Critic’s Choice: Which is the best new restaurant in Palm Beach County?

photo queen of sheeba restaurant

A sampler platter of Ethiopian red lentil stew and split peas in turmeric sauce is served at Queen of Sheeba, a full-service Ethiopian restaurant located in West Palm Beach’s Northwest Historic District. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

An excerpt from our Food Editor’s 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards:

Best new restaurant in Palm Beach County: Queen of Sheeba

When a former registered nurse named Lojo Washington opened this jewel-box of a restaurant on a neglected block of West Palm Beach’s Historic Northwest District, she tapped into the essence of what makes a restaurant truly great: passion and devotion.

photo doro wot chicken

“Doro wot,” chicken stewed in robust African chili spices and served with a hard-boiled egg, is the national dish of Ethiopia. It is served at Queen of Sheeba. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

The Ethiopian-born restaurant owner and cook presents the foods of her native land and the lightly sour injera bread, which serves as a scoop for stewed dishes and veggies she serves. Because Queen of Sheeba is South Florida’s only Ethiopian restaurant, her customers hail from near and far – a dream come true for a woman eager to share the flavors of her childhood with the community at large.

But it is Washington’s devotion to the restaurant’s struggling neighborhood that fuels her sense of purpose in the kitchen. She wants to do more than dazzle customers with stunning plate presentations – she wants to share with them her food stories, to nourish them in body and soul.

Queen of Sheeba: 716 N. Sapodilla Ave., West Palm Beach; 561-514-0615; QueenOfSheebaWPB.com

Related: A full list of the Critic’s Choice picks for 2015

Queen of Sheeba: ‘Queen’ of eatery hopes to change hearts, minds one dish at a time 

 

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