By: Ainhoa Palacios
If there is one thing to notice and love about Fort Collins, it is the abundance of original, one-of-a-kind eateries. Whether it is to grab a quick bite, or sip on a delicately handcrafted cocktail, most of these locales surpass the quality of any nearby Chili’s or Applebees one could opt for (but why would you?).
The next thing to notice about this town is the abundance of Mexican restaurants period. At every corner, Fort Collins’ residents are likely to spot tacos, rice bowls and margaritas.
The competition is tough, there is no denying that, and a new restaurant just entered the ring—Salsa Brava.
Salsa Brava opened their doors this year. The “mom and pop” shop, which began in Colorado Springs, has brought their concept to Northern Colorado for us to be the judge. What do they bring to the table? A scratch kitchen that promises to use locally sourced, all organic, preservative-free, fresh ingredients as much as possible—just what Fort Collins’ folks like.
The first example of the freshness their kitchen puts out was found in their salsa. Actually, in all three salsas—a classic pico de gallo salsa, a blackened salsa, and (my new favorite) a pineapple habanero salsa. Each of the salsas have a very short shelf life, two to three days max, meaning preservative-free is exactly what Salsa Brava is serving.
The next test came when they delivered one of their most bragged about products, their queso. Thankfully, I brought my boyfriend who is the ultimate queso critic. Thus far, his favorite is Illegal Pete’s execution of queso, but once Salsa Brava’s rendition of his beloved dip arrived topped with tomato and fresh cilantro, it was love at first bite. “One of the best quesos I’ve ever tried,” he said I could quote him.
The rest of our meal followed a similar pattern, pleasantly surprised with the quality, and taste of the food. Aside from exceptionally tasting food, I noticed how reasonably priced their menu was—specifically their lunch menu which offers many of their dinner entrees (same size and portions) but at a lower cost. In a town chock-full of college students, restaurants must remain affordable to the younger crowd, and Salsa Brava certainly is keeping that in mind.
After what was a delicious lunch, I am happy to report back that Salsa Brava is diligently working to live up to their philosophy — Eat Well and Live Fresh. But of course, don’t leave without trying the fried ice cream.