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Howling Wolf Taqueria, Salem

Anybody else tried this place? It's been open 2 weeks in Salem. We went for lunch today -- pleasant room and decor, colorful southwestern art, lots of tables including some out on the sidewalk, but hardly anyone there. It seemed to us to be a sort of Chipotle/Qdoba clone, except that they do sell beer and wine.. Despite the name, the chalkboard menu emphasized burritos (done in a build your own style as you move down the line - no table service); there was a non-obvious print menu near the cash register with some other choices including pozole and tacos. Several bottled hot sauces were available. Staff looked to be pretty much all college kids. Our burritos were all right, but unless I'm right in the area with a craving for this type of Mexican, I'd think I'd still take Chipotle.

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  1. fes, thanks so much for even mentioning this place.wouldn't have know it existed w/o your post. we lunched there yestday and a few v good items on menu.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/799509

    7 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      I can't imagine having Mexican when in Salem..but I am always on the lookout for a good Mexican restaurant since they seem so rare. I may check it out next time I am there.

      1. re: opinionatedchef

        we returned for dinner tonight. see my aug 19th post in this thread:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/698201

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Personally, I think this place is a disappointment. Just OK mediocre American Mexican. Completely pedestrian. No even as interesting as Margaritas in Beverly, and I only go there for my kids who like the cheesy gooey style of Mexican.

          1. re: dg18aub

            dg, i could see this place being disappointing if you ordered 'the wrong thingS'. Which is why i was very specific in the dishes i recommended. Odd that a couple of things could be excellent and the others mediocre, but I have certainly seen mannnny restnts like that.

        2. re: opinionatedchef

          We've been coming here once a month or so, and we do enjoy a few things.The red sangria is made in-house, is not too sweet and is good; the taco chips and salsa , the carne asada 'steak' tacos($10.25 for 3 generous sized), refried beans and the chile colorado tacos are very good as well. And ( go figure) the house- made cilantro dressing(on the spinach salad with pine nuts and chevre) is really tremendous!

          We found out tonight that Wednesdays are' 30 cent wings night' (including take-out.) Except for the $9 All-you-can-eat wings night we've tried at Soul Fire in Allston, we've never ordered wings out before (really!) but these at Howling Wolf were really good . Granted, they were small and more expensive compared to those at SF, but I actually liked them alot better. They had just the right light amount of a delicious medium spicy smoky glaze(We skipped the blue cheese dipping sauce.)and we made quick work of them. So it looks like Wed. just became our Ft.Sewall/Howling Wolf routine. Hope some of youall will try it. It seems like business just gets busier and busier here; it has definitely become a solid popular spot for the locals, and gets pretty packed after 6. And it seems to have a broad base of appeal: date night, families, single guys and girls, older, younger.

          p.s.(Both the chile verde and the tortilla soup have very good flavor but their meats are cooked to cardboard dry, so i'd advise not ordering them.The guac is 50% onion/ugh)

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            You would have to eat more than 30 wings at Soul Fire for them to be cheaper than 30 cent wings....that's alot of wings for one person - I'm 250+ lbs. and can eat alot of wings, but I don't think I could get to 30 before feeling ill.

            1. re: LStaff

              well i'll have to do the math on that, L. but just want to remind you that these are a LOT smaller than SL's.like maybe 1/4 or 1/3 as big. I actually never knew there was that big a variation in size (like shrimp). i'll have to ask the SL guys about the sizing info; new to me!

              is a wing 2 pieces? not, huh?

        3. I had takeout once and found the Burrito's to be tasty.

          Has anyone tried Red Lulu's? Not sure if I was at a Mexican restaurant or a bar on the Lower East Side but the grapefruit sorbet with tequila drizzle as a palate cleanser between apps and meals was a nice touch. Great tequila list, and I thought the food was top notch(though the guacamole had turned). I'd recommend it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AngerHeSmiles

            I think it is the same Red Lulus. My wife and I live it. Guac was the star of of a very good meal. Expensive for what you get, but a great treat.

          2. Its Anna's with booze...