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Evenings at the Feve

March 22, 2010

"All problems begin and end at the Feve." ~ Oberlin Proverb


This semester, I've wiled my way into an improv show that Harris is directing, called Evenings at the Wormhole. The show is centered around a bar at the nexus of time, where people from all different eras fight, chat, drink, and fall in love. Characters include: Jack the Ripper, Joan of Arc, Catherine the Great, Elton John, Shakespeare, and a young Oedipus. I'm playing Amelia Earhart.

This bar is, more or less, The Feve.

What's the Feve?

The Feve is the heart of Oberlin. Shared by students, townfolks, alumni, and staff, the Feve is the most delicious restaurant in town. You can take anyone to the Feve. Whether you're looking to share an order of tots with a friend or have a date with a prospective girlfriend / boyfriend... it all feels comfortable. At the Feve, you can escape your worries, or discuss them at great length. The walls are coated with the secrets of the town.

2 people arm wrestling.
Feve tables are great for arm wrestling, as my friend Cal demonstrates. Last summer, I learned the game "Bloody Knuckles" at the Feve, and proceeded to terrorize my friends with my tiny hands.

After a while, the Feve becomes Cheers: everyone knows your name. When you arrive, the bartenders give you huge hugs. They know what you like to drink, what dipping sauces you want with your tots; whether you like it Mild, Hot, or Masochistic.

During the sleepy Oberlin summers, the Feve hosts dance parties that gather the whole town. There's a "Feveband" that plays on Sunday nights, I've braved the cold to see live salsa bands, and recently, Black River Belles played there. My friend Moon DJs a spectacular '80s night, getting the whole crowd to dance: casual head-boppers with folks who groove their whole bodies to Michael Jackson and Soft Cell.

A guy in a bright blazer and open-collared shirt, leisure-style.
At the Feve: that vintage '80s look.

Physically, the Feve is two stories, filling two restaurant genres: the Americana diner and the classy bar. The vibe is relaxed: they serve coffee in huge mugs, often hand-crafted. The owners promote local artists, with rotating exhibits hanging on the walls. They sell Feve t-shirts, which about a fourth of the town own, and wear with pride.

Exposed rafters, brick walls with modern art
A sneak peak into the Feve!

What to Order:

1. Burgers
As a vegetarian, I stick to the portobello burgers, and giant salads, but I respect the massive joy of the Feve's burgers. They have fun with burgers, offering a half-pound burger topped with "just right" wing sauce and danish blue cheese on a kaiser roll.

If you eat meat, a Feve burger is an experience. Make it yours.

2. Tots
The tots are the kicker. Remember tater tots? From elementary school cafeterias? Either still-frozen or too-fried? Well, the Feve redeems tater tots. They make an art of tots. When the kindly waitstaff asks, "Fries or tots?", YOU MUST CHOOSE TOTS. And then, a variety of dipping sauces. Or you will never understand earthly perfection.

3. Coffee
Their coffee is empowering and delicious.

4. Feve Brunch
At a school of chefs, cooks, bakers, and bread-makers, the weekly creations of Feve Brunch still astound.

As they put it:

Here at The Feve, we believe that everyone should be sleeping during breakfast hours. That's why we serve an amazing brunch on Saturdays and Sundays that runs from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm. Our menu changes every weekend, allowing us to pick the best fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses from the market each week, keep the cooks excited about the menu, and keep you from getting bored. All dishes are designed by our creative cooking staff and are made from scratch in our own kitchen.

Feve-brunch includes maple bacon pancakes, wild mushroom quiche, lemon poppyseed pancakes, roasted tomato garlic soup, honey chipotle chicken tacos, blueberry pecan 'cakes, aloo gobi... Everything is $6 to $8.

The following are Feve Brunch Photos by Edseloh! More here! Beware, may cause extreme hunger.

bowl of soup
Perfect on a soggy day: Pozole Rojo
Pancakes
The Sweetest: White Chocolate & Macadamia Pancakes
Ravioli and bread
The Delicious: Butternut squash ravioli &mdash fresh pasta tossed with caramelized onion and sage butter.
​​​​​​
Burger and salad
The Infamous: Feve Breakfast Burger, topped with a fried egg, American cheese, and bacon.

Is the Feve the only food around?

This all isn't meant to degrade the other restaurants in town. I could write an equally emphatic love letter to Black River Cafe. They make the best pancakes in the world. Each night, they transform from a coffeehouse to an amazing classy restaurant, that serves the finest local foods. The only flaw is that it's too small. Patrons tend to linger, and the line grows longer and longer. Still, it's always worth the wait.

I have a soft spot for asian fusion, so I love Weia Teia. I adore Tooo Chinoise: in particular, their vegetable wonton soup. When hungry, I finish a bowl of veggie wonton in approximately 30 seconds. No matter how scalding the soup is.

And though I'm not a huge burrito fan, Agave's creations are incredible. In terms of getting fast, filling, and delicious lunch, they're tops. And they have an Open Mic night, that's a nice mix of townsfolks and current students.

... You can't really go wrong with restaurants in Oberlin. But if you've got one lunch, or one dinner, go to the Feve.

Front of building with sign, The Feve: Coffee House & Del
The only problem with the Feve? There aren't more places like it.

(This entry was in no way endorsed or sponsored by the Feve. I only speak for myself.)

 

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Responses to this Entry

god, I miss feve brunch... i used to go every weekend... twice if the menu was exceptional, which (lets be honest) it usually was. There's a restaurant here in australia that i go to every weekend, but it's just not the same... ah well, next time i'm in the country, i will return... is Joe still bartending there?? he made me a "truth serum" once when i was looking to get plastered, which was a double long island.

Posted by: jenna on March 22, 2010 8:59 AM

Took Ben to the Feve last night, taking him to the Wormhole this evening. Prospie visit double win.

Posted by: Ma'ayan on March 22, 2010 9:00 AM

On Valentine's Day, I took my best friend and her prospie cousin to Feve brunch, and had the pleasure of chocolate covered strawberry pancakes. I cannot imagine how ridiculous I must have seemed to her: "I love Oberlin! I love the trees, and the art museum, and the Ginko kittens! I love coops and Mudd and white squirrels. I love Feve pancakes!" etc.

My usual is the Fruit, Yogurt and Granola Extravaganza, which always has perfectly balanced flavors and great in-season fruit. Beyond brunch, I've loved getting to discover the Feve more since turning legal and being able to meet tons of townspeople and [*gasp*] casually interact with professors who love tots just as much as I do.

Posted by: Brandi on March 22, 2010 9:10 AM

Aries...ohmigod. I think out of the things I've missed the most, having spent the last 2 1/2 months abroad, Feve tots win. More than family and friends. More than cheddar cheese. More than reliable internet.

Don't sell the burgers short. They can make each and every one with a veggie burger. I recommend the Francisco.

I can't even look at the photos right now. Maybe when it's almost time to come back.

Posted by: Anna on March 22, 2010 1:09 PM

The Feve is the best! We've been scouring Brooklyn looking for tots as good as theirs and have been forced to conclude that they just don't exist.

Posted by: Shawn on March 22, 2010 1:21 PM

GAH, I love the Feve. You know what's gonna be great? On April 9th...when we imbibe beverages of the alcoholic variety at that aforementioned bar. Mmmm.

Posted by: Helena on March 22, 2010 4:39 PM

Mmm these pictures are making me so hungry... I think the Feve should pay you for this blog post, it's giving me mad tots cravings.

Posted by: Paris on March 23, 2010 10:13 PM

I was blessed to have worked at the Feve around the turn of the century. The place has definitely evolved, but many elements of the restaurant (and the town) remain the same. It's nice to go in and still see some familiar faces.

Although I no longer live in the state, when visiting family and friends I always try to make time for a couple visits to the Feve.

Pool table in the basement style.

Posted by: Matt K on May 31, 2010 3:52 PM

Its funny that the small places that make hamburgers are so much better than the big chains. The only one that can come close is in and out burger.

Posted by: dave on November 14, 2010 12:10 PM

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