Surprisingly delightful, S & P isn’t the easiest restaurant to find. Tucked into a corner of the Burlington strip mall on highway 78, roughly across the road from Fisherman’s Catch, this may be the best new restaurant of the “no fanfare” variety I’ve found in a while.

In the mall with the Burlington store.

In the mall with the Burlington store.

The inside is pretty. There are plenty of tables in this American-Caribbean hybrid, and sayings and art dot the walls of this attractive restaurant. Behind the counter is a flag of Jamaica, and patties and desserts are available on the countertop. There are at least two menus available here (and I’m guessing three), as I’ve had items off their breakfast and lunch menus.

Breakfast is a mix of American favorites and Caribbean specialties. You can get pancakes, or two eggs, or salt mackerel, if you wish. For breakfast I had their liver, and the mild, tasty meat was good enough to give me the “best thing I’ve eaten all week” vibes.

S & P's liver. Genuinely tasty. Highly recommended.

S & P’s liver. Genuinely tasty. Highly recommended.

Lunch offers a variety of appealing Caribbean items (jerk chicken, curries, goat, ox tail, jerk wing appetizers, etc). Their jerk is a wet jerk, with an aromatic beginning and subtle heat. In fact initially I thought it had no heat at all, and then it grew on me.

Jerk chicken, peas and rice, kale. All very good.

Jerk chicken, peas and rice, kale. All very good.

Staff are polite and pleasant. The food is good. It’s a small independent restaurant. This one is immediately in the conversation about best Caribbean near Snellville, and further, has to be considered in the “Top 10 spots to take a family” near Snellville.

S & P Hot Pot Restaurant
4051 Highway 78
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 676-9484

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A newcomer to the area, hard to miss as you’re traveling down US 78, is the breakfast and lunch spot, Jimmy D’s New York Cafe.

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The menu is smaller, as befits someone getting their feet wet. You can have bagels and french toast as typical breakfast items. More lunch like fare includes hot dogs, hot subs (meatball parmigiana and chicken parmigiana), spaghetti, chili, a variety of sandwiches, and a burger. You can get the sandwiches and the burger on a bagel roll, if you like.

New Yorker, toasted bread, cole slaw. Good sandwich.

New Yorker, toasted bread, cole slaw. Good sandwich.

Their product is good, but this is one eatery with a lot of competition (e.g. Paneras, Atlanta Bread, Summit’s, Jen’s NY Deli). Virtues it has are: sandwiches are neither tiny nor enormous, they have plenty of space, plenty of parking, and they are convenient to commuters on highway 78. I’m hoping folks find it and it gets off the ground. A good hot sub or reuben is worth some trouble.

Jimmy D’s New York Cafe
4111 Stone Mountain Hwy
Lilburn, GA 30047
(678) 395-6446

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Biryani House is a small, neat Bangladeshi eatery just west of the Highway 29 – Indian Trail intersection in Lilburn, in a small strip mall south of the road, next to a halal grocer. This kind of small store is becoming a pattern along Indian Trail, and finding time to look into each one a little tricky. These are restaurants that, because of their small size, allow the patron a chance to get away from the steamed foods of Indian buffets. What you get here is freshly prepared. And if you have a preference – mild or spicy – places like this can accommodate you.

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Biryani House features counter style service.

Biryani House features counter style service.

These are the ideal spots for chicken 65. Anything fried, that needs to be hot coming to the plate, will be best prepared in a South Asian restaurant of this kind. And the chicken 65 here did not disappoint.

A good chicken 65.

A good chicken 65.

Unusual in this dish are the spices and aromatics that accompanied the meats. The spicing was relatively mild (even though I asked for spicy) but grew on you as you ate. This was one of the better chicken 65 dishes I’ve had in Atlanta, good enough to go back and order take out.

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I had beef kabab as well, unusual in that they used whole meat instead of ground beef. Spices were found in a layer outside the meat. I didn’t know going in the restaurant was Bangladeshi, so I wasn’t expecting anything other than generic IndoPak foods. But I’ve been surprised with every dish I’ve tried so far – not a bad thing really.

Staff here are friendly, and easy to talk to. I had no problems asking for additional spice on my chicken 65, for example.

Biryani House
535 Indian Trail Road
Lilburn GA
(770) 638-1626

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Mama Mia’s is a basic Italian eatery carved out of an old Bank of America building near the corner of Rockbridge Road and 5 Forks Trickum. This corner has a number of eateries, but I had Mama Mia’s pointed out to me by a someone working on our air conditioning one day. They said it was a terrific place to get a cheap lunch. Recently, we tried Mama’s out and have to agree.

The sign is hard to see heading down 5 Forks from the Snellville area. The tree blocks the view.

The inside is pretty roomy, with a bar on one side and booths and tables scattered about. The air is informal and comfortable. In the bar I saw perhaps 4 taps, one of which was serving New Belgium’s Fat Tire.

If you purchase salads, they will be served in a large bowl and can be shared.

Garlic bread came with our meal.

Baked “ziti”.

Delicious.

I loved my Italian sausage sandwich. My daughter enjoyed her baked ziti. Lunches are all less than 10 dollars and pretty no frills.

While the lunches are pretty basic, dinner can be more sophisticated and prices are higher. Still, I suspect Mama’s is the kind of place my wife would like. The odds we’ll be back are pretty high.

Tip: because the building is carved out of a former bank, it has a protected drive-through window. You can call in orders to be picked up.

Mama Mia’s
5394 Five Forks Trickum Road
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 469-1199

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There are a couple ways of getting here from Snellville, but I recommend going down Five Forks Trickum. You can get to this place heading down 78 and exiting near the Wall-Mart, and then heading down Rockbridge, but I think getting onto 5 Forks from Ronald Reagan, or Oak Road, or Killian Hills is a better local solution. The ride is much simpler. If you do this, Mama Mia’s will be on the left a half block or so before the intersection of 5 Forks and Rockbridge. Your view of Mama Mia’s is partly obscured by trees, so be warned.

I managed to make it back to TBM recently. I never had indulged much in their appetizers, but this is one I do  like:

On the board are mushrooms, stuffed with sausage and parmesian cheese. Three Blind Mice may be the best restaurant within a few minutes of Snellville, and this creamy, delicious appetizer is one reason why.

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

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It’s a Cheers like bar and eatery on Beaver Ruin Road, near Lawrenceville Highway. The rusty brown paint and red brick of the building is hard to miss as you’re traveling east, commuting home. If it were just a bar, I probably wouldn’t have cared, but beer and seafood is an entirely different story and made it worth a stop.

On Wednesday they have half price oysters, and I managed three dozen before I shifted to a salad and some of their clam chowder.

Also on Wednesdays, they do trivia. Clientele are friendly, as were the bartenders. If you’re looking for a neighborhood bar in the Lilburn area, this one qualifies. Two thumbs up from this food fan.

Oyster Barn
411 Beaver Ruin Road NW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 925-4069

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Fisherman’s Catch: It’s easy to miss this little house, across the street from the local Krispy Kreme and rows of huge chain stores, and it’s not much to see from a distance. Get up close and some of the best murals (older photos here) in the area come into view. I’ve always found the murals fascinating.

Food here is good, and you won’t need me to tell you this. However, this whole meal was peculiar from the start, and I don’t think representative of my experiences here in the past.

To note, the inside has a consistent nautical theme. Oars, miniature boats, netting, wooden paneling, all the trappings of a seafood place are here. It’s quiet, tends to have a crowd of older regulars, and is inexpensive. The most expensive filet on the menu is the wild Alaskan salmon, and that’s what I ordered. At least, that’s what I think I ordered. I also thought I  ordered the clam strip appetizer, but what came out was the crab leg appetizer instead.

A good set of legs, and I didn’t argue the  point. The one that lingers, though, is the salmon. Perhaps the fish was indeed salmon, but  it lacked the pink color normally found in salmon – I eat sockeye salmon a few times a week precisely because it can’t be farmed, and I know the look. It also lacked the distinctive flavor of salmon, and interestingly, I wasn’t charged the salmon price, either. I suspect a silent switch.

That said, the fish was grilled as I asked, it flaked the way salmon does, it was a mild and delicious fish.

All told, going in, I  thought this was going to be a home run of a review, but it’s more like a single after a bad whiff or two and a couple foul balls. The food they serve here is good, but the one time I show up with a camera to talk about a well respected place (see this review on Snellville Eats, for example), the service was kind of off.

Despite the whiffs, recommended.

Fisherman’s Catch
4132 Stone Mountain Georgia
Lilburn GA, 30047
(770)-979-2296

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Update: typo fixes.