Once Upon a Time in Salsalito

After much buzz and great words from friends regarding the Salsalito Mexican restaurant in San Antonio Texas, I had to taste the flavors for myself. I can tell you with utmost enthusiasm, that Salsalito is a very pleasant experience!

-Image from the Salsalito website-

My better half and I visited the location at loop 1604 and Bandera located in the Bandera Pointe shopping center. The outside is constructed like that of historical Mexican architecture very recognizable to any San Antonio citizen. There is a water fountain and sitting area near the front door with music playing over outdoor sound systems to keep with the theme. Upon entering the establishment, you will find a large bar ahead, with a very nice selection of liquor and beer, of predominantly Mexican influence. The bar is adorened with dark woods, and elegant lighting. The staff also likes to tease their guests with a dessert table on display near the host podium in front, too bad I didn't save any room because those desserts looked very tempting!

The decor on the inside is very lavishly done, and no detail was left out. Take a walk through the restaurant and it radiates the style of old Mexico. You'd swear that Antonio Banderas would swing in via chandelier to do battle with someone! I was very impressed with the warm and rustin layout of the place, and it also made me feel very welcome. The menu is diverse featuring more tradition Mexican dishes, and others that had a Salsalito's touch. I tried the Seafood Relleno for dinner this evening. The menu described it as a, "poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp, crawfish, monterey jack cheese, deep fried and topped with white wine cream sauce." How could I say no to that?? Service was very prompt, which made the experience that much more enjoyable, however our waiter was polite but not very social. The chips and salsa before the meal were great as well. Chips were crisp and not stale (unlike some other places), and the salsa was very much like a milder and warm version of Tomatillo's salsa (which I absolutely love!), so they earned some points as my 2nd most favorite salsa. Once dinner was served, my entree came with sides of the obligatory spanish rice and borracho beans. I tried the beans first, and they had a very rich flavor thanks to the fresh onions, tomato and cilantro in it. In my honest opinion, however, they skimped on the cilantro. If it had more cilantro, it would easily take the crown of my most favorite borracho beans (Mamacita's currently holds that title). The rice was definitely the best I've ever had. Cooked just perfectly, not crusty or sticky, with just enough seasonings to lightly tickle the tongue. But then it was time to attack the star of the dish, the Seafood Relleno.

The pepper was a bit bigger than the size of my fist, but perhaps the size of an average person's fist (I have somewhat small hands). It was covered in a thick sauce, which is a bit thicker consistency than most Mexcian sauces I'm used to - but still awesome flavor. When they said stuffed, they weren't kidding! This poblano was jam packed with shrimp, crawfish and cheese. it was hearty, messy, gooey, and oh so delicous. Strands of cheese were never ending and the poblano offered the most complimenting spice to the proteins. My better half described it as a blast of flavor attacking your face, but in a good way! His depitctions are always amusing. The relleno had a thin batter coating that remained fairly crisp under the sauce. The sauce was elegantly flavored, not too heavy to overpower the other flavors. The cheese inside the pepper was melted beautifully, and that gooey texture made me a happy camper. I really enjoyed this Salsalito twist on a classic Mexican dish, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

For more information about the restaurant, including menus, maps, and more - visit their website at www.salsalito-sa.com

Next time I'll show up at happy hour to try some Margaritas and desserts! I hear their bartenders know how to make some fantastic Mexican cocktails. Until then, I'll just sit here and savor the memory of a great restaurant experience. I'm as stuffed as the relleno I had for dinner!

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