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Friday, February 25, 2011

Caliente Grille Heats Up Hattiesburg

I recently got a suggestion from Jared Loftus to stop by Caliente Grille on my way through Hattiesburg to check out the restaurant, hang out with Charles, the owner, and eat some delicious burritos.  Jeremy of the blog Faire Les Courses and I were conveniently hungry as we drove through Mississippi on our way to FoodBlogSouth in Birmingham, so stopping in just made sense.

Caliente Grille in Hattiesburg, MS
Caliente Grille is similar to Izzo's or other "roll your own" overstuffed burrito places.  However, I could tell from walking in this was going to be a little different.  The service was excellent as we were kindly greeted right when we walked through the door.  The employees explained how to create our custom burritos, and I quickly knew exactly what I wanted.  I ordered ancho chili pork on a whole wheat tortilla.  I added some black beans, rice, sour cream, and the secret ingredient: a homemade, fresh, sweet corn jalepeno salsa.  As an extra measure to set themselves apart, Caliente Grille also toasts their burritos on a large sandwich press.  It does magic to crisp up the tortilla and melt the cheese.

My meal at Caliente Grille - regular ancho chili pork burrito with chips and queso
The burrito really hit the spot for both Jeremy and I.  As I stated above, the main things that Caliente Grille had going for them really set them apart from any competition.  The ancho chili pork combined with the sweet corn salsa is a flavor combination I would go back for again and again.  To top it off, pressing the burrito on the grill gave it just enough texture to take it to the next level.  Charles came into the restaurant after we finished eating and he told us about how all the salsas are made fresh daily.  Freshness is clearly a key to the Caliente way, and it shows in their food.  The only thing I wasn't a fan of was the absolutely plain queso... however looking back I could have easily asked for a little cup of one of their multiple salsas to mix it with.  Now I know!  Bottom line: if you're ever in Hattiesburg, go check out the Caliente Grille, and tell them Bite and Booze sent you!  It'll be worth the trip!

Sweet corn jalepeno salsa topping off the ancho chili pork burrito at Caliente Grille
Caliente Grille on Urbanspoon