Dining Out: Porch Light Latin Kitchen

If you know people who live in Smyrna, chances are they have been holding out on you. They have likely heard Atlanta friends brag about restaurants in Decatur, O4W, or Midtown, but I'm betting they haven't told you their little secret...I'm betting they haven't told you about Porch Light Latin Kitchen.


I don't blame them. Porch Light Latin Kitchen isn't just a fabulous new restaurant -  it's already tough to get a table. I actually debated skipping this post altogether, but I couldn't hold out (unlike your Smyrna friends!).

To start, what you should know is the menu is "Latin," which is not synonymous with Mexican food. This isn't a chips/salsa/queso kind of flavor. Puerto Rican meets Atlanta's version of Southern cuisine is closer to what you'll experience. Think smoked meat and local ingredients.

The result is exceptional. We started with a special which, despite the preponderance of meat, was a tuna ceviche on a yuca mofongo.


The picture is only half as mouth-watering as the flavor.At entree time I jumped all over the malbec glazed short rib. I realize the photo looks like the meat is a lump of coal, but it was delicious. Actually, what's BEYOND delicious?  That's what it was.

In an unprecedented move (and mostly because I ordered the short rib), Billy ordered the chicken. This was a surprisingly UN-embarrassing choice given the way the tart citrus brine kept the meat moist and the skin tangy.


Yummy.Then there are the sides, both great. My favorite was the rum glazed plantains.But the grilled corn was a tasty option too, though next time I'll ask for less of the mayo sauce. There's so much more to order on this menu, but what I loved almost as much as the food was the atmosphere.  I not only ran into a girlfriend,  had a super fun chat with a local couple (shout out John & Bryan!) while we waited for our table, and then we also had a great time with the crowd next to us.


Check out the Puerto Rican fried "Can Can" pork chop in this photo with ribs, belly and skin! (I'll be ordering that next time!)I credit the chattiness to the owner and chef Andre Gomez who walks around the place like he's hosting a party. He helped my neighbor with the first bite.Incredible food. A delightful experience. Big, huge thumbs up from this team!Can't wait to go back!