Midtown neighbors are embracing Babalu Tapas & Tacos, which opened June 26 in Midtown’s 33 Peachtree Place mixed-use development at West Peachtree Street and Peachtree Place. They’re buzzing about the fresh flavors of Babalu’s Latin-inspired dishes tweaked with a tad of Southern influence, the fabulous cocktails made with freshly-squeezed juices and a natural sense of hospitality -- right down to welcoming pups on the patio. Even the neighborly grapevine may not know all of Babalu’s captivating traits.
Take the Chef’s Table, for instance, where guests are privy to the best seats in the house -- at no extra cost. Chef’s Table diners order off the same menu as guests seated at other tables, with the bonus of being able to interact with Babalu chefs. Prime food-entertainment here, surveying kitchen action while sharing starters ($4.95-$10.95) like guacamole made tableside and yellowfin tuna ceviche. Or, head straight for tapas ($9.25-$13.50) including braised chicken tamales, pan-seared jumbo lump crab cakes, enchilada of the day, “Fierce” shrimp, pan-roasted redfish or the shrimp and chorizo skillet. Order three of the same tacos for $9 or mix them up ($3.25-$3.75 each) choosing among beef tenderloin Carne de Vaca, smoked Niman Ranch pork belly Carne de Cerdo, veggie-full Vegetal, Atun (spiced seared saku tuna), duck confit De Pato and others. Salads, sandwiches, shareable sides and desserts round out the menu. Sometimes “extras” are thrown into the meal mix for lucky Chef’s Table diners. Although Babalu doesn’t take reservations, guests can request Chef’s Table seats upon arrival.