Photo Gallery | Agave Restaurant in $20
ATLANTA –Jack Sobel, the owner of Agave Restaurant claims his restaurant to be the first named Agave in the United States. Sobel notes that he was inspired to name the restaurant Agave after reading an article about agave shortages and how tequila prices were being affected.
The wooden restaurant, reminiscent of a fire pit, is located across from Oakland Cemetery and has been open for about twelve years. Sobel calls Agave Restaurant a “family business” and, currently, the restaurant employs Sobel’s young son, as a chef-in-training. The restaurant opened on Friday the 13th but they have yet to experience a bought with bad luck.
Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico Sobel embraced the food of the region. As a child, he worked in his grandfathers restaurants but didn’t take the traditional route into the restaurant business; he went to Auburn University and graduated with a degree in psychology.
“My psychology degree is an asset, it enables to be communicate well with all of the different types of people I come in contact with at the restaurant on a daily basis”, Sobel explains.
When Sobel moved to Atlanta, he went on a relentless search for restaurants that served Southwestern food and or had Southwestern concepts; once he realized the void, he opened Agave. Agave is Sobel’s first restaurant but he has held, almost, every position at various restaurants and hotels.
After opening the restaurant, he says he took “baby steps” and started winning awards. His goal was to offer fine dining and good Southwestern cuisine at unpretentious prices. Over the years, the restaurant has emerged as one of the neighborhood’s staple eateries. They pride themselves on using locally sourced products and even shipping some products, like their Hatch Green Chilies, from out of town.
Agave doesn’t serve lunch because they order the freshest ingredients possible, every day, and recieve daily shipments around lunch hour. Everything in the restaurant is made to order; including their Margarita mix, which is crafted from fresh squeezed lime juice. The restaurant serves over 100 Blue Agave tequilas from Toro Azul to Don Julio Reale; their margaritas start at $12 and can cost up to about $25.
The restaurant’s busiest days are usually Thursday through Sunday. Every Tuesday, the Where U Live team chooses a Metro Atlanta restaurant and with the restaurant's help, shows you how you can sample the menu without spending too much.
Sobel recommends the Cayenne Agave Fried Chicken for people who want to play it safe. The chicken is fried and topped with poblano sauce and served over Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with a side of grilled corn. The fried chicken is a nod to southern food; yet it has a southwestern feel. The Cayenne Agave Fried Chicken costs $15.
He, also, recommends the Stuffed Mountain Trout Tomatillo which is a filet of wild-caught Georgia Mountain Trout stuffed with crawfish, onions, mushrooms, peppers and basil and topped with tomatillo sauce. The fish is served over a Spanish rice and topped with freshly cut cilantro. The Mountain Trout meal costs $17.50
The Beer Braised Pork Shank is a favorite of the owners. The pork shank is slow-cooked and marinated then topped with Mexican beer, tomatillo, garlic and jalepeno red mole sauce. The Pork Shank is served with freshly mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and costs about $17.00
Managing Partner Tim Pinkham recommends the Cuervo Traditional Margarita which is constructed with fresh squeezed lime juice and Cuervo tequila. Pinkham says the margarita is a “simple drink” with “simple ingredients” and it’s known as the “best Margarita is Atlanta” and has accumulated a number of awards, over the years.