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Paladar Celebrates Birthday With Free Guacamole

The Latin American restaurant in the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole is turning 2, and it is celebrating on Thursday with free food, half-price drinks and complimentary glasses.

 will celebrate its second birthday by giving away presents to its customers all day Thursday.

Patrons to the restaurant's location in the  can eat a free serving of guacamole, drink half-priced mojitos and go home with a free Paladar rum snifter if they order a glass neat or on the rocks, said Paladar's General Manager Ean Carroll.

The bar boasts 50 different varieties of rum ranging in price from $5.96 to $29.95 per glass. Carroll recommended that brandy and cognac drinkers try his favorite aged rum called Zaya.

For people who traditionally shy away from drinks served straight up, Carroll suggested the Ron Atlantico Private Cask because it's smoother with less of an alcohol flavor.

Bo Cline makes a point to visit Paladar every time he is town visiting his daughter and grandson from Alaska, but he's never tried the rum.

"I'm not a rum drinker," Cline said. "I really enjoy the restaurant. It's a nice place for a quick bite."

He said his favorite dish is the guacamole, which will be free on Thursday. It's also his daughter Kenyatta Cline's favorite, as well. She said she'd like to come more often, but with a 2-year-old son running around, her dining out days are less frequent.

"They have never made us feel uncomfortable about bringing him, but it feels like more of grown-up atmosphere," Kenyatta Cline said. "I like to take him places where I don't have to worry about him dropping food on the floor."

The free guacamole comes with homemade chips that feature a blend of yucca, plantain, malanga and tortilla chips. 

"We get a lot of oohs and ahhs for it," Caroll said.

There is a limit on the free dip. It's one bowl per every two people, but Carroll said they will round up so a table of three will get two servings, and a table of five will get three servings. The chef's inspiration and spicy guacamole will not be free.

In addition to the free appetizer, mojitos will be half price all day. Carroll said his favorite flavor besides the traditional mojito is the pomegranate-ginger. All six flavors will be half price when made with Paladar's house rum.

Carroll has been at the Annapolis location since it opened in 2010. He helped develop the concept for Paladar, and he helped open the flagship restaurant in Cleveland in 2007. The restaurant will expand to four locations in the beginning of 2013, but Carroll said he plans to stay here.

"I like being on the water," Carroll said. "Life in Annapolis is definitely more laid back than Cleveland."

He's also noticed some differences in customers' tastes between Ohio and Maryland.

"People in Annapolis know their rums, and they seem to be more into ceviches," Carroll said. "I think it has something to do with being a sailing city."

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