Long-time Clintonville residents will remember Talita’s Mexican Kitchen from its 39-year run in the heart of the neighborhood. The “Authentic Brownsville Tex-Mex” eatery was opened in 1968 by husband and wife Tony and Talita, serving Clintonville until closing its doors in 2007.
Talita’s has now rejoined the ranks of Clintonville dining options, setting up in the former Graffiti Burger spot at Arcadia Avenue and High Street. The new location—dubbed “Talita’s on High”opened its doors on June 14 and resumed serving their simple likeable Tex-Mex fare.
Run by the original owners’ son Frank, the new incarnation has done away with table service and instead has customers ordering at the counter and seating themselves in the open, red and white dining room highlighted by some of the original restaurant signs. Regardless of the updates, Talita’s family-run restaurant sense remains; you’ll find Frank strolling the dining room greeting his customers during dinner hours. It’s this feeling that makes the eatery a neighborhood institution.
Although Talita’s doesn’t offer anything drastically different than other Americanized Mexican restaurants, they still serve a slice of comfort to their customers. Mexican standards like burritos, tacos, enchiladas and nachos are constructed with options of beef, beans or chicken.
One of their signatures is the Wet n’ Cheesie Burrito, a giant burrito filled with choice of beef, chicken, beans, rice and cheese. Both the chicken and the beef are tender and wellseasoned, and the entire burrito is smothered in cheese and enchilada sauce. Other standards include a layered enchilada, nachos with jalapenos and arroz con pollo. Talita’s also features a small selection of salads, including the avocado salad made from a straightforward mix of avocados, mayonnaise and shredded lettuce. For dessert, try their cinnamon crisps: tortilla wedges coated with cinnamon and sugar, and served with a side of honey.
If you’re a Clintonville resident who frequented Talita’s in decades past, you can rejoice in its return to the neighborhood. Resident or not, though, you can still get a sampling of a little Columbus restaurant history while enjoying some Tex-Mex comfort food.