Ethniche

Wott's happening at the Queen of Sheba on Colfax

For more than a year, Mark Antonation ate his way up Federal Boulevard. With that journey done, he'll now explore different cuisines from around the globe right here in metro Denver, one month at a time, in Ethniche. Last month was Hawaiian. And June? Ethiopian.

Heading away from Capitol Hill on Colfax, skirting Cheesman Park, sliding past Congress Park into neighborhoods east of Colorado Boulevard, a driver might be tempted to gawk at the wondrous mixture, reading each sign for the clues and markers of good food and drink. But the shifting traffic, unpredictable pedestrian movements and lane-hogging RTD buses make for difficult and dangerous sightseeing, much less fully absorbing the boggling diversity of bars, restaurants, shops and people. Better to sit in the passenger seat, piloted in an eastward path, from where patterns can be observed and analyzed. Ethiopian restaurants, whether wrapped in the red, yellow and green bands mimicking the country's flag or like the Queen of Sheba, crouching demurely amid innocuous markets, barber shops and thrift stores, reveal themselves in spurts and clusters, adding their complex and welcoming blend of spices to the roiling kitchen of Denver's most awe-inspiring stretch of asphalt. This is definitely the metro area's primary, though not only, Ethiopian zone.

See also: Trucking around Denver in search of Pacific Bonsai

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation