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Sheba, Pickett Road in Fairfax - Ethiopian in an Old Dry Cleaner Next to Wild Chicken - Closed


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I drove by today, and there was a sign up for Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant, saying it would be opening in November, 2011. I can't imagine this space will be much more than a few burners simmering pots of long-cooked stews; the good news is that might be all you need. Wild Chicken isn't much of a landmark (it's an impossibly obscure restaurant in its own right), but they're next door to each other.

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Just noticed that Sheba is still lacking for an initial review. This reflects at least some neglect on my part after three or four visits. This is very good, satisfying Ethiopian food for the many times when the drive to Baileys Crossroads or to Enat is infeasible.

A pleasant surprise, given Rocks' speculation, is that they are doing more than just keeping pots simmering here. The sambusas and another appetizer (a kind of injera egg roll) that we were offered gratis on one visit, come out freshly deep-fried. On a visit with a pair of Ethiopian novices, the kitchen prepared a kitfo sampler, dividing the regular portion into raw, medium-rare, and overdone. They appear to get this request a lot. The food is on the better side of solid -- I wouldn't quite rate it "outstanding", but the tibs and wots are flavored authentically and strongly, the vegetable and lentil sides are distinct, and the injera is a fine version.

The decor is pleasant - several tables are raised up on a stage-like area at the front of the room and provide a nice view for those that like to people-watch while dining. The restrooms feature an external hand-washing area, which should be de rigeur for Ethiopian restaurants, burger and fried chicken joints. Heck, everywhere.

The service is friendly, but when the restaurant gets busy, it can be a long wait for attention. The crowd is very representative of nearby Fairfax -- multiethnic (i.e. less Ethiopian), and older, than we're used to seeing in our usual haunts inside the Beltway.

Between this and Dulce's empanadas, we're frequent visitors to this little strip.

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Just noticed that Sheba is still lacking for an initial review. This reflects at least some neglect on my part after three or four visits. This is very good, satisfying Ethiopian food for the many times when the drive to Baileys Crossroads or to Enat is infeasible.

Thanks for the detailed review, hoosiereph. Sheba also began offering free WiFi for its customers this month. Also, Feedel Band performs live Ethiopian jazz Thursday nights at 9 PM (look at the pictures on Facebook - it looks like a *fun* party!)

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I'll give another thumbs up to Sheba. Not the best Ethiopian in the area but consistently very good over several lunches and dinners and it satisfies the craving when I don't feel like schlepping into the District or to Baileys Crossroads. Service has always been attentive, but I haven't been there at peak times.

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I drove by today, and there was a sign up for Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant, saying it would be opening in November, 2011. I can't imagine this space will be much more than a few burners simmering pots of long-cooked stews; the good news is that might be all you need. Wild Chicken isn't much of a landmark (it's an impossibly obscure restaurant in its own right), but they're next door to each other.

Sheba has closed. I only got there once, for lunch, but had a rather broad selection of items, and it was a well-appointed, but somewhat ordinary Ethiopian restaurant - very tough to survive in that area full of Woodson High School students, emerging fro-yo outlets, Chipotle, Firehouse Subs, etc.

However, it is now Saba which is one of the more interesting openings of 2014.

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