When the regulars at the bar take a break from chatting in Amharic to tell you how good the restaurant's food is, you know you've stumbled upon the right kind of hole-in-the-wall.Any hungry culinary explorer worth their salt knows that the most curious little holes-in-the-wall tend to lead to the greatest of adventures. There are few better places in Atlanta to explore those finds than Clarkston, where over sixty languages are spoken and where a short stroll down a strip mall's sidewalk can take you from Sudan to Nepal to a place like Shewit Eritrean. Here, the folks at the bar are usually speaking Amharic, the TVs are broadcasting news (and soccer) from the Horn of Africa, and if you feel like hitting the town on a Friday night, you might be able to catch a live Ethiopian band perform on the restaurant's stage while you smoke a hookah and try your hand at the doro wot. Toto, you're definitely not in Midtown anymore.
Long have I extolled the many virtues of Ethiopian cuisine, among them including the delightfully different spices, the slow-stewed and braised meats, the rainbow of samplings on a veggie platter, and of course that whole "eating with your hands" aspect. Thus, I was delighted to learn from owner Fish that the cuisine of Eritrea mirrors the basics of the Ethiopian dishes I've come to know and love (but a little less greasy, Fish added). His wife Tebe mans the kitchen, baking the fresh injera that acts as your fork, spoon, plate, and napkin all at once while you're chowing down on spicy lentils and chatting it up with the regulars at the bar. And when those regulars take a break from chatting in Amharic and watching the soccer match on TV to tell you in great detail how much they love Shewit, as they did when I was there, you know you've stumbled upon the right kind of hole-in-the-wall.
Sebhi Dorho (Doro Wat), $8.99
Kilwa Lamb, $8.99
Vegetarian Platter, $6.99
Bamya & Lamb, $7.99
Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 12 a.m.
Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. - 3 a.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. - 12 a.m.