“Salsa Verde” restaurant a new east Tucson favorite for Mexican comfort food

Don't be fooled by the name; Salsa Verde is more than green salsa.

Last modified on August 1st, 2018 at 10:38 am

Beef Fajita Machete, chips and salsa at Salsa Verde (Credit: Adilene Ibarra)

In its latest incarnation, former “The Rice Bowl” restaurant at 210 N. Pantano Rd. now serves fresh, contemporary Mexican cuisine in a fast-casual setting. Although Salsa Verde has only been open since April 2018, the owners and employees have been in the food industry business for years.

But this isn’t your typical burrito joint with a drive-thru. For starters, the family-owned-and-operated restaurant prepares everything from scratch: the tortillas, tortilla chips, desserts such as ChocoFlan and cheesecake, and even the aguas frescas.

Salsa Verde owners Patricia and Edgardo Corella wanted to make sure this wasn’t an average dining experience. Salsa ingredients are prepared fresh daily, the tortillas are made every morning, and the desserts are also made in house.

As you enter the clean and bright establishment with accents of lime green and dandelion yellow, you’re sure to be greeted by one of the friendly employees. Take a look at their sizable menu and try to refrain from ordering one of everything.

Interior at Salsa Verde (Credit: Adilene Ibarra)

Interior at Salsa Verde (Credit: Adilene Ibarra)

Standard Mexican fare, such as such as tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, chimichangas, tamales, enchiladas, and quesadillas are available. But explore the other half of the menu for items such as Machetes ($7.50 – $9.75), huge foot-wide corn masa tortillas filled with cheese and your choice of steak, beef fajitas, barbacoa, pork pibil, or chicken fajita. For $8.75, you can opt for a loaded Baked Potato stuffed with creamy salsa verde, melted cheese, and your choice of steak, steak fajita, chorizo, adobada, and chicken fajitas. Lorenzas ($3.99), crispy corn tortillas with cheese, can be stuffed with steak or pork adobada.

Even if you were to taste your way through the entire menu, Salsa Verde offers unique specials. Daily specials rotate often, but include items, such as chicken and cheese entomatadas, shredded beef sopes, and chicharron and queso pupusas.

Another reason to ditch the drive-thru is to choose your own salsa at their impressive salsa bar.

Salsa Verde Salsa Highlights

  • Pico de gallo
  • House fire salsa (It’s a fire for sure, that wonderful back-of-the-throat kind of burn with flavors so deep, they’ll have you double dipping).
  • Cilantro crema ( refreshing cilantro based creamy salsa).
  • Chunky green salsa (crisp, refreshing, the kind whose base would make a killer tomatillo bloody mary).
  • Mild salsa (a beginner-level salsa without sacrificing flavor).
  • Avocado crema (avocado is good on anything).

Considering the superb quality and generous quantity, the price is right. Prices range from $3.69 for a chicken fajita taco to $12.50 for a chicken mole plate.The lunch specials, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., are usually $7.50 and include a drink.

Keep your eyes peeled for one of their upcoming special, Crispy Taco Burrito — two crispy, rolled taquitos inside of a burrito. It’s like the turducken of Mexican fast food favorites.

Operating hours are 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. We’ll be back for chilaquiles.

Salsa Verde is located at 210 N. Pantano Rd. Keep up with Salsa Verde on Facebook.

Addie Ibarra, native Tucsonan, is a fierce lover of adventure, travels, and Star Wars. Her love of food and drink takes her to places far, far away.
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