Cali N Tito's
1427 S Lumpkin St, Athens, GA 30605, USA
Sun - Thur 11am - 10pm
Fri, Sat 11am - 11pm
Georgia's Home to a Latin American FeastCali N Tito's is even more of a hot spot than the name suggests. (If you pronounce the words without pausing, you'll get "calientitos," the Spanish word for warm.) The trailer and its patio make a pastiche out of those nostalgia-inducing pieces of different Latin American countries.
I live two blocks away, so every time I pass by it and get a waft of its fish burritos, or am simply sitting at home missing my Puerto Rican cuisine, I stroll on over. (This is perfect, since it's BYOB and I can drink to my heart's content without worrying about driving.)
The Christmas lights always surrounding the patio give it an appropriately festive ambiance. (I don't think I've ever seen an unhappy person in the sea of tamales-devouring students.) Flags; guiros (musical instruments played by scraping their serrated surfaces); and merengue, salsa, and reggaeton music lend it an air of authenticity. The owners' parrot, Lola, often tablehops in hopes of getting a bit of some fried cassava (or maybe my boyfriend's finger).
I recommend the empanadas, Big Burrito, fried sweet plantains, and churros (fried-dough tubes) in ice cream.
And if you're not convinced: the food is cheap, the lemonade's fresh, and there's an elephant-shaped slide calling your name.
*Be sure to bring cash. It's the only form of payment accepted.