Hello, hi there! It sure has been awhile!
Alas, I am back – but on the other side of the country, for now. I recently relocated to Toronto (like 6 days ago recently) and have spent the majority of the summer trying to put these plans into motion and get all the odds and ends of my life sorted out before taking off.
Now that I’m here in the 6ix and feeling a bit more settled (although still searching for an apartment – Thank God for Air BnB). I figured I would finally … FINALLY … bang out the last blog post on Vancouver eats that I had in the archives.
As life would have it, I discovered my newest favourite Vancouver restaurant a few weeks before leaving the city for a long time. Sadly, I was only able to visit a handful of times before leaving but I HIGHLY recommend checking this place out if you are a Vancouverite or simply in town for a visit – no matter how short. Make this place a priority, you will not regret it!
When you think of Vancouver food offerings what is the first thing that comes to mind? I bet it’s something like sushi, ramen, dim sum or the latest craze to hit the Vancouver streets – poke. I’d be willing to bet that the most popular flavours in Vancouver are matcha, black sesame and red bean paste. The Asian influence is strong in Vancity.
With that being said, non-Asian ethnic eats tend to be harder to find (and not of the greatest quality, once you find them). On the North Shore, there are a few Mexican spots but nothing that ever grabbed my attention or compelled me to visit for a second time. Then, I went to Sal Y Limon and my life was changed forever.
I’ve been to Mexico but I admittedly never ventured off the all-inclusive resort to eat the local food (shameful, I know). I vaguely remember eating great Mexican food in New York but that was over a decade ago so that doesn’t count. And although Las Margaritas has been a long time favourite of mine – I wouldn’t exactly compare it to Sal Y Limon.
Sal Y Limon is unassuming, from the outside. Located in a strip mall off Kingsway in the general Mt. Pleasant area, there is always a line-up snaking around the front counter and out onto the sidewalk in front of the shop. You order and pay at the till and then take a seat with your table number (and drinks, if you purchased any). There is a house-made salsa bar with interesting offerings like “avocado” and “peanut”.
The food is served on beautiful plates and the walls are adorned with Dias de los Muertos art. The whole restaurant is aesthetically pleasing – and huge! Although there are tons of seats, they are usually all occupied.
TACOS – Carne Asada, Chorizo con Queso & Crispy Shrimp con Queso (I like Queso, ok!?)
First things first, Sal Y Limon’s Carne Asada tacos are, hands down, one of my favourite things to eat on this earth. They are that good. And I’m not even a huge steak fan. They cook the meat perfectly, there’s a nice char and crispy crust to the grilled meat, just enough flavouring to keep the taco nice and flavourful and they are very generous with the filling. The Carne Asada tacos are garnished with chopped, raw white onions and cilantro – how it’s done traditionally, my South American friend informs me. I could eat dozens of these bad boys – I’m sure of it.
My second favourite tacos are definitely the Crispy Shrimp con Queso served with a smoky, spicy crema and shredded green cabbage. These tacos are seriously addicting! I’ve had them on their own and with queso added and I would definitely recommend the latter for an extra taste explosion. Last but not least, the Chorizo con Queso tacos, while excellent, do not hold a flame to my top two favourite choices.
On one visit, a girlfriend of mine ordered the Pollo Pibil Sope – slow roasted chicken on a thick, savoury corn cake. She also ordered Queso to go with the Sope because she has great taste – duh. Although the dish was not something I would have originally thought to order, it was SO GOOD. She generously allowed me to take more than a few bites and I will definitely be ordering one of them if I can ever pull myself away from the Carne Asada tacos.
I’ve also ordered the Chips and Salsa and Guacamole here before and I would highly recommend the chips and salsa. The chips were warm, delicious and perfectly salted while the Pico de Gallo (aka Salsa) brought a nice bright, crisp flavour to the side dish. The guacamole was not my favourite but that’s because I feel like I make the best guacamole ever – not biased, at all lolz.
For drinks, Sal Y Limon offers Jarritos, Mexican Cola and a plethora of other canned and bottled beverages (as well as an Agua Fresca). But – the real stars of the show are the blended Mango Margaritas and the Coconut Horchata. I can safely say, Sal Y Limon has the BEST Margarita I have ever had. Blended and balanced just perfectly, this drink will satisfy your sweet tooth, wash down the heat of the tacos and keep you nice and cool (albeit mildly tipsy, dependent on your tolerance). An absolute summer in the city must-have.
Their Coconut Horchata is excellent, as well. Albeit a bit on the sweet side, I found all the flavours really well balanced and the drink to be quite addicting.
Last but not least, I tried their churros. And while they were really tasty – doused in chocolate sauce and filled with dulce de leche – they were a bit too sweet for my liking. I would recommend splitting one between two people to enjoy the taste without too much of a sugar overdose!
Sal Y Limon is probably in my top five favourite food spots in Vancouver. I highly recommend checking this place out and you are doing yourself an injustice if you don’t order at least one Carne Asada taco (thank me later). Their prices are excellent, their menu extensive and their service incredibly fast and friendly. Definitely check out Sal Y Limon when you get the chance!