Local Eats: Salsa's - Asheville, NC

Molcajetes: Slow Roasted Pork
This post has been on my mind for some time now. I've loved Salsa's since the first time I tried them back in 2007. The portions are huge and the price is good for the amount and quality of food you're getting.

From their website:

Our Story...
Salsa's first opened in 1994 with much love, hope and creativity from Hector Diaz. Hector, a native of Puerto Rico, stumbled upon a little spot and was given the opportunity to use his creative energy and turn it into a great restaurant. Salsa's was born out of a small kitchen, dirt filled alley and food that compares to no other. Hector had a tiny window to sell burrito's and taco's out of and everything was "to-go". Years later when Hector had the chance to get the space next to his kitchen he took the opportunity and opened the walls up and added a dining room. It has now turned into a full-fledged dining experience that shouldn't be missed! We guarantee you that every bite tastes new and the food you order is made with pride and love.


The dish above is what Salsa's calls a Molcajetes. Not to sound racist or anything (nothing good can ever come after a statement like that) but Korean's love hot food. If it's boiling while it hits my lips and scalds the top of my mouth causing it to instantly blister . . . well, I'm in heaven. A molcajetes is a lava rock that has been heated over a flame making it super hot and then the ingredients are put into the bowl to continue to boil as it comes to your table. I highly recommend it to anyone needing a nice mouth roof blister. The pork was so tender and the fennel is such a nice flavor next to pork. It's awesome.

Guacamole
I digress, I got so excited about burning my mouth I forgot to start with the super tasty apps we got. I love some fresh made guacamole and Salsa's must be doing something special to their guacamole. We couldn't quite figure it out, but it really tastes like some sort of nut oil is added to the guac. giving it a nice warm flavor. So difficult to explain so I suggest you just go eat it.

Anafre Bean Habanero Dip
Oh how I wish this dish were hotter. I expected it to blow me out of the water with spice but I didn't get the fortune of biting into the habaneros. I guess there just weren't many in the dish to begin with. I was bummed. The flavors were really nice but it could have stood a bit more time in the salamander.

Lamb Plato
I love my girlfriend for so many reasons and reason #5928889 is that she's not afraid to order lamb without putting in the caveat "If I don't like it can I trade with you?" Well lucky for her and me (she can't eat like I can . . . yet) I got to eat plenty of the lamb and it was cooked such a nice med-rare and the curry sauce and trimmings were all super pungent and complimented the dish so well.

Shrimp a la Diabla
My cousin Brian ordered this dish and we were all wishing WE had ordered this dish. So instead I picked off his plate throughout the night and got my fill, thanks BP! The dish was nice and spicy with tons of chili flavor. I don't know what it is about dishes covered in sauce but I just want a big bowl of rice to go along with them.

Mushroom and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
I didn't get the chance to get a good taste of this dish but I did want to mention that there are a couple great looking vegetarian options on the menu for all you veg's out there.

I gotta say I really loved the lava bowl dish particularly, mainly because it's quenches my itch for extremely hot(temperature) food. But, everything is really quite delicious at Salsa's and it's definitely worth the visit.

Salute!
--Joe