Salsarita's Fresh Cantina

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by harley1

this restaurant is out-of-business, a new restaurant has replaced this in this same location.

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by AmandaLynn0220

Not bad, especially if you're in the military. They have a 1/2 off deal for personnel in uniform. I love that they have fresh cilantro...not loving the lazy staff.....

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by Cedric

This was a mixed bag. The food was pretty good, but I did find myself complaining about a few things.

Salsarita's makes basically one promise, which is to make the food in front of you out of fresh ingredients. They fulfill this promise in a variety of ways, from having a wide selection of fresh toppings to having tortillas that seem to be made at the restaurant (not pressed and cooked right in front of you, but still very good.) The menu is fairly complete. There is only so much you can put on a Mexican-themed menu without running out of things to do with the tortilla, but it's nice to see that taco salads are available.

I ordered three chicken tacos, each of which was made-to-order as promised. The difficulty I had was that the tortillas were all placed on one plate in overlapping fashion, after which all of the ingredients were piled on top. When I got to my table, I discovered that the paper tray liner was acting as a kind of bowl which kept the chicken juice right in the middle where it soaked every part of every tortilla. I had chicken marinade on my hands and all over my face by the time I was done. It was possibly the messiest Mexican food I have eaten since I gave up preparing it for myself.

I made it a combo to add some chips and guacamole, and wished afterward that I hadn't. I really, really love fresh avacado, but that's not what I want when I order guacamole. It could have used a little more seasoning. Just a little salt and pepper. Anything.

Essentially, the price and quality makes this a direct competitor with Pancheros, which I probably prefer for sentimental reasons.

Here's the part of the review where I rant about something basically unrelated to the actual quality of the restaurant. I could edit this out and post it on my blog, but let's face it, more people will read it here. So you have been warned.

What's with the tip cup at restaurants with counter service? I mean, I used to call old-timers cheapskates when they complained about tip jars at coffee shops. After all, those are customarily filled with spare change, not paper money. But fast casual dining? This is a market segment that promises to be as convenient as McDonald's, but of a higher quality. As a result, I'm paying more, but getting about the same level of service. I would imagine that if the workers at Salsarita's are not being paid the same as those at McDonald's, then they are getting more. So let's see... the food costs more, you are getting paid more... but I'm still supposed to leave a tip?

In a way, it is really insulting to people who actually work for tips. Servers at sit-down restaurants are usually paid a nominal hourly fee that is less than minimum wage so that they can bust their asses taking eight-twelve orders simultaneously, running your food from the kitchen, refilling drinks, and possibly busing your table. (At Salsarita's, I bused my own table.) Tips for these servers are not really gratuity, they are income. So how the tip jar is suddenly showing up in places like Salsarita's is beyond me. Did I miss the tip jar at Panera? I'm pretty sure they don't have one, yet.

Of course, I dropped in a dollar. I had to prove I'm not a cheapskate. That's how the bastards win.

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