Food & Chefs: Breaking Chews! Chido + Padre's

Image Credit: David Danzig

Published by: David Danzig on Wednesday June 6th, 2018

David Danzig

Switching formats in the restaurant business is a lot like radio stations switching formats.  Many listeners will recall that our very own 95.5FM signal was a Top 40 radio station just a few years ago playing but when management realized that WSB needed an FM signal to stay dominant—ding!—goodbye 95.5 The Beat, hello News 95.5FM!  The same thing in the restaurant business—sometimes you just need to flip the format to ensure you make the most money in a location and that’s what the Southern Proper Hospitality Group is doing in Buckhead with the new Chido + Padre's which now inhabits the former Smoke Belly BBQ space on East Andrews.  Smoke Belly was a solid effort which served some upscale “Q” and tasty cocktails but the owners now hope that “elevated Baja Mexican food served in a festive atmosphere” will make even more people want to get down and fiesta

Breaking Chews!  Chido + Padre'sBreaking Chews!  Chido + Padre's

And they have done their homework:  the space has been transformed into a vibrant hacienda with pastel colors, a hipster Dios de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) undertone and a massive mural of Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.  It feels fun but not nearly as cliché as some Mexican spots where sombreros adorn the walls and “La Cucaraha” plays over the speakers. 

Breaking Chews!  Chido + Padre'sBreaking Chews!  Chido + Padre's

The menu was designed by former Bar Taco alum, Jonathan Mercado, who focuses on fresh, authentic coastal cuisine that is more Baja-Mex than the Tex-Mex many Atlantans experience in these parts.  Many plates are kissed by a mesquite wood-burning grill such as campechana with mango, avocado and rock shrimp;  Baja-style fish of the day with coconut rice, tomatillo-avocado sauce and pomegranate seeds; Chicken mole with Baja cabbage slaw, black beans and sesame seeds and Cochinita pibil tacos with banana leaf pork shoulder, sour orange, achiote and chicharrones. 

Breaking Chews!  Chido + Padre'sBreaking Chews!  Chido + Padre's

Of course, the drinks are key to the operation with six types of margarita, carafes of sangria and, of course, cervezas.

Breaking Chews!  Chido + Padre'sBreaking Chews!  Chido + Padre's

Open for lunch and dinner and great Sunday brunch, Chido + Padre's scratches a different inch than a typical Mexican joint.  The flavors are more sophisticated than the usual chips and salsa fare and the atmosphere is lively but also has a maturity about it.  Let’s hope this new format, just like our beloved 95.5 WSB, is a big hit.

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