Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina

My blog analytics allow me to see the search terms people used to find the Charlotte Spoon. My two favorite today:

“light eating in Charlotte”
“smothered pork chops”

Good to know we have varied interests around here.

After church this morning I decided it was finally time to try Salsarita’s. I’d heard a lot about it but hadn’t had a chance to visit.

Nothing jumped out at me from the menu. All the usual suspects were there (burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, taco salads, all available with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp).

After a raging internal debate (this is not unusual for me when it comes to restaurant menus), I went with a small grilled chicken burrito. As I went down the assembly line (identical to Qdoba’s, if you’ve ever been there), I asked for: rice, black beans, medium salsa, added queso, extra shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and a little cilantro. It was a super quick process — all wrapped up and ready to go in a few minutes flat.

Flat . . . hm . . . yeah. That’s kind of how I’d describe the eating experience. How do you go wrong with that list of ingredients? It sounds flavorful and bold, right? Well, it wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t very good. The rice was a flavorless filler, the beans added a “goo” factor from not being drained enough, and I don’t think there was enough salsa or queso or chicken to overcome these downfalls. The result was a “just okay,” kind of plain burrito. At $6.22 for a meal that’s on the small side for me, it wasn’t expensive, but I’d definitely expect a better flavor.

It’s hard to rate a restaurant on one eating experience, so I want to disclaim. I’ve heard many folks say they didn’t like Qdoba’s burritos much either (too much rice is the most common complaint). I love Qdoba’s delicious chicken nachos covered in calorie-laden queso, though, so maybe if I shopped around on the Salsarita’s menu, I’d find something similarly satisfying.

Speaking of Qdoba’s, though, does it seem to anyone else that Salsarita’s and Qdoba’s are kind of the same restaurant with a different name and different decor? Same assembly-line concept, almost the same menu, similar pricing.

One thing I do have to complain about regarding Salsarita’s menu is the extra charge for queso. Without queso, that burrito would have been even less impressive. Guess how much adding queso costs. JUST GUESS. Adding queso costs an entire dollar extra. And you should have seen the tiny, miserly spoonful of queso my extra dollar got me! I almost wanted to say, “Really, that’s a dollar-worth of queso?!” Seriously, Salsarita’s, that’s annoying.

A big ol’ huge plus to end on, though, for you coke lovers: Salsarita’s does have fountain Coke Zero. This fact means I might give it another shot. Maybe. In the meantime, next post I’ll tell you where you should go to get quick, flavorful Mexican in Charlotte. You’re gonna love it.

So help me out here, Charlotte Spooners: if I’m trying to find the love at Salsarita’s, what should I order? Have you been and had a similarly lackluster experience? Or do you love it?

Charlotte Spoon Rating: 2 out of 5 spoons


5 responses to “Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina

  1. Salsarita’s is inconsistent. The one at Quail Hollow is better than the one in the Cotswold shopping center, and the one at the airport is the best we’ve had in Charlotte (but a bit more expensive).

    Chipotle is better. πŸ™‚

    • Chipotle tastes much better (and is healthier) but unfortunately they don’t options those who don’t eat red meat (no shrimp!). Qdoba is okay but their service has fallen off in recent years. My wife and I would joke about what they wouldn’t have that day (Taco salad but not taco shells…so they offered to make it with chips instead lol).

      • You’re kidding! Hilarious. So they’re out of shells . . . you want some nachos? πŸ˜‰ Which Qdoba location do you go to?

        I actually finally tried Chipotle after a few recommendations, and that review is coming up soon!! Already written and ready to publish. They do serve chicken which isn’t typically considered “red meat,” but I guess you just mean for folks who don’t really eat meat in general (only seafood). That’s true — I hadn’t even noticed!

  2. If it cost a whole dollar, then why does the reciept say $0.50?

    • Wow, so I happen to still have the receipt (why haven’t I thrown that away yet?) and you’re right! I didn’t even notice! It says on the sticker on the assembly line that is costs a dollar, but perhaps they realized how ridiculous that was!

      I still think $0.50 is a bit much for something that should be included in the dish (since it would have been inexcusably bland without it), but that’s a bit better πŸ™‚ Thanks for pointing that out, Scott.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s