Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.
People saying "Ooooooh" at their food: 14 Times I wondered why there was a full-length mirror next to the shitter in the ladies' restroom, angled so that one could watch oneself depant and repant: 457
I have loved every Stephan Pyles thing I have ever eaten. Even though his restaurants are usually a little fancy for my monetary goals, there's always an offering or two within my cheap range at lunch. So I walked into San Salvaje (emphasis on the "vag") with high hopes. When I sat down at my table, the menu was already mad at me.
Menu: Stop saying "San sal-VAG," you idiot, it's "sal-VAH-hay." It means "Wild Saint," and it celebrates the union of pagan indigenous culture and a host of revered saints in Latin America.
Me: I know. I'm still going to say "vag" because I like the idea that this is a restaurant that celebrates Sally, patron saint of ladyparts. Long live the vag of Saint Sally! Please open San Phartbag next!
Menu: Go chug five tablespoons of nut sweat. Oh, and get the torta. It's amazing.
I feel a little bad for this menu. It knows that Dallas will not be able to process it without help, so in addition to spelling out the pronunciation of the restaurant's name, it also includes a glossary of terms as if to say, "Of course you have no idea what 'humita' is. It's a South American tamal," and it's absolutely correct. The other sad part is that I bet diners don't even read the glossary, and instead lazily ask servers what the hell they're about to eat.
From the sandwiches section of the menu, I chose the portabello torta ahogada ($9) which came with a surprise side of french fries and ketchup. Bonus!
Many items on this lunch menu are under $10: Caesar salad ($8); a salmon ceviche starter ($9); various tacos and tamales; and black bean soup with squash blossom relleno ($6, but soup doesn't count as a meal in my book unless you're talking about the jus that was at the bottom of my blate (bowl + plate), which was delicately sprinkled with a giant torta). When I saw the word "torta," I knew I would get the largest quantity for my money. And since I was in a fucking Stephan Pyles concept restaurant, I knew quality was going to be at the "Shitchyeah, this is amazing" level of the charts.
I was not disappointed. This mushroom torta was so good, it almost convinced me to pronounce the name of the restaurant correctly.