Making All the Right Moves

By Ashley Bennett

Posted August 18, 2011 in Eats

Alter your current expectations of Mexican food with Sal & Limon, which is here to mix up your reality of how good a gourmet Mexican meal can taste.

The location is small, the shopping center is quiet, and the name has yet to be heard, these are often things we find when investigating new restaurants. While they are often true, in the case of Sal & Limon the common traits of a budding young business do not get in its way. The restaurant has proven to be quite a gem among fine dining. It makes great use of the space it’s given, the experience is enjoyably quiet during the early evening, and as for the name . . . well it has only been around for four months but you’re sure going to hear about it now.

Let’s just jump right into the thick of the Sal & Limon choices. Two menus coexist throughout the day. First is the lunch-based menu, which contains your usual Mexican meals such as tacos, burritos and bowls offering choices from the major meat groups of fish, shrimp, chicken and carne asada. The dinner menu, however, is where the magic happens. From beef filet to charbroiled chicken, this menu presents traditional gourmet dining with various Mexican flairs. Aside from a variety of menu options they also have a nicely filled bar full of all the compliments of your alcoholic desires. Speak with the bar manager (resident tequila pro) whose vast knowledge of the existing beverages will lead you to all sorts of tasty drinks.

Now is the perfect time to ditch the Taco Bell cravings, splurge a little, and enjoy a much more filling and even healthy alternative like the Sal & Limon Bowl from the lunch menu. With this bowl you choose your choice of rice, beans and meat. Whether you go hearty or healthy there’s no way you can go wrong. The appetizing result of my choices arrived on a large plate of white rice topped with fine little bits of grilled chicken, pinto beans, fresh lettuce, shredded cheese and pico de gallo. For a large heap of health it was absolutely delicious, succeeding in filling but not overloading my stomach. My stomach had no disagreements.

My dining partner took a dive into one of the unique dinner meals, the Filete Cantinflas. It is with honest and genuine delight of this dish that I use a cliché: the Certified Angus Beef brand steak was so tender—even when cooked at medium well—and with the right amount of butter it melted in my mouth. The house chile sauce and a few slices of avocado topped the delicious steak adding an extra dash of Mexican flavor to an already tasty meat. It’s a steak worthy of those restaurants on your “too expensive” radar but at a much more digestible price tag  of $18.95. Don’t let it discourage you though, just think of those juicy pieces of steak melting in your mouth and the mild chile sauce sizzling up those taste buds.

Then of course there was dessert. My dinner partner and I were given a generously large slice of six layered Carrot Cake and, my goodness, was it delicious. I normally don’t go for carrot (call me a chocolate kind of gal) but this cake was delightfully luscious. It was moist, thick, sweet but not overly so and drizzled lightly with strawberry sauce to enhance the flavor. Complimented by a side of creamy vanilla ice cream and a few very fresh strawberries, this treat was every bit the gourmet dessert you deserve.

I was impressed not just by the tastes and flavors of the food at Sal & Limon but the overall presentation. The waiters were dressed all in black and were attentive to all customers. The restuarant even creates its own sauces and salsas on location. The bar manager described in detail how they asked customers what they wanted, resulting in the creation of both menus. Heck Sal & Limon even offer a few more exotic dishes such as quail. The place offers so many choices whether you’re looking for a nice sit down dinner or a casual drinking setting. So far, I have to say the restaurant is playing its cards right.

Sal & Limon Gourmet Mexicano & Cantina, 2019 N. Riverside Ave. #1, Rialto, (909) 877-2455. Mon-Sat, 10am-11pm. Sun 8am-11pm. MC, V. 

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