Salsarita’s offers a new style of cantina

Shelby Nichols
The Oxford Eagle

Salsarita’s on Jackson Avenue opened July 6 in Oxford, bringing a new style of cantina.

Sharon Payne, shift supervisor, said the most popular menu item is the quesorito burrito. She explains the ordering process.

“You go down the line and build it however you would like it,” she said, “and we top it with our famous queso cheese at the end.”

Martha Kate Young, a University of Mississippi junior and employee, said quesoritos are her favorite. They’re also the most expensive item on the menu.

“I get it half steak, half chicken,” she said. “I can see why the quesorito is the most popular item for sure, and it’s definitely worth the money.”

Payne said quesadillas and the two taco combo are also top sellers. She said the ingredients are made fresh every day.

“All our salsas are made daily,” said Payne. “We make our guacamole daily. Everything is fresh and ready to enjoy.”

Salsarita’s also serves alcohol, including margaritas and imported beers. Payne said they decided to start serving alcohol to increase revenue. “Also, what would a Mexican cantina be without a margarita,” she said.

Average prices are $8 to $9. Salsarita’s offers specials Monday through Wednesday for quesadillas, taco salads, burritos and burrito bowls. “You get your money’s worth,” said Payne. “It’s good food and a lot of food.”

Payne said the management team makes it different than other restaurants.

“Our management team makes sure that once we serve our food, we go around and talk to the customers, ask them how they like their food, do they have any complaints, etc.,” Payne said. “If they do, we correct it and give them a free meal, free chips and dip. We try to fix it. We want the customers to be happy with what they bought. That is our biggest goal.”

Young said she enjoys working at Salsarita’s because they understand she is a college student and offer flexible hours.

“They work with my schedule and pay attention to times I need off,” she said. “It’s nice getting a steady paycheck, and the bonus is that my coworkers are great people to work with. It’s family-friendly, a great atmosphere, and affordable for everybody.”

Though Salsarita’s is now picking up steam, the restaurant had a revenue lull when the students were gone for the summer.

“We opened in July, but all the students were not back yet,” said Payne. “Since they have been, it has really been picking up. We get so much business from them, which is another reason why a restaurant in Oxford was a smart decision.”

Salsarita’s also offers catering, and according to Payne, it has been very well-received.

“The catering has been going really well,” she said. “We just started to cater for Grove games. We catered for the Kappa Kappa Gamma house during rush week for 300 or more people, and we will cater for anyone else who wants great food.”

Payne said part of the reason people love their catering is because they see the job through.

“We take it in and set it up, and what we find when we do that, is people are shocked, because they are used to people coming in and just setting the food down and leaving,” she continued. “We go in and set up all the food so all the people have to do is literally put the food on their plate and enjoy. It’s been very well received so far.”

Payne hopes to add flavored margaritas to the menu.

“Strawberry margaritas are a top seller anywhere, and I think we would strongly benefit from them,” she said.

She said she will avoid adding a drive through in the future.

“When people watch us make their food, it lets them know exactly what they are getting in their meal, and people love having direct control of what they’re getting,” she said. “It’s also nice watching families come in and eat together. It’s a very family-oriented place, and I absolutely love that.”

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