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Fort Worth Date Night: On fire

BY MIKE BLOOMBERG
February 18, 2010

Are you over Valentine’s Day? Are you thinking, “If I see one more jewelry store commercial, box of chocolates or a vase of roses, I’m going to ban romance forever?” There is a lot of external pressure to be the best Valentine possible. But, it’s over now. We can all take a collective sigh.

However, it doesn’t mean you have to stop being a great partner. Isn’t it really about the small things? The “I got you this for no reason” gifts and the “Just thinking about you” text or e-mail are really what it’s all about. No one says it has to be a five-star restaurant every week. In fact, just a little time alone at a local hole-in-the-wall would suffice. A place where you can go if you two just finished a long run or are running errands. Where they didn’t care if you were in pajamas or your hair was up in a ponytail.

Have you been to Salsa Fuego yet? Put it on your list! Chances are, you’ve driven by this restaurant many times this year. Salsa Fuego is at 3520 Alta Mere. I first remember it as a Charley’s Hamburgers and then, several Mexican eateries, which I never frequented. It’s lies just right off the Traffic Circle, in-between the circle and Camp Bowie.

It wasn’t until I was on Twitter recently and saw someone tweet about it. I thought, “It’s close, it’s Mexican food and jeans and flip flops are perfectly acceptable.” Sounds perfect to me!

Salsa Fuego is not a big place. They do have an outdoor patio, but, until it stops snowing and the sun stays out for a long period of time, we are confined to the dining room. During the week at lunch, it can be busy. You may want to get there early. I first went on a Saturday at lunch and getting a table was not a problem. I’m sure as the word gets out about this place, seating may be an issue.

On my first visit, I had to try the guacamole burger. The selling point was the grilled jalapenos. YUM! Whether you get the guacamole on a dish or just as an appetizer with chips, get it! It’s made fresh. Not just that day, but as you order it. Subsequently, I’ve tried the brisket tacos, the carnitas and have my eye on many things on the menu – which, by the way, is extensive. They even serve breakfast. Again, with many items from which to choose.

On my first visit, I happened to sit next to what appeared to be the owners’ son. He seemed like a good, well-behaved kid, just reading a book. His dad brought him a dish that looked so scrumptious. The Honey Chipotle Shrimp tacos. These are tender shrimp topped with mango sauce, pico de gallo and cilantro oil. The son seemed to be more interested in the book. It was truly one of those moments where I wanted to lean over, give him a light elbow and say, “Hey Kid, you gonna eat all that?”

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