My love for food – the art, the culture, the taste, the social aspect, the fellowship around it, all of it – began when I was much younger. I grew up with two parents that also love to spend time around a table and love to learn the stories behind the chefs that put their entire lives into their restaurants that we’re fortunate enough to visit. Whether it was a small food truck that meanders around the south, or an established eatery in the heart of Atlanta, I grew up trying out the new, but still attending to the old. The food scene was (and is) a part of our family.
This weekend I was able to head home to Atlanta to spend some time with my parents. They’ve been harassing me about this “little Latin place in downtown Smyrna” for months, telling me I absolutely had to try it and that said “Andres” was expecting me. “Who’s Andres? Why is this place such a big deal?”. But I figured it was time to find out, and boy am I glad that I did.
You know when you meet someone, and you just instantly want to support them? Andres has that effect on people. You walk into his little establishment – Porch Light Latin Kitchen – and it just screams culture, but more than just the ethnic kind. He has symbolic artwork, photos, and articles hung for decoration. Everything seems to have a story. It’s like he’s inviting you into his whole life’s history. I’m a huge fan of supporting those things in life and Andres, he’s one of them.
Lunchtime rolled around on Saturday, and somehow or another we ended up in Smyrna Village. Shout out to all my ATL people. It’s been sweet to watch Smyrna grow and flourish into a community that’s prideful of its attractions.
Evidently, they’re known for their sangria – instead of the Brandy and red wine combo, it’s coconut rum and red wine with fresh fruit situation. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of sangria, but this one I’d absolutely write home about!
We opted for an order of the Skirt Steak Pinchos. They’re bits of charred beef served on sticks and topped with chimichurri sauce, and quite frankly, were my favorite thing on the menu. (Apparently this is the same for my parents. Chef Andres tried to take them off the menu once, and they begged him to whip them up a batch. He graciously agreed and eventually brought them back on. You can thank my parents when you try them)!
Next, we ordered our entrees.
- My mom ordered the Mahi Tacos – a perfect lighter option, that still packs a mean flavor punch. They were served topped with slaw and garnished with a chargrilled lemon. (I’m convinced everything is better chargrilled).
- My dad ordered the Pressed Cohiba – a panini style sandwich with roasted pork collar, Gruyere cheese, hot dill pickles, cilantro mayo, mojo mustard, and grateful bread.
- I opted for the Ribs (insanely tender, fall off the bone with a spicy-sweet sauce kinda good) and a side of Brussels sprouts. Holy moly. I can’t even start with the sprouts. They were roasted and then flash-fried, so they were crunchy (almost burnt, in a great way), just the way I like ‘em! They were coated in a sweet and spicy sauce and just unbelievably delicious. THE best I’ve ever had.
Guys, if you’re from Atlanta and you’ve yet to try out Porch Light, shame on you. Make a dinner reservation (it’s tough to get in these days), swing by for lunch, or just plan to get a sangria and hang out at the bar. I’m telling you, your life with be changed.