A new eatery focused on classic Puerto Rican dishes is now cooking in Barrio Logan. Tito’s Deli has taken over the kitchen inside Attitude Brewing, bringing the island’s popular tripleta, a three-meat pressed sandwich traditionally made with grilled steak, pork roast, and ham stuffed inside a sobao roll, to San Diego. Other menu items include pastelillos, the Puerto Rican variant of savory empanadas, fried plantains, yucca fries, and chicken wings spiced with garlic mojo and Jamaican jerk seasoning.
Proprietor Tito Irizarry says that unlike most tripleta found throughout Puerto Rico and in many New York City bodegas, his sandwiches are modeled after a style found only in the Puerto Rican city of Aguadilla, where his mother’s family is from, in which the meats are braised in a savory sauce instead of being seared on a flat top. Tito’s Deli also offers a San Juan-style tripleta sandwich, with chicken instead of beef.
Despite the hyper-regional origins of its signature dish, the menu also offers nods to San Diego favorites. The Logan tripleta sandwich comes with jalapenos and carne asada while the tripleta fries take inspiration from the carne asada fries found at local taco shops. “I wanted to introduce food from the island to San Diego because no one’s bringing these flavors here. But we’re also crossing some lines and doing fusions with San Diego’s local foods,” Irizarry said.
Currently in a soft opening mode, the family-owned eatery is featuring takeout as well as outdoor dining. Tito’s will be slowly rolling out more menu items and desert options, including guava cheesecake, coconut flan and other pastries. Like many Latin American restaurants, Tito’s Deli will also be retailing specialty grocery items, snacks, and souvenirs from Puerto Rico. Plans for a grand opening and social events are being planned for when COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings are lifted.