Las Palomas Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

Las Palomas Mexican Restaurant on Lancaster Dr. SE near Shopko was a great find for my family and I. We were looking for somewhere new and warm on a wet evening. Immediately after being seated they brought out a warm bowl of chips with salsa and bean dip. I've always found good chips and salsa means good food. The chips and salsa here were great. The chips were fresh and not at all greasy and the salsa had large bites of fresh tomatoes. I ordered the Carne Asada for dinner because the picture on the menu looked appetizing. For $11.50, they serve a generous portion of juicy skirt steak cooked perfectly. My wife noticed the crispy edges of the meat and commented on how that's how she wants me to barbecue meat at home. The steak was cooked over charcoal and that's how they achieved the amazing flavor and texture. On top of the steak were a couple of grilled jalapeƱos which gave the meal a strong kick of spiciness. Fortunately, they leave a picture of water at the table. My wife ordered the chicken fajitas for $13, which were cooked in the restaurants' "secret sauce." The "secret sauce" was sweet, it almost tasted like a teriyaki. Overall the restaurant was clean and the service was prompt and friendly. This is a bigger restaurant than it looks from the street. It seemed like they had a large staff of servers and bussers moving quickly to help seat customers and clear tables. Las Palomas is not a chain restaurant and has been serving the city of Salem for 13 years. With the meal I had this night, I'll have to put this down as one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in town.

1126 Lancaster Dr. SE



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

See, I've got mixed feelings about this place. When I was a single mom, I used to take my girls here for a dinner night on paydays- and we LOVED their "mexican pizza" and tamales, but, I tried the mexican pizza again twice in the last 2 years, and it was really greasy, and just "thrown together". A year ago I discovered, and loved, their veggie enchiladas. We went for lunch the other day, and I had a chicken tamale/ enchilada combo, and the chicken was really stringy and bland (no seasoning). Their salsa is better than anywhere I've tasted (not a huge fan of cilantro), but no one beats the bean/veggie dip from La Hacienda (my fave mexican place in Salem). The only thing I've consistantly liked is their banana daquiri's- they use real bananas. Yum. :D

It sucks to have a so-so meal from them, because they used to be so good (but it's probably more of a nostalga thing for me).

Salem Man said...

Mexican Pizza? That always cracks me up, ever since TB came out with the Pizzazz Mexican Pizza in the 80's. It surprises me to this day that that's still on their menu. We've all seen many items come and go from the TB menu, remember the cinnamon crispas? They even have a combo meal that includes the Pizzazz. The newest creation at the bell is these border bowls. They should call them Mexican teriyaki bowls or Border Bento.

Anonymous said...

They were called Pizzazz? What the heck kind of "mexican" name is that? LOL. Everytime I ever ordered the pizza's from TB, they, without fail, ALWAYS forgot the sour cream I requested extra. My favorite long gone TB item was the mexi-nuggets. Yummy crispy, crunchy, greasiness at it's finest. :D

Anonymous said...

LOL dont forget the salty goodness on them mexi nuggets, they are in nugget heaven now =(

Salem Man said...

Some other great TB items include:
enchirito
choco taco
volcano burrito, ugh
blt taco
frito burrito
cheesarito
bell beefer
I thought by now the chalupa and the gordita would be gone but they seem to be hanging in there. I've eaten at TB way to many times than I care to remember and the only items I ever order are the soft tacos, crunchy tacos and the burrito supreme. I don't trust them to make anything else. By the way, the taco bell on Commercial Street across from Freddie's is so slow it takes them about ten minutes to get your order to you. And you better check the bag because they always seem to screw it up.

Anonymous said...

TB is NOT Mexican anyway so why all the talk about that place? It's just another fast-food junk shop.
Mexican Pizza? Have you ever been to Mexico? I mean the real Mexico not the tourist places. You can get real Mexican food if you avoid tourism hangouts. I'm fortunate to work with a number of Mexican women who cook real Mexican food and bring it to me! Yum!!!

Ralene said...

They have the best fajita's ever! I love their food.. the only complaint i have is their salsa, its just so-so

Anonymous said...

This restaurant is TERRIBLE! We went there years ago and said we'd never go back. Sadly, tonight we couldn't remember why. So we got out our Entertainment book and they had what appeared to be really reasonable prices so we gave it a shot. We are a family of 6 so we try to keep eating out to a minimum. Their meals on the menu were $3-4 MORE than the menu in the 2010 entertainment book! RIDICULOUSLY priced for mexican food! We should have left then but didn't. They never did bring us any water. I don't know about you but chips and salsa always need water! Their chips are awful. No flavor, no salt. Salsa was ok. Their food was almost devoid of any taste. I ordered the verde burrito, the verde sauce and pork had next to NO flavor. How is that possible? The pork was dry. I got one glass of water, our waitress never offered to refill it. We weren't the only ones who had a waitress that pulled the disappearing act. The people next to us were looking for their waitress as well. When we went to pay, there were two large families waiting with no one to be seen to help them. Someone from one of the families finally helped themselves to a menu. They never did bring our daughter a plate. She's little, we always ask for an extra plate. So she had to eat off of my husband's plate. The waitress hovered over me as I signed my receipt and wrote in the tip. Before I even totaled it, she was pulling her tip out of the register! Wow, who does that?!! We will NEVER return. This place charges $10.99 for a burrito for goodness sake! Most meals are $13.99. That's outrageous. We could have gone to Outback for that kind of price. Pass it on by. Should have taken the hint when the parking lot was practically empty when we pulled in. Go next door to Thai Beer for this kind of money. Their food is amazing!

Anonymous said...

this is my FAVORIT place EVER i do not care what this losers say!! the fajitas are very good and full of flavor. if you do not like it here you guys do not know what good food is.

Bryan said...

OK I just went again tonight with my wife and parents. Service was poor. We sat right next to the waitress station and after our chips were brought we had to ask for water, I mean get up and go ask for water. They were all standing around and shooting the breeze. But hey who needs water when eating chips and salsa? we had the special of the night, enchilada and burrito with rice and beans. The beef was flavorful but the chicken was very bland. All and all the food was still OK but the service has really gone down hill.