Korean Chicken & Classic Fish Tacos
The Burger Nip
Story by Chiara Zussino, Photos by Lois Nuttall
The old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” serves as the motto of the Sal restaurant. Initially opening in 1964 under the ownership of a Greek family as the Salsbury Grill, this Westfort restaurant has become a staple in the heart of the Westfort Village, and is also the restaurant we’re highlighting this month for our off the menu feature(s). Yes, plural. After the extended winter we’ve had, it only felt right to reward you, dear readers, with not one but two delicious options from this establishment.
First, meet the burger nip. A true nod to the roots of the Sal, this dish has been on the menu since its inception and continues to remain a favourite among loyal patrons. And it’s easy to see why. Served on a kaiser bun, the beef patty is topped with delicious melted cheese, and comes with a side of french fries. The true secret of the burger nip, however, remains in its sauce. This burger is drenched with a housemade gravy, created from a recipe that has been passed down from owner to owner and will never be publicly shared. According to current owner Aaron Gillingham, the Sal goes through about 175 pounds of “Westfort gravy” every week.
However, it was also important for Gillingham to blend the new with the old and make a few updates to the menu, one of which was adding tacos. Inspired by his time working in Calgary and Ottawa managing restaurants and noticing a taco trend, Gillingham personally introduced this feature to the Sal. Although it took a little bit for some customers to get on board, they have quickly become renowned classics on the menu and, like the burger nip, will not be going anywhere any time soon, as they are permanent menu items.
The fish taco consists of a soft taco shell and a layer of fresh pico de gallo, with just enough cilantro so it’s not overpowering, followed by the flaky, crispy fish, which, when paired with the chipotle aioli, creates the best combination of savoury goodness. Topped with a cabbage blend and cheese, this is the epitome of a classic fish taco. For a taco with a twist, Gillingham chose to use Korean chicken in an unconventional way by serving it in a taco, and although it seems like an unlikely match, it’s truly a star out of their taco options. Like the fish taco, it is made in a soft shell with barbecue crispy fried chicken with soyoli drizzle, cheese, cabbage, and for that extra bite? Cilantro and pickled onion.
Our advice? Run, don’t walk, to the Sal to try these phenomenal dishes. You’ll thank us later!
118 Frederica Street West