An Ethiopian Breakfast at Sheba Cafe

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Photos by Troy Fields
Whether you've grown tired of typical breakfast and brunch places, whether you're on the hunt for something exotic and new or whether you are simply interested in seeing traditional breakfast foods in a far different setting, breakfast at Sheba Cafe will suit you to a T.

Sheba Cafe, the subject of this week's cafe review, is -- like Blue Nile -- a mother-and-daughter-run restaurant serving Ethiopian food in the Addis Ababa style. But unlike Blue Nile (or any other Ethiopian place in town), Sheba also serves breakfast starting every day at 9 a.m.

Getting those unfamiliar with the cuisine to understand that an Ethiopian breakfast is neither overly exotic nor "weird" can take a little prodding. But let's look at the basics: kinche, a cracked wheat dish that resembles oatmeal...if oatmeal actually tasted good; foul (seen above), a dish that calls to mind refried beans, served with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and scrambled eggs; enqulal fir-fir, which is nothing more than eggs scrambled with tomatoes and onions; and coffee from Ethiopia, which many of you are probably drinking anyway.

Nothing scary about that, right?

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Kinche: a wheat-based hot breakfast cereal even your kids will love.
Breakfast is typically served with a basket of French bread (if you order foul, which is pronounced "fool") and half-moons of injera bread, if you want to play cross-cultural cuisine constructor and build your own "Ethiopian breakfast taco" out of the stuff, as my dining companion did one morning over breakfast.

Since the food is all cooked fresh to order, I recommend making a morning of it with three of your closest (or more adventurous) friends and settling in at Sheba Cafe with the doors flung open and a cool fall breeze ruffling the curtains. Coffee takes a while to prepare, as does the delicious spiced tea, but both are worth the wait, so bring a paper --or, better yet, some good conversation -- and relax. They've even got CNN on the flat-screen TV most days, if you really want to keep up with the news while you nosh.

If you want to see how breakfast is made behind the scenes, check out our slideshow.



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