An Evening at Feedel Bistro
To celebrate Black History Month, Jeremiah and I are visiting/patronizing black-owned businesses and restaurants around ATL. After two years in Atlanta, we definitely have spots that we frequent over and over and over again — Leon’s, Iberian Pig and/or Gypsy Kitchen — and so it’s been fun to discover new places that we can add to our list of favorites!
A few weeks ago, my good friend, Kris, told me about Feedel Bistro, a black-owned Ethiopian/Etrian restaurant in North Druid Hills that she greatly enjoyed & highly recommended. After perusing their Instagram feed and reading so many positive Yelp reviews, I was dying to visit! I called up my Dad and invited him to join Jeremiah & I for dinner on the town; only a few days later, we were all seated at a small table in Feedel, ready to experience a wonderful meal.
Firstly, the restaurant is SO beautiful! When we arrived, around 6 PM, we were the only people in the restaurant, aside from two gentlemen at the bar. The lighting, decor and small/close tables made the atmosphere feel intimate and homey. Beautiful, traditional Ethiopian music played softly from the speakers. Even in the height of the dinner rush, when we were eventually joined by around 10-12 other people, the restaurant never became too loud or hectic. It’s the perfect environment for a first date or intimate dinner amongst friends/family.
While Jeremiah and I love Ethiopian food, my Dad had never tried it before (!!!) Thankfully, we had a phenomenal waiter, Jonathan. Jonathan was truly incredible — well-informed, patient and a master at explaining the many different dishes Feedel had to offer. Jonathan explained that Ethiopian food is eaten communally and with your hands — each dish is brought out on top of injera; you then rip a piece of the injera off and use it to scoop and eat the food. It’s essentially the same concept as using a Tostito to scoop some salsa — except that injera is spongier and better-tasting and it’s more like a pick-up-by-pinching than scooping motion…but you get it.
We each washed our hands, ordered a glass of South African wine (I wish I could remember the name because it was wonderful!), and excitedly started to review the menu.
We decided that we’d share everything and eat communally, as is traditional to Ethiopian cuisine. We each picked a dish that we personally wanted to try & then added one more for good measure (and extra full bellies!) Initially, we went back and forth on what to order, but once again, Jonathan helped us by recommending dishes that paired well with others and gently guiding us to a well-balanced meal.
Mom’s Special Gomen Be’siga — Cubed lamb mixed with fresh collard greens & simmered in a mild sauce seasoned with seasoned butter, herbs & spices
Sagla’s Tibs Spris — Strips of tender beef, lamb, chicken or salmon sautéed in a well-balanced red Berbere sauce, onions, garlic and tomatoes
Chef’s Special Tibs — Zesty strips of Rib-eye sautéed to perfection in exotic herbs & spices with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and jalapeño
Vegetarian Sampler — Red lentils, yellow split peas, azifah, collard greens, cabbage & house salad
Extra Injera — Sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture
Right before our food came out, we actually met one of the owners, Tamar Telahun! Tamar co-owns the restaurant with her brother, Simon Gebru, and personally works in the restaurant/kitchen. She was SO kind! Tamar told us that her 81-year old mother actually comes in every day to make “Mom’s Special Gomen Be’siga” — isn’t that wild?! Talk about authentic cuisine!
I’m not sure if you can tell, but this isn’t a plate — it’s a platter. We didn’t even know where to start! We each ripped a piece of injera, scooped some food & dug in. And when I tell you it was heavenly, please know that I mean it with all my heart. Each dish had beautifully balanced spices — vegetables paired perfectly with meats, the different curries lit up our tastebuds, and the injera had the perfect mildly sour yeasty taste that’s signature of all sourdoughs.
While we happened to order dishes with lots of meat, it’s very easy to eat an entirely vegan and/or gluten-free meal. I actually most-enjoyed the dishes from the vegetarian sampler — especially the red lentils!
Initially, I was a little bit worried that there wouldn’t be enough food for all of us — we’re all pretty big eaters — but by the end of the meal, we were all super content & full. We ended up staying for another 30 minutes post-meal, just to enjoy the atmosphere & catch up with one another.
We’ll 1000% be back to eat again and again at Feedel!