It’s hard not to smile when you walk by Salsa’s, just off Pack Square on Patton Ave. It’s bright yellow facade with blue trim fairly yells, “Come on in! This is a fun spot and the food’s great!!”
Notice how the place looks like there are definite left and right sides? That’s because Hector Diaz opened a small kitchen with “to-go” only service through a window on the alley to the right. At that time, there were no patio-pavers, counter, tables or chairs.
Business through that window was good, So good, Diaz expanded into the space to the left, creating a dining room that’s often packed. The only table available was in the back corner, facing the wall of windows letting in bright afternoon light, so the shot below makes it look darker than it was.
Some think of Salsa’s as a Mexican eatery, but it’s more. Diaz’s Puerto Rican heritage shows up in his frequently changing menus.
“Our food is an eclectic fusion of traditional Caribbean and Mexican cuisines. We value using the freshest ingredients and make all of our own salsas, sauces, beans, rice, etc. from scratch. We are not a tex-mex, refried bean kinda joint.”
This visit I was in the mood for Salsa’s Roasted Veggie Quesadilla ($8.75). At first bite, I was happily surprised by the hearty flavor of the roasted to crisp-tender veggies. Just as the surprise was subsiding, I became aware of a new wave of flavors: queso blanco, avocado sauce, and curry sauce. Absolutely delicious.
All Quesadillas are served with reasonable portions of rice, beans and salsa. Loved the big chunks of tomato, too.
- Many ingredients at Salsa’s come directly from Diaz’s Leicester, NC farm.
- House-made drinks, both with and without alcohol are exceptionally good at Salsa’s. I had some kind of Ginger/Berry concoction that was fabulous.
- On warmer nights, the alley/patio is a fun place to sit. It’s got a great vibe and is perfect for Patton Ave. people watching.
- See sample lunch, dinner and specials menus here.
- For exceptionally interesting and thorough information on Hector Diaz, read The Many Lives of Hector Diaz by Emily Patrick.