Omnivore - Westside Garden Market

The small gourmet shop has morphed into a Moroccan restaurant

Back in January, I wrote about an odd but quaint grocery that had opened on traffic-congested Howell Mill Road. At that time, Westside Garden Market's (1954 Howell Mill Road, 404-609-9666, www.westsidegardenmarket.com) owner, Majid Elmaliki, planned to offer a handful of to-go items in addition to his assortment of locally made products and local produce. On a recent visit, I was surprised to find that the market is in fact no longer a market. The shelves have since been replaced by little tables covered in red-and-white-checkered tablecloths and the market is now a full-service restaurant serving Moroccan-inspired home cooking.

As soon as any customer walks in, Elmaliki springs into action. His mix of heartfelt hospitality and genuine enthusiasm to serve will make anyone feel immediately at home. The menu consists of a small collection of recognizable dishes — offered in affordable lunch and dinner options. A hot soup, made with fresh yellow tomatoes (one of the only items not made in house), has a smooth mouthfeel and surprisingly little acidity.

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(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)