Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to downtown Salisbury, North Carolina, and to Mambo Grill & Tapas, a restaurant serving Cuban cuisine. Living in Tampa, FL for most of my life, I have had the opportunity to taste and enjoy both Spanish and Cuban food since I was a little guy, and this place ranks right up there with the best.

2017-04-08 12.58.06

They don’t open until noon on the weekends, but they fill up fast!

Dora here. We discovered this place shortly after we moved to North Carolina. It started in a tiny spot in a strip store, moved to a larger space on Fulton Street, and now they’ve expanded into this beautiful two-story historic building in downtown Salisbury. With so many businesses downsizing or disappearing entirely over the last few years, it’s heartening to see a restaurant flourish.

For an appetizer, we ordered Yuca Frita served with a garlic and cilantro dipping sauce. The Yuca, a starchy tubular root, was cubed and fried to perfection. Outstanding! Crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, kind of like a fried potato.

Mambo Grill and Tapas Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Fried Yuca

I chose my favorite Cuban dish, Masitas. Large pork chunks flash fried, topped with garlic and onions, and served with yellow rice, black beans, and plantains. This dish was great! The pork so flavorful and tender that you could cut it with a fork and the rice and beans cooked flawlessly, just like I remembered them from Tampa.

Mambo Grill and Tapas Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Masitas

Dora here. Y’all, this was such a hard choice! We love, love, LOVE, Cuban cuisine and rarely get a chance to head thirty minutes up the road to Salisbury, so I couldn’t make up my mind between the Piccadillo, Ropa Vieja, and Palomilla Steak. I finally decided on the Piccadillo. Piccadillo is ground beef with tiny chunks of potatoes and bits of olives in a light tomato base. So subtle, if you’re not an olive fan, you might not even know they’re in there. But, oh my, so warm and comforting and exactly as I remembered! YUM! And the veggies? Al dente and screaming with flavor! Where were these when I was growing up? lol. Note to self: MUST make it a priority to come here more often!

Mambo Grill and Tapas Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Piccadillo, so warm and comforting and exactly as I remembered! YUM!

What about you? How do you like your veggies? What’s your favorite veggie?

We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.

Mambo Grill & Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us north to the City of Salisbury and to Palms Cafe
This local neighborhood eating establishment offers breakfast, a large variety of sandwiches, and specialty coffees. You must order at the counter (no trouble seeing the menu, it is written all over the walls) and the food is brought to your table.
I chose the New York, New York hot sandwich, roast beef, corn beef, pastrami & turkey stacked high with Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on grilled rye bread with a side of homemade potato chips. Hearty and filling, the different meats mixed well with the dressing. The chips were seasoned well and firm enough to dip in the ranch dressing. Overall, great!
New York, New York hot sandwich
Dora here. The Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad offered a generous portion of chicken salad, fresh greens, cucumbers, sunflower seeds and mandarin oranges with a sesame oriental dressing. I’m pretty picky about salads. I don’t like a lot of extra stuff, and this salad worked for me. The chicken salad was creamy, sweet and delish! I enjoyed the texture of the sunflower seeds, and the oriental dressing rocked! And what a value at less than $8! That leaves a little extra for dessert, right? Especially since I had my heart set on that Palms Java shake…
Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
The Palms Java shake was a mixture of espresso, java chocolate chips and vanilla Gelato. I would have liked the shake to be a little thicker. 
Palms Java Shake
Dora here. I’m with Ernie on this one. I expected the shake to be thicker and more coffee flavored, but, hey, Gelato and coffee…:sigh: thick, thin, who cares? Nice way to cap off the meal. 

Palms Cafe is one of those comfort restaurants, the kind you go to after a long day and don’t really know what you want. They have a menu with options sure to please everyone.

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

What’s your go-to restaurant for comfort food?

Palms Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato