Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rochester Restaurant Vacation Part Three

This morning I had to go tutor one of my favorite kids. After hanging out for a while, I was getting ready to leave, when I asked where I should try to go eat today. His mom kept suggesting more Asian restaurants, which I would love to try, but I already had Asian once this week. Suddenly my young friend yelled out, "Quesadillas!"

Mexican always has been, and always will be, one of my favorites. But I wasn't sure where to find a restaurant close by. This family lives in the city, I didn't want to drive down to Henrietta in this yucky, rainy, slushy snow, and I've already been to the one I know in Webster. My friend recommended Moe's, but alas, I have been to the one in Victor, so that can't work. His mom finally mentioned Salina's.

I have heard of Salina's, but didn't know where it was located. And yes, it is sad that I have lived in Rochester for almost seven years and did not know where Village Gate was located. Turns out it isn't dreadfully far away, on Goodman. And I didn't realize that Village Gate is actually a mall!

Village Gate is the kind of mall that I like. Most of the stores are old, but with lots of character. I wandered through a few of them. I found a used bookstore that had Peanuts books for ridiculous prices - $1 and under. There was an antique Edgar Allen Poe for 50 cents that I put back, because I couldn't believe how cheap it was. Very tempting to go back for it now.

There is also a music store, that specializes in vinyl....oooohhhh.....luckily, I didn't have a lot of extra cash, and STILL haven't gotten a needle for my turntable. I could have gone crazy in there.

Following that, I wandered into yet another used bookstore, only this one was 99% antiques. I drooled over a first edition Louisa May Alcott book from 1877 that ran for $60. I have my eye on another one, that is significantly cheaper, but I haven't yet decided. I'll let you know later.

I wandered around the almost deserted place, that feels like it is a bunch of stores thrust into an old warehouse. I went out the wrong door and got drenched in the snow as I found my car, so that I could put my books away, then went back in to check out Salina's.

Naturally with my luck, I walked in at 4:02, and the lunch menu ends at 4 p.m. But, the restaurant was quiet, and I was seated right away. Unfortunately, I felt like it took forever for me to get greeted. I don't like it when you barely have your coat off and the server is breathing down your neck asking for a drink order, but I don't like to have already read through the menu about five times and know everything I want before she even stops by to say hi. But when I looked at my phone, I guess only about 5 minutes had passed.

I ordered a cosmorita to start, which is a cross between a cosmopolitan and margarita. It sounded intriguing and different. Then, I got a Salina combo, where I could choose two items to go with rice and beans. I went with a shredded beef and been hard taco and chicken tostada. I haven't had those exact combinations before, and usually I do not care for rice.

I guess things were extremely slow, because the server brought me my water and chips ans salsa, then not even two minutes later my drink and my dinner also arrived. And it was pretty good!

One thing I liked about their beef is that it isn't the traditional ground beef. Instead, they use shredded beef. And the refried beans are nice and chunky. The combination tasted great in a taco, that also included lettuce, cheese, and tomato.

The tostada was okay. Shredded chicken was topped with lettuce, tomato, and cheese. I felt that the chicken was slightly dry, and it would have benefited from some guacamole or sour cream. Unfortunately, it's a ridiculous amount to add one of those to the side, so I dealt with it.

The side of beans wasn't my favorite, but they were still very tasty. I like when they melt cheese right on top of the beans. And the rice was actually good! I liked it much better when I was able to scoop up some beans with the rice.

As for the cosmarita - YUM!! Definitely more potent than a traditional margarita and had flavors of both. I would definitely have another one.

To allow the drink to settle, I finished most of the basket of chips and all of the salsa. That was probably some of the best homemade salsa I have ever had. I think by the end of the bowl I had discerned that the unique taste was a lot of extra cilantro. I really need to learn how to make my own like that.....

So, all in all, yet another good experience. I think I will definitely be returning there at some point in the future. And I will definitely be frequenting those fun used bookstores some more....:-D

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