the platter. You should start eating with the pieces of injera on the side until the juices from the dishes have soaked into the main injera, and then tear off and eat the delicious, flavorful injera on the platter.
At the end of the meal we were completely stuffed and could barely move, but very content with our delicious meal. At dinner time, the Chef’s Special Tibs cost $21 and the Doro Wot cost $18, and with ordering two main dishes, it came with 3 vegetable dishes as far as I recall, and therefore it totaled $39 for 3 people. 13 dollars per person for a lovely meal in NYC that isn’t too bad at all. Queen of Sheba is definitely a must if you are in Manhattan and looking for a different and wonderful meal!
Written by Fatema Sachak