Dish: Adokougbin, koliko, chichinga
Location: Stone Mountain
Tucked into the back of a specialty store on Memorial Drive, Le Nouveau Maquis is a culinary stop for those ready to experience a taste of West Africa.
“This is grilled lamb, fried yam, turkey tail," Christie Agbale explained of the traditional Togolese foods. “This wouldn’t be lunch or dinner. This is 4 o’clock … a snack.”
The platter is a colorful representation of sorts for Agbale’s home country of Togo.
“So, we’re many people … so you have the North, those from the middle, and putting all of this together: this is us,” she said. “This is our colors: red, green, and white or yellow for the yam.”
“Togo: we’re a very small people, but mighty,” Agbale said. “But we are everywhere. There’s a lot of us here in Atlanta: small communities all around.”
“How does this dish represent Togo?”
The Stone Mountain restaurant’s menu is a varied collection of the family’s taste and ties to Togo, and according to Agbale, you may be more familiar with Togolese staples than you think.
“When I used to walk out of school and it was 4 o’clock and needed a snack, this is what my mom made me.” Agbale said. “She’d say, ‘Would you like some koliko?'”
The koliko is Togolese fried yams, while the adokougbin is turkey tail and chichinga is grilled lamb.
“We’re not the only ones that eat lamb,” she said. “We’re not the only ones that eat turkey tail. But putting it like this? We may be the only ones who do it like this.”
“How does this dish represent Atlanta?”
“In Atlanta, it means we have somewhere to be,” Agbale said. “I think that’s important for everyone to find their own place. Even if they’re not from Togo, coming in and enjoying the food and getting a taste of food they haven’t had before, I think that’s very true to Atlanta.”
At the Table is a digital series produced by 11Alive's Matt Pearl and Liza Lucas. Metro Atlanta features the food of dozens of nations. We want to eat through them all! Follow us on Facebook and share your favorite food stories.