Last weekend Jake and I felt like young adults again, going out for dinner and a play. At night! On a Friday! By ourselves! This is a rare thing these days.
We were going over to Coronado to check out the play, Avenue Q, and needed a little dinner before the show. Jake nixed any suggestions I made for dining in Downtown so I went with a place just outside of Downtown in Barrio Logan. A new place called ¡Salud! which is the restaurant version of San Diego Taco Company, a local catering company specializing in taco parties.
The other nice thing about going here for dinner was we were so close to the Coronado bridge and parking was fairly easy (street parking only).
The inside of the restaurant has very high ceilings and a lot of cool decor. It kind of feels like the street is being brought inside with the pay phone, the bike, and parts of a cool looking car on the walls.
All of the numbers they give you have hand drawing of different animals and characters. We got a little penguin.
They have rotating aguas to quench your thirst and on that day the agua was pineapple flavored ($2.50). Not my favorite, but I got it anyway since I wanted to try it. They give it to you in a red solo cup!
This is a view of the salsa bar with a bunch of posters right above it. The seating area around the edges has a small bar top with bar stools. In the middle there are picnic benches.
I had to retake this shot a couple of times because I’m so short I couldn’t tell if I had centered it, hah. The bottom right one was super spicy so I didn’t want that at all. We ended up getting the bottom left red one (spicy but not killer spicy) and the one above that which had lots of flavor and spices in it. On their menu they list out all of the salsas and their names but I couldn’t figure them all out.
The green salsa was really delicious. It wasn’t really super spicy but it had so much good flavor! I spied bits of rind, cilantro and onion floating around in there. I never did figure out the name of this one…
Overhead food shot!
[quesadilla / $2]
Quesadillas, I cannot resist them. I spied someone making fresh tortillas and I had a gut feeling this would be delicious.
And I was totally right! The cheese was nice and gooey and oozed out slowly. The cheese tasted buttery and warm and the freshly made tortillas made it taste outstanding. It’s a small portion for $2 but it’s so worth it for that delicious, perfectly melted cheese. Love it!
[al pastor nachos / $8]
Jake choose to get the nachos. The nachos come with your choice of meat or veggie. Jake choose the al pastor, which is a marinated pork. They’re also topped with cotija cheese, guacamole andpico de gallo (Jake asked for no pico).
The chips are made in house using their freshly made tortillas and boy are the DELICIOUS. The chips were hot and very crunchy and not very greasy. I love that the only cheese they use is cotija. That way you don’t get any partially melted cheese that gets all weirdly gummy after awhile. The cotija gives a little extra salty flavor and tastes wonderful with the warm chips. I also got to hoard all the guacamole which made me quite happy.
The only downer about the nachos was the al pastor – Jake and I didn’t like it all that much. I didn’t have that much of it but Jake was very disappointed in it – he thought the flavor wasn’t all there. I thought the texture was a little off and that it was too soft.
[carne asada taco / $2.50]
I picked two tacos for us to try. The tacos are $2.50 each. Little pricy, but if you manage to come on Tuesday, you can get 3 tacos for $5. On Tuesdays they also offer shirmp, lengua and cabeza tacos as well.
Again – I’m totally in love with the tortillas here. You can see the tortilla is a bit on the thick side. That way they only have to give you ONE tortilla instead of two like they do at other places. It’s a nice base that keeps the taco together and it very tasty. The carne asada was also outstanding – super flavorful and cooked just right so you have all of these little juicy bits of meat. The simple toppings of cilantro, onion and guacamole are standard and when you had a bit of that green salsa on top, you have yourself a real winner.
[carnitas taco / $2.50]
The other taco I order was the carnitas taco which has all of the same toppings but also includes some pico de gallo on top.
Now… I ordered carnitas but after I took one bite I was not convinced this was carnitas at all! Jake also took a bite and gave it a weird look and went up to ask if we were given the right taco. The staff assured us that it was carnitas but I gotta say, I still don’t quite believe it. Or maybe when I order carnitas I always expect it to have those little crispy bits in it from it being fried. These aren’t fried but only stewed and I think that might be what threw us off, but they also had a really rich, intense flavor and after taste that I associate with beef.
We definitely want to come back here to sample some of their other meats and offerings. On Thursdays they have empanadas filled with either shredded pork + chile colorado sauce or a veggie version with roasted corn, black beans and cheese. On Wednesdays they have Tacos al Vapor which has steamed pork and potato which also sounds pretty darn good. The special when we went was a shrimp ceviche which I wanted to get, but didn’t think I could finish on my own. Check out ¡Salud!’s full menu + the specials on their website.
¡Salud! by the San Diego Taco Company
2196 Logan Ave.
San Diego, CA 92113
After dinner we headed over the bridge to the Coronado Playhouse to see Avenue Q.
The warning on this poster is my favorite. “Full puppet nudity”!
The Coronado Playhouse is a small company theater that seats about 100 people. It’s setup with small round tables and chairs. We had to turn our chairs around in order to see the stage. Since it’s so small there isn’t really a “bad” seat in the house. Unless you’re short. And there are tall people in front of you. Luckily that didn’t happen this time!
The play is about a college grad who moves into his first apartment after graduating. It is a musical and there are puppets! But this is not Sesame Street or the Muppets (aka don’t bring your kids) since they deal with adult topics and parts of it are not um, child friendly. I loved it though and I loved the songs and music. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to see it!