I was happy to check out The Salty Fig today, which is a relative newcomer to the area (it opened just earlier this year). I've heard talk of their delicious fish tacos and sandwiches from their food truck so I was curious to see if they would be just as good in restaurant form...
Upon entering I was surprised at how classy and upscale the atmosphere was. When you think gastropub, my mind always jumps to a place like Kickbacks, - totally casual with a touch of the strange, locals everywhere, somewhat of a jivy happening environment. The Salty Fig has put some class back into the gastropub scene yet there was still little touches of the urban five points vibe in there with the exposed brick walls, cool music, and tattooed wait staff. I can dig it.
Everything on the menu sounded good, but I finally settled on the Mahi Mahi fish tacos with citrus slaw, mago-serrano salsa, topped off with a lime sour cream. It came with one side item; a choice of french fries, cheese grits, citrus slaw, or a simple green salad...there was no choice, I had to get the cheese grits!
I was hesitant at first when ordering this taco because usually I am not a huge fan of mango salsas. From my experience, they tend to slap you in the face (MANGOOOO!!!!<= that was a mango slap) and overpower the delicate flavor of the fish. However, this taco put my mango aversion to shame! The fish could not have been cooked better, it was so moist and flaky and there was enough fish to be included in every bite. The citrus slaw was money, it had a refreshing quality and the slightly crunchy texture took it to the next level and the salsa...ode to the mango salsa, it's sweet yet mild flavor with just a hint of heat from the serrano was the cherry (or should I say mango) on top of the cake. Seriously. One of the best fish tacos I've ever had. To view their lunch menu on Urbanspoon, click here
Let's not forget about the cheese grits, the texture was almost of a light and airy consistency and the flavor was tasty. I personally love goat cheese and didn't think the grits had an overwhelming flavor but my anti-goat cheese friend thought differently. It's a personal preference.
My friend ordered the cochon de lait (which is a really fancy way of saying braised pork) with jalapeno cornbread for the base and mushroom fricasse, topped off with a poached egg and scallion hollandaise sauce. This dish was a prime example of a savory comfort dish. The pork was tender and flavorful, the cornbread served as the perfect base, providing necessary flavor and heat to cut through the savory rich sauces. One of the complaints that my friend had was that she wished there was more of the cornbread because the flavor of the meat became a tad monotonous towards the end of the meal.
The Salty Fig is a groovey upscale gastropub with some killer dishes. Their unique spin on flavors and fresh ingredients elevates their dishes to the next level. It's a little pricey but you can definitely see the quality reflected in the food. I plan on making a return visit for dinner soon.