Stroll inside Salt and Lime Cabo Grill and you’ll likely feel refreshed. Scrapped are the dim vestiges of Amedeo’s North (and the short-lived La Carreta Mexican restaurant), replaced by the bright, mollifying hues of yellow and lime green throughout the open, modern space.
Baja, California, the home of Baja cuisine, has been a hotbed of gastronomic activity the last several years. Unlike Tex-Mex cuisine, which can languish in cumbrous use of heavier ingredients (beans, shredded cheeses and meats), Baja fare flourishes from a relative gossamery synthesis of Mediterranean and old-world Mexican cuisines.
Salt and Lime’s menu aptly reflects the coastal influences and bold Mexican flavors that comprise the culinary underpinnings of the Baja-Med region: a host of specialty entrees like chile-braised pork, chipotle cedar salmon entrees and a vast array of braised meat and fish tacos like the Cabo BBQ Mahi-Mahi and braised short rib tacos.
In the sizable Surf and Turf burrito ($13.95), a combination of cilantro rice, shredded Romaine lettuce and cheese, seasoned steak and shrimp comes cloistered inside a pliant flour tortilla. The piquant flavors of the spicy guacamole and robust chipotle cream smothered on top further accentuates the generous portions of steak bits, nicely charred with a crust, and grilled shrimp.
If but to mitigate the heat from some of the more spicy dishes, the margaritas at Salt and Lime are a must. Sips of the Grilled Grapefruit margarita, highly touted by our server, is refreshing in all its tequila, grilled grapefruit, cinnamon and agave syrup splendor. For those unable to find respite in the assortment of 17 specialty margaritas, the choices of spirits--including a selection of premium tequilas-- is extensive.
If you are an eternal snacker of tortilla chips like I am, skip the watery house salsa and spring for the Roasted Corn Guacamole made from an amalgamation of avocado, lime, black bean and jicama pico and cilantro.
Most entrees at Salt and Lime range between $10 to $14--fair given the portion sizes and the quality of ingredients. Service on the particular night that I dined proved to be friendly and attentive and not too obsequious.
In an area where taquerias and Americanized-Mexican joints have become almost omnipresent, and given the paucity of a restaurant of its ilk in the area, the addition of Salt and Lime Cabo Grill to the Raleigh restaurant landscape is exceedingly refreshing.