Queen of Sheba is a restaurant I have heard rave reviews about for years and just went there for my first visit last month. I am ashamed of myself for waiting so long to go as I had one of the best meals I have ever had in Louisville.
Queen of Sheba serves Ethiopian food, which I have only had one other time. (For the record, I liked it.) But, that Ethiopian food experience and this one were worlds apart. I took my family this time for a late lunch, as the lunch crowd was just beginning to dissipate. I loved my meal so much and am craving it now, writing this post.
We started with an appetizer of Sambusa, which reminded me of an empanada.
We shared a big combination platter of vegetarian and meat options. Then, we added two more dishes to our big platter. If you are a vegetarian, this place is a gold mine. The vegetarian options are vast.
Here’s what was on the platter:
- Doro wot: Chicken drumsticks slow-cooked with minced onions, fresh garlic and ginger and hot sauce.
- Alicha Sega wot: Mild beef stew with onion and potatoes, garlic, ginger and tumeric.
- Gomen wot: Collard greens, onions and potatoes in a mild garlic sauce.
- Atakilt: Sliced cabbage, onions and carrots in a mild tomato sauce. (Delicious!)
- House Salad: Green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and green peppers in lemon dressing. (One of our favorites — the dressing was divine!)
- Doro Tips: Similar to chicken fajitas, this is chicken sautéed with onion, green peppers, garlic and Ethiopian spices.
- Kik wot: Lentil stew with hot spices, onions and garlic. (This was my favorite, but was spicy.)
The key to Ethiopian food is injera. A spongy type of flatbread, injera is used in lieu of utensils and plates, and it pretty much plays a role in every part of your meal — especially soaking up all the sauces.
Tear off a piece of the Injera and scoop your food up with it. (Forks are available upon request, though, if this isn’t your thing.)
What is Ethiopian food like? Not what you’d expect. It is a cross between Indian and Mediterranean with some great curry thrown in. It is heavy on the greens, legumes and potatoes. Some dishes are definitely spicy, so if you are sensitive to that, please tell your server. My kids were born with a jar of hot sauce in their hands, so they liked all of it.
The unexpected crowd favorite, besides the food, was the delicious Ethiopian iced tea. It is a dark, fully-leaded tea with flavors of cardamom and other spices. I ordered the first one, everyone tried it and followed suit. It’s the kind of tea that you would make a special trip for, for an afternoon pick-me-up.
My eldest daughter loved it the most, of my three. We savored every bite, then ate the soaked injera that acted as the platter for all these lovely treats.
We ate so much that we didn’t eat another bite until breakfast the next morning. And I’ll be back to do it all over again soon.
Queen of Sheba is located near Bowman Field at 2804 Taylorsville Road. Visit their website here: www.queenofshebalouisville.com.