Served on a crisp, tasty and fresh-enough bolillio bread along with a smear of refried beans, mayo, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, a few slices of avocado, a ring or two of raw white onions and some pickled jalapeños, these come with a number of choices for meats among beef fajita, chicken fajita, shredded beef or chicken, a version of the Cuban sandwich, milanesa with beef, pastor, lomo, and the Hawaiian. Lomo is the boiled then shredded pork, and is the star of the meats for the tortas. It was recommended when I asked the server for the best one, and it’s been my favorite among the several I’ve tried. The lomo has been tender, moist and clean-tasting with an enjoyable, subtle pork flavor. The similar Hawaiian might be the next best; the lomo with pineapple, ham and cheese. But each of the meat choices, dished in an adequate portion, have made for an enjoyable sandwich, which are even much tastier for me with some of the piquant spicy and viscous jalapeño salsa that’s available at the small salsa bar that gives the restaurant its name.
The sandwiches might be an average size for a local torta, and have been priced at $6.99, which makes for a decent value. With some waffle fries made with new potatoes, a fairly hearty lunch has been had for $10.99 or so before tax and tip. Those prices might be changing. When I was in quite recently, I was told that the lomo torta I had ordered was now $10.99 but larger. When it arrived, it was the same regular size as always though I was charged the same $6.99 as before.
Salsa’s is an odd place. Sometimes it is counter-service. Sometimes not. Sometimes chips and salsa come. Most often not. What was initially a breakfast and lunch place, is now open for dinner, but not breakfast. And what was a Mexican restaurant is now Mexican and Chinese. It seems that the restaurant had changed hands. Now there are two separate menus, one with the Mexican dishes it has long served and a second one with all of the familiar Chinese-American preparations. Though it might not have the best tortas in town, Salsa’s certainly serves the best tortas at any Mexican-Chinese restaurant in town.
2025 N Durham (at 21st Street), 77008, (713) 426-3259