After a long day of classes or a day spent exploring the Neighborhood of the Arts, step into a world south of the border: enter Salena’s Mexican Restaurant for authentic Mexican cuisine.

Salena’s is located in Village Gate Square on North Goodman. Just take the Red Line bus to Memorial Art Gallery, and you will be right around the corner.

This is a brand new location for Salena’s, which is absolutely beautiful. They even have an outdoor patio where you can dine when the weather is nice.

It’s spacious and airy, and the service and food are outstanding. Salena’s prepares their flour tortillas fresh from scratch daily. The restaurant features an extensive Cantina that specializes in tequilas and margaritas. They were also voted ‘Best Mexican Restaurant” in City Newspaper’s Best of Awards in 2007.

As soon as we were seated, we were greeted by a friendly waiter who brought us freshly-baked tortilla chips and homemade salsa. The service was extremely fast; we received our meals within 10 minutes of ordering.

I ordered a beef burrito and a chicken enchilada from the a la carte menu, and made it a combo with rice and beans. The food came out on a skillet that was too hot to touch with the steaming-hot rice, cheese-covered beans, enchilada and burrito.

The plate was so complex and flavorful I didn’t know where to start. Those had to be the best refried beans I have ever had they were so smooth and creamy.

If you’re brave, Selena’s has a large selection of hot sauces to sample. I went for the hottest and enjoyed a bit of their ultra hot sauce with my enchilada and burrito.
By the time I was done eating, I was stuffed to the point of almost bursting.

If the food wasn’t already a good enough reason to stop and sample some of Salena’s dishes, they are also trying to have a positive impact on our environment by going green.
They have partnered with a company that is recycling its used frying oil for use in bio-diesel fuel.

In addition, they have increased their focus on buying locally grown produce.
They also plan on employing other energy-efficient practices like installing Energy Star appliances and using energy-efficient light bulbs.

After you finish eating at Salena’s, you can check out a number of other shops in Village Gate Square. You can stop by Mood Makers Books, The Bop Shop, Comics Etc. or Yankee Peddler Bookshop, among others.

One visit won’t be enough to sample the variety of dishes offered. I must go back again to broaden my palate.

Next time I go there I’ll definitely have to try the Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries. A visit to Salena’s will have you exclaiming, ‘Que Delicioso. Ay papi!”

Levy is a member of the class of 2008.

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