Lalibela Restaurant and Bar is offering an authentic Ethiopian experience to guests.

Started twenty-one years ago by Genet Mulugeta, Lalibela Restaurant and Bar began after Mulugeta, who previously had a grocery store, was advised to when people would come to her home for dinner.

“They would come to my house and tell me “why don’t you open a restaurant, why don’t you do this, why don’t you open a restaurant. If you open a restaurant you could make good money, all that kind of stuff,” Mulugeta said.

The restaurant gets its name from Lalibela, Ethiopia, Mulugeta’s hometown. Lalibela is considered a tourist attraction, most known for its eleven medieval rock churches (referred to as “rock-hewn churches”), made from one giant stone. Mulugeta’s parents had their own businesses in Lalibela, with her mother having run a restaurant there as well. Lalibela is and has been a family business, with (according to the Dallas Observer) her children coming in and helping when necessary.

“It’s a family kind of restaurant, you know. It’s a little restaurant, it’s not that big. It’s authentic,” she said.

As for the complexities of running a restaurant, she stated that one of the more difficult parts is collecting/shopping for all the spices necessary for her recipes, (ginger and garlic being noted by her as frequent purchases).

When customers visit, she stated she does her best to offer hospitality, encourage them to try out the food, hoping they [visitors] get the best experience out of their stay. What also keeps customers coming back is, of course, her recipes, which she says have gone unchanged through its twenty-one years of business.

“Because I cook it, it never changes, you know? That’s why I have the repeated customers I have,” she said.

Lalibela also offers a variety of appetizers like Titatim salad (tomato and green pepper with house dressing), Titatim fitfit (tomato and green pepper with injera), and avocado salad to heartier dishes like Lalibela tibs (beef pieces with olive oil) and Lamb tibs (lamb in olive oil). They also provide vegan and vegetarian options like Misir wat (lentils with ginger-garlic), Fosolia (string beans and carrots with ginger) and Gomen (collard greens cooked with ginger-garlic).

As for what’s next in 2022 for Lalibela, she stated that the business is expecting some remodels for the upcoming year, though with employees hard to find, there is still some uncertainty.

You can find Lalibela at 9191 Forest Ln, Dallas, TX 75243, or order via Grubhub and Door Dash.