King Solomon and Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant in a dull patch of Queen Street by Parliament, at 360 Queen St. E. in Toronto, ON, Canada.

By Suresh Doss (CBC News) |

We’re exceptionally privileged to have so many great Ethiopian restaurants spread throughout the city. There’s a decent strip of Ethiopian restaurants on Queen West — and the best stretch in the city, a collection of eateries along the Danforth in the Greenwood-Coxwell neighborhood.

Toronto has had a long history of family-run restaurants that specialize in cuisine from the Horn of Africa. But sadly, with the evolution of Toronto’s neighborhoods, rising rents and an aging population, these restaurants are starting to disappear much like other older establishments. So it’s rare to hear about a new Ethiopian restaurant opening in the downtown core. (These days all the new places are uptown or near the airport.)

I was surprised to see King Solomon and Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant open in a dull patch of Queen Street by Parliament.

I was introduced to the restaurant by a good friend of mine who lives near the area. “You have to try this place. It has incredible Ethiopian food,” he said to me.

During my first visit, I started off with a plate of “red” tibs — beef cooked almost stew-like, served with rolls of injera bread. It was a revelation. There was something about the spice; not overly hot, but rather, smoky, almost earthy. It was different from other plates of tibs I’ve had throughout the city. Then followed a selection of vegetables: lentils, split peas and some roughly chopped cabbage, each with spice and flavors that were familiar yet foreign. There was some regional specificity to each dish.

I visited again and again. Each time, something about the meats and the vegetables stood out to me. There was a freshness and vibrancy, a deep layering of spices.

Continue reading this story at CBC News
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