Salud! Tacos y Beer- San Diego (Barrio Logan)
Where: 2196 Logan Avenue San Diego, California 92113
Cost: Tacos $2.50 | Sides $4.00-$7.00 | Not-Tacos $2.00-$8.00 | Desserts $5.00-$6.00 | Drinks $1.00-$2.50 | Beer $varies | Specials $2.50-$6.00 depending on day of the week (closed Monday)
About: San Diego Taco Company- “The King of all Tacos” -opened ¡Salud! last year in Barrio Logan on the corner of Logan and Sampson. The restaurant serves authentic Mexican Street Cuisine and has quickly become a destination for lovers of quality tacos and craft beer. After visiting the other day, I know why.
Rockin’ with good music when I visited, the lunch crowd was made up of young professionals, Naval officers, enlisted folks, and defense contractors from nearby bases. In this eclectic mix were some local residents, and craft beer geeks like me. Everyone was there for Taco Tuesday (any 3 for $5.00), and looking around the room, it was easy to see we were all enjoying ourselves with our selections.
Here are the tacos to choose from on Tuesdays: Taco de Barrio; Pollo Asado; Taco al Pastor; Fish; Carne Asada; Carnitas; Birria; and The Veggie Taco. They are all made from the freshest, local ingredients available.
¡Salud! has revamped the interior of the historic Bank of Italy building (circa 1910) creating a dining room whose décor reflects the culture and art of Barrio Logan*. It’s a great place for appreciating Chicano art while enjoying delicious, reasonably-priced food and a good selection of beer.
Picnic tables and bar stools provide plenty of seating inside the restaurant, but there are umbrella-shaded tables out front on the sidewalk, as well. Unfortunately, beer is not allowed at the outside tables.
What I ate: It was Tacos Tuesday. Any three tacos or combination of tacos for $5.00. I ordered three Tacos al Pastor, my favorite kind of taco, and they were magnificent. Savory, tender chunks of well-marinated beef laid in a hand-made corn tortilla, topped with diced white onions, cilantro, and pineapple, garnished with a spoonful of Mexican crema- ¡delicioso!
What I drank: I paired the tacos with AleSmith’s San Diego Pale Ale .394 (6% ABV). An excellent American Pale Ale, this beer is golden in color, clear, with a white head. It has subtle aromas of citrus, pine, caramel, and peach. Flavors are similar to aroma, and malt sweetness and hop bitterness are balanced beautifully. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation, and the finish is clean, crisp, and refreshing. Overall, this is an easy drinking beer that paired well with Tacos al Pastor.
Likes: Good selection of craft beer from San Diego breweries and beyond. Daily specials are reasonably priced, as are the menu items. Although typically there is a line out the door to order around lunch time, it moves fast due to friendly, efficient service from staff. Once you get to the register, place your order, get a beer, get a number, and find a place to sit. They bring your food order to you quickly.
Dislikes: Parking is tough, so here’s a tip: there are two parking spaces in a green 30-minute zone next to ¡Salud! on Sampson Street, in front of La Bodega Gallery. Often these spaces are vacant.
The Verdict: Recommended! A gem in the heart of historic Barrio Logan. Craft beers on draft and in bottles to pair with authentic Mexican Street Cuisine makes this a go-to spot for craft beer pilgrims who also love tacos.
*Barrio Logan is fast becoming an artist enclave. Visit the La Bodega Gallery & Studios right next to the restaurant to view work from Barrio artists.