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Restaurant review: Salsa and Agave Mexican Grill (Yaletown) May 2, 2008

Posted by Raul in dining out, friends, Vancouver, Yaletown.

The last time I went to a Mexican restaurant, I left really positively impressed. I’m talking about Tequila Kitchen, which I reviewed before here on my blog. After a rather disappointing series of experiences eating out Mexican food, I was almost ready to give up, but my lunch at Tequila Kitchen was great and thus I figured I’d try another Mexican restaurant in Vancouver.

The menu at Salsa and Agave. Photo credit: Miss604 on Flickr.

Funny how things go, I was working downtown and while chatting with Rebecca (aka Miss604), she commented she hadn’t had lunch. Neither had I, so we did a repeat of “lunch of the 604’s” (hehehe I just coined this term right now). She suggested to try Salsa and Agave, which is also in Yaletown (in the 1200 block of Pacific Boulevard). So off I went, walked from the Gastown area to meet Rebecca and we headed to this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

When we got there, we had to wait a bit for a table, but in the meantime, I could appreciate how authentic the food is (the staff is almost 100% Mexican, I think, so it was good). They have Mexican pop (Jarritos, Sidral Mundet, Sidral Aga, and the juices made by Jumex) which was another brownie point for Salsa and Agave.

The food is reasonably priced, normally I wouldn’t go for a lunch in the range of $12-15 because I either cook at home or eat something that is smaller. But truth be told, I was NOT disappointed at all. I ordered chicken enchiladas verdes and Rebecca ordered enchiladas rojas (e.g. the salsa in mine was green and hers was red). The rice and beans side portions were generous and the enchiladas were outstanding. I would even venture that maybe better than Tequila Kitchen.

Lunch with Rebecca at Salsa and Agave (enchiladas verdes y rojas). Photo credit: Miss604 on Flickr.

I would say both restaurants are good, and both are authentic, but I’m definitely leaning on the side of Salsa and Agave, for two reasons: (a) portion size and (b) price. I would have had a full dinner for less than $ 20 at S&A, which would have NOT happened at TK. It’s all a matter of degrees, really. But I’ll definitely have to come back to S&A for lunch, as their special ($8.00 for pop+burrito) is seriously almost unbeatable. And very authentic. The washroom – yeah, that part sucks because you *have* to get out of the restaurant, but other than that, I had very few qualms with S&A.

Overall, I would say again that while the food was excellent, the highlight was hanging out with Rebecca. Even though the past few weeks we’ve had a lot of exposure to each other (we live-blogged some of the same events, we’ve guest-blogged for HappyFrog, and attended Tweetups and Third Tuesdays and Net Tuesdays), you’d be surprised at how little chance we actually have to chat with each other. But doing lunch on Fridays (which seems to be poised to become a ritual) is great, as we tend to be both downtown Vancouver at a reasonable hour for lunch.

So, in short… Salsa and Agave Mexican Grill comes highly recommended. And even Martini Boys recommend it too! Feel free to drop me a comment if you want.
Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon



1. Susannah - May 2, 2008

Bookmarking this. I have been disappointed so often in so-called “Mexican” restaurants with some horrible melange of Tex-Mex with Italian overtones on the menu. Or worse, with Tex-Mex/Punjabi crosses. (And I like Tex-Mex. In Texas.)

We’ll have to try out S&A soon. Thanks for the tip.

2. Raul - May 2, 2008

Hi Susannah,

When you do, send me an email (my details are on my About Me page). Would love to join you for lunch/dinner.

3. Susannah - May 3, 2008


Will do!

4. Gus - May 3, 2008

I have been disappointed with S&A in the past. Granted that was a couple of years ago and I might just have to give them a second try.

5. Raul - May 3, 2008

I am sure they’ve improved, because the service was much better than I expected.

6. Chris Porter - May 4, 2008

I was eating at Salsa and Agave when you and Rebecca walked in. Weird.

Gus – are you talking about a different S&A location or the Banano’s that used to be in there? I’m not sure if the ownership has changed or not, but the food used to be South American (Venezuelan and Columbian), not Mexican. So things have changed quite a bit from 6 months ago.

I like S&A. The menu variety isn’t great (maybe that’s what you get when you offer “authentic” Mexican), but it’s all tasty.

7. Raul - May 4, 2008

@ Chris – You should have said hello! I’ve read your blog before and even though I’ve seen your photo, I don’t think I recognized you – mind you, I was very concentrated in my conversation with Rebecca. But yeah, that must have been a surprise 🙂

8. Chris - May 12, 2008

I should have said hi, but just admitting that I knew you from the blogosphere was enough to nerd-out my girlfriend.

9. Raul - May 15, 2008

@ Chris – LOL. I can totally understand. Well, we are all in this together, right? (the blogosphere I mean)

10. Mexican food restaurants in Vancouver: An updated post « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - August 27, 2008

[…] NEW LIST 1. Salsa and Agave – Delicious. Tasty. Authentic. Inexpensive. Best place to have lunch with someone you care for […]

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