“Yo soy caliente.” If you can speak Spanish, you’ll know that I may have just insinuated something more inappropriate than my current body temperature. If French is more of your tongue, the equivalent phrase is, “je suis chaud.” That said, I am a male, so what is the problem with coming out and saying such phrases? You know that it’s likely to be true regardless. Darn those androgens and their inhibition on the creativity and brilliance of so many great artists and historical figures! If we were all asexual and simply budded off from each other like the yeast C. pombe, then we could’ve progressed into the future that the creators of The Jetsons projected for his second millenium folk. Alas, this was clearly not to be, similar to the ease of which the less linguistically inclined can acquire a new language. “I have hot?” How does that even make sense if I wanted to say that I’m sweltering? In spite of this apparent nonsensical grammatical rule in the Romantic languages, I suppose I could say that I had hot at Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill.
Located in Yaletown on Pacific Boulevard, I would always see this authentic Mexican-owned restaurant after running. However, I assumed that they would not appreciate my sweaty self entering. I did, however, find myself dining here on the night before a concert at nearby Rogers Arena with Stephy and Baby Doll. The inside is quite small and only has a few tables for dine-in, although the even smaller patio outside would be nice for people-watching.
Every table is given complimentary (colourful!) nachos and salsa. The latter tasted pleasantly sweet with a bit of a kick to liven up those pain receptors on the tongue. Interestingly enough, it was surprisingly runny yet still went well with the crisp nachos. I suppose I was never too adept at scooping up large chunks of salsa with normal chips anyhow.
I ordered a Bacardi Cuba Libre ($8.00), as I came here to party and open up the bacardi. This was your typical coke & rum, although it was surprisingly strong. Cheers for their more recently acquired liquor license!
Stephy ordered the Carne Asada ($13.00), which included a beef grilled sirloin surrounded by beans, rice and guacamole. She was unable to finish all of the meat, which she found to be not the most flavourful slab of cow. However, the pureed beans were an interesting variation on the sea of mysterious black ovals that one usually gets at establishments such as these.
Baby Doll ordered some chicken enchiladas ($12.00), which also came with rice and the distinctive pureed beans. Personally, the above photograph looks very appetizing.
I ordered the Carne Asada burrito ($9.00), with their avocado sauce and house sour cream on the side. Wrapped inside of this beast was diced grilled steak, cheese and beans. It is stated on the menu that all of their burritos are made from fresh, local ingredients, which certainly came through with the large mass you see above you. Each bite did not have that strange, slightly stale taste of processed shredded cheese and expired ground beef that one will usually happen upon at Mexican restaurants. Instead, the meat was quite tender and the burrito truly did taste reasonably fresh. Nevertheless, I did find that the flavour was largely left to the accompanying sauces, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Both were rather tangy and sufficiently accompanied the behemoth.
Overall, Salsa & Agave reaffirms the fact that authenticity always wins when it comes to Mexican food. Perhaps I’m just biased against Tex Mex, but the taste of fresh ingredients mixed together harmoniously will always get to me. Of course, eating a burrito of that size required some unseemly eating methods, so perhaps take-out would be a better idea, especially given the restaurant’s smaller size. If I were in the area and craving Mexican, I wouldn’t say no to grabbing a burrito to consume in any way I please within the comfort and privacy of my own home.
Conclusion: Andy ate a lot.
Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill
1223 Pacific Boulevard