Here’s a quick update to put you on notice about Maleda Market’s veggie platter!

Maleda Market has been visible on Atlanta’s Memorial Drive road for more than a year, but I just had my first chance to stop in. If you guessed that I’m in a phase of my life where I get excited, not by what bloggers are saying is the hottest restaurant in Atlanta, but by finding strip mall gems. Remember my visit to the Caribbean Farmer’s Market?

I love low key markets and restaurants that few other writers, or people outside the community are acknowledging. The shop appears to be some sort of farmer’s market from the outside, but when I pulled into the parking lot, I immediately recognized the Amharic characters on the sign. Turns out Maleda Market is more specialty shop than market, which you should keep an eye out for because it has a family run Ethiopian restaurant and supply store.

This means if you’re in the market for a giant bag of teff, this is your spot. Teff is the magical super grain that gives us the sour, spongy bread rolls called injeera. If you don’t know already, injeera is an Ethiopian staple and used for dipping and gathering the tender stews, veggies, and meats that make Ethiopian cuisine so unique. If you’re one of the plentiful Ethiopian or Eritrean families, restaurants, or churches in the area you can’t go very long without needing to stock up.

Maleda Market may be the place for you to do just that. In addition to the lifetime supply of teff, the have all sorts of other flours, grains, and lentils. There’s meats you can grab to stew at home, and random other finds like the full coffee set for an Ethiopian coffee ritual, and berbere or other spices imported from Ethiopia. Their shop isn’t big enough to overwhelm you with choice, and the owners are friendly, greeting folks in Amharic and happy to assist you as you find ingredients. The majority of the space is dedicated to the restaurant, which at lunch time can fill with folks trying to grab the reasonably priced ($10-$15) menu items, that are served with a generous supply of injeera.

If you consume the entire bag of charcoal colored injeera supplied with the $10 veggie platter, you’ll surely be full a few hours. I enjoyed dipping it in the 5 or so ingredients that come with the plate. The well spiced chickpea shiro wat, was the highlight of the plate, with the stewed and garlicky yellow lentils pulling a runner up. The cabbage and greens on the platter weren’t bad, but more similar to what you’d find on the lackluster veggie plates at the over supply of Jamaican restaurants in the area. The friendliness of the people and the bang for the buck will have me back to try some the tibs, or other non-veg menu items in the future!

Maleda Market is open daily, typically from 9am til 9 or 10pm in the evening. Visit them at 4856 Memorial Drive, or visit maledagebeya.com.