Countdown to Guac and Mojitos

Countdown to Guac and Mojitos


The fuschia banners appeared at the corner of Woodglen and Executive, just across from Whole Foods, while the weather was still cold.  “The guac & mojitos arrive this summer,” they announced – and the excitement they’ve generated has continued to build.

Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar is the brainchild of Co-Presidents Andy Himmel and Elie Weiss.  After trying their hand at a blues/jazz restaurant concept in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, they decided to shift gears.  They sought something unique that would offer a downtown experience in the suburbs and found themselves drawn to the flavors of Latin America.  The first Paladar opened in August 2007 and, since then, locations have sprouted in South Florida and Annapolis and more are expected in this region over the next year.

Lots of {delicious} eggs in this basket

But, this is still a small company and Himmel acknowledges that he is putting a lot of eggs in White Flint’s basket.  His team was drawn to this area because Montgomery County is an economic “powerhouse” with “sophistication and education.”  With a goal to earn regulars, Paladar will offer a fantastic experience with great energy at an exceptional value.  White Flint, particularly as it undergoes redevelopment, is a natural fit for such an exciting concept.

2013.04.16 Exterior rendering

Paladar is investing nearly $2.5 million in the location’s build-out, which is ongoing.  For the first time, the company has hired a design firm for guidance and Himmel sounded pleased with how it’s coming together.  He described features including cedar planks, distressed mirrors and interesting tile.  The two outdoor patios will take advantage of the increasing walkability of our area.  The patio along Executive Boulevard will feature large planter boxes separating pedestrians from the first-come, first-served diners lounging at high tops and other soft seating.  A dining patio on Woodglen will include unique hanging planters.  All told, the restaurant will seat about 180, plus another 60 in the bar.

Visitors need not always walk to Paladar.  Free parking will be available everyday after 5pm, and all day on the weekends, in the surface parking lot on the other side of Woodglen!  Valet will also be available, at least to start.

The focus is the food

Guac Trio 1

Guacamole Trio

Himmel’s mantra is that the “focus is the food.”  With a user-friendly menu available in full throughout the restaurant and bar, Paladar will be open for lunch, happy hour, dinner, late night and Sunday brunch.  Favorites include Latin staples like ropa vieja, braised beef and duck confit tacos and their signature guacamole served with yucca, plantain, malanga and tortilla chips.  But the menu is broad enough that even frequent visitors will not get bored — salads, sandwiches, wraps, fresh seafood, steaks and chops.  Even the kids’ menu offers a Mini-Cuban Sandwich.  Brunch might be best enjoyed with an unlimited mimosa!

Fish Tacos 1Fish Tacos

Grilled Skirt Steak 1Grilled Skirt Steak

Although the focus is the food, Paladar does put a lot of attention into its bar offerings.  The Rum Bar will offer a selection of over 50 rums.  Rum flights and tasting pours will be offered alongside hand-muddled Mojitos and Caipirinhas, as well as freshly prepared Margaritas.

Hospitality is tops

Paladar takes pride in its hospitality and the offering of surprising experiences.  To that end, they’re bringing their “A-team” to the White Flint location.  Executive Chef Joe Tis has been honing his skills at the Annapolis Paladar and is geared up to open this new location.  General Manager Angel Briscoe has been in our area for a long time and is excited about the vibrancy and ambiance of Paladar.  She loves that the brand is family-friendly and that diners can feel the “warmth from the sidewalk in.”  Keep an eye out for Joe and Angel when you visit!  Or, consider joining their team.  Paladar is hiring now for our location; learn more online or by walking into their temporary office next to the construction on Woodglen.

Feed More than Yourself at the Grand Opening

Paladar is set to open on Thursday, August 15th, with a ribbon-cutting at 6pm.  The real fun begins after that when Paladar will host a special dinner featuring selections from their menu for a flat $40 per person.  The most amazing part?  Every dime of that will benefit Montgomery County’s own Manna Food Center.  For more information or for reservations, contact Paladar at 301-816-1100 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays.  For more information, please contact Mark Foraker, Manna’s Director of Development, at 301-424-1130 or

What a phenomenal way to join our community – we look forward to many years of success!  And, mojitos!

** Updated on July 10th to reflect new contact information for information and reservations for the Paladar Grand Opening.

Lindsay Hoffman


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