Salsa Fiesta: Meet the New Boss Same as the Old Boss

salsa-fiesta-cs1

By: Dan I. Cook

That line from The Who song “Don’t Get Fooled Again” ran through my mind when I walked in to Salsa Fiesta’s newest location in Coral Springs.

If you remember, before Elevation Burger, Baja Fresh was in this same space. This joint reminds me of Baja Fresh, which I liked, but Salsa Fiesta has a much cooler paint scheme. The salsa bar is also in the same place and the seating is similar. So it looks like pretty much the same concept using fresh ingredients.

Artwork

Cool artwork in Salsa Fiesta

Compared to Chipotle, Salsa Fiesta has a pretty extensive menu  By the way, Chipotle is my measuring stick for a concept like this. I’m a big fan of Chipotle so they rank high for me, but that’s another review.

I ordered the Spicy Hot Tamale Chicken Burrito with chips and guacamole. This burrito is described as: chipotle beans, jalapeños,  poblano rajas (no clue what that is), rice, lettuce with their famous Hot Tamale Sauce. Not sure why it’s famous because I’ve never heard of it.

So after I finished ordering, I gave the cashier my American Express, because I don’t leave home without it. She pointed to the little iPad screen and said, “It will ask you if you want to leave a tip.”

My response was, “Tip for what?”

“We bring out your food and take your plates away,” she said.

I didn’t like that. For heaven’s sake, just call my name and I’ll pick up my own food.  I’ll even clean my own mess. But I didn’t want to look cheap, so I reluctantly placed a dollar in the tip cup. I will go on the record and say they need to change that procedure. She then gave me a square pager that lets the server locate you in this small restaurant.

My food

Spicy Hot Tamale Chicken Burrito with chips and guacamole.

My food came out quickly and it looked pretty good. I went to the salsa bar and loaded up on some hot stuff. Everything on the salsa bar looked fresh and clean. I cut the burrito in half and it looked great. It’s not as big as Chipotle, but I’m cool with that.

Since I wasn’t sure how spicy this thing was, I waited to to add extra hot salsa. I took a bite and to me, it wasn’t spicy at all. So I added my hot salsa mix right down the middle of this puppy. I’ll admit, this burrito had a good smoky flavor and I really enjoyed it. The guacamole was nice and creamy with nice chunks of avocado. The way it should be. The chips were not hot or even warm. Not sure if they are supposed to be hot, but they should be.

Overall not bad.

Robert - who works at Salsa Fiesta

Robert, a Coral Springs Charter School graduate who now a attends FAU works at Salsa Fiesta

Now for the idiot readers out there that think I may be too gracious with my ratings, here is why I don’t beat up places: when I walked in, one of my son’s former teammates from Coral Springs Charter Football approached me and said hello. His name is Robert and he works at Salsa Fiesta. This young man is a solid kid and his family is super nice. I commend him for having a job, while my son Hunter was sitting at home playing his PS4. I took a picture of Robert working, and sent it to my son with the text, “At least someone has a job.” Hunter wasn’t thrilled, but me and Robert had a good chuckle out of it.

Reason for the story: places like this employ our kids, the friends of our kids, and other residents here. We need places like this to stay open because it’s good for the community. Now if the service and food suck and the place is filthy, then all bets are off. I have no sympathy for you.

As for the tip situation here, I found out that the servers bringing the food out and cleaning up basically work for tips. If I knew that beforehand I wouldn’t have been so standoffish when asked if I wanted to leave a tip. So, when I got up to leave, I threw more tip money on the table.

Oh yeah, they have beer in the bottle here too. I love that!

This place gets 3 beers. Remember to tell them Dan and Coral Springs Talk sent you and Stay Hungry!

Beers-3

Salsa Fiesta Coral Springs

2908 N University Dr at The Walk

Coral Springs FL 33065

(954) 227-3033

Open 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday;  11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday through Saturday.

About Dan I. Cook

avatar Native of Broward, Food Warrior, Beer Ninja, Wine Fraud, and Former Marine. I will give you an honest opinion of my experience. I write for free and I dine with my OWN money. I don't want coupons or gifts. So go screw yourself if you think that will work to make your review better. Whether it's high-end food or the dollar menu, I will steer you in the proper direction. I love Broward and especially the Coral Springs area. I take pride with what I type and I hope you enjoy my twisted take on food reviews or as I call them, Food Stories. LOL. Stay Hungry!

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  • Ira

    I have a problem understanding Mexican places. I either sit down at La Bamba, or take out. And I’ve never even tried Chipotle, but I guess I will–as well as this place.

    But have you ever taken out from Chini’s Burrito, near the new Nick’s pizza that I think you’ve reviewed?

    A real family business (3 people working tops?), and although the portions used to be huge back when, it’s still okay.

    Maybe I’m wrong, haven’t been there in awhile, but thought I would ask.

  • jhkilroy

    Since the workers apparently ‘ work for tips ‘ then the price of your food should have been much cheaper since they are paying below minimum wage (hence the working for tips) But if they make minimum or above then you should NOT have to tip , do you tip at Burger King or McDonald’s ? Now these maybe low paying starter jobs and if you want to fling them an extra buck thats fine but I seriously doubt this is a tip based restaurant like Big Bear or BJ’s or AleHouse….. this is just a starbucks style tip you know the ‘ guilt tip ‘ . Glad to see the owner employing teens but the day will come when some parent calls the EOC or Dept of labor because of some under 18 violation that will end fast…. teens require a documented break every 4 hours and its a royal pain to comply and there always is a fired employee waiting to nail the owner on it….

    • Dan I Cook

      Yeah I get everything you said, Robert is not a kid he is an adult. He graduated from Coral Springs Charter with my son.

      @Ira you are correct Chinis is still very good, they have not gone down on any level with me.

  • Dan I Cook

    Thanks for the praise brother. As for the Nicks I really like that place. But a business should give you the correct change back and not make you feel guilty in the process. I bet the managers don’t know that is happening. If they do it again I would complain to the manager or post something on their Facebook page. Don’t even feel bad doing it either because like you so said, somebody is making a extra chunk of $$. Stay Hungry my friend!

  • Douglas

    This place is awesome, best quality texmex in town. Chipotle was already on the way out for me after the quality of there chicken started to plummet. After finding Salsa Fiesta, Chipotle is dead to me.