Celebrating its grand opening is a new restaurant in Arlington that covers all the key food groups. Called Salsa Joe's Tex-Mex Smokehouse, it serves a unique combination of Tex-Mex, smoked meats, and burgers.
If you think it can't get any better than that, they also do some home cooking dishes, plus cocktails and frozen margaritas.
The restaurant is at 1700 W. Park Row Dr., #116, at Fielder, in a space that was previously Connie's Cafe but was once home to Chop House Burgers, featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
They've given the space a bright and cheery update with a margarita bar and a hand-painted Southwestern-themed mural that covers an entire wall in the dining room.
Salsa Joe's comes from founder Thomas Strussion and his partner, Jonathan Schiller. Strussion got his feet wet in the restaurant game with Tommy Boy Sausage Co. BBQ & Catering — just as it sounds, a catering company that specializes in barbecue and house-made sausage — which was originally founded by Jeff Carr and noted for its tender brisket, generous sandwiches, and diversified menu.
Buoyed by success, Strussion advanced to a food truck before graduating to a brick-and-mortar space.
Salsa Joe's wide-ranging menu feels like comfort food, no matter what the cuisine. There are soups, salads, sandwiches, and subs. Sandwiches include turkey melt, pulled pork, chicken, sausage, chopped brisket, and a vegetarian with tomato and mozzarella.
Subs include a trio of meatball sandwiches in different varieties, all served on torta bread. The Cheesy Joe has three meatballs topped with queso. Loco Italiano is a classic meatball sub with marinara sauce and melted cheese. The Texas BBQ sub has meatballs with BBQ sauce and melted cheddar.
Burgers are served on sourdough jalapeño or potato bun with choice of fries, black beans, or charro beans, and come in four options including the Salsa Joe's burger with onions, Hatch chiles, and pepperjack cheese.
There are old-school appetizers like mozzarella sticks and jalapeño poppers. There are also classic diner items like an open-faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy, and the same sandwich in a turkey version called the "Hot Brown."
There are nachos, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and burritos; plus desserts including cheesecakes.
"We make just about everything in-house," Schiller says.