I’ve wanted to do this for a while, and today’s the day! I’m adding LifeStyle to my blog!
So when I remarried my sweet man 30 years ago, we decided to do things a little differently the 2nd time around. We would do our best to stay connected. We realized we still needed to date each other, so at least once a week we did. It could be a date night, a day date, lunch date, dinner and a movie or simply grabbing coffee at the local coffee shop. We would make time for each other! It’s so very hard to do when you are young and having your family. It’s also pricey to get a babysitter for a large family, (4 kids) but its worth the investment for you as a couple and your family.
This is when our love for trying new places and new foods started. I know for a lot of people you have your regular places you like to go, and we did and still do. It’s also really fun to try new places (especially locally owned) and new cultural foods. We live in a big city, and one of the many things I really love about that is there are so many wonderful places to eat and so much to see and do.
So let me introduce you to Cactus House! This place is a small little gem located at 1020 Piedmont Avenue Northeast, in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. Don’t let the size of the place fool you, it is packed with huge flavors and fun and flashy decor. When I saw this place, I was excited about the bright colors that are painted on the walls. That’s one of the cool things about the big city is all the local artists who are in and around the metro Atlanta Area.
Plantains and Chicken Tortilla Soup
Gaucamole, Plantains, and Brussel Sprouts
Pork Pibil Taco and Chicken Pibil Taco
Below~ Mushroom Taco and Chicken Pastor Taco
I had the opportunity to sit down with Brett Dvork, the social Media and Marketing Manager and owner Emilio Lourdes to ask a few questions.
Mexican Street Corn
When did you decide you wanted to be a restaurateur?
“I started 4 years ago working for Havana club as a manager.. Once I got a taste of the hospitality industry, I knew it was where I belonged.”
What was the inspiration behind Cactus House?
“The inspiration was mostly from my mother. Growing up in Mexico City, my mom was always cooking for her restaurants, and I knew she was an amazing chef. Once I came to the states, I would often travel to Miami and loved the little bodegas all over the place. I wanted to create something with great, quick food and lively atmosphere like this in Atlanta. We took my mom to southern California to show her what we loved about some more "modern" Mexican food and combined this with her family recipes for what you see at Cactus House now."
How did you come up with the design for the decor of Cactus House?
“We originally had an interior designer draw up plans for the space, but my business partner and I changed so many things that we decided to do it ourselves! We imported some tiles from Oaxaca, Mexico, partnered with a local artist for murals, and a local woodshop to create much of the space. The design of Cactus House has some Mexican influences but ultimately adapts to its environment in Midtown.”
What differentiates Cactus House from other restaurants?
“Our tacos! As far as I'm concerned, there is no restaurant in Atlanta that does tacos the way we do here. We craft everything by hand with only fresh ingredients. Each taco is designed uniquely and stands out from the typical meat-cilantro-onion taco like some of the competition. It's all in the details really... Each taco was carefully planned. Our shrimp taco even has a delicious wafer of grilled cotija cheese to separate the tortilla from the chipotle sauce. This is done to ensure the taco holds together and adds a bit of a crisp texture and great flavor. All of this is to say that we have thought out the whole experience here.”
Do you have any future plans or new ideas for the Cactus House concept?
“This is our first location and restaurant. I would love to have more around Atlanta and eventually the east coast. My focus is entirely here in the present though, because we must make this one perfect before we can expand.”
Cactus House even has a mascot - it's a huge Great Dane named Leo. I've never seen such a huge dog in person. He's so sweet, and he makes this place even more memorable.
The food at Cactus House is awesome. It’s the perfect place to go for amazing cuisine without breaking your budget. The Margarita's are delicious and even better when you are drinking them in the outdoor patio area located in the front of the restaurant. The decor is unique, and the flavors of the food make this a go-to favorite in my city!