It’s a store and eatery with a modest front on a strip mall, a bit to the east of the intersection of Five Forks and Killian Hill Road and very easy to miss. The outside shows a bit of outdoor seating and pretty red stone. The inside is much larger than the outside appears, as this is a deep restaurant, with a long bar, some seats, a sofa or two, plenty of wine and a refreshingly casual air.  It reminds me,  in some small ways, of San Francisco’s City Lights bookstore.

It was a little confusing when I arrived, perhaps because there was a wine tasting going on, and I arrived in the  middle of it. Staff were worried about the people trying wines, so it took a minute or two before staff found me.

“Inside or outside?”

“The outside looks pretty, great light, let me eat  there.”

In retrospect that was a mistake. The light was fantastic, and it let me get some great food shots, but it was cold outside. I wasn’t dressed for it, and even after moving back inside, I never really warmed up the whole day, until I fell asleep.

Inside, though, I had a much better feel for why you might want to come to TBM, and I’d say it’s really friendly, very social, and a great place to talk and eat. There is an engaging owner/chef, Matthew, who has opinions but doesn’t come off as opinioniated, and a crew of regulars who seem happy to chew the fat. The bar is long and deep, and if you’re here to say your hellos, please find your way to the bar, shake the hands of staff and say hello to the owner.

There are six good beers on tap, and not just a wine list, but a fine beer list as well. The salad  I had was tender and the chunks of bread nice and crunchy. I ate too many of those, but they were a bit too tempting. The salmon was tasty and tender,  the skin was indeed crisp. Prices ran a couple dollars more than the local chains, but of course, you’re dealing with a single outlet small eatery.

So, if you’re eating just to eat, and you want a lot of food at a great price, then one of the local buffets will serve you well. There are plenty of those in the Snellville/Lilburn/Lawrenceville area. Small local restaurant with an engaged owner chef? Those are as rare as four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. And while good social spots like Leon’s in Decatur and Holcomb and Finch are common inside the loop, a place with a smart owner, intelligent clients and a Cheers-like atmosphere are pretty rare in the ‘burbs, and this place appears to have all that.

Very highly recommended. Good food, stellar atmosphere, friendly and smart without any pretense.

Three Blind Mice
1066 Killian Hill Road, Suite 101
Lilburn, GA 30347
(770)-696-4139

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