2220 East Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
When I looked at the map and saw that we would be going by Flagstaff on our way to Phoenix, I knew we had to make a slight detour. I had it planned just right too. After seeing the Grand Canyon the day before, we could sleep in a little, leave Williams at 10:30, and be in Flagstaff just before lunch time. We would still be able to make it to Phoenix for our hockey game that night. What was the cause of all this timing? A restaurant of course! Salsa Brava.
Salsa Brava has been featured on Diners, Drive In's and Dives, been featured in travel books, and is almost always picked as best Mexican restaurant in Flagstaff. With all of these accolades I was really looking forward to eating here. So much so, that we actually got here five minutes before they opened. Yes, we may have been going faster than the speed limit to get here.
Salsa Brava is kind of off by itself, not really in the center of town. The interior is a little on the loud side. Lots of bright colors. After placing our order with our friendly, young, waitress we headed for the salsa bar and waited for the food to come out.
Sorry I did not get a real good shot of the salsa bar here. On this trip we have hit quite a few places that have had salsa bars. Don't really know how I feel about them. On one hand it is good to have a variety of salsas to choose from, but it is also kind of a pain to have to walk up there every time you want more salsa. Most places give you very small cups to put the salsa into, thus making for extra trips up to the salsa bar. This was the case here. They offer five different salsas ranging from very mild to hot, or warm in this case. I am not really a fan of tomatillo salsa, but this one had a nice flavor. The best of the bunch was the pineapple habenero salsa. This salsa tricked you into thinking it was going to be sweet, and then on the way down it had a nice kick to it. Very good with the just average chips.
Let's start with Katie's lunch, the Navajo Taco. Here Navajo fry bread is topped with beans, chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and queso. Kind of a like a puffy taco. The chicken was very tender with a good amount of white meat served on this. Katie really enjoyed adding the tomatillo salsa to this, adding extra flavor. Serving size for this taco was very generous.
On Guy Fieri's trip to Salsa Brava he had the Stuffed Sopapilla, so of course I had to try it too. To be honest, before I came here I had no idea what a sopapilla was. I can not recall seeing it on any menus I have encountered while doing this blog. Basically it is a fry bread filled with beans, cheese, and your choice of meat. I went with carnitas. They kind of got a little lost here. The sopapilla was kind of like a chimichunga, but with fry bread. The beans were the dominate portion of this plate. After eating this I wrote in my notes, "good, but not spectacular". The rice was good, very light and had a subtle garlic flavor.
Was Salsa Brava worth the slight side trip here? Yes it was. The food did not blow my mind, but it was very solid. Portions are on the big side, which is always a plus. I actually liked the Navajo taco better than the sopapilla. This place is not really about heat either. The items we had that advertised heat did so, but without a big punch. Prices were pretty good. Our meals were under $10, and almost all of the other meals are right around this price point. Good scene for the amount of food you receive. Service was solid through our lunch. As the lunch hour approached this place filled up quick. Glad we made time to try it.
Out of five lumberjacks, (because the mascot of Northern Arizona University is Louie the Lumberjack), five being best to zero being worst, Salsa Brava gets 3 lumberjacks.
For more information on Salsa Brava, click here: http://www.salsabravaflagstaff.com/index.html