Atlanta’s exciting Mexican food dining scene evolution continues to expand as owners Damian Otero’s and Miguel Hernandez’s Rreal Tacos refines its high-energy brand and plans new locations in Chamblee and Sandy Springs in the next six months.
“In Atlanta if you want real, authentic Mexico City tacos, you go to Buford Highway, but it’s not a date night kind of place,” explains Otero. “Conversely, if you want something upscale with great drinks, it’s a mammoth restaurant with ‘Americanized’ food. We have created a niche intersecting the two.”
Patrons at the Midtown or West Midtown locations are transported into an atmosphere with modern Mexican aesthetics including music from popular artists such as Bad Bunny. “Our restaurants are designed for the new generation looking for a high-energy, upscale dining experience,” says Otero.
Otero and Hernandez have recruited top-level chefs, managers, and mixologists to ensure patrons have a one-of-a-kind experience. With Latinos now accounting for 11% of Atlanta’s population, the bar for excellence in the taco scene is very high. “I believe diners realized five years ago they’ve been eating Tex-Mex their whole lives, and they are hungering for authenticity,” he adds.
Chefs Ignacio Barquera and Miguel Aguirre strive to recreate the characteristics of tacos from various regions of Mexico using fresh—never frozen—meat marinated for over 12 hours for dishes such as asada from northeastern Monterrey, birria barbacoa from Guadalajara, or taco al pastor, one of Mexico City’s signature tacos. Desserts include platano macho – sweet plantain with cream and brown sugar.
“We have a very high standard and believe our dishes surpass others because of our unwavering commitment to using the freshest cuts of meat and cooking with ingredients sourced only from Mexico,” says Otero.
Mixologists and beverage directors Arturo Salgado and Jesus Perez curate Rreal Taco’s extensive list of libations including 24 creative cocktails, more than 200 different tequilas, and 100 mezcals. The extensive margarita collection is among the best in the city and includes the Malverde, fresco cucumber, spicy pineapple margarita, mezcalita, and Hennessy margarita.
Otero and Hernandez are also co-founders of Resto, a technology company implementing a unique QR code configuration allowing them to reimagine the service model to provide an extraordinary guest experience. The QR code streamlines the order-taking process, connects it to the kitchen, and benefits the wait staff and diners. Having ordering and payment technology at their fingertips gives guests control over the pace of the meal. “With this data, we can better understand our customers’ preferences and continue to deliver what our diners desire,” says Hernandez.
As a relatively new company, Rreal Tacos already offers top-level performing employees an opportunity to own equity in new locations. “We believe in creating opportunities for our team members to become partners as we expand,” says Hernandez.
Rreal Tacos’ growth is burgeoning; the eatery will open locations in Chamblee and Sandy Springs within the next six months and is planning expansion to Buckhead, Decatur, and Gwinnett County. They are also eyeing operating partners in South Florida, Nashville, Charlotte, and surrounding cities.