From simple to exotic, Latin fare perfect for summer relaxing


Pure Taqueria
300 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

El Taco Veloz
5670 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30342

242 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

We were in Inman Park near Pure Taqueria and decided to revisit. I like the patio because it’s not a parking lot patio, but I really wish the inside tables weren’t so close and I don’t like the uncomfortable elementary school chairs. I’ve had many fish tacos around town and Pure’s are an excellent version with a large portion of crispy white fish, poblano slaw and my favorite vibrant green tomatillo salsa, served with smoky non-tired refried beans with crumbled cotija cheese.

If you want the real deal head to any number of places on our international Buford Highway. However there is one little bohemian deconstructed gem near the Prado on Roswell Road called El Taco Veloz which is perfect for lunch. There are no pre-made corporate mixes here.

I have yet to find a cheap carne asada (charbroiled steak) burrito as good as I had in Southern California, but the one at El Taco Veloz is excellent. Order it with sour cream in the burrito and you’ll get smoky spiced grilled thin-sliced beef with warm sour cream, then visit the salsa bar for the avocado crema. The veggie chile relleno burrito is also excellent – a mild stuffed pepper with cheese and cilantro. Once you eat here you’ll see what true “street” Mexican is and question going to the “Bell.” I also like Chipotle on Ponce; it’s cheap and fresh plus you get very filled up.

Atlanta has many Latin restaurants driven by talented chefs. If you are ready to graduate from cliché Tex-Mex then visit Agave, described as eclectic Southwestern. Agave marched in Atlanta Pride.

Agave is slightly more expensive but once you try the New Mexico Hatch Green Chile Stew, it will all be worth it. We usually order two appetizers, share an entrée and spend around $35 including a 20 percent tip. That’s not a bad price for such unique cuisine.

I ordered the stew with a gorgeous red chile marinated pork and shredded smoked chicken breast burrito for $12. We started with mussels steamed in red chile citrus wine broth with warm scratch-made tortillas to dip in the broth. Agave also has one of the best distinctive vegetarian menus in the city like Blue Corn Enchiladas with fresh veggies, chilies, corn salsa, and southwest guajillo and tomatillo sauces.

You’ll enter and see the gothic brick hearth, the bold exposed brick. The tree-lined patio is not your stock Atlanta busy street variety. It’s like eating in a 1,000 year old church in Spain and the perfect romantic date destination. The medieval décor and fresh passion fruit margarita might make you lean into your date and confess all your sins.


Top photo: Enjoy the relaxing patio and delicious dishes at Pure Taqueria in Inman Park. (Publicity photo)