By Tana Kosiyabong
I came across Salsa and Agave Mexican Grill last month. However, it took me a long time before I could actually check it out. During the first few visits, the restaurant was too crowded during the lunch hour and I didn’t feel like waiting. So I moved on to the other restaurants nearby. A few days ago, I had launched another Cheap Appetite mission in an attempt to conquer this Mexican restaurant. Instead of visiting during the lunch hour, I had waited at the office until 1:15 pm before I headed out for lunch.
By the time I reached the restaurant, I was really hungry. But soon I realized that my patience had paid off. A couple of patrons were leaving when I walked into Salsa and Agave. So I rushed to the empty table by the window before anyone else could take it. A few minutes later, a waitress came by with the menu and small bowls of complimentary tortilla chips and salsa.”
Salsa and Agave Mexican Grill offers both affordable and pricey selections on the menu. Obviously, I chose one of the cheaper options: Milanesa Torta (Mexican Sub Sandwich with fried breaded beef – $7*). Other Tortas selections are Pollo (roast chicken), Carne Asada (grilled beef), Carnitas (soft pork), Jamon (ham), and Chorizo (Mexican sausage) were priced at $6. For $1 extra, you can add cheese to the Tortas.
I nibbled on the chips and salsa while waiting for my order. The chips were ok but the salsa was way too mild for my taste. But since they were free, I gave them a thumb up anyway. Ten minutes later, the Milanesa Torta was served with a small pile of pickled Jalapeno pepper on the side. The Mexican sub was smaller than a foot-long Subway sandwich and it looked sort of plain. But don’t let its appearance fool you. The sandwich had a bit of a kick (possibly Chipotle of which I am a huge fan) in each bite. Even then it was still too mild for my liking. So I added most of the pickled Jalapeno onto my sandwich. The baguette had a lovely crispy crust. However, I was a disappointed by the fried breaded beef because I thought it was going to be crispy as well. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. But I am not an expert on Mexican cuisine. Who knows, the fried breaded beef might be perfect the way it was.
The Mexican sub came with the mustard spread on the top bun. Normally, I love the yellow stuff on my sandwiches, but I didn’t like it on the Milanesa Torta. The flavor of mustard overpowered the mellow, smokey flavor of the chipotle . The chiffonade lettuce, cubed tomatoes and onion added crunches and helped balance the spicy flavor of the chipotle and the pickled jalapenos.
Overall, the Milanesa Torta was quite delicious, especially with the added jalapenos. On my next visit, however, I’ll ask for extra chipotle and no mustard on my Torta. And since the breaded beef isn’t crispy, I’ll go for the Carne Asada (grilled beef) and save myself an extra buck.
Salsa Agave’s Milanesa Tortas: ©©©1/2
Salsa Agave is located at 1205 and 1223 Pacific Boulevard Vancouver, BC (T) 604.408.4228
Note I: There are two Salsa and Agave restaurants a few doors away from each other on the same block. The restaurant at 1223 Pacific Boulevard appears to be the original location and is listed on their current website. I visited the one at 1205 Pacific Boulevard.
* According the menu on Salsa and Agave website, the Milanesa Tortas is priced at $8. But the price of Milanesa Tortas at the 1205 Pacific Blvd (as of February 24th, 2011) was $7. I’m not sure why.
©2011 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.