The menu at Chido & Padre’s is as varied as it is vibrant, featuring made-to-order guacamole with rajas, corn and queso fresco.
When one door closes, another opens—and our bellies are thankful. After shuttering Smokebelly BBQ earlier this year, Southern Proper Hospitality—the group behind faves like The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Gypsy Kitchen and The Southern Gentleman—is back at it with a new culinary quest in the East Andrews Drive space: Chido & Padre’s. Gone is the meat-heavy menu offering pulled pork plates and mac ’n’ cheese; now, the lively eatery serves a seasonal selection of coastal, colorful, Baja-style Mexican cuisine artfully derived from travels to Tijuana and Cabo San Lucas, plus a plethora of handcrafted cocktails and margaritas. The Bandida Bar, where revelers can order tequila, mezcal and other south-of-the-border sips under the watchful eye of Frida Kahlo, is the place to keep the fiesta going till late night.
So, what’s the meaning behind the restaurant’s moniker? The two characters are the personification of the age-old notion that opposites attract. Chido is the risk-taker, while Padre acts as the voice of reason—creating a pair that shouldn’t work, but somehow end up being better together. Kind of like the menu, which plays with a mixture of fresh seafood, veggies and more, complemented by unique combos of salsas and spices for palate-pleasing results. Executive chef Jonathan Mercado suggests the chicken mole for foodies looking to tantalize their taste buds. “Traditional mole is made with stewed meats, but we bread our chicken with tortilla chips and maseca, and accompany it with escabeche,” he says. “It really gives it a twist.” Sounds like a prime place for Atlanta’s Padres to go loco and explore their Chido side. @chidoandpadres