In March, a friend and I tried our luck at the restaurant at Bankers Casino in Oldtown Salinas. This was the first time either of us had been inside and we were pleasantly surprised at how attractive it was. The restaurant occupies the east side of the building with a row of banquettes and granite tabletops near the bar area. While patrons gambling on the other side, it was relatively quiet during our lunch.
One of the daily specials was beef birria. Good flavor, but too stringy in texture. I liked the emulsified red salsa served with it, as well as the rice and beans. However, I have to ding the corn tortillas because they were not handmade.
Aguachile on the mariscos-dominated menu caught my eye. I order this specialty whenever I see it. Yet, I was surprised when our server asked we wanted the green or red. Since I’ve never had aguachile made with green chiles, that’s what we ordered. Verde turned out to be hotter than any other version I’ve tried. Raw shrimp were cured in lime and green chile puree, and combined with diced cucumber. This was exceptionally delicious but the firepower kept us from devouring more of it.
I’d be interested in hearing from others who have tried this spot.
111 Monterey St
Salinas, CA 93901
(Kitchen open until 3am)