As you leave Old Sacramento and head west across the "I" Street Bridge, you cross the Sacramento River, and you cross into Yolo County, and the City of West Sacramento. Yes, the two cities are on east vs west sides of California's biggest river, but they are very different cities. As you enter West Sacramento, you may be looking for a great Mexican restaurant, which serves menudo and posole on weekends. I have a suggestion: After crossing the river, head about three blocks west on "C" Street, and stop at Sal's Tacos.
As with all of my reviews, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: Sal's Tacos is the "Home of the Original Salsa Bar" in West Sacramento. It's mid-afternoon on Saturday, March 18, 2017, and I'd just attended the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Old Sacramento, across the river, and I was HUNGRY for Mexican food! Click on the highlighted link to check out the great parade that I enjoyed today. As the photo shows, outside patio dining is available, which I briefly considered, but since today was my first visit to this wonderful restaurant, I wanted to experience to "total" atmosphere, inside...
Outside, the restaurant is quite colorful. Did they hire a mural artist to decorate? Note the orange safety cones near the patio dining area. I love it!
Photo: Outside the entrance, you're greeted to this sign. I'm glad I brought cash, as the sign states they will take credit cards, I always want to make things easy. Funny, as I've never seen another restaurant that is reluctant to take credit cards. In my experience, restaurants either take credit cards, or they don't... no middle ground like Sal's seems to tread. At $7.99, such a deal for breakfast, but since it was around 3 in the afternoon, I was in the mood for lunch.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, it's even more colorful inside than outside. The all-you-can-eat chip and salsa bar is to the right of the photo, and the "sample table" is in the center of the photo.
Sal's Tacos operates on a typical taqueria format. Like most taquerias, you walk up to the counter, make your selection from the menu posted on the wall behind the counter, pay for your meal, and you receive a number in return. When your order is ready, a smiling staff member will bring it to your table.
Photo: Sal's is amazing, as I've never seen anything like this before: A "sample" table of highlighted breakfast items! Guess I'll have to make it back to Sal's for breakfast. Menudo and posole are offered on weekends. Yes, I realize menudo is a traditional breakfast food in Mexico, and it was about 3 o'clock on this Saturday afternoon, which isn't exactly breakfast, but menudo was on my mind, so...
Photo: My friendly counter gal, Rosy, took my order. Note the menu on the wall behind her, and the breakfast menu posted in front of he counter. At Sal's Tacos, there is no printed menu, however, there is bottled beer, both domestic and imported, and a limited selection of Mexican beer on tap. Unfortunately, as I placed my order, I didn't notice the "Street Tacos" on the menu, or I would have ordered them instead of the carnitas that I ordered, as I tend to judge a Mexican restaurant by two criteria: 1) Menudo 2) Street tacos.
Photo: A portion of the all-you-can-eat salsa bar, which is the "flagship" at Sal's Tacos. Unfortunately, due to camera limitations, I was only able to photo about 2/3 of the salsa bar, but it's quite extensive, and even features fruit, as shown in the lower right corner. The only disappointment was the lack of runny guacamole, which is my favorite. No problema, as I enjoyed smoky red chili salsa with my chips.
Photo: Sal's continued to amaze me, as I saw something that I'd never seen before at a Mexican restaurant: Chips already placed in bowls. All you have to do is grab a bowl, and you're good to go. At first, the concept didn't register with me, and I looked for tongs, which most taquerias use, but Sal's Tacos is unique, with having chips in a bowl, ready to go.
Photo: I noticed this interesting sign posted above the salsa bar, and it gave me laughs.
Photo: This equally funny sign was posted behind the counter. Sal definitely has a sense of humor!
Photo: My friendly server, brings my menudo to me with a smile. After reading Yelp reviews, many have complained about slow service, but my menudo was delivered to my table, with a smile, in only about 10 minutes after ordering. I barely had time to hit the salsa bar and take a swig of beer before my order arrived.
Tips are appreciated, but not expected at taquerias with the order, pay, take a number, and food is brought to your table, as per the protocol employed at Sal's Tacos. But, thanks to the friendly staff, and the ok-to-take-photos atmosphere, I left a 20% tip as a show of thanks for a job well done.
Photo: Thanks, Vicki, for snapping my photo, as I'm ready to enjoy a great lunch. My number was 13, and I'm glad for two things: 1) I'm not superstitious 2) It wasn't Friday.
Photo: After hiking around Old Sacramento for several hours, and enjoying the parade, I was HUNGRY! So, in addition to ordering a bowl of menudo, I ordered a "Carnitas Taco," as after all, with a name like Sal's Tacos, you can only judge the restaurant by a taco, not by menudo alone.
Photo: The main course was menudo, with warm corn tortillas on the side. Menudo is a popular breakfast dish in Mexico, but is served mostly on weekends, due to the long cooking time. Sal's menudo was delicious, as it featured lots of beef tripe, hominy, and of course, a rich, chili pepper broth. Unlike other menudo, it wasn't salty... Yeah! It was a little on the bland side, but after adding the included diced onion, lime juice, cilantro, and a bit of salsa cruda from the salsa bar... this menudo was excellent! I you love menudo, Sal's Tacos is a great place to satisfy your craving. Like most taquerias, Sal's serves menudo on weekends only, so check your calendar before your journey.
Photo: Since the word "taco" is associated with Sal's Tacos, and since this was my first visit to Sal's, I just HAD to sample a taco, despite the fact that I'd ordered a bowl of menudo, but I was hungry, so I just decided to "go for it!"
Sal's carnitas taco, complete with deep fried flour tortilla, lettuce, cojilla cheese, tomato, and, naturally, carnitas. I really didn't quite know what to think about this taco, as I've never had another one like it. I've never had a taco like this during my hundreds of trips to Mexico, but what do I know? All I can say is that I devoured every bite, and at the end of the show, it was finger lickin' good.
Sal's Tacos is a neighborhood "hang out" in this trendy neighborhood of West Sacramento, as the restaurant is a gathering place for locals, who enjoy great Mexican food, friendly staff, and a great restaurant to just "hang" around at, on a Saturday afternoon in March. You'll enjoy good times and great food at Sal's Tacos...
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