Babalu Tapas & Tacos is a fairly new addition to the Midtown Atlanta dining scene, with a beautiful patio and an extensive menu of delicious small plates. Yes, I said small plates -- don't let that scare you.
Tapas get a bad rap: The prices are lower than usual, but portions tend to be tiny, so you end up spending more than at a regular restaurant if you want to leave feeling full.
That's not the case at Babalu. Their portions are almost appetizer-size, with most tapas still priced around $10. Plus, they have pretty great specials daily -- keep reading to learn more about them, and about why this place rocks in general.
WHY GO: Because it’s #TacoTuesday, duh!
THE VIBE: Cool and slightly retro. Think metal tables and counters, garage doors that open when the weather is nice, and “I Love Lucy” projecting on the back wall.
|Can you pick up on the slightly retro vibe? (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
DRINK THIS: The Baba-Rita. It’s Babalu’s take on the classic margarita, with the addition of tart pomegranate juice. It’s not too sweet and perfectly delicious.
If you’re a fan of tequila, you can also get a vertical or a horizontal flight: One gives you three different types of tequila from the same brand (say, Patron), the other gives you a taste of three different brands but of the same type (say, reposado).
|The Baba-Rita--super tasty! In the back, you can see the remnants of the tequila flight (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
EAT THIS: Seafood tapas, and all the tacos! My absolute favorite dish was the pan-seared crab cakes. They’re served with chipotle chili sauce and fresno pepper slaw, and they’re made of jumbo lump crab. And the portions are generous! I will definitely be back for this dish again (and again and again).
|These crab cakes were amazing! (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
My husband and I got the chance to sit at the chef’s counter, which is an amazing experience where you see how all the food is prepared and get to interact with the chef himself.
|Chef's counter -- highly recommend this dining experience! (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
After chatting a bit, he recommended his favorite dish on the menu: pan roasted redfish. An excellent recommendation! Served over roasted potatoes and corn pico de gallo, it tasted fresh and delicious, and I, too, would recommend it.
|Redfish -- the chef's favorite dish on the menu (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
This blog post wouldn't be complete without mentioning the table-side guacamole. It is a must! Made with fresh ingredients right in front of your eyes, it is super satisfying. And Babalu uses a secret ingredient to give their guac a little extra flavor!
|Start your meal off right with this guacamole, prepared table-side (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
And then there are all the tacos… no seriously, alllll the tacos. We asked the chef which was his favorite, and he said you can’t go wrong with any of them!
|ALLLL the tacos! (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
Oh, and between 3-6 pm on weekdays and 10 pm-close daily, all tacos on the bar bites menu are only $3 each! The bar bites menu also includes drink specials, like $4 sangria and draft beer, $5 house wine and well drinks, and $6 house margaritas!
|Do save room for dessert, especially when you can get a little sampler like this one (c) Anna Lanfreschi|
LOGISTICS: BabaluTapas & Tacos is located at 33 Peachtree Place, at the intersection of West Peachtree Street and Peachtree Place. There is public parking in the adjacent garage on Peachtree Place, which Babalu validates. The restaurant is open 11:30 am until 9 pm on Sundays, 10 pm Monday through Wednesday, midnight on Thursdays, and until 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays.