Should you find yourself on I-5 this holiday weekend, take the Buttonwillow ezit (in the vicinity of Bakersfield) for some authentic and tasty Salvadorian and Mexican food.
IMO, Tita's would be a major find in SF, LA or San Diego. The pupusas are thick handmade discs filled with cheese. In addition there are pupusas with loroca, a salvadorian flower, fried pork or refried beans. It is accompanied by an tasty corrido, that vinegary slaw of onions, carrots and cabbage. Spread it on top of your pupusa and dig in.
There are also excellent house made aqua frescas. The tamarindo waa deep ruby red and had a smokey under taste. I liked the horchata and the arrayan, a Salvadorian fruit from my understanding. Usually there's a flavor of the day, like coconut or pineapple.
If you don't like Salvadorian, there is a choice of American and Mexican dishes. You can get a burger, fries and even chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy. Haven't tried these though because I really liked the Salvadorian dishes.
There are nightly specials that sell out early like Babacoa and menudo.
The yucca con chicarrones is a standout, but I wouldn't suggest it if you are a burguer and fries type.
The tamales can be ordered Salvadorian style or Mexican style. I ordered the Salvadorian style which are moister. There are tamales de elote, pork or chicken.
I enjoyed the empanada de plantano, a fried banana stuffed with pudding. Also liked the plantanos con frijoles y crema.
I have yet to try Tita's homemade flan which is made with three different types of milk.
There are bottles of Jarritos which are Mexican sodas as well as Cola Champagne, a Salvadorian soda (it was ok, but I wouldn't order it again ... besides the fresh agua frescas were so much better.
Tita's is open from 7 am until 10 pm seven days a week. I haven't tried breakfast there yet but in addition to American breakfasts you can get Sincronizado con tosino. There is ham, cheese and frijoles.
Meals come with good chips and a hot hosemade salsa (not too hot, but hot enough to give it character).
Tita is a friendly woman from El Salvador. Occasionally the daughters help out. You will feel welcome.
The tables are covered with lovely white tablecloths embroidered with flowers. The walls are decorated with framed Central American money, 3d pictures of animals by a waterfall that gurgles. The picture of the last Supper is under a plastic grape vine. I thought that was a nice touch.
To get there, take the Buttonwillow exit and hang a right (you want to pass Starbucks. Don't go in the direction of Carl's Jr. When you get to the end of the street, take a right to Buttonwillow which is located amid cotton fields.
It is a short 5 miles up the road. Tita's is on 350 Front street which is the main drag. Once you make the right toward Buttonwillow, you won't need to make any more turns.
But wait, as they say in the infomercials. There are actually more good restaurants in Buttonwillow. Talking to some other diners, it seems there is a Mexican restaurant that makes guacamole at your table.
I think it is El Jacalito which is a deep reddish pink building.
Buttonwillow originally had a large, for the town, Italian population. JC's pizza Shak is a holdover from those days. It was sold about a year ago, but I hear the pizza is still authentic. Haven't tried it though.
The residents are mainly Hispanic and on a Sunday afternoon, Mexican music drifts out of the houses in this tiny town.
I you are interested you can see the Buttonwillwo tree for which the town was name. A lonely large tree in the middle of open fields. According to a plaque placed by the Kern County Historical Society, it is a "lone tree on an old trans velley trail. It was an ancient Yokuts Indian Meeting place.
Although I think it wlll be open July 4th, you might want to call and check. The number is 661 7649351