At first glance, the Westside Garden Market (1954 Howell Mill Road. 404-609-9666. www.westsidegardenmarket.com) may seem a little bare bones. But don't let that deter you. Owner Majid Elmaliki has amassed a treasure trove of local artisanal products, imported gourmet goods and a wide variety of certified organic produce. Although Atlanta's Westside already has its share of wonderful gourmet specialty stores, this new locale is sure to become a popular option for its extremely reasonable prices and shopper friendly hours.
Elmaliki's impressive selection reads like a who's who of local producers. Look for milk jugs from Sparkman's, bags of granola and freshly baked bread from Magnolia Bread Company, granola and energy bar bites from Pure Bliss Organics, creative "jams of love" from Emily G's, biscotti made by Allegro Restaurant, locally-roasted Dancing Goats coffee, cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy, the insanely good gluten-free and vegan "Coconut drops" by American Gra-Frutti, amazing Indian spice blends from Modern Day Masala and much, much more. Imported items – such as cans of San Marzano tomatoes, large bags of Italian pasta, high-quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars, tins of Moroccan saffron sold by the ounce and Tunisian tomato paste – are indispensable for your pantry and affordable to boot.
The market will debut a lunch menu in mid-January featuring a handful of dishes inspired by Elmaliki's native country, Morocco. Look for charbroiled meats–such as kofte kebabs (seasoned ground beef) made with grass-fed beef from Harris Ranch Beef Company (also sold in the market), Halal lamb chops from New Zealand and Australia and chicken kabobs marinated in Moroccan saffron and olive oil – served with Moroccan couscous and a dip made with organic yogurt and accompanied by chopped cucumbers. Other items like freshly-made hummus and eggplant pureed with garlic and olive oil will also be available as menu items or packaged in the refrigerated case.