Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Salsa Puerto Rican Restaurant: A Taste of Puerto Rico in The Heart of Nashville

A Taste of Puerto Rico in The Heart of Nashville

Ever since I moved from Philly, I have not been able to find great, Authentic Puerto Rican food to enjoy on a regular basis (boooooo...sad face) until recently, when I discovered Salsa Restaurant (Smile....Happy Face)!

Salsa Restaurant: Puerto Rican and Latin Cuisine is the brainchild of owners Juan Reyes and Dr. Marcos Cruz. Juan has been in the restaurant industry for a pretty long time, owning a popular restaurant in Puerto Rico with his sister before moving to Nashville to open this restaurant. Reyes and Cruz have been friends for a long time. During a couple visits to Nashville to visit his friend Marcos, Juan realized the need for a great Puerto Rican restaurant in this area of Nashville. Dr. Marcos Cruz is a neurologist practicing in Hendersonville, TN. Together, they have created a truly authentic Puerto Rican dining experience. From the vibrant island colors, spacious dining area, and open bar, the friends have created an environment intended to make you feel like you have stepped onto the island for vacation!

I sat down with co-owner Juan Reyes one evening to learn more about his concept for the restaurant that opened near the Gulch neighborhood on January 17th, 2013.

As I mentioned earlier, Juan has owned a popular restaurant in Puerto Rico, Waikiki (www.waikikipr.com) with is sister since 2002. Prior to owning the restaurant, he studied accounting in school but when it actually came time for him to get out into the real world of accounting, he realized that it was not, at all, for him! Instead, he started working with his sister who already owned a restaurant and that is where he started to learn his way around the business.

As far as the inspiration for the menu is concerned,  Juan says " 90% of the menu is pretty much everything that we eat in Puerto Rico on a regular basis. We want customers to feel like they are on a trip to Puerto Rico - from both a culinary and ambiance standpoint." Reyes goes on to say, "The colors in the restaurant resemble the colors that are everywhere in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

All of the cuisine is made fresh, in-house everyday by Reyes, who is also a Chef, and his team. He uses as many local food producers and suppliers as possible. His wife, Yulitsa, makes all of the desserts fresh every day as well. I must say that she did an Excellent job on the Tres Leches that I enjoyed (You will see that below)!

As if the food at Salsa, isn't awesome enough, the team has also started offering Salsa dancing on some Friday nights after 10pm.....Hot Hot Hot!!!!!! They clear out the tables and chairs from the dinning room and have a Salsa dancing good time! You can follow the Salsa Facebook Page for announcements on when the Salsa Dancing will be offered.

I'm so glad that this restaurant is here in Nashville! Now I can finally satisfy my cravings for Puerto Rican food whenever I want....Happy Face :-)

Salsa Puerto Rican and Latin Cuisine

The vibrant colors are representative of what you see all over Old San Juan, Puerto Rico!

DonQ - Authentic Puerto Rican Rum

I love the open space of the restaurant!

I can't get enough of the great tropical colors!

These Lanterns are gorgeous!

 More Don Q Signage

Great Cocktails!

Guava Mojito made with Don Q Cristal Rum - EXCELLENT!

DonQ Cristal Rum and that delicious Mojito

 This Black Bean Hummus with warm Pita Bread is absolutely delicious....The perfect appetizer!

Perfect combination :-)

Pechuga de Pollo Rellena de Amarillos (Chicken breast stuffed with sweet plantains)
OMG Good!!! 
The chicken breast is super succulent, the sauce is perfect and to top it off, the fried plantains (one of my favorite foods EVER) add a perfectly sweet flavor!

A side of sautéed Veggies was the perfect compliment to this dish!

I could go for another round RIGHT NOW! The Rice and Beans (another Puerto Rican favorite of mine) was seasoned perfectly......

 Wait For It............

 Yum! Tres Leches

Co-Owner Juan Reyes

I guess all that's left now is for me to find time is this schedule of mine to actually vacation in Puerto Rico!

You can visit Salsa online @ www.salsarestaurantnashville.com


In Person at:

818 Palmer Place
Nashville, TN 37203
10th Avenue District

--Dr. April

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