This tiny restaurant on Main North Road in Pooraka has been quietly building a reputation for their 'little cravings' for nearly a year now. 'Antojitos' is a Mexican Spanish term for street food, or 'little cravings' and Antojitos Latinos delivers plenty of them.
From authentic empanadas and completos (hot dogs), to Chorrillana (steak) and pulled pork, to coffee, tea, home-made sweet treats and imported soft drinks, Antojitos Latinos is making its mark as part of the new breed of Latin American food experiences in Adelaide.
The front counter has a cool coffee shop / grocery store / restaurant feel. While the dining room only has six or seven tables, it's arranged well and manages to include a comfy couch as well as a large book and toy shelf to keep both kids and adults occupied (should the need arise). The space captures a grassroots vibe and is decorated in a tastefully bright and modern style.
Fans of South American food come from all over Adelaide to enjoy one particular dish at Antojitos Latinos. I'd certainly never seen it before and was keen to try it. Pastel de Choclo is a very traditional Chilean beef, chicken and corn casserole with olives, sultanas and boiled eggs. The mashed organic corn is baked over the meat in a clay pot producing a dish that has sweet and savoury all wrapped up into a tasty and warming meal. The tomato and onion salad accompaniment is deliciously refreshing.
The menu is mainly based on street food style serves but the Chorillana ( a Chilean dish of hot chips loaded with pulled flank steak, caramelised onions and fried eggs) is offered in serves for either one or two people. The street food section of the menu offers a range of meats like pulled beef and pork and steaks stacked in artisan bread rolls with tomato and home-made mayo.
Another huge feature of the menu at Antojitos Latinos is the range of completos (hot dogs). Chile went so crazy for the American style hot dog recipe that they've turned them into a national dish! There's plenty to choose from, all with a bit of a Latin twist. The rolls are crunchy and the dressings are fresh.
Pebre is a condiment found with or on many of the dishes, it's made from coriander, chopped onion, olive oil, garlic, aji peppers and sometimes chopped tomato. You need to come and try the pebre at Antojitos Latinos, it's like nothing else you've tasted.
The menu is rounded out with bits and pieces like arepas and tamales, or you can just get a bowl of chips with pebre. Antojitos Latinos has a kid's menu too. They're covered with hot dogs, nuggets, empanadas and chips.
The sweet treats for dessert are on display in the counter cabinet. We tried a slice of the Brazo de Reina and one of their home-made Chilenitos. Brazo de Reina is described as being like a jam roll, but filled with dulce du leche, similarly the chilenitos are dulce du leche filled biscuits coated in meringue. To say sweet would be an understatement for these little beauties. They are delicious but don't over-do it!
Vegetarians fear not, there are plenty of options for you as Antojitos Latinos can do vegan patties, bread, mayo and cheese and can even do a vegan chorillana platter.
As far as drinks go, Antojitos Latinos has a great range of coffee, tea and soft drinks. There's also heaps of imported South American soft drinks like Inca Kola, Bilz, Pap, Limon Soda, Canada Dry and Nectar Durazno available.
Antojitos Latinos host regular special weekend events worth keeping an eye out for. Some of the pictures in this article are from a ribs weekend with BBQ At Yours – a South American Asado style BBQ caterer cooking up a storm on the footpath outside. These events are excellent value for money and really activate the space in a way rarely seen in the suburbs.