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One last Asheville quest- Limones vs Salsas?

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Can someone do a quick comparison? Thanks.

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  1. IMO, Salsa's in the best food in Asheville, probably the best food I have had in the Carolinas. It's real food, from a real ethnicity, but with the chef's unique, artistic spin on it. The flavor combinations are many times a revelation.

    I've only been to Limones twice. It's pretty good food, and it strives to be more "upscale" than the casualness of Salsas, but I don't think it's even in the same class from quality of preparation and general deliciousness.

    The only time I would consider going to Limones over Salsa's would be if I were entertaining people who had very traditional (picky) eating habits. I have some friends who just can't deal with flavors that are new to them, or in combinations that are new. Also, if I wanted to spend a long evening with lots of fancy(+expensive) boat drinks, and a slightly darker, quieter, less boho atmosphere, I might consider Limones. Finally, if I were around on a Sunday morning, I would do Limones because I have heard such glowing reviews of their brunch.

    3 Replies
    1. re: danna

      Thanks. We were thinking of going somewhere Mexican for Valentine's Day (it's kind of a tradition with us, because our first Vday we didn't make reservations and could only make it to a tacky Mexican place here in Raleigh). So you would suggest Limones for that night? I'm more into food and not atmosphere, really, but I heard that Salsa's wont take reservations, so that might be a problem...

      1. re: danna


        Thanks for the trenchant and frequent reviews of the Asheville dining scene. We will be bidding farewell to Nashville and moving to Asheville this summer, so I suppose I'll have plenty of time to explore the food scene. I hope it continues to grow.


        1. re: LPM

          Thanks for the compliment, and may I say: nice blog. I run, too...it becomes necessary when the only other thing you think about is eating! (I got age-group 3rd in my first 5k this weekend...pardon the virtual back-pat)

          I hope you will enjoy living in Asheville.

      2. Another caveat re Salsa is that there's no waiting area, and since they don't take reservations you'll want to get there early so you don't have to wait out in the Asheville cold...

        As far as food goes, I like them both equally and very much. I would give Limones the nod over Salsa for a Valentine's dinner only because it isn't as cramped and noisy.

        1. No doubt go to Limones - I cannot understand the popularity of Salsas at all.

          With all due respect to above posters - I find them to be on opposite ends of the spectrum from service to food.

          But - try em both and make your own decisions.....

          1 Reply
          1. re: jbyoga

            i agree with you about Salsa's. In fact I have not been impressed with Diaz's restaurants in general. Just my opinion. For a special occasion, definitely cheese Limones

          2. definitely Limones! Make reservations NOW!

            1. Both restaurants are OK, but neither of them are what I think of when I think "Mexican." (Have never seen much goat cheese or roasted beets in Mexico). Salsa's I think of as a lunch place -- casual atmosphere and food. Yes they have burritos, but they are definitely not your typical meat-white cheese-lettuce-tomato variety. Nice meats, but I always find chunks of random fruit in my burrito. Maybe just me, but I don't really care for fruit in my savory dishes, and this fruit takes over the entire flavor. I think there is maybe one thing on the menu that does not come with some kind of fruit. Why?

              Limones has a much better atmosphere. When you read the menu, you feeel like you are in for a real upscale meal, but once it arrives you realize it just fancified versions of your basic Mexican. The "mesa sopes" for example sound interesting with duck confit, goat cheese and avocado, but once you get them it is basically a poultry tostado with weirder tastes that don't really work. Not only that but they are small, as is everything there. I have a fairly small appetite and I can eat an appetizer, entree and dessert and not be full there. That might be a good thing, but it is NOT cheap (especially for what you get): apps $7-10, entrees around $15. I will say their cocktails are wonderful, but also quite pricey, for what you get.

              1. If you are looking for burritos and casual Mex...go to Mamacitas!

                I think Limones SPANKS Salsas any day....

                I've always been stuffed silly at Limones and reccommend it highly...

                1. I think Limones for Valentines Day...ask to sit in the window when you make the res. It is surely a more romantic place than Salsa...but for the best, original, food and the most delicious habanero margarita, I would choose the latter. Salsa's demands a very discerning palatte. I have taken friends there who say all the food tastes the same... I think you can order the same thing three different times and it will be different each time.
                  The thing about Limones is that if you eat there often, it is the same thing againandagainandagain. Imho Salsa's is not Mexican, but more Caribbean...has anyone else noticed that they have cut down on the amounts lately? Less beans & rice.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: deborahtnc

                    Agreed. I'm always surprised when people say Salsa's is Mexican (or not authentic Mexican like the comment above). It's Caribbean. The chef is from Puerto Rico. You know, you're right..i was there Saturday and there was not so much beans and rice.

                    Did you know they have some fresh Salsa from Hector at Greenlife now? It's not just the hot sauce, but actual salsa, one of the spicier ones.

                    1. re: danna

                      My husband is hooked on Hector's hot sauce. He puts it in everything!

                    2. re: deborahtnc

                      I think that when people say that all the food tastes the same, I think that they mean that no matter what gets ordered, it's going to taste the same as whatever else gets ordered. every plate gets the same ingredients e.g. read above post from Bebe Kay on Feb 02, 2007.

                    3. My husband and I spend a lot of time visiting Asheville from our home in Kentucky and generally are in a romantic and/or indulgent mood when we're there. Salsa's always tops the list for must-go places---for the intriguing and consistently delicious fusion Latin-Carribean food and for the hands down best margaritas anywhere. I spend a lot of time considering margaritas and Salsa's has become my gold standard. That said, Limone's also has great drinks and I would put them more on the romantic end of the spectrum for low lighting, quieter space and less crowdedness. And their churros are great for brunch!