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Queen of Sheba's - 31 Reviews - 1129 Weaver Dairy Rd, Chapel Hill, NC - Ethiopian Restaurants Reviews - Phone (919) 932-4986

Queen of Sheba's

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1129 Weaver Dairy Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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(919) 932-4986
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Reviews

( 15 )
( 5 )
( 0 )
( 1 )
( 10 )

Best

Upon entering the restaurant, you experience the overwhelming olfactory sensation of the pungent spices that permeate the room. The restaurant has tightly quartered tables wh...

Worst

Please note that if 2 people sit at the table they BOTH must order an entree or pay $7 sharing charge. The cheapest entree is $10.99. Was a rip off as I only ordered an app...

never going back 6/15/2011

My husband & I love Ethiopian food, and used to like Queen of Sheba when it was in the old Graham St location (right off Franklin St), going about 3-4 times a year when it was in its old location. Since it re-opened at Timberlyne, we really think the quality has dropped significantly. Our dinner there tonight was bland, dry, and generally unsatisfying. It is also really overpriced with small portions (but I guess since the food wasn't good, larger portion would have gone to waste anyway). The last time we were here (about 8 mths ago) we also left feeling things had gone downhill, but we decided to give it another shot, esp since we bought a Groupon deal ($10 for $20). This trip allowed us to finally close the case on QoS... we are never returning. What was the final nail on the coffin was that they sneakily automatically add 20% service charge to the whole bill (after the Groupon coupon is used) without telling you. They do notify us on the door -- but who sees these little signs -- we only notice after we left another 20% tip on top of what they had already taken themselves and left the restaurant. How sneaky-- you would think the server would at least tell you! Anyway, bottomline-- we are never going back! more

Worst Local Experience 6/15/2011

Horrible experience, lectured to and treated poorly by the owner, overpriced and food was good, but not great. more

THE WORST SERVICE! SO OVER PRICED! 5/20/2011

WAITED 15 MIN FOR RESERVED TABLE...WAITED 45 MIN. FOR WATER....OVER PRICED AND OVER RATED. THREE TABLES NEXT US COMPLAINED AS WELL. TOO BAD...WAS LOOKING FORWARD. NEVER AGAIN. more

Be aware of $7 Sharing Charge 4/19/2011

Please note that if 2 people sit at the table they BOTH must order an entree or pay $7 sharing charge. The cheapest entree is $10.99. Was a rip off as I only ordered an appetizer for $6.95 and and dinner partner ordered an entree.\r \r Will not return more

$7 share charge for nothing extra - rude owner 12/11/2010

My husband and I were in the area for a residency interview at Duke Med. We drove half an hour, past many good restaurants that came highly recommended. When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly server dressed in Ethiopian attire. We ordered two beers which arrived promptly. After noticing a ""$7 share charge"" on the menu we asked what does that charge cover, (assuming extra side dishes)? We were told it included nothing. In fact, for a second person to sit at the table and watch someone eat, it costs $7. Unbelievable. The server brought the chef/owner from the kitchen. We explained to her that we both had a light appetite and we were traveling and could not take leftovers, therefore ordering a second entree would just be wasteful. The chef explained that once she had a group of 10 people order 6 entrees and they kept asking for extra injera (bread), therefore she imposes the $7 charge for injera. I explained to her that we were willing to pay extra for injera should we need it, but no injera is worth $7, (maybe $1 - I have made it from scratch before). She was unwilling to accommodate us so we paid for our drinks and left. We cannot tolerate such gluttony (in a town with a world-renowned obesity clinic), such greed, or such wastefulness. more

A Meal Fit For Royalty 8/28/2009

Upon entering the restaurant, you experience the overwhelming olfactory sensation of the pungent spices that permeate the room. The restaurant has tightly quartered tables which were mostly empty when I visited on an off day at an off time (intentionally). I have passed this restaurant at times where there are no open tables. On the left wall of the restaurant, you will find several basket-like tables prepared for two diners. The remainder of the restaurant has regular tables. I opted for the basket like table which was lined with heavy plastic, with two seats facing each other and a small table to the side for drinks and bread. Meals are served on a large platter which is covered with a large spongy porous bread that had a thin pancake-like consistency. The bread is called injera, made from an Ethiopian grain called Teff, which is rich in calcium and iron. The entrees and side dishes are served directly on top of the bread, which soaks in the juices from the various stew-like meals. An additional basket of injera is provided to serve as your utensils. The injera is broken into small pieces and used to pick up bite size morsels. These morsels can be shared with your dining partner in a tradition that is known as gursha, where friendships are demonstrated through the sharing of food. There are several different basic cooking methods to choose from. These methods are applied to chicken, beef and lamb (or vegetarian...Ethiopian food boasts a wide variety of vegetarian dishes due to the strict adherence of Orthodox Christians to Lenten diets). Watt is a stew-like dish that can be fixed a variety of ways ranging from mild to spicy. Another dish called Fitfit (or Sifinfin) also has a stew-like consistency but contains broken pieces of injera cooked into the dish. Pan-fried meat is referred to as Tibbs. Not knowing anything about Ethiopian food and having an aversion to lamb dishes, I advised my waitress regarding my particular tastes. I was inclined towards ordering the three meat dish so I could sample a variety of cooking styles. This option included a lamb dish, which I was allowed to substitute for a chicken dish (an excellent choice was recommended). My meal consisted of the following dishes: Minchetabish - Finely chopped prime beef, first pan-fried with Sheba’s spices until golden, then simmered in the famous Ethiopian berbere sauce. This heavily spiced beef had a slightly sweet hot flavor that was very foreign to my taste buds. Yedoro Watt - Tender chicken marinated in lemon, sautéed in seasoned butter and stewed in red pepper (hot and thick berbere sauce) and served Ethiopian style with hard-boiled eggs, which are knife-poked and simmered in the watt. (This dish can be served with home made Ethiopian yogurt, but I did not have it served that way). These dark chicken drumsticks came served on the bone. Yedoro Tibbs - My dinner was supposed to be served with a lamb option. I do not care for lamb so I asked my waitress to suggest a dish that I might like. She recommended Yedoro Tibbs, which is boneless pieces of chicken marinated with ginger, garlic, and honey wine, then pan-fried with onions and purified butter. Friesh made me feel like she cooked for me as a guest in her home rather than a customer in her restaurant. That is a special quality that few restaurants possess. I would highly recommend Queen of Sheba with five stars out of a possible five. Pros: Excellent flavor, Nice variety, Warm Atmosphere more

great food, horrible service 6/4/2009

My wife and I have enjoyed takeout from QOS on several occasions, so we decided to try a sit-down meal on a wednesday evening. When we walked in, the place was about 2/3 full - there were at least 4 open tables. We stood in the doorway for about 10 minutes before we were acknowledged by a waitress. We sat down and then waited, waited, and waited - no water, no 'sorry I'm busy, I'll be with you as soon as I can"" - nothing. We were fine just enjoying the atmosphere and talking, but after 15 minutes or so we started to get annoyed. After about 20 minutes a waitress walked right by the table, made eye contact, and didn't say a word - we were both too shocked to even say anything. We gave it 5 more minutes, then just left. In short, this place has the worst service I've ever experienced in a restaurant. I think they are relying on the quality of the food to make up for it, but this is a poor strategy. Sadly they've lost two customers for life. Pros: food is great Cons: worst service I've ever experienced more

Wanted to give it a try, won't be going back 3/24/2009

High carbs, very few low carb veggies, lots of bread, and tons of oil. The shrimp and veggies were tasty but the food is fairly expensive given the type of food they offer and the quantity. Pros: intriguing flavors, nice spices Cons: swimming in oil more

Great dining experience! 3/8/2009

My spouse and I dined at Queen of Sheba on 3/5 and absolutely loved it! We ordered the meat combination and seafood combination, which is a great way to try a variety of dishes. The sauces, spices, and overall flavors are amazing! Over time, I have learned to enjoy food that has a little spicy/hot kick to it, but the nice thing about the food at Queen of Sheba is that you can easily order things that are not spicy (yet still have a lot of flavor). The restaurant itself is in a really pretty (somewhat small but cozy) space, and parking was easy (always a bonus in Chapel Hill!). A larger group was there celebrating a birthday, and the servers and owner came out and danced and sang to an Ethiopian song - added a fun and festive twist to the evening! We took home plenty of leftovers, so the total cost spread out over a few meals was very reasonable. Highly recommend this restaurant! Pros: Really flavorful, authentic Ethiopian food in a great setting Cons: can't think of any cons... more

Excellent Ethiopian food and wonderful service 3/5/2009

I have just eaten at this intimate Ethiopian restaurant in Chapel Hill, and found the place delightful, and the food wonderful.\r \r Having eaten at many Ethiopian and Somali restaurants in Minneapolis and St Paul over the last 15 years, I am somewhat experienced in this cuisine, and have had my share of disappointing meals. Thankfully, the meal I ate here was at the other end of the scale--the various dishes were each well prepared, and had their own distinct tastes. They were obliging with my requests for awaze (the hot sauce made from berbere spices), and prompt with hot tea refills (at no extra charge) and with injera.\r \r I almost did not go to this restaurant based on a scathing review by someone identifying themselves as RTPtrianglefoodcritic, but when I looked into this person's profile, I realized that this person was not a foodie, in that they had only one review to their credit. Obviously, someone wanted to write a panning review, and was scared to use their regular ID.\r \r Anyway, I am glad that I tried this place, and can heartily recommend it. For anyone who travels to the Twin Cities, and is looking for good Ethiopian food, try T's Place on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Like the Queen of Sheba, you will find excellent food and gracious service.\r \r PS. For those of you who do not know about this cuisine, the food is served communal style for your group, and you eat with your fingers. Finger lickin' good!! Pros: Excellently prepared food and prompt service Cons: Clearly serving ignorant 'food critics' -- I thought Chapel Hillians were more sophisticated... more

Fabulous food & location! 2/22/2009

I am a frequent diner at Queen of Sheba, and I also know the owner/chef, Friesh. My husband and I have eaten Ethiopian food at many different places, and Queen of Sheba is our favorite! If you've never had Ethiopian food before, I would definitely encourage you to try it. If you have, I can attest to the quality and deliciousness of the food at Queen of Sheba. Regarding some of the Feb. reviews, I would just like to remind folks that there are always 2 sides to every story. I have NEVER seen Friesh or her servers be rude to a customer, but I have seen some rude customers. And sometimes people use the reviews to ""punish"" the restaurant even for ridiculous situations, requests, etc. In any case, this is one reviewer who completely and wholeheartedly endorses the restaurant (as do the majority of the reviewers for Queen of Sheba)! Pros: Amazing food, ambience, convenient location and parking Cons: n/a more

dissappointed 2/17/2009

I am writing this review b/c I just returned from a dinner at queen of sheebah. I thought the food was not much for the price AT ALL. The service was lame and water glass was only filled after 10 mins. Very dissapointed with amount of food and price of entries. Would not suggest to anyone and will not go there again. First and last time. more

UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE! 2/14/2009

This place has very rude customer service. I made a call for reservations and did not get an answer. I left a message and did not hear back. I decided I would go to the restaurant early to avoid the rush. The place was completely empty. They told me that I did not call and leave a message for reservations.\r \r When I stated that I had called for reservations, they stated that they must not have understood the message and did not even apologize. They would not seat me. The owner was not sympathetic either, basically insinuating that I would lie about leaving a message. Who does that?\r \r I have never been treated this way in my life. Don't waste your time. AVOID THIS PLACE! Pros: empty- maybe they will go out of business Cons: very rude, unapolegetic, POOR customer service! more

Queen of Sheba 2/7/2009

I was really excited to try this place since I love ethnic food! First off, It was cold inside with the fans going, no hot tea on the menu to warm us up. It took quite a long time before they told me they didn't have what I ordered. We asked for more water, never got it. The food is all plopped on to a communal large (plastic) bowl lined with cold thin bread and I didn't think it had much in the way of taste. My daughter got the wrong dish. Very disappointed. more

Worth any wait every time! 1/13/2009

Yes, you will probably have to wait for your food. But hey, this isn't McDonald's, folks -- this is homemade, glorious, honest cooking. Rushed eating does a disservice to the labour of the chef and to your own experience of the food, so why not take the time to truly enjoy a meal here instead of bolting down your food and moving on to the next thing? If you wait, talk with your friends. Sip a cup of the fabulous spiced tea and try to identify all the flavours. Indulge in having absolutely nothing to do. Every meal we have had at Queen of Sheba has been a marvellous experience; all our friends from vegetarians to the most devoted meat-eater has a dish they adore and even the children like the food. The skills of the owner/chef are second to none and her warm personality infuses the whole place with a welcoming atmosphere. The new location is small and reservations are a good idea, especially on the weekends. Yes, you may have to wait, but that doesn't mean it isn't time well spent! Pros: Absolutely delicious food; wonderful atmosphere; good selection for vegetarians Cons: Small space fills up quickly; QoS is not located in my own kitchen more

Terrible Service! 1/10/2009

This place was terrible! The food is great, but not worth the wait and frustration of the place. We waited 45 minutes on our food and then ate and ran out of bread and had to wait 10 more minutes for more and by then our food was cold. The wait staff are terribly busy and our water glasses were empty the entire time. The food and experience together are not worth the price paid! more

One Word....YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1/8/2009

Please note that the restaurant is actually located at Timberlyne Plaza on Weaver Dairy Road now.\r \r I am a huge fan of Ethiopian food after visiting Blue Nile in Durham a few years ago. The ambience, the injera, the amazing appetizers, the variety of flavors is astounding! \r \r I took my 4 yo for the first time and now he wants to eat all his food by picking off bits of bread! We usually get the vegetarian sampler here because it is just so darn good. I had the meat dishes a few years ago, which were pretty good as well, but I still tend to favor the veggies there.\r \r 100% recommended if you've never tried Ethiopian or are a connoisseur already! For a more authentic experience, sit at a basket instead of the table. Pros: Amazingly unique food Cons: When the meal is over ;) more

Great Food! 12/14/2008

I love Ethiopian food, and was thrilled to find Queen of Sheba re-opened! My first time in the new location was a little unsettling, but only from the service not the food. The waiter seemed lost in a sea of ineptness. We held on, and finally received water after waiting 30 min. He then proceeded to take another table's order that had just sat down. We had to wait 20 more min. until we could order food. I was happy once my food arrived because it was delicious!! I felt about offering to wait tables in exchange for food to help the owner out. Seriously! She is so gracious and welcoming, I feel like it is a disservice to have such a unorganized waiter. The second time I came in, it was for lunch and again wonderful food, but that same waiter. He was much more focused that day, and actually was attentive and nice. I have to remember sometimes that one can have an off day, and sometimes that day is our busiest day ever. I also wish they were open on Sat. afternoons! Pros: Home cooked food by gracious owner, new great location Cons: improperly trained waitstaff more

What is with these absurd reviews? 12/2/2008

Okay, when someone starts raving about an AMAZING LOCATION that happens to be in a strip mall, I wonder. When they also say they would have ""expected to pay at least $65 for THIS meal for two people,"" then I really wonder--since it's Ethiopian food! The prices are pretty much the same everywhere!\r \r I love this place. The food is great. I tolerate the bad service, like I do at all Ethiopian restaurants, because the food is really good. It's not particularly cheap, but worth it since I get enough food for leftovers. And did I mention that the food is great? Pros: delicious food, lots of vegetarian options Cons: typical slow Ethiopian restaurant service, inconvenient location more

Fantastic authentic Ethiopian food! 12/1/2008

My husband and I ate at Queen of Sheba last week, and it was FANTASTIC! The new location at Timberlyne Shopping Center is absolutely beautiful, and there is plenty of parking, which is a nice change from downtown Chapel Hill. I have had Ethiopian food in NYC, Arizona, and several places in Washington, D.C. The food at Queen of Sheba is better than any other Ethiopian restaurant I have been to! We had the ""Chef's Choice,"" which was a total delight. We loved everything that was served. It's hard to pick favorites, since everything was so good, but I particularly loved the ""Ayib Begomen"" appetizer, and the ""Minchetabesh"" (chopped prime beef). Of course, the seafood was also fantastic, and we really enjoyed the lamb as well! We had a wonderful wine with our dinner, and finished the meal with the traditional Ethiopian coffee. It was a fabulous, leisurely dinner that was very special. We have also been to Queen of Sheba for lunch, which is great as well (and very reasonable!). It does help to go early for dinner, as it gets pretty busy, but as others have said, it is worth any wait! Highly recommended!! Pros: Great atmosphere, amazing food, easy parking Cons: No cons - just be aware that Ethiopian dining is an experience to be enjoyed in a leisurely way more
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Menu for Queen of Sheba's




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Editorial

  • The Scene
    Although it's located only a side street away from the heart of Chapel Hill, Queen of Sheba feels remote. Lamp posts outline the covered patio, illuminating several outdoor...

  • 12/18/2003 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tue-Sat 11am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa
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