Watershed is a pretty and graceful restaurant, whose building is nonetheless a converted garage. The paint scheme is a light green and blue pastel. The roof is industrial; the walls are adorned in abstract paintings. In the back, there are rows of wine racks, and the tables are covered in white craft paper and surrounded with chairs in a tan natural wood color. There is a bar, and by the restrooms and in the restrooms are dozens of reviews of this eatery, dating back perhaps a decade. Their head chef, Scott Peacock, is a James Beard winner and was mentored by the legendary Edna Lewis, so this restaurant has pedigree down cold.

I found this place by getting lost looking for the Brick Store Pub and heading absolutely the wrong way. In the process I also walked past Sawicki’s (which Foodie Buddha has reviewed) and Taqueria Del Sol (which Adventurous Tastes has reviewed). The whole area is just full of food. Parking is hard to come by in this part of the world and when I came back, with wife and daughter, I was pleased that Watershed had parking of its own.

The lines in Watershed are legendary, and luckily on this Saturday afternoon there were no lines at all. There were so many tables we were told we could pick one.  After choosing a place to sit, we took a look at the menu. My wife had been here before, with a coworker, and strongly recommended the hummus appetizer. So we ordered that. I ordered a salad, the “Shed”,  and the salmon croquettes. My daughter ordered a pork sandwich and french fries. My wife had their hot vegetable plate. She had good luck with it the last time she came.

The table next to us ordered the catfish appetizer, and when it arrived, the two large, beautifully fried catfish left me wondering if I hadn’t ordered the wrong thing. But it wasn’t long before the buttery hummus arrived, with lots of veggies, some feta cheese, and a pita to scoop up the hummus. The hummus was mild, with just a hint of spice, and it worked well with the celery and bits of squash that came with the dip.

Fairly soon after our entrees arrived. The salmon croquettes were smaller than I expected, but as I’m on a diet these days, I was actually happy the serving size was small. The dish came with grits and spinach. The salmon was really good, perfectly cooked. The grits were fine, and the spinach just right. My wife’s vegetable plate had creamed corn, squash, fried okra, and black eyed peas. The pork sandwich was really nice looking, with thick chunks of pork and greens peeking out from underneath the slices of a good looking bread. My daughter took a bite and said:

“It’s good. It’s weird. It’s really chewy.”

and after another couple more bites decided it was okay. The fries were excellent.

My wife was picking at her plate, eating mostly the squash and peas. I know she does not like a lot of okra, and creamed corn has cream, which doesn’t go well with her at all. I tried her vegetables, and liked every one of them.

The service was excellent.

Although my wife wasn’t as happy with her veggies as she was the last time, and my daughter would probably pick something else the next time we come, this eatery gets so many things right and the cuisine is so region friendly I can easily see taking aunts, uncles, cousins, or even my father here. I wouldn’t have to worry about what they could eat. They would find something. Watershed does homage to the cooking of the South, and manages to be innovative as well. I’m really really impressed by this restaurant, and that doesn’t happen all that often.

Verdict: Fine food, often exceptional food. Excellent service. Very highly recommended.

406 West Ponce De Leon Avenue
Decatur, Georgia 30030
(404) 378-4900

Watershed on Urbanspoon

To get to Watershed from Snellville, head south down 78 until it becomes Scott Boulevard. Turn left (south) at Clairmont Avenue, turn right at Commerce, then turn right again when it crosses Ponce De Leon. Watershed will be on your left after a couple blocks.