queen-sheba-main4808 Central Avenue

Owner: Noah Mesgane

Queen Sheba features authentic, traditional Ethiopian cuisine, including Doro Wott, Sambosas, Shiro,and Kitfo

Noah Mesgane was a patron at Queen Sheba Restaurant before he was the owner. After years of living in different places across the globe, he took a job that brought him to Charlotte, and it was not long before he discovered the Queen Sheba restaurant. Noah felt at home with the food he was raised on (he was born in Ethiopia of Eritrean parents) and saw the potential in the restaurant to become a gathering place. When the opportunity came up to buy the restaurant, he seized it and has been the owner since February 2013.

Noah and his wife, Eden, have studied and worked in many places from Africa and the Middle East to the northwestern United States. Their background has given them an appreciation for human and cultural diversity, and they see the restaurant as a place to share perspectives along with food. Noah offers an “open mic” night each Wednesday to encourage people to express opinions and dialogue about current issues, and this seems easy to do while sharing a wonderful Ethiopian meal.

At Queen Sheba, you will find many healthy and delicious items made from scratch. To start, avocado salad and sambosas are very popular. Then share a combination plate to enjoy several Ethiopian specialties such as Doro Wat (spicy chicken drumsticks), Kitfo (beef seasoned with butter and spices), or Ye-Beg Key Wot (lamb slow cooked in spicy sauce). The combination platters will also include miser (lentils), salad, gomen (collard greens), cabbage, string beans and fresh cheese. Injera, a kind of spongy flatbread, is your fork: use it to scoop up the wonderful flavors in front of you. And do not forget to try the honey wine, which is a lovely complement to the spicy food and made by a local Charlotte woman just for the Queen Sheba restaurant. Coffee is also a big part of the Ethiopian culture. Be sure to check out the traditional coffee ceremony area while visiting Queen Sheba.

The environment at Queen Sheba is open and welcoming, and the Ethiopian practice of sharing food at your table makes for a great experience. Noah hopes that the food will be a bridge between cultures, and welcomes more and more people into the restaurant for an amazing meal and open conversation.

– Profile written by Karen Lockhart & Stephanie McKee