By Clare Myers
Readers, it is time to be completely honest.
This semester, I have tried to keep my reviews fresh, alternating between cuisines to try gyros, burgers and coffee shops, to name a few.
But despite these feeble attempts to maintain a façade of diversity in my restaurant selections, my real objective has been obvious from the start: to try every Tex-Mex place in the metroplex.
Hyperbole aside, the fact that Mexican cuisine is the dominating force on the Texas food scene is inescapable. If roughly half of the restaurants I review have flautas and empanadas on the menu, I am not complaining. So when a friend wanted to gather a large group for a birthday celebration at 7 Salsas on MacArthur Blvd., I knew it was going to be a good choice.
On a weekday night, the spacious restaurant was dotted with families and couples, leaving plenty of room for our big table. Throughout the meal, the waitstaff was attentive and efficient, constantly refilling our drinks and ensuring that we had everything we needed.
The place won major points with its chips and salsa. While the chips are unremarkable, the table salsa, served warm and on the spicy side, is addictive. And as its name implies, 7 Salsas features an array of seven different dips to try out. The one downside is that the offer only stands as long as the salsas last; by the time we arrived, only five of the seven were still available. A dark molcajete brought the heat, but was too thin to be truly impressive; the thicker habanero was much better. A friend who does not like spicy food loved the pineapple-peach salsa. The “taquera” variety, an avocado-jalapeño blend, was disappointingly so-so. The house salsa, the only one to be served warm, was the table favorite by a slim margin.
What really won me over, though, was the guacamole ($4.99 for a half-order), which was made to order right at the table. Our waiter expertly whipped up the avocados, adding lime, jalapeños, cilantro and other ingredients, according to our preferences. The result was excellent.
The entrees were distinctly better than average for a Tex-Mex restaurant in this price range. I chose the “Mango Salad,” ($8.99), a huge bowl of greens and grilled chicken with juicy mangos, smooth avocado and crunchy almonds providing a vibrant mix of flavors and textures. Plates with combinations of enchiladas, tacos, chimichangas and the like range from $7.99 to $10.99, and all received enthusiastic approval.
For the 21 and up crowd, the margaritas are fairly decent. The house margaritas ($5.99) are pleasantly tangy, and the frozen margaritas come in a number of varieties. I sampled the strawberry and the mango flavors ($6.99 each), both of which were tasty but very sweet. It might be worth noting that on Mondays, there are $2 margarita specials.
All in all I was impressed with 7 Salsas. It stood out from the countless similar-looking Tex-Mex restaurants near campus with quality food and excellent service. And really, if there are good margaritas and warm salsa, what more could you ask for?
Nearest DART station: Northlake College Station
Distance from UD: 6.4 miles
How to get there from UD: Take the Orange Line toward DFW Airport station for three stops (Northlake College). Take the 401 bus toward Valley Ranch via Market Place for 20 stops (about 20 minutes). Get off at MacArthur @ Ranchview.