Living in Athens,Ga has its perks. Lots of women, lots of bars, and lots of good BBQ. However, sometimes its frustrating trying to find non southern, down home, double dawg deep fried cuisine. That’s where Cali N Tito’s comes in.
Though it claims to be a Cuban resturaunt, it really isn’t. Its more of a pan Latin American street foodish amalgomation of goodness. In other words you will find no congri, ropas viejas, yellow rice, or black beans. Yet they do have lomo Saltado (Peruvian), El Gran Combo (looks suspiscously Argentinian), and tacos/burritos(you can guess where these are from), and GASP… even a burger. However, they regain their Cuban street cred through their building, which can only be described as this big, purple mostly outdoor, Alice and Wonderlandish thing that…well just look at the picture.
To order, you get in a line, which is always out the door, wait a few minutes, and then order(Cash or Check Only!!!!) at the counter. They give you a number which you take to your table and your food comes out shortly afterwards. It’s nice and quick.
As for what you order, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu…except alcohol because they’re a BYOB establishment. I have eaten most every dish aside from vegetarian versions and the burger. I just can’t justify getting a burger here with all the other delicious burgers around town. Yet despite the fact that everything on the menu is good, one dish stands above the rest. El Gran Combo! They don’t give it a name like that for nothing. Pictured below, El Gran Combo contains a geneours portion of Grilled steak, onions, rice, charro beans, sweet plantains, avocado and two eggs (substituions are available).
It costs you 11 dollars and isn’t quite a Man Vs. Food challenge size portion, but it, like a certain beer advertises,it will always fill you up and never let you down. Make it a Gran Combo! But seriously, its great and everything on the plate is made in a savory, Latin American comfort foody goodness. I find that I feel slightly better about myself if I sub in a salad for the fried eggs, but thats just me. All in all this is a great little place to eat.