Atlanta restaurant reviews, culinary news, and gluttonous gossip by admitted foodaholic Serina Patrick

Elmyriachi

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Elmyr in Little 5 Points has long been my favorite Texican dive, equally great if you’re craving an awesome quesadilla or just a brawl with a tattooed patron.

And now Elmyr has spawned a second location in Kirkwood…Elmyriachi. A more polished version of the original burrito joint, Elmyriachi sports an expansive patio that has been packed since the restaurant debuted in May. Decor is funky but clean (no graffiti…yet), with works from local artists inside, and a mix of turquoise plastic chairs at shiny wooden tables and red umbrellas over black wrought iron tables on the concrete patio.

Elmyriachi not only looks cleaner, the food served is cleaner as well, made with produce purchased from local farmers’ markets and all natural hormone and antibiotic-free meats.

Prepared to wait for a table on the patio, we put our names on the list and made our way to the lacquered wooden bar inside. Their margarita verde, made with avocado puree, jalapeno infused tequila, and lime juice, is already making news so I had to try one. The addition of avocado puree smooths out the rough edges with a uniquely vegetal flavor.

LC wanted to try the queso con carne made with turkey chorizo from nearby charcuterie star, The Spotted Trotter. The result…not greasy and full of flavor. We also ordered some guacamole to share while we waited. The chips here didn’t impress, although the menu claims they are freshly made. Nevertheless, they were far superior to the industrial bagged variety I had at Elmyr many years ago.

I could have ordered my standard Elmyr chicken quesadilla with onions and jalapenos here, but chose to share some tacos with LC. I was a bit miffed that we couldn’t mix and match our taco selection, but rather were forced to get two of the same kind! We decided on the tacos verde with steak on corn tortillas. Two tacos with red onion, cilantro, queso fresco, and house-made jalapeno sauce were served with rice and refried beans for a reasonable $8.75. Rice and beans are simply filler for me. I prefer to use up my calorie allowance on the good stuff, like our steak tacos. The meat was flavorful and tender, although I had hoped the jalapeno sauce would have more of a kick. I ordered a second margarita verde, which delivered the desired kick.

There is an exception to the taco rule…the tinys menu. Probably meant for children, Elmyriachi offers a miniature cheese quesadilla and a mini crispy taco. Our server said the kitchen would make a mini mahi mahi taco for LC on a soft corn tortilla. There you go. If the owners of Elmyr won’t break the rules, then who the f*ck will?

Speaking of children, if you’re a regular at Elmyr, you may be shocked to hear that Elmyriachi even offers a children’s menu. I’ve heard the patio can be packed with kids, but on the evening of our visit, I don’t remember seeing any. In true Elmyr tradition, I’ve also heard guests can smoke on the patio, but I didn’t notice any smokers either. Perhaps the latter will keep the kiddies to a minimum.

Full of corn, we were ready for something sweet so we ordered the flan, the only dessert on the menu. The traditional caramel custard was creamy yet light, topped with candied pepitas for crunch.

We enjoyed our first experience at Elmyriachi. I hope they will begin offering tacos a la carte once the staff settles into a groove. Until then, relax on their patio, bring the kids, a pack of smokes, and maybe a sharpie for the bathroom wall. Gotta start somewhere.

1950 Hosea L. Williams Drive NE 678-705-9902

Elmyriachi on Urbanspoon

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