Summer is well on its way. This is the perfect time of year to kick back and enjoy a few margaritas with your friends at your favorite Mexican restaurant. And when it comes to cuisine from south of the border, Atlanta has quite a few top-notch options. Restaurants such as Señior Patrón and Alma Cocina are great examples of this city's creative and modern outlook on restaurant culture and present delicious Mexican cuisine in hip, fun atmospheres.
Midtown & Johns Creek
Señior Patrón is located in Midtown and at Johns Creek, serving delicious tacos, burritos and adult beverages in a colorful, modern dining area. This is a restaurant that is well-known in the area for being a favorite margarita watering hole that serves shots of Patron for $5. Though its inception came from a need of casual food and booze on the go in the Midtown area, the owners have gone above and beyond when it comes to chic atmosphere.
When the crew behind this Midtown Mexican eatery first received the space, located below the Spire Midtown, they weren't even sure what kind of restaurant they wanted to open. So, they actually went around the surrounding area to ask local businesses and passers by what kind of food joint should be opened in the area. The overwhelming reply was tacos and margaritas. The good people of Midtown just want delicious, affordable tacos and copious amounts of tequila-inspired drinks-- is that too much to ask? Of course not, and Señior Patrón delivered accordingly.
The menu choices are crafted to fill that cheesy fix with both meat and vegetarian-friendly options. One of the newest dishes on the menu is the Tacos Calabacitas: three veggie tacos with aquash, zucchini, Poblano pepper and corn sautéed in olive oil and Salsa Verde. If that's too healthy, there's always the “All the Way” option, which adds chicken, steak, shrimp and chorizo on a bed of veggies and smothered in cheese.
Lead by chef Chad Clevenger, Alma Cocina brings bright, fresh ingredients and traditional regional influences-- not to mention a dash of Latin spice and one of the best tequila collections around-- to the Downtown Atlanta area. The phrase “Alma Cocina” means “Soul Kitchen”, which describes the heart of these carefully-crafted dishes that even include gluten-free options. Sounds good for the body as well.
This is a place that lights up the Downtown area, which tends to cater to a professional environment, with a colorful and a unique take on traditional Mexican cuisine. The ingredients are different from the normal Tex-Mex style with rice and bean staples. Alma Cocina makes changes with fresh ingredients that gives visitors something new, interesting and delicious. Though some may suggest that such a light-hearted and fun atmosphere might not fit into the suit-and-tie folk of Downtown, the owners know that this place is exactly what Atlanta's business central needs.
Something that absolutely must be sampled here is the Roasted Chicken Molé Oaxuea with mashed plantains, grilled green beans and sesame seeds. The molé sauce they create is masterfully cooked up from 23 ingredients through a process that can take all day, then wows visitors with hints of coco and nuttiness. Then, chase it down with a wide assortment of margaritas that are crafted from fresh-juiced ingredients and mixed with tequila from hand-picked barrels. These guys go above and beyond in their margarita game, and fans of Mexico's famous holiday are sure to have a blast here.
Writer Bio: Jared Rigsby is a writer and graphic designer with a BA in Writing/Literature from Middle Tennessee State University. A longtime freelancer, he is published monthly through Dish Magazine (dishmag.com) and develops logos and websites through Neochromatic.com.