Pretend for a moment that you are no longer in Texas. Instead, imagine your self gathered with an Ethiopian Family and friends around a colorfully woven basket table called a MESOB.

You are seated by your host in the best chair in the house, brought a water pitcher and basin(SEN'NA BERT) with which to wash your hands, and given a carafe of rich, smoky, honey wine called TEJ. Then a round like platter, lined with a spongy, crepe-like bread called INJERA is brought in, onto which all of the courses for the meal have been heaped in small mounds. The top of the MESOB is lifted off, and the platter is placed in the center of the "basket table." Tearing off a small square of INJERA, you select a choice morsel from one of the piles, wrap the bread over and around the morsel and pop the delicious little packet into your mouth.

When you ask what some of the exotic spice mixtures are that you are tasting, your host explains: "The principal one is BERBERE, where starting from a base of dried chili peppers , we add fresh garlic, onions, ginger root and ten different herbs and spices. It is the base of more than half of our traditional dishes, especially the hottest ones! Another important ingredient is a clarified, spiced, butter sauce called KIBBE."

When the meal is finished, you are offered a cup of either coffee(BUNNA), or spiced tea(SHAHI). Afterwards the SEN"NA BERT appears again, ending your Ethiopian meal with the same hospitality with which it began.



4 Stars For Vegetarian Entrees

D Magazine Top Taste Awards for the 100 best in Dallas Food, August 2000

         Owners Berhane and Elsa Kiflom have a tough job getting people to try the ultimate oxymoron, Ethiopian Food. But despite the odds, Queen of Sheba has thrived in Dallas in for more than 17 years, and when the Kifloms took over 9 years ago, they committed themselves to presenting the natural hospitality and ceremonies of Ethiopian cuisine.
We were prepared for the spicy nature of the food, but we were unaware of the Ethiopian custom of eating everything with your fingers - including the plate. Our Yebeg Wott (spicy lamb stew) was served on injera, a spongy crepe-like sourdough bread that we quickly figured out to be both the platter and our fork. Like pros, we just tugged off a piece, scooped up some lamb, and off we went.
         Straight to the ultimate Queen's dinner-a feast that includes almost everything on the menu presented beautifully on a sliver platter. The banquet, a real bargain at $30 a person, also includes a special hand-washing ceremony-once with an aperitif before the meal and again after we'd sopped up the last of the juice left from our pureed lentils.

Nancy Nichols

D Magazine The Best of Big D August 2001

         Dining out doesn't get much more exotic or romantic than the Queen of Sheba. Ethiopian food is romantic? You bet. As you use the spongy, flat bread as a fork, pick up peices of spicy lamb or cool lentils and feed your loved one. Wash it all down with Te'J, a sweet Ethiopian wine, and plan to stay late. If you get on the owners' good graces, you can hang out past closing and watch the Queen transform into a dancing queen, complete with disco and authentic Ethiopian folk dancing.

Nancy Nichols & Todd Johnson