Sundown Café | This is Atlanta Cooking | PBA30

Sundown Café

Mexican/Southwestern Cuisine

2165 Cheshire Bridge Rd
Atlanta, GA 30324

Chef: David Waller

After four years as Executive Chef at Sundown Café, David departed Atlanta in 1998 for exploration around the United States. His travels further enriched his extensive knowledge of Southwestern cuisine by his experience working in a variety of kitchens in California, Wyoming and New Mexico. Some of the highlights of this time included a stint at Coyote Café in Santa Fe as well as starting his own catering business working with clients such as Guess? Jeans, NBC Sports for the 2002 Winter Olympics, The International Golf Tournament in Colorado and Cuisines of the Sun Culinary Festival in Hawaii.

After three years of living and working in Santa Fe, David moved back to Atlanta in October 2002 to rejoin the Sundown and Taqueria del Sol family. When not at Sundown, Taqueria del Sol Westside or Decatur, he enjoys mountain biking, yoga and spending time with his wife Sarah and new baby Alexander.

Chef David prepared for us:

  • Poblano Corn Chowder
  • Turnip Greens
  • Chile Relleno
  • Chiles En Nogada
  • Shrimp Cake with Chipotle Cream Sauce
  • Memphis Taco

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Poblano Corn Chowder

  • 1 can of creamed corn, 15 oz
  • 1 can of whole corn, 15 oz
  • ½ lb. shrimp, diced
  • 1 poblanos (pepper) seeded and diced
  • ¼ large onion — diced
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped coarsely
  • 1tsp. lobster base
  • a pinch or more of ground chile de arbol
  • 1tsp. black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • roux (1/2 melted margarine and ½ flour)
  • margarine
  • 1 qt. heavy cream
  • 1 qt. ½ and ½


Puree onion and celery in food processor. Drain liquid. Melt 2 T in a sauce pan. When hot, add puree and poblanos. When vegetables are softened (but not browned), add shrimp, cream, half and half, black pepper, chile de arbol, sugar and lobster base. Bring to a boil (Be careful. Cream will rise quickly and may overflow). Reduce heat to a simmer and add roux in ¼ increments until desired thickness. Simmer 3-4 minutes. Add both cans of corn. Adjust taste with salt and sugar if necessary.

Turnip Greens

  • 6 c. cleaned, cooked and chopped turnip greens
  • 1 ½ c. diced tomatoes
  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • ½ tbs. chopped garlic
  • 3 oz. margarine
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  • 1 tbs. ground chile de arbol


In a saucepan saute’ onions, garlic and chile de arbol with margarine until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add greens and stock and bring to a boil. Lower flame and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Chile Relleno


  • 4 lg. Anaheim chilis
  • 2-3 c. shredded jack cheese


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. milk
  • flour
  • salt


Combine eggs, salt and milk. Add enough flour to make the consistency of a thick milkshake.

Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) as needed.


  • 2 lg. tomatoes chopped large
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped small
  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • salt


Heat oil in saucepot; when hot, add tomatoes and onions and cook ‘til vegetables start to soften. Puree in food processor or blender leaving slightly chunky. Adjust flavor with salt. Remove skin from chilies by roasting over open flame till skin starts to char. Seal in plastic bag for 10 minutes ‘til cool. Remove from plastic bag and peel off skin or rub with paper towel. Gently make slit in side of chile lengthwise and remove seeds. Grab a small hand full of cheese and slightly compress into oval. Place in chile so it still closes all the way and squeeze into shape. Dip chile into batter and let excess fall. Roll in breadcrumb squeezing to make sure crumb stays in place. Place on plate for 10 minutes to let crust set. Fry 350 degrees ‘til golden brown. Serve atop salsa. If made ahead of time and refrigerated, let chiles come to room temperature before frying.

Chiles En Nogada


  • 2 lb. Ground beef
  • 8 bacon strips
  • ½ onion
  • ¼ c. diced pineapple
  • 1 tbs. raisins
  • ¼ c. toasted walnuts roasted and chopped fine
  • ¼ c. toasted cashews roasted and chopped fine
  • salt
  • sugar
  • cumin
  • white pepper
  • 8 poblano chilies
  • 3 c. shredded jack cheese


Chop bacon fine and sauté in saucepot. When brown, add onion and sweat ‘til soft. Add beef and cook ‘til brown. Pour off excess fat. Add pineapple, raisins, apple, tomato and jalapeno, cook ‘til soft. Add nuts and season with spices. Let cool and mix with cheese. Remove skin from chilies by roasting over open flame ‘til skin starts to char. Seal in plastic bag and peel off skin or rub with paper towel. Gently make slit side of chile lengthwise and remove seeds. Grab small handful of mixture and slightly compress into oval. Place in chile and squeeze into shape. Place in ovenproof dish seam side up. Reheat when neede ‘til very hot inside. Place on plate seam side down and top with sauce, pomegranate seeds and sprig of cilantro.


  • ½ c. raw walnuts
  • ½ c. raw cashews
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1 tbs. sweet vermouth
  • salt


Place nuts in food processor and puree ‘til very small. Add all other ingredients and adjust flavor with salt.

Shrimp Cake with Chipotle Cream Sauce

  • 1 lb. Small raw shrimp, chopped rough
  • ¼ c. fine diced yellow onion
  • ¼ c. fine diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ c. fine diced red bell pepper
  • 1 stalk celery fine diced
  • 1 tbs. fine chopped parsley
  • 1 sprig green onions fine sliced
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 1 ½ c. Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)


  • 2 c. plain breadcrumbs
  • lg. pinch of dried thyme
  • salt


Combine onions, peppers and celery with a little margarine in a sauce pan. Sweat vegetables ‘til soft; but with no color. Add shrimp and continue to sweat ‘til cooked through. Add parsley and season with salt, Worcestershire and Tabsco. Remove from heat and add breadcrumbs ½ cup at a time ‘til mixture holds together. Let cool and then in to a cake approximately 4 oz. Coat cake in crust mixture and let sit 10 minutes for crust to set. Heat sauté pan and cook cake in a little margarine ‘til browned on both sides and warm all the way through. Serve over chipotle cream sauce.


  • 1 tbs. margarine
  • 2 chipotles
  • ¼ c. white wine
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 oz. butter
  • salt to taste


Combine margarine and chipotles in a hot sauce pan and cook 1 minute. Add wine, basil and thyme and cook ‘til soft. Add cream and butter and bring to a boil, remove from heat. Puree in blender and strain through mesh strainer. Adjust flavor with salt.

Memphis Taco

BBQ Sauce

  • ¼ medium onion, diced
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp. chile de arbol
  • 1 tsp. pickled jalapenos
  • 2 c. ketchup
  • ¼ c. water
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. margarine


Sauté onions and garlic in margarine ‘til soft. Squeeze lemon to remove seeds, add strained juice and rind to pot. Add all other ingredients, except butter and bring to a boil. Add butter and reduce heat to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes. Adjust consistency with water if too thick. Remove lemon rind and add salt if necessary.

Jalapeno Coleslaw

  • ½ head green cabbage, chopped small
  • ¼ c. carrot, grated
  • 1 tbs. red onion, diced fine
  • 1 tbs. pickled jalapenos, diced fine
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sugar to taste
  • black pepper
  • salt


Combine all ingredients and let sit 1 hour to combine flavors.


  • 6-7 lb. Boneless pork butt or shoulder
  • Sundown secret pork spice mix (equals salt, black pepper, granulated garlic and granulated onion)


Place pork in heavy roasting pot with lid or use aluminum foil. Top with very liberal coating of spice mix. Add 1 cup water and cover. Roast in oven 250 degrees 6-8 hours ‘til meat pulls apart when tugged. Remove from oven and let cool. Dice into ¼ inch cubes. Smoke pork over hickory wood and reheat in oven. Heat flour tortilla in a dry skillet or microwave. Layer with pork, barbeque sauce and coleslaw.