Growing up in Cuba in the 1980s, Reynaldo “Rey” Regalado and his father Rey Sr. had a dream of bringing the delicious tastes of east Cuba to America. Under the cover of darkness on a November night in 1990, the duo and 11 other refugees fled Santiago de Cuba in a fishing boat with nothing but the clothes on their back and their family recipes. After years of struggle, Regalado fulfilled his dream. Papi’s is a staple in the Atlanta food scene, serving authentic Cuban and Caribbean cuisine at seven locations.
What’s the story behind Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill?
Regalado opened Papi’s East Cuban in Midtown in 2003 as a modest sandwich shop. From the beginning, Papi’s was a family business with Regalado cooking authentic Cuban and Caribbean cuisine in the kitchen with his sister and uncle. Today, Regalado’s wife, Teresa, is the executive chef. Over the last 14 years, Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill has grown to seven locations in the Atlanta area.
What is your most popular dish?
The Ropa Vieja is our best seller. It’s a shredded beef dish with Creole tomato sauce and Cuban seasonings with peppers and onions.
What inspires the menu creations at Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill?
When he came to Atlanta, Regalado wanted to open a restaurant to serve the food of his family and from the east side of Cuba. “I’m from the countryside, and we have a different way of cooking. We use shredded pork instead of sliced pork on our sandwiches, more like Southern barbecue,” Regalado said in an interview with AJC. Regalado’s late father, Rey Sr., passed down many of the recipes used at Papi’s from the very beginning, including a family recipe for pork marinade.
Do you have a recipe we can share with readers at home?
You can find the recipe for Papi’s Yellow Rice and Cuban Black Beans here.
Do you have any exciting news or specials at Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill?
Our newest location opened earlier this year at Emory Point, where serve weekend brunch from 10am to 3pm. The brunch menu has a few Cuban specialties as well as traditional breakfast favorites. Come in for an authentic meal and stay for a $5 Bloody Mary or Mimosa!
Atlanta foodies voted Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill the best Caribbean lunch in town. Think this authentic eatery has what it takes to win top honors in the Best of Fooda Atlanta Awards 2017?