A highly critical review of the Queen of Sheba

Thought I’d share something I did today.

I wrote a quick and spontaneous Yelp review for the Ethiopian restaurant Queen of Sheba, which you can read below. I ate there a couple of weeks ago. For some reason, today I felt so moved to write about it. Random, I know, but writing is good. Writing something with potential to help a small business that I love is also good.

You can find Queen of Sheba’s Yelp page here – To find my review, look for the search bar with helper text “Search within the reviews.” Enter the word “bequeath” there.

I don’t think there are many Yelp reviews that use the word “bequeath”, so you should be able to find mine from there.

This was my first time having Ethiopian food, and that makes me sad and happy at the same time. Sad that so many years of my life have elapsed without this delicious cuisine in my life. Happy that I still have time left to return here to relish these culinary gifts.

We were served by a woman that I shall henceforth refer to as the Queen. Her and her daughter (also a Queen), who I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting, run the place by themselves. I don’t know the actual names of much of the food that the Queen blessed us with, but does it really matter? If the Queen bequeaths you even a morsel, one would be remiss not to cherish that sliver as if it were the last on this earth. You eat it, you love it, you say thank you. And you ask for more.

In the interest of enriching your life, let me advise you not to ask the Queen for a fork. I did, and she rebuked me. Hands and Injera (a spongy Ethiopian flatbread) are the only utensils necessary. The Injera never runs out by the way.

Ethiopia has been said to be the cradle of mankind, and with that in mind it is no wonder that the food tastes so good. It’s as if the Queen is the shining latest of a long line of chefs, nay artists, whose work carries with them the wisdom of all those that came before. The Queen’s cooking — her take on Ethiopian food — is earthy, intense, and sustaining. Her food brings us all the way back to the beginning, when we first learned that the amalgamation of certain ingredients produced intense, delicious flavor. In those days, food was community in its purest form, an occasion for sharing.

And that, really, was the true beauty of my experience here. It wasn’t just how the food tasted. It’s that I sat there with people I loved, eating from a shared plate, and felt compelled to be present in the sharing. The Queen’s food encourages communion: real, rooted communion. In this present day, where dining experiences are so encumbered by all the things that make us want to shift our attentions elsewhere, moments like these are precious.

So come here, and be present. Make good conversation. Use your hands. Enjoy the food that is crafted by the hands of the Queen herself.

She would love to have you.

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