The space, in quieter times; the tacos, in less eaten ones.
The space, in quieter times; the tacos, in less eaten ones.
Sara Kerens

The Librarians of America Just About Destroyed Wild Salsa on Saturday Night

We arrived at Wild Salsa a few minutes before our reservation on Saturday night, but the door wasn't even closed behind me when I realized we wouldn't be sitting soon. America's librarians, in town for a big conference, had descended on the downtown cantina in force, and the waiting area was a dense sea of lovable nerd. The dining room was loud and packed, too, and the staff looked like they'd been hit by a really well read tsunami: frazzled faces, snippy tone, 10 minutes for a cocktail.

We checked in at the hostess stand and learned that they were still seating 7 p.m. reservations, and were working on a two-hour wait for walk-ins. At the bar, we ordered margaritas (smooth but seemingly light on booze) and mentioned that there seemed to be a lot of bookish types. The librarian sitting at the bar heard me and jumped right in: "We do our research." To which my dining companion, taking possession of his tequila rocks, said: "I didn't know they still made libraries."

Fun times all around.

As Scott mentioned, the conference organizers had actually suggested Wild Salsa, and the librarians apparently listened. A bartender mentioned that it was the busiest the restaurant's ever been, and a manager told they had to call in reinforcements, including staff from other links in the DRG Concepts chain, which owns Wild Salsa.

Our 8 p.m. reservation turned into 8:40, but things picked up after that, even if our server insisted on endlessly pushing the two most expensive items on the menu -- and actually guilting us for ordering tacos instead (which we did on Scott's recommendation). By the time we left, the librarians were gone, and the place looked to have survived -- more stray glasses scattered about than you typically see, but intact. A bartender was tidying up as I walked out.

"Did the librarians drink all your tequila?" I asked him.

He looked exhausted.

"Damn near."

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