Queen of Sheba - Ethiopian Restaurant

8/07/2011 03:39:00 PM

Thank you to Groupon.com for giving me a chance to try Ethiopian food locally. My friend Gabby was actually the one that brought it to my attention about Ethiopian food and was also the one to purchase the groupon coupon for us to get out and try something we knew nothing about. I was pretty excited but we both have been very busy so we ended up going to Queen of Sheba on the day of when the groupon coupon was going to expire.

It was pretty packed when we went but I noticed that everyone else was rushing to use their coupon before it expired. The experience was pretty fun and if I had to rate that night I would give it a 7. The atmosphere was fun and lively but the service was a bit slacking. They have a huge menu for you to look at and here's what I love! The menu is also available online on their website (I love when I can look at menus and have a idea what I would like to order before I sit down). Now here's something to keep in mind, the dishes are meant to be eaten with your fingers and hands and are shared within the table. I love sharing food and love when we can all eat happily together so I wasn't freaked out by it but I know some would think it's weird. It's a really fun experience so I would really advise you guys to get out there and share your food!

Lets start!

Gabby and I started out with appetizers and the waitress suggested the Appetizers for 2 for $8.50. I can't exactly remember what came with it but I do know we had to ask for the rest of our appetizer since it didn't all come out (maybe they forgot?, the thing is, on the menu they didn't list what was in the appetizer so I had to ask beforehand, after that I realized we didn't get everything she said...)

In the appetizer for 2 we got the Ana-babro (layers of injera filled with fresh jalapeno and Ethiopian spices and kebe.), Ethiopian tomato salad (diced tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, olive oil and lemon juice.), Buticha (ground chickpeas mixed with olive oil, diced onions, garlic, hot pepper and mustard), Azifah (whole lentils blended with dice onions, green peppers, jalapeno pepper, mustard, and olive oil), and Vegetarian sambussa (homemade thin flat bread hand-wrapped and stuffed with a combination of whole lentils stew, fresh garlic, onions, peppers and herbs. Served hot.).

I know for a fact... The ana-babro was killer spicy and the waitress was lacking in coming back with water so I pretty much felt like dying for a little while. It wasn't even a good spicy, I felt like my tongue was stabbed by millions of needles. The Buticha was pretty good though, it's really mild and very similar to hummus. The Azifah was just alright but I've never been a fan of lentils so it could just be me. Same with the vegetarian sambussa, because there was lentils in there I didn't like it that much and I already had a fire tongue from the ana-babro that I couldn't even touch the hot sambussa (I think I would prefer the meat sambussa they serve there) I did like the flat bread wrapping a lot, it was soft, chewy and had a little crunch to it! They had forgotten to serve us the tomato salad til the end and from picking it a little at the end I did like it but I wasn't in love with it.

For the entree we ended up ordering the Combination Queens Eight platter for two for $28.00 (dinner). For this dish I have no clue what anything is called at all, since it's an chef pick kind of deal. I know in the center (my favorite of the night) was some sort of chicken and egg stew. It was really good and it was the only thing I was eating, it had a few pieces of chicken on the bone and halved eggs mixed in their spiced stew. There's a few beef and chicken stew around the plate but none was as good as the center. The other sides are vegetable stews, some lentils, split peas, mixed potatoes, carrot and cabbage mixture. They were out of lamb so I was a little sad since I love lamb!

How to eat you ask?

Well they provide injera to grab your food with. Injera is a spongy and airy flatbread that's made from teff flour.

Oh and do not fear! They provide hand sanitizer at each table. THANK GAWD!

I really had a fun time with this, similar to Indian food that serves Naan which is typically eaten with curries. This injera was really airy and spongy which made it kinda fun and weird to hold. When you hold a piece up you can see all the tiny holes within the injera. They also use a large round piece of injera as a "plate".

Feel free to click on the picture for a gigantic zoom in!

Eat up! and enjoy the experience! I had a great time and am always on groupon looking for more deals and also my eyes open for more fun time :D I think this is a great way to gather some friends and try something difference for a change. I honestly did have a great time but I don't think I would think of Ethiopian food when I'm hungry or crave it. I'm just glad I had a chance to try it though.

Queen of Sheba - Ethiopian Restaurant

3636 Henderson Blvd.
Tampa, FL

phone: 813-872-6000
fax: 813-872-6007


Queen of Sheba on Urbanspoon

Oh, meet my partner in dine!
Gabby :)

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