Lean Draft House chef Pedro Suastegui makes terrific fried empanadas in wonderfully flaky shells; these are stuffed with carnitas. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Credit: Wendell Brock
Credit: Wendell Brock
Inestroza has adapted the taco program to feature plates (pick three of one kind); $23 kits (10 corn tortillas plus one protein and all the fixings: rice and beans, guacamole, queso dip, chips, crema, red and green salsas, pico, limes and lettuce ); and $65 feasts for six to eight people (20 tortillas, plus all the above).
There’s still a good variety of fillings: fajita chicken, chicken barbacoa, al pastor, carnitas, steak, shrimp, soy chorizo, and a unique vegan option: sriracha jackfruit. Chef Pedro Suastegui encases a good many of these proteins inside flaky, house-made empanadas. And, as a nod to the most popular street food of Inestroza’s homeland of Honduras, the kitchen now serves baleadas, which are quesadilla-like tortillas spread with refried black beans, crema, queso and a protein of choice.
When I reviewed the restaurant in 2017, I was impressed with the way Inestroza had adapted his spot to suit the Westview neighborhood. It fits right in, even more so now.
Lean Draft House owner Leo Inestroza has made a lot of improvements to the patio, and hopes to reinstate dine-in service the first week of November. Courtesy of Lean Draft House
Along with the newly gussied up patio, Inestroza has installed a “sidecar garden,” with fresh landscaping and intimate tables for two. If you happen to stop by, check out the car wash murals. Inestroza is proud of the project that invited 13 local artists to create work in the car wash bays. “It’s very Instagram-able,” he said.
And, if you are in the mood to purchase a motorcycle, just ask. He still has 33 for sale.
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LEAN DRAFT HOUSE
Menu: pub grub, including wings, burgers, tacos and other “local Latin” bites to pair with a selection of 20 draft beers
Alcohol: beer and wine to go
What I ordered: guacamole and chips, chorizo fries, a super empanadas plate with carnitas filling, a baleada stuffed with fried grouper. The guacamole was fresh and chunky. The loaded waffle fries with chorizo were just the thing to go with cold beer. And, I now can say I’ve tried my first baleada. I liked the grouper, but probably would go with a straightforward meat filling next time, perhaps steak or al pastor. The super empanadas lived up to their name — fried to order and impeccably crispy.
Service options: takeout only; no delivery; dining room reopening soon (when it’s raining, guests are allowed inside, with social distancing enforced)
Outdoor dining: large and inviting patio in front of the building, plus a more intimate private garden on one side, with tables for two
Mask policy: patrons are asked to wear masks
Address, phone: 600 Hopkins St. SW, Atlanta; 404-254-0987
Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 5 p.m. “until late" Fridays, 2 p.m. “until late” Saturdays
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