By Amy Guerra
In downtown Clovis, the small, intimate dining rooms of Bobby Salazar’s are decorated in maroon and bright blue, flattered by the oranges and yellows of traditional Mexican décor. The dining rooms were full of patrons…lunchgoers enjoying a short break in a long work day, or the beginning of a daylong celebration, obvious by the sounds of the birthday song that filled the dining room as staff placed a bright sombrero on a patron’s head.
We were the former, there to enjoy a short lunch before returning to work; we took a window seat and were greeted quickly with chips and a bowl of the Bobby Salazar’s salsa that is now sold at most grocery stores in the Central Valley.
Bobby Salazar is the founder of the Bobby Salazar’s chain that encompasses the Bobby Salazar’s taquerias, full service restaurants and cantinas. The son of Eleanor and Sal Salazar, Bobby grew up working at Sal’s, the restaurant his father started in 1942 when he begin selling tacos out of shed building in Selma. As the restaurant and Bobby grew, Bobby was driven to grow his own business and eventually expanded into catering, party trays and the commercial production of his own Mexican food.
Today, the restaurant’s location on Clovis Avenue in downtown Clovis makes it popular location. A diverse menu makes selecting just one entrée difficult, but my colleague and I, after some contemplation decide on the chicken fajitas plate (at our server’s recommendation) and the chicken tacos plate. When the fajitas arrive, they sizzle, steam coming off of the cast-iron pan; fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and diced tomatoes accompany the sliced chicken breast. The tacos arrive, poised on the edge of the plate, cabbage, onions and cilantro cascading onto the accompanying rice and beans sprinkled with cheese.
For dessert, our server, Denise, convinced us to try one of Bobby Salazar’s dessert specials—deep fried cheesecake. It arrived a few minutes later, the rim of its bowl decorated with strawberry and chocolate sauce. The cheesecake was tightly wound within a deep-fried crust, the tender rich cheesecake emphasized by its crispy outer shell. We left the restaurant so many affectionally refer to as “Bobby’s” full and happy, content with our choices and somewhat remiss that we hadn’t taken a longer lunch hour to enjoy one of Bobby’s margaritas.
Bobby Salazar’s offers a children’s menu, catering options and seating for larger parties.
For more information on Bobby Salazar’s visit them at 434 Clovis Ave. in downtown Clovis between 4th and 5th Streets, or online at bobbysalazar.com.