My mantra is Think Globally, Eat Locally. Support the indie restaurant owner that puts so much time, energy, and passion into creating your meal and dining experience and we all win. Family-owned eateries are often family-run as well; their life is the restaurant and the restaurant is their life. This is the case for the family-owned and operated Salsarita’s Fresh Cantinas, with two locations in Fredericksburg and a third in Manassas.
- 5825 Plank Rd., Fredericksburg
- 10117 Southpoint Pkwy., Fredericksburg
- 9979 Sowder Village Sq., Manassas
Owner Mark Walter offers up a Texas-sized challenge with their Smoked Brisket Tacos, claiming that his rendition is as good, or better, than the famous joints peppered all over the Lone Star State. He presents a trio of tacos the size of a fist that is just bursting at the seam with moist, tender, flavorful smoked brisket. Each mouthful contained caramelized onions that created a slightly sweet bonus to the buttery-soft brisket.
The tacos included my choices of sour cream and fresh made guacamole, which Salsarita’s offers free with all entrees. Nice to know where to go to get a delicious smoked brisket taco in an area that is shy to offer up the Texas treat.
Another Awesome Eats Walter boasts is the mammoth-sized Casarito, the saucy burrito, and although they come in two sizes, the small is pretty large. You can create your own combination and mine was a true masterpiece that included grilled shrimp, rice, black beans, refried beans, smokey grilled Charro salsa, guacamole, jalapenos peppers, monterey jack and cheddar cheese, cilantro, and tomatoes, then rolled up tight as a drum and covered in warm tomatillo salsa and sour cream (the burritos can also be topped with queso or ranchero sauce).
A meal in itself for sure, but the chips are not to be missed. They are famous for their ultra-thin (as in paper thin), crispy (think potato chip crispy) tortilla chips that they serve with melted queso cheese with mildly hot jalapeno bits. I am not a fan of the tortilla chips served in restaurants, but these are actually addicting. They are also sold in huge grocery-bag size quantities for takeout and I can see why. They are made fresh in small batches and beat out anything on the grocery store shelves.
The Walter family believes that their success is due to using only the freshest ingredients, house made sauces and grilled, marinated, fresh meats along with providing outstanding customer service. “We are fast-casual but we provide a customer experience of service after the meal is delivered that is not seen in today’s restaurant industry” said Mark.
They recently added the Coca Cola Freestyle, a soda machine that few have ever seen; it is the ‘Ferrari ‘of the drink industry. In fact, the outer case was designed by Ferrari. This one machine offers up 120 different soda flavors, and endless combinations of measurements which can result in a drink that tastes like a creamcicle or a Gummy Bear. Adults seem to love this ‘Jettson’s’ version of beverage dispensing as much, or more than, the kids. Mark says the adults inquire as how to score one for their own home. Pretty cool indeed.
Mark and his wife Laurie live in Spotsylvania (she handles all of the catering and finances) and should be applauded for using the local Farmers’ Market (in season) for all of their produce, and for giving back to the community with their numerous and constant fundraising. Kids eat free every Sunday and Monday at Salsarita’s, something the couple of four children know helps out families in the area.
When the craving for an award-winning smoked brisket taco hits you, save the air fare to Texas and find one of the three Salsarita’s located in Spotsylvania, and Manassas. Say hello to Mark or Laurie, and tell them you have come for their Awesome Eats as seen in Fredericksburg Patch.