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Jan 23, 2013 12:20 AM

Pica Fresh Mex in Salinas

A month ago Mom and I tried Pica Fresh Mex in Oldtown Salinas for lunch. Even though there were only two other tables of customers, our waiter was delayed getting back to our table to take our order.

Chips were on the stale side, and while the pico de gallo salsa was fresh, it needed more jalapeño to zest up the chopped tomatoes.

Mom had the special of the day, a pair of fish tacos served with rice and beans. Tortillas were very nice and freshly made. Though not visible to the eye, a small piece of battered fish could be found under that mound of dripping wet lettuce, tomato, and icky sweet sauce (Miracle Whip?).

I ordered what I would later learn were enchiladOs, not shrimp enchiladAs. After two bites and not finding any “fresh grilled shrimp” as promised on the menu, I cut through the rest to find only melted cheese inside. Rice was overcooked and too soft; refritos were chunky style and greaseless. I flagged down my server and he took the plate back to the kitchen to be refired. Again, good tortillas although not tempered. Rather than a chile-based sauce, the saucing was tomato-y and more akin to marinara and equally bland. The metallic-tasting shrimp were coated with black pepper and clearly not “fresh”. Later the owner would clarify for me that “fresh” refers to freshly grilled, not fresh shrimp. She also said that my dish does not use chile sauce because it is not an enchiladA. I jokingly asked her why it was not called entomatado, i.e., coated in tomato sauce.

With tax, tip and no beverages, our lunch was $21.

Pica Fresh Mex
157 Main St
Salinas, CA
(831) 975-5219

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