Sheba is a charming Ethiopian
restaurant near the corner of Broadway and 17th street in downtown Sacramento. Queen
Sheba is a neighbor to several other ethnic restaurants.
Ethiopian food is
more communal than almost any other type of ethnic food. The
hallmark of Ethiopian cuisine consists of sharing food on one giant
plate and using injera-- a spongy, sour, pliable flat bread-- to scoop
up the various shared dishes. Enjeera
is a part of almost every meal for Ethiopia’s middle
and upper classes. Prepared much as it was 1,000 years ago, enjeera
is both an eating utensil and a surface for other foods to lie on.
It lines the giant plate, soaking up the sauces and spices of the
various dishes piled on top. The eating of this lining, or “tablecloth,”
signifies that the meal is officially over, thus completing the communal
Ethiopian dining experience.
Zion Taddese and her brother
Eskinder opened Queen Sheba Restaurant on Howe Avenue in August
of 2003, and moved to the current location on Broadway in December of 2005. Together, the siblings offer friendly and attentive service
along with spicy, flavorful dishes that follow the traditions of
Ethiopian dining. You can enjoy the famed honey wine, Tej, which
Ethiopians often make themselves, with its unique taste that complements
the spices in the food. Combination
plates on the menu allow you to sample different dishes arranged
symmetrically on a giant plate. One of these dishes is Gomen, which consists of
cooked spinach, collard greens, onions and garlic. Gomen may remind
you of collards in soul-food cooking. Then experience Misr Kik
Wot (wot simply means “stew”), a satisfying dish made
with lentils and spices. Other examples of traditional dishes include two similar-tasting
choices, Doro Wot and Gored Gored. Doro Wot is a popular dish, with
chicken leg and hard-boiled egg, served on a dark bed of simmered
vegetables and spices. It has the color, consistency and heat of
a fiery chili. Gored Gored
consists of cubes of beef in a mixture similar to Doro Wot, spiced in Ethiopian fashion
with berbere. Berbere, a mix of at least a dozen spices, including
paprika, ginger, cardamom, hot chilis and turmeric, gives many Ethiopian
foods their distinctive flavor.
Queen Sheba offers many delicious, traditional dishes
for you to enjoy, including a number of Vegetarian and Vegan options. You'll end your dining experience by eating the large
“tablecloth” Injera, which will have soaked up the sauces and spices of the
various dishes. Finish up with some coffee; coffee drinking has a great significance
ceremonial in nature. Beans are freshly roasted, ground, and brewed, and
then served in tiny cups with sugar (but no milk). Drink three cups
for a blessing! The flavors and customs of Ethiopian dining will provide
you with the experience of food from the "cradle of civilization".
Who Was The Queen Of Sheba?
Throughout the ages, the
legendary Queen of Sheba has
evoked images of beauty, wealth and power. Few women in history
have captured our imaginations so strikingly, yet cloaked themselves
in such mystery. Her story has been woven into the folklore and
traditions of both Eastern and Western cultures. Yet for all the
exotic tales, romance novels, and colorful theories about her,
she remains an enigma. Archaeologists have yet to learn the Queen
of Sheba's proper name.
In Arab lore, this queen
was named Bilqus or Balkis; in Ethiopia, Makeda (also Magda, Maqda
and Makera), meaning 'Greatness'. Years later, the historian Josephus
referred to her as Nikaulis, Queen of Ethiopia and Egypt.
We are most familiar with
the Biblical record of her meeting with King Solomon of Israel
(thought to have occurred around 950-930 B.C.). On hearing of
his wisdom, it is said that the Queen made the journey north to
Solomon's courts "to test him with hard questions." The conference
proved a success, culminating in the two monarchs bestowing wealth
and good favor on each other.
The meeting of King Solomon
of Israel and the Queen of Sheba had significant repercussions
upon the fate of the middle east.According to Arabic traditions,
the Queen (known to Arabs as Bilqis) ruled with the heart of a
woman and the head of a man, and worshipped the sun and the moon.
The matriarchy of Sheba (believed to be early Ethiopia) has inspired
writers, artists and readers for
Sheba or Saba, whose name means Host of Heaven and peace, was
Abyssinia. Located in southwest Arabia on the eastern tip of the
Red Sea, Sheba occupied 483,000 square miles of mountains, valley
and deserts in the area of present day Yemen. Some historians
claim that Ethiopia, on the western end of the Red Sea, was also
part of Sheba's territory.
Despite the mystery that
surrounds her, it is believed that Sheba earned respect from her
people for her benevolent leadership and the wisdom she gained
through her commitment to learning and spiritual
development. She was also revered for her kindness to her people
and her capacity to live by her philosophical and religious principles.
Queen Sheba Restaurant