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Salsa's: new Mexican Restaurant in Kensington

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A new mexican place opened up in Kensington a little while ago called Salsa's, on Augusta north of Baldwin. The name had kind of turned me off for a while, however today I decided to give them a try. It's a takeout place with your basic mexican menu: taco's, burrito's, taquito's, torta's, quesadillas--nothing overly exciting. I decided to order the carnita burrito, and I must say, it was the best burrito I have ever head. The pork leg was nicely spiced and perfectly cooked, also the best carnita that I've tried. The meat was also the dominant ingredient in the burrito, and for once I found the rice to be a nice compliment and not just filler. It was also only 5$ (no charges for extras), making it one of the cheapest burrito I've bought. I can't comment to much on authenticity, but I was the only non-spanish speaker in the restaurant. Great new addition to the market and I can't wait to go back and try their tacos and torta's!

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  1. Thanks for the review. I love carnitas and look forward to trying it there. But isn't carnitas usually pork shoulder?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      I am not exactly sure but I beleive the menu board described it as pork leg

    2. If the carnita is the reddish stewed pork, I too thought it was outstanding. I had 3 tacos there and the pork was out of this world, while the others were pretty good. And the prices are great also.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Everythingtarian

        That was probably cochinita pibil.

        1. re: Everythingtarian

          That or carne "al pastor". Both are awesome.

          1. re: chiliblossom

            Al pastor can be reddish from being marinated in chiles, but it's not stewed and there's no way anyone would mistake it for being stewed. It's grilled on a big stick similar to gyros or shawarma. The stick is called a trompo, which explains the name of the other Mexican restaurant down the street from Salsa's which also offers tacos al pastor.

            I tried the cochinita pibil at Salsa's last weekend and it was excellent. I had cochinita in a taco and Mr. devorador de albahaca (aka Mr. basileater) had it in a torta. We ate a lot that day as we wandered through the market, but the cochinita stood out as the best. My favourite fillings here are the pork in all its various manifestations, lengua and cabeza. One day the chorizo con papas was to die for. I've had it since and it was good but not as good as the first time.

            The price is right too.

            They've some menu items clearly catering to the English-speaking crowd who are used to eating Canadian interpretations of this food and I see most of them are eschewing the tacos and tortas in favour of texmex style burritos. Their loss.

            1. re: basileater

              Yes, definitely Cochinita Pibil. I thought it might be al pastor because it's always reddish in Mexico ( I haven't had good al pastor in Canada yet). I missed the part of it being stewed (just skimmed the text).

              Anyway, just got back from there, I had tacos this time. Pretty good -the suadero and al pastor one, but the cochinita taco was simply delicious. On Friday I had a torta al pastor, soooooooo good!

              Love the prices, too! We stuffed our faces for just over 20 bucks today, drinks included. On Friday we had 2 tortas, 3 drinks and 4 tamales all for under 30 bucks. Will definitely be back, but I'm sticking to tortas. Even my daughter, only 17 months old and a very picky eater, was chowing down even though it was a bit spicy. Aaah well, she's gonna have to get used to it. :P

              BTW: Both my husband and I are Mexican so please let us know which joints we should check out. We don't get to eat good Mexican food that often in Mississauga. Someone mentioned a tamales and churros place around here, but where?

        2. This restaurant has got me speaking spanish now. (I usually say "tres tacitos por favor")

          I love these little mom and pop type places.

          1. Just like to note that it is not strictly takeout, as there are several tables and chairs for eating in. I ordered the 3 taquitos with a pop for $4, and it was really satisfying. For fillings are two kinds of pork, two kinds of chicken, beef, and potato mixture. There's a good selection of toppings too.

            Also, I have to say that their washrooms are really nice.

            1. What are the hours of operation?

              2 Replies
              1. re: gillyb

                Not sure if they're open for dinner, but as far as I can tell they're open for lunch every day. The three taquitos and a pop for $4 deal is only offered on weekdays now though. I really like this place, the carnita is definitely my favourite filling.

                1. re: ggom1

                  I think I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow.

                  DT

              2. Yes, they are Mexican owned and operated. I think it's a family business and they are lovely. I've only been there once so far but enjoyed the experience. I can't remember all that I had, but it was good. The suadero, in particular, was excellent.

                My husband (a relatively recent immigrant from Mexico, but not a Chowhound) thinks these are the best tacos he's eaten in Canada. We regularly eat at most of the Mexican-owned spots around the city.

                Incidentally, although we didn't see it on the menu, we were able to order tacos de cabeza. They were cooked to order and they were delicious.

                1. I'm Mexican and I've eaten in a lot of the "Mexican" restaurants and I don't get it after reading all your favorable comments about this Salsas I rushed with my teenager to enjoy some great tacos and let me tell you WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! The double dry tortilla was horrible and crumbly ( straight from the freezer ) the "Pastor" had no taste and the tinga was somehow edible. I could not eat them and left the stablishment to eat the BETTER Al Pastor Tacos "El Trompo"

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: lilymex

                    Have you tried Rebozos?

                    1. re: Herb

                      I live one block away from Rebozos and I love it but when I crave Tacos al pastor I go to el Trompo. Rebozos has really nice and authentic tacos and I love the Rosca de Reyes.

                    2. re: lilymex

                      Have to agree with you lilymex. In my experience it was what good food should never be- bland.

                    3. I stopped by for lunch today after reading this thread. It was a pleasant meal, but definitely a case of "You get what you pay for." We ordered a burrito (Al Pastor) and the 3-taquito special (Al Pastor, Mole, Potato/Cactus). The service was pretty quick, despite a short lineup. The food unfortunately sits in a steam table. I think we were lucky that turnover this afternoon was pretty high - some of sauces were definitely breaking/crusting on the less popular fillings.

                      The potato/cactus filling was tasty, as was the mole. The Pastor was pretty bland, unfortunately, and I probably wouldn't order that again. This was compounded by the burrito having much more "filler" than meat or sauce. We didn't have any problems with dry tortillas. Overall, it's a cheap fast food lunch spot (spent $8.76 for two people), several notches above what you might find in a food court. Not a dining destination, but good value and good street food for the local Kensington and student crowd. Drawing from the comments in this thread and my own experience, I'd suggest going at peak lunch time when there's high turnover.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Underdog Rally

                        General advice for ordering, anywhere: don't order the thing that looks sad and unpopular. It might have been amazing when it was first made, but if it's been sitting too long it's not going to be amazing.

                        Salsa's definitely needs more volume to be viable. Most places have a steam table, but higher turnover means it's not that much of a problem. The only thing that should not be on the steam table at all, in my opinion, is the salsas.

                        Toronto is not going to have great pastores until there is enough demand to actually run a shawarma spit for them (El Trompo has one but doesn't use it).

                        Anyway, as for Salsa's, if you order right, it's a good meal, but not a great one. I'd recommend sticking to the tacos for better flavour and better value.

                      2. This place is featured on DealSharing Today. When I searched for it here I saw a post by another user that seemed to be telling people about it but that post seems to be deleted. It is possible they posted a referal link or something that looks like a referral link (when I go to the page is has a "deal number" after the deal that looks like a referral id. Anyway, to prevent it getting marked as spam, try this link:

                        http://www.dealsharing.com/users/deal

                        Should work. Looks like it should be valid until about 4am on Friday morning to purchase.