Restaurant Review: Wild Salsa

Wild Salsa spices up One City Place in downtown Fort Worth with imaginative dinner and specialty margarita menus.

| photography by Alex Lepe |

Anticipating their oƒpening since it was announced a few years ago, the DRG Concepts restaurant, Wild Salsa, didn’t disappoint. Just a hop, skip and a jump across from Avanti Italian restaurant, I’ve been watching development from the neighboring patio for months.

With other locations in Fairview and downtown Dallas, Wild Salsa will soon be joined by another DRG Concepts restaurant, Chop House Burger, going in next door.

The pulsing vibe at Wild Salsa is first sensed from the glowing base of the bar, which is echoed on the outside bar utilized by patio-goers. Highlighting the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, expect to see elaborate décor such as colorful skulls, crosses and iconic Mexican figures.

An impressive patio is decorated with handsome barstools and potted pepper plants. Music gets a little loud as the crowd shows up to enjoy the warmer-than-usual seasonal weather. Party poopers would be better off inside.

Wild Salsa’s menu features regional Mexican flavors with an upscale touch. Ranging from simple a la carte street tacos to more complex dishes like the Gulf Redfish a la Plancha, all food is made from scratch every day using local, fresh ingredients.

Excited to try one of Wild Salsa’s hand-crafted margaritas, I was shocked at the extensiveness of the restaurant’s tequila menu (I counted nearly 50 options). Trying to decide between the Wild Rita ($11), made up of roasted pineapple and jalapeño-infused tequila, hand-pressed lime juice and agave nectar, or the El Flamenco ($12), consisting of the frozen rita de casa, sangria roja and lemon-lime paleta, I opted for the latter due to the fact it was frozen and the thermometer read nearly 90 degrees. A few of the other margarita offerings include: Prickliest Pear, Blood Orange, and the Avocado margaritas.

It was the freshest swirl I’ve ever experienced, and the tequila didn’t overpower (making it slightly dangerous). 

As a starter, I tried the Sopa Azteca Verde ($7). It was a traditional chicken tortilla soup with cheese, tomatillo, hominy, serrano and cilantro. I would have loved a little more chicken, but the cilantro plus a squeeze of lime made the soup citrusy and fresh.

Next arriving were the Sonoran Chicken Enchiladas ($14). Chicken tinga enchiladas are served with chili-rubbed tortillas, elote cream, cotija and an arugula salad with agave vinaigrette. It’s nearly impossible to mess up this Mexican staple found on every Tex-Mex menu in North Texas, but Wild Salsa’s version of chicken enchiladas was delightful. Each bite had heat, tender chicken, creaminess and saltiness from the cotija. The arugula greens assisted in making a very heavy dish a little lighter, and the agave vinaigrette was unusual and innovative.

Dessert was a little tardy getting to the table, but it was worth the wait. Flan Napolitano ($8) is Mexican vanilla, cream cheese and a fresh strawberry and quinoa compote. Like other egg-based custards I’ve tasted, the Flan Napolitano erupts with vanilla and caramel flavors. While some have aversions to flan’s texture, this classic dessert was properly prepared and was thick and rich with creaminess. The addition of the strawberry compote elevated the dish even more.

While downtown Fort Worth has other Mexican/Tex-Mex offerings (Taco Diner, Mi Cocina, La Perla Negra, Cantina Laredo), Wild Salsa stands out with its cool venue, creative flavors and dedication to always-fresh ingredients.

Location: Wild Salsa, One City Place
300 Throckmorton St.
For Info: 682.316.3230
Hours: Currently open for dinner only: Mon.-Thu. 4pm-10pm; Fri.-Sat. 4pm-midnight; Sun. closed. Happy Hours: Mon.-Sat. 3pm-7pm; Fri.-Sat. 10pm-close.
Prices: $$
What We Liked: The impressive tequila selection, knowledgeable and friendly service and innovative Mexican fare. Happy hour prices are stellar.
What We Didn’t: We hope they open soon for lunch and brunch.
Our Recommendations: Enjoy your spicy meal with one of Wild Salsa’s specialty margaritas.