Weekday lunches are a v. tough call in Salem. There have been many CH posts supportive of The Old Spot for good pub food/sandwiches but they are closed for lunch except fri-sun. And while the Witches Brew is open for wkday lunches, the menu was not appealing. The Lobster Shack was too grungy So we tried this fairly new Mexican spot, Howling Wolf, for a pre-Peabody Essex Museum afternoon today. The friendly owners are on site and want you to be happy. The vibe is good. Big room with full windows on the street- about a 10 min. walk to the museum. The food is not chintzy or terrible; some dishes are particularly good. With our friends we tried the pork pozole, chicken quesadilla, guac. and tacos: carne asada, deshabrada, pastor, fish, chile verde, chile colorado.
The tacos were STUFFED with filling and only $3; easily twice as much filling as at our beloved La Verdad in Boston. The first three fillings were, respectively: a bit bland, ditto, and good flavor but way too dry. The last 3 were the winners and delicious. Some fillings include refried beans (v. good) and unfortunately all are overflowing with flavorless shredded cheese and too many onions. But once those were removed, the winners were excellent and I would gladly have them again soon. The guac had the look of pre-made pureed and its onion content was easily 40%, so it needs work. The pozole broth was too weak for my taste but i have had many that tasted this way.( The best pozole I’ve had in MA is that at the otherwise unremarkable El Cielito Lindo in neighboring Beverly). The quesadilla was bland though the red and green sauces with it- were v. tasty. It was very crowded today so word must be spreading. It sure is great to have an interesting spicy alternative to trad sandwich fare for lunch.
The Old Spot
121 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970
1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215
150 Cabot St, Beverly, MA 01915
Witches Brew Cafe
156 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970