Salsarita’s

Categories: Casual, Chain, Eat-in, Fast Food, Mexican
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Published on: May 12, 2010

The wife and I dropped by Salsarita’s on Rt 57 in Liverpool (Glenn Crossing Plaza).  It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and the only other guests left almost as soon as we got there.  Salsarita’s is a franchised chain serving (Tex)Mex food.  They also have a small bar area were they serve alcohol – mostly margaritas unless I miss my guess.  The menu’s pretty basic – burritos and “Mexican pizza” mostly.  Each of the local TexMex chains – Moe’s, Salsarita’s, and the home-grown Fajita Grill – carry approximately the same food.  They’re almost indistinguishable from one another, right down to the tortilla steamers and meat scoops they use behind the cafeteria-like counter.  The big difference is the lack of enforced enthusiasm and stupid names they use at one of the other chains (“Welcome to Moe’s!  Care for a Joey Bag of Doughnuts today?”).

We zipped through the line pretty quickly.  The only hang-up was when I ordered a large soda, and the girl behind the register said, “We’re out of large cups.”  Then she just stared at me.  No offer for free refills, or even paid refills.  No questions like, “Would you like a different size?”  Just that dumb cow-eyed look.  I broke the silence by asking for a regular cup.   She complied.  For my large “wet” (drizzled with enchilada sauce) pork burrito, the wife’s white (seafood) pizza and a regular drink, the price was a pretty steep $18 and change.

The dining area is large, and I like the seemingly handcrafted wooden booths.  Plenty of elbow room, and not garishly colored like the small plastic-topped tables in the center.  They have TVs near the ceiling in the corners (with the sound turned off) and one of the Sirius satellite stations playing Mexican music coming over the sound system.

I ordered the pork because so few other places have it.  I was surprised at the amount of salt in it this time – not like other times I’ve ordered it there.  Each batch is obviously done by hand, and it tasted like someone lost the top to the salt shaker.  Almost too salty to eat.

I had rice, black beans, hot salsa (I couldn’t even tell it was on there) and black olives in the burrito, as well as a small sprinkling of “cheese.”  Because of the sauce, I couldn’t pick it up, but eating it with a fork and knife worked pretty well.

Most of my negatives this time concern clean-up.  They use small aluminum “pie plates” to serve things like chips in.  There are signs on the garbage cans saying “Please don’t throw away the pie plates,” but they are apparently afraid their diners can’t read, because they make the round hole in the top too small to fit the plates it.  But that also makes the holes too small for the styrofoam platters they serve everything else on.  It’s hard to juggle everything else you’re trying to throw away when you have to reach over and smash up the platter so it fits in the hole, while any uneaten food is spilling all over your hand.  Bad planning.

Another one of my peeves is the lack of recycling for plasticware.  Not just here, but everywhere.  C’mon!  How many tons of this stuff is being dumped in landfills every day?  I don’t expect places to wash and re-use it, but at least attempt to recycle it.  Or make it look like you are, even if you just toss it all in the dumpster together at the end of the night.

It’s not the worst place to grab a quick bite.

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