Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill, Highpoint, 120-200 Rosamond Rd, Maribyrnong. Phone: 9317 4623
After expressing our somewhat surprising – to us – affection for the works of Guzman y Gomez, a friend suggested we check out Salsa’s, housed in the very same shopping centre.
So I did.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to resist making a direct comparison between the two fast-food Tex-Mex outlets.
For starters, while Guzman y Gomez is set up in such way as to at least make a handy grab at sustaining its own vaguely groovy ambiance, Salasa’s has no such luck.
It’s situated right out there, just another outlet in a giant, circular shopping centre food court of little or no soul.
As well, the menus of the two places are remarkably alike.
Corn chips and guacamole ($4.50) are OK.
The corn chips may be crisp, but they are about as bland as corn chips can get – one extreme of corn chippery, with the toxic likes of Doritos at the other.
The guacamole is of the smooth, blended variety with some texture from red onion and a little tomato.
But it’s not as swell as the chunky stuff at Guzman y Gomez.
My original beef burrito ($8.95) is a stodgy disappointment.
My fault – the use of the phrase “Texas beef” should have alerted me to the use of ground meat; I should have opted for a burrito that had real meat and black beans.
As it is, my burrito is very heavy on the rice with no discernible cheese element. I can see some fresh stuff like tomato and onion but can’t taste or feel it.
The “Texas beef” is OK – a bit like a cross between chilli con carne and bolognese – but just seems a little weird in a heavy-going burrito that goes unfinished.