Mexican food gets a culinary makeover at Alpharetta's new hotspot: El Don Mexican Bar and Grill. The combined effort of Chef Abe Colin Jr. and Edgar Colin, El Don is a labor of love for the cousins who wanted to share their culture through food.
A foodie from a young age, Chef Abe began working in his grandparents' restaurant in Acambay, Estado de Mexico at the age of 14. There, he learned the traditional recipes that would become the base for his modern Mexican fare.
"Being born into a family that loves good food was the most exciting part of my life," says Chef Abe. "My grandma cooked in my father's kitchen with my mom and aunts, while my grandpa and the boys would start the fire for the grilled meat—Canadian bacon, sausages, chorizo, longaniza, chicken and tripe—the most amazing food."
He moved to Quebec at 19 to hone his craft. A few years after picking up the international flavor of the province, he found his way to Staten Island, NY where he began working for Aiello Brother Cheese distributors. A passion for cheese-making landed him a job at the world-famous Goodfellas Pizzeria, with whom he competed—and won—at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.
Looking to combine his international culinary experience with his cultural passions, he moved to Alpharetta, where he set to work partnering with cousin Edgar on an authentic Mexican grill and bar. Both were disappointed in the lack of fresh ingredients and authenticity being served at many Mexican restaurants around Atlanta, so they created El Don with a commitment to both freshness and flavor.
"Mexican food is about the different types of flavors, colors and textures in the dishes," says Chef Abe, who also wanted to be sure the drinks at the bar were true to his roots. "Traditional Mexican beverages are served with freshly made fruit waters or fresh flowers."
On the menu, authenticity abounds. Dishes like Tilapia Jimador, Carne Asada and Pollo Poblano showcase the truest flavors of Mexico. At the fully stocked bar, the El Don Pina Colada and Mango Margarita are made to order using the freshest fruit juices.
El Don Mexican Grill: 6320 Atlanta Highway, Suite 1. Alpahretta, GA. (678) 404-5473