Thursday, October 23, 2008


I just came from lunch at an establishment in Downtown Melbourne. I was with the usual Friday crowd, there were nine of us dining at Salsas, which is on New Haven, across the street from the Sun Shoppe, if you're familiar with the area. This is my first blog review of a restaurant, so here goes.

As the group is often coming from at least three different locations, we arrived as the group was receiving their drink orders. Perhaps we would have been a smidgen earlier if we had found closer parking, but there were still quite a few parallel spots lining the streets just a few blocks away. As we were clearly the largest party in the restaurant, we were in a separate room, which was just large enough to accommodate a table for eight (we just squeezed in an extra chair on one side). There were framed paintings on the walls, priced to sell. It was cozy and allowed us to speak freely without concern for those around us, and the only negative aspect of the room was the fact that the doors to the restrooms were behind us, so fellow diners kept walking through to use the restroom. While it did not bother us, those coming through seemed to feel like they were interrupting, with apologetic looks on their faces.

Waters came with lime, and the Coke and Sprite were also tasty. Chips and salsa came out quickly, but were not noteworthy. The chips were warm, but small. The salsa was a little watery for my tastes, but as a whole the table enjoyed them enough to plow through three baskets. Ordering was pretty simple, as long as you know how you like your Mexican cuisine. While the menu itself is fairly large (and includes tortas, a Mexican sandwich that is most delicious in cities like San Diego, in my opinion), the lunch special is pretty straightforward. The first five entrees are available with a soft drink for $8.99 (+tax). Each was ordered by someone at the table (with one person choosing a regular entree), but Enchiladas were my pick. "3 lightly friend corn tortillas filled with chicken breast and covered with green tomatillo Salsa or tomato Salsa, topped with whole cream, fresh white cheese and raw onion rings." You can pick a cheese filling instead of chicken, if you'd like. Served with rice and refried beans (although I just had double rice). They have various salsas, and in addition to choosing "red" or "green," you also choose the spiciness: mild, medium, spicy.

The rice had corn, peas, and carrots in it; not a mixture that I'm accustomed to at a Mexican restaurant. The chicken was dry, and the tortillas were soggy. The tomatillo salsa was delicious (I chose medium-to-spicy), and a good pick. There could have been more cheese, but in today's health-minded America, it was deliciously acceptable. The whole cream was a surprise, as sour cream is what one generally expects on enchiladas. It was pretty tasteless, especially considering the generous amount drizzled across the meal. Those who chose refried beans as a side were treated to extra cheese sprinkled on them, and tiny tortilla chips set upright to resemble sailboats.

Eight of us finished our meals, the one who did not had eaten a large breakfast just three hours prior. Considering the price to be a bit steep for the quantity and quality of the food, I will not be returning to Salsas. With the great variety of ethnic food we have in Melbourne (only meant to be half sarcastic; there are some delicious places to try foreign cuisine here!), there is no reason to resort to dining there in the future. While I was not a fan, there were a few around the table who thoroughly enjoyed their meals, but we were all left talking about how it will not join the general rotation of eateries (next week, a local fried chicken joint!).