Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant. What a delightful treat. The food was great (although we should have been more adventurous with the heat factor) but even more, the owner was such a lovely woman I could have stayed there all afternoon sipping spiced Ethiopian iced tea and chatting with her.
The restaurant is small and we were the first lunch guests of the day. We took our time, enjoying an appetizer called Veggie Sambusa. Next came the shared meal of two different vegetarian entrees served on an edible pallet of injera with two additional rolled pieces of injera. No utensils. "Tear, scoop, and squeeze" where the owner's instructions on how to eat the meal in traditional style.We were so hungry and the food was hearty and satisfying.
Injera fascinates me. I've tasted it before at my Dad's adult family home where all of the caregivers come from Ethiopia. They often serve their traditional foods at the open house parties at Christmas and Halloween. Several times, one of the caregivers has offered me some of her food to taste, a bit worried that I might not be up for the spiciness but I've really liked the flavors. There are lots of vegetarian dishes, too and that makes me happy.
Eating injera is like eating a sponge; non-salty and slightly sour tasting. It grows on me the more times I eat it. Clearly a vehicle for getting the food from the plate into your mouth, it's also quite nutritious. It absorbs the flavor of whatever food it touches. Yum.
Laura and I polished off our meal with baklava and a homemade peanut cookie dipped in chocolate. I'm not sure how authentic these desserts are to Ethiopia but they were delicious nonetheless.
I've got to go back. Better yet, I've got to check out some of the local Ethiopian restaurant sin Seattle. I'm hungry just thinking about this "hole - ey" looking pancake and all the good things it wants to soak up.