Queen of Sheba - Toronto
After hearing from a foodie friend that this was a good Ethiopian choice for Toronto, I recently dined when in the city for a visit. I live in Edmonton, a city with fairly terrible Ethiopian, so I was looking forward to it.
I was disappointed. The room was stuffy and hot, the service was abysmal, and the food mediocre at best. There were four of us and we all had small-ish glasses of water that were never refilled. It was hot out and the food was spicy. We needed water. We shared a giant vegetarian platter (two of the four were veggie) and there was just enough food to fill us, but except for the spinach, all of the other dishes were bland and boring. I really like Ethiopian meat (doro tibs!) so maybe this place does meat well and I missed out. But really I don't know what the hype is about - it was at the quality of Edmonton Ethiopian, which isn't saying much.
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Don't trust your foodie friend.
Queen of Sheba's food is fine but there are several other places making it better. Service at all Ethiopian places in Toronto operates on their own version of time, just get over that and you can do better in Toronto. For a place that's cheap and not afraid of flavour is Nazareth by Lansdowne. This area is also door to door Ethiopian places.
Ethiopia House or Lalibela are infinitely better destinations for both veggie and meat dishes Ethiopian style. There are a few places on Bloor between Ossington and Crawford that have Ethiopian and Somali cuisine if you fancy a wander.
We stopped going to Queen of Sheba the day my husband described the interior as smelling "like a urinal mint". There are much better restaurants in the city - Ethiopian House or venture to the east end and try Dukem or Rendezvous.
The last time I was at Queen of Sheba, the food was terrible, the service worse, and all the diners were white. Not an Ethiopian client in sight. I live in the neighbourhood, which is full of Ethiopian joints, and noticed that some of the other places were always full of Ethiopians. Started going to Lalibela. It was hit-and-miss for a while, but the last few times was excellent. I think they have a new chef.