Sal y Limon

Sal y Limon

People are saying good things about Sal y Limon (as you can probably tell from the banner above), a little Mexican joint nestled between a pizza shack and a bubble tea place in a small plaza on Kingsway and Fraser.  I remember back when I lived in this area another quirky “Mexican” place occupied this spot, run by Indo-Canadians who used donair meat in their burritos.  All my friends hated it but I liked it at the time.  The name escapes me, does anybody remember it?

Anyway, on with the review.  Line up (Sal y Limon is busy) and place your order, then they will call your name when it’s ready.  Now normally I don’t tend to tip at these kind of setups since there’s no “service” to speak of, but there was a tip option on their Interac so I thought what the hey, I pretty much know the food’s gonna be good, right?  I immediately regretted it though; the lady who took my order walked away without a word in the middle of the transaction!  I figured she would come back, but nope, I was left to rip off the receipts myself while leaning over the counter (I’m on a crutch at the moment recovering from surgery), sort the customer receipt from the merchant and then reach further to pin it on their stack.  All the while there were three employees in the kitchen including the woman…you’d think they would have noticed.

Sal y Limon: Hotsauce selection

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Victoria Weekend Trip Part 3 – Hernande’z Cocina

For our last meal we went to another rather odd location, Hernande’z Cocina, for Central American food.  This is apparently as close as you’ll get to a traditional Salvadorean cocina here in BC, with two sides of a mall hallway doubling for a rustic village market stall.  Well, they didn’t quite deliver on the atmosphere, but it’s an interesting setup and it seems to be working for them.

Hernande'z Cocina

It is all very DIY and kind of confusing for a newcomer, however they have plenty of hand-written cardboard signage and if you’re feeling overwhelmed it pays off to start reading.  Or do what we did and browse the page after page of instructions and explanations on their website.  Many people have been complaining in various reviews about this style of service, or self-service to be more accurate, along with the various rules for dining there but after reading what the owners have to say about it I felt good about giving them our business and it all seemed to make sense to me.  Most of it has to do with keeping costs down and quality of food high, although it’s hard to understand the justification for a $4 side of rice or beans…I guess they must be HUGE.  Everything else was quite reasonably priced though.

They have a slow food and an express menu, the main difference seems to be that the slow food comes with their home-made tortillas and is served table-side via a strange (but cool) loteria card-based system that involves a bit of shouting and hand-waving.  Express food is picked up across the hall at the kitchen.  I think the only express item we ordered was the burrito, but everything seemed to come out of the kitchen at a good clip so maybe slow food is a bit of a misnomer.  Messier items come on a plate whereas finger-food is on butcher paper, however plates can be rented for $1.  Yes, things are done a little differently here, but read their website manifesto and then sample the food before you judge.

Hernande'z Cocina: Tacos de Carne

Tacos de Carne $6.00 – fresh, handmade corn tortillas with locally raised, naturally grown beef, salsa, chopped onions, cilantro and wedges of lime.

The Tacos de Carne were a bit less bang for buck at three for $6 than the other tacos which come with five for the same price, but the organic beef they use apparently isn’t always in stock so we had to try it.  And we were glad we did!  The beef was sooo tender and juicy, with a generous portion of cilantro folded in delectable home-made tortillas.

Hernande'z Cocina: Pork Enchilada

Pork Enchilada – $11.95

The Pork Enchilada came swimming in a very cinnamon-y sauce which reminded us of a mole.  Intriguing on first bite, but by the end we were getting sick of it due to the overwhelming sauce.  On the plus side the meat was juicy and there was lots of gooey cheese smothering it.

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