Mexican restaurant La Chiquiada opens in Decatur on West Trinity Place

Mexican restaurant La Chiquiada is now open on West Trinity Place in Decatur. Adjacent to a WeWork coworking space and the Amli apartment complex, La Chiquiada is in a prime location to become what owner Catherine Zuber envisions as a gathering place for the community.

Zuber, who grew up in Gwinnett County, began conceptualizing a restaurant style that emphasized fresh, simple ingredients a few years ago while living in California. The pandemic changed his plans: Zuber lost his job in the hospitality industry and ended up moving in with his family in Decatur.

“For the past two years I lost my job due to COVID-19 and moved away, I don’t know if I was going to stay or come back [to California,] I took the time to focus on that [restaurant],” she says. “I ended up having an opportunity and this place worked.”

Zuber worked in restaurants for more than a decade and took a job in hospitality in California after graduating from Auburn University. California’s eating habits and its Mexican restaurants eventually charmed her, and she calls La Chiquiada a love letter to the food she ate and draws inspiration from every day.

Chef Ulises Martinez runs the kitchen at La Chiquiada. The native of Oaxaca, Mexico aims to keep Decatur Restaurant’s dishes simple, leaning into freshness and using as many local, homemade ingredients as possible.

“In the kitchen, we focus on the freshness of the product,” explains Martinez. “I’ve been going to kitchens for a long time, they’re usually [do five days on the steaks, the shelf life on other items] and here we try to keep it daily. It takes a lot more work and a lot more time, a lot of work, but I think in the end it makes a big difference.

In the morning, La Chiquiada serves breakfast tacos and homemade pastries along with Prevail Roasters coffee. Weekend brunch complements the breakfast menu. Lunch and dinner offer street tacos, salads and quesadillas and larger entrees at night like citrus-marinated flank steak and roast chicken dinner for two served with rice and freshly made tortillas. Zuber particularly likes Martinez’s Stuffed Mushroom Quesadilla, which is made with Oaxacan cheese.

Lunch and dinner feature street tacos.
The Chiquiada

The bar focuses on mezcal and tequila cocktails and wines by the bottle and glass from Napa Valley, Paso Robles, and Sonoma County California.

On the design side, La Chiquiada embraces blues and pinks. Two murals by Katherine Boggs bloom on the walls. Most of the building’s original details, such as the ceilings, remain intact. The interior space is more intimate, while the exterior has a large patio.

“We are thrilled with our location,” says Zuber. “We’re right under a WeWork and next to a large apartment building, and obviously the walkability here in Decatur and in the community is fantastic. People are going to come and introduce themselves and they seem to be excited.

Zuber hopes La Chiquiada and the food Martinez serves here gives people options for how they want to dine out. People can sit down and eat a meal or even work while having a bite to eat, she says, or just grab some food and leave.

“The purpose of this restaurant is to be a gathering space for everyone,” she says, adding that Southern hospitality also plays a central role at La Chiquiada. “I will do my best to make sure that we meet the needs and that we meet the needs [of the community].”

Open Tuesday to Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

110 Trinity Place West, Decatur. lachiquiada.com.

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