Think about the best Mexican dish you’ve ever had, and then add Chef Mimmo’s creativity, inspiration and passion for food, and you’ve got a truly elevated Mexican patio experience.
Born in Lebanon, but raised in Spain and Italy, Chef Mimmo Alboumeh honed his skills in Barcelona and Madrid while developing an unmatched passion for food. He’s only concerned with one thing: giving his guests an experience that makes them say “this is the best ____ I’ve ever had.” Red Pepper Taqueria could just fall in line with any other taco place in Atlanta, but not with Mimmo at the helm. From the minute he walks in with a boisterous greeting to his staff to the care he imparts into every dish, we get to feel that passion for food with every single bite. He knows people want to fully experience Mexican spices and fresh ingredients, and they want it to be reasonably healthy. So that’s why Mimmo created a chef-driven restaurant, using only the highest quality ingredients he can get his hands on. He uses organic and local whenever he can, and puts time and effort into every detail. When he does guacamole, he does it fresh. When drinks are served, they’re imaginative and complex- no watered down, sour mix-filled margaritas on this patio, no sir, no way. The bar creates their own infusions, and the lime juice is squeezed fresh daily. Even the rice and beans are made fresh every morning. It takes time, but it creates a flavor and feeling we just can’t get anywhere else.
We eat with our eyes first, so presentation is just as important as the ingredients. Red Pepper serves up queso fundido that satisfies all the senses with three kinds of cheese, shiitake mushrooms, French truffle oil that sends a mouth-watering earthy aroma through the room as the food is being delivered, fresh pico de gallo, spinach and grilled corn- it’s almost too beautiful to eat. (Almost.) As for the tacos, they’re kept simple but complex (we love an enigma.) Fish tacos come with poblano slaw and tomatillo salsa cruda, and there’s even a blacked shrimp and kale taco. Don’t let the kale make you think it’s only about being healthy- it’s bursting with complimentary flavors. Did someone mention fajitas? The skirt steak fajitas come atop a bed of crispy-soft grilled veggies with warm tortillas, and a serving of those made-with-love beans and rice. And to top it off, it's a great spot for people watching, catching the game and soaking in the relaxing vibe.
We know no Mexican patio experience is complete without the bar. Red Pepper's bartenders make their own infusions and infused tequila, creating unique beverages like la Sombra, which is Spanish for “the shadow,” an intriguing bright green drink made with mezcal and poblano lime juice. It’s got a kick without being too hot and just enough agave nectar to soften it without being sticky sweet. And let’s talk about lime juice for a second: we couldn't find any artificially sweetened lime juice here, and we looked really hard. Every morning, the bartender squeezes the juice out of at least three cases of limes. That’s about 650 limes juiced each morning. The hand juicer gets so much action it’s been known to break, so Mimmo keeps a backup juicer on hand. That’s dedication, folks. We could go on and on about the passion for food at Red Pepper Taqueria, but then you wouldn’t get to see Mimmo in his natural habitat- and it’s a sight to behold.