My neighborhood Ethiopian & Eritrean restaurant, Queen of Sheba (6665 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-727-7057; noon to midnight; wifi), is a treasure trove of East African culinary delights. Nestled on the prominent yet unnoticed corner of Olive and Kingsland, just off the bustle of the Loop in University City, St. Louis, Missouri, a friendlier & spicier place you will not find.
If you’ve never tried East African fare, and I had not until Queen of Sheba opened, it’s a fascinatingly novel experience (well-introduced by Ian Froeb in the Riverfront Times a couple of months ago). If you’re a connoisseur, the caring co-owner Mr. Berak and his attentive staff do it right: making the injera from scratch every day; pulling the chicken, beef, and lamb dishes into harmony with fresh sauces and new menu additions every few months. In a town that doesn’t care about anything that doesn’t moo, they have a whole menu of vegan entrees & appetizers for under $10. And, having accidentally ordered a combo plate from said menu, this omnivore attests to the satisfaction these dishes give.
The wife and I are fairly obsessive about the presentation of our meals, and the similarities between the presentation, if not the actual act of eating, of Japanese and Ethiopian meals is remarkable. Who knew that bento and ker wat were so similar in aesthetic. They both strive to harmonize the orders of a whole table into a single large plate with each unique piece given a single contrasting attribute which sets it apart while tying it in with the rest of the plate.
And then you eat it all.
The beer list randomly consists of Red Stripe, Budweiser products, and Guinness. Loosen up your tie and give the place shot, perhaps at the DJ Mystifiya gigs this Friday & Saturday. No cover dancehall, baby.
April 19th, 2007 | Food, St. Louis, Uncategorized | 2 comments