by Megan Niager
Cali n Tito’s invites their guests to pull a seat (and cooler) to enjoy a good time over dinner. Conveniently located within walking distance to UGA’s Foley Baseball Field, this restaurant is unique because it encourages BOYB. With a $2.00 service fee, you can freely drink your own beverages which is a major plus in my book.
Cali n Tito’s provides an authentic Mexican feel right in the heart of Athens. Conveniently located within walking distance to UGA’s Foley Baseball Field, this restaurant is unique in the sense that it encourages BYOB (bring your own beer, wine, assorted adult drinks, etc.). With a $2.00 service fee, you can freely drink your own beverages, which is a major plus in my book.
Financially, it’s a great find. The only downside being they take cash or check ONLY. Of the seven guests I was dining with, three of us discovered this the hard way when we arrived with only our debit cards (who carries cash these days?). Without a forewarning from our dining mates, we had to make a 20-minute detour to each of our ATMs in order to get cash. However, the food, customer service and overall atmosphere were well worth the inconvenience and postponement of our meal.
The Cali n Tito’s menu offers a variety of appetizers, seafood, salads, wings, vegetarian plates, as well as a special kids menu and an assortment of shakes. Placing my order from the Spanglish menu, I chose the Quesadilla De Pollo, which consisted of grilled chicken filled with rice, beans and mozzarella cheese for a mere $6.75. Ordinarily I would think this price of the quesadilla to be expensive considering it’s served alone, but I was pleasantly surprised at the size and fullness of my entree. It was cooked to perfection with an ample amount of chicken and was nicely cut into four slices of pure heaven.
I also ordered chips and salsa for $2.45 to be split down the middle with a fellow dining buddy. This was a great decision because there was an abundance of chips and a huge bowl of salsa – my favorite!
Although I had never heard of it before, I tried my hand at Tostones which originate from the Spanish verb tostar, meaning “to toast”. Basically, they were fried green plantains for only $2.95. Served as an appetizer, about nine circular fried objects filled the plate in front of me. I was hesitant at first but with a little encouragement and some incredible sauce (more to come on that), I bit in and found myself on good terms with this plantain of a thing. Because it was fried this pleased the greasy side of me, but yet it was soft on the inside. I’m such a texture person when it comes to food, but since its softness was hidden underneath a fried layer, I was overwhelming, pleased.
Now about that sauce. I’m a sucker for sauces – seriously, I love to dip everything into almost anything. The waiter came to our table with a small container of a reddish dipping sauce I was unfamiliar with. I was excited to try it, though, and loved it for both my quesadilla and my fried plantains. It tasted like a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup. I was a big fan. I also tried a guacamole and salsa mixture that was incredible. It was a unique blend that tasted more like guac than salsa, but I loved it with my chips.
Cali n Tito’s creates a comfortable atmosphere for their customers. With a fun and engaging vice, the festive environment allows for drinks and conversation to flow throughout dinner. Because the seating is outdoors only, I was expecting some space heaters on this chilly November night. The area was encased in one of the plastic tent type things, but there were no heaters to be found and it was quite cold! Good thing we had our beverages to warm us up!
Whether enjoying a Wednesday night dinner with a group of friends or tailgating before the Friday night game, Cali n Tito’s is a great place to relax and enjoy a good time with friends. Be sure to pack a full cooler and bring an empty stomach!