Among the booming suburban downtown areas that have recently come to life, downtown Alpharetta might be the prettiest belle of the ball. A Norman Rockwell-like town square with charming retail and restaurants has sprung up to the delight of its neighbors.
One of the new stars is Chiringa, a spritely, colorful standalone in the square. Chiringa borrows from "chiringuito," Spanish for an open-air beachside grill and also meaning "kite" in some Caribbean dialects. Owner Andy McKosky drew the inspiration on a soul-searching trip to Tarifa, Spain, known as one of the premier kite surfing spots on the planet.
The menu reads like a beach lover's greatest hits album: fresh guacamole, ceviche, jerk chicken wings, fried shrimp baskets, fish tacos, Mediterranean-inspired salads and even lobster rolls. Everything is made fresh in house and every drop of juice is squeezed from fresh fruit. And while we're living out our beach fantasy naturally you would need something to wash down all the great food. Specialty cocktails the Ringa Rita with organic tequila and Grand Marnier, the John Daly with vodka, iced tea and lemonade and the Island Lemonade made with coconut and dark rum and some of that fresh-squeezed lemonade will make you feel like your toes are in the sand. Also, Sangria, margaritas and "froses" are flowing.
Atlantans who travel to the Destin and 30A area might be familiar with their sister restaurant, Chiringo, down in Grayton Beach. With warm weather just around the corner for the ATL, check out Chiringa for a mini beach vacation…and for heaven's sake go fly a kite.