Hot potato, the earliest dish designed to be passed, is nearly extinct due to the constant ravages of grade school appetites. Today's Groupon revives shifting sustenance with your choice of comestibles at either of Hector Santiago's Atlanta-area restaurants. Choose from the following two options:
- For $10, you get $20 worth of tapas and more at Pura Vida Tapas and Bar.
- For $5, you get $10 worth of sandwiches and more at Super Pan Latino Sandwich Shop, which is open for lunch only, on Tuesday through Friday.
Chef Hector Santiago not only sports a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, he was also a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Las Vegas. A Puerto Rico native, Santiago inflects the traditional share plate with Latin American and contemporary American accents.
Pura Vida Tapas and Bar lets diners lead with their lips in a dance with plantain Tater Tots with chunks of Maine lobster, chives, and cilantro ($15); skewers of house longaniza sausage and wahoo fish with baby banana mustard ($8); or a plate of tilapia-coconut ceviche ($7). Go simplest with charred mushrooms in chipotle garlic butter ($7) or go flavorsplosional with Mayan adobo-rubbed short rub with carrot coleslaw and orange-chipotle barbecue sauce ($12). Chef Santiago likes his wines like he likes his universe: ever expanding. Tipple Spanish sparklers (Aria, $8 a glass), Argentine whites (JF Lurton, $8), or Chilean reds (Terra Andina, $9). Sip them all under warm terra-cotta hues and exposed brickwork beside artwork that is either the flower's perspective from inside the vase or an avant-garde star map for extraterrestrials seeking authentic colossal bird-clams from the Alpha Centauri system.
Super Pan Latino Sandwich Shop lets diners surround an armada of teeth with a lone pork-belly sandwich topped with shaved cabbage, tamarind sauce, and cilantro on a coconut bun ($10, substitute tofu instead of pork for $6) or an ahi-tuna escabeche-wich with radish, lime aioli, and pepitas on Spanish coca bread ($7). Pork enthusiasts can also find refuge in the thinly sliced jamon serrano with date-almond butter and arugula ($12). Super Pan features naturally raised, locally sourced, and organically grown ingredients such as Eden Farms berkshire pork and Farmer Jeff's heirloom variety produce. As of now, the newly opened shop only serves lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Though Super Pan Latino Sandwich Shop is too new for reviews, 107 Yelpers give Pura Vida Tapas and Bar a four-star average. Citysearchers give it a 4.5-star average, and OpenTable reviewers voted it a Diners' Choice Winner:
- My favorite was the BBQ beef - this awesome, slow cooked perfection fell from the bone and oozed flavor. Actually everything was very good, interesting and full of central/south american flavor. – John E., Yelp
- Even the most familiar dishes are punched up with unique and unexpected ingredients, lending to the most tantalizing marriage of flavor combinations in each bite. – julie_loves, Citysearch
- The chef takes standard tapas favorites and adds delightful, intelligent and flavorful twists! – OpenTable reviewer who dined on 04/23/10