The pseudo-Chipotle gods have spoken. Salubre, a hidden gem that can be found in Shanghai’s recently opened monstrosity of a megamall called Global Harbor, has been whipping up burritos for the Shanghainese and expats going through American-style Mexican food withdrawals since the end of July.
Salubre doesn’t bother to make the space look fancy. The burrito does the talking at this fast food joint. Just like many of the American-style Mexican food spots back in the States, customers walk in, pay at the cash register, then enter the queue where they can see the topping selection through a glass case. However, the Salubre employees are quite mechanical and non-interactive, so if you don’t want those jalapeno peppers, it’s time to speak up and voice those opinions as they won’t ask you too many questions about what you do and do not want on your plate of Mexican goodness.
Hygiene is of utmost importance at Salubre, which is reassuring. Gloves were used by all employees as they prepped your selection from the menu, and each container had its own serving utensil so vegetarians can stay calm knowing that the serving spoon has never touched meat. While it isn’t service with a smile, it is fast, efficient, and clean, and the food tastes pretty darn good.
This fast food style restaurant offers up a wide variety of options, from burrito bowls to chips and guac. At about a third of the price that these foods would cost in the US, it is hard to be picky about the quality of the dish. The restaurant offers two sizes of most dishes, with a difference of two inches and 10 RMB.- seemed worthwhile to save the cash and the smaller size hit the spot. The grilled chicken burrito (25RMB/small, 35RMB/large) was delicious in its back to basics style. Salubre also offers up quesadillas (20-29RMB), burrito bowls (30-39RMB) nachos (30-39RMB), salads (25-39RMB), and chips and guacamole (15 RMB). Price ranges vary, dependent on whether the menu item is vegetarian, chicken, or pork.
As for the beverages, a trip to Tesco before hitting up Salubre seemed like a good idea after looking at the 12 RMB price tag of a bottle of water. While the burrito might have been a steal of a deal, the overprized fruit punch (25 RMB), margaritas (35 RMB), and coronas (25 RMB) seemed excessive. While the fruit drinks are supposed to be tasty, it seemed better to save the extra kuai for a dessert adventure in Global Harbor.
For those craving some quasi-Chipotle goodness at a third of the price, this is a great place to go. While some of the options weren’t available the evening – the nachos were off the menu for the night – the other selections were simple, no nonsense American-style Mexican food. The cravings have been temporarily suppressed, but we’ll be visiting Salubre again in the near future to try out the grilled chicken quesadillas with a side of chips and guac.
Salubre – 3222 North Zhongshan Road, near Jinshajiang Road, Putuo district (中山北路3222号). Hours: 10am-10pm daily.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Charlotte Evans is a contributor to Shanghaiist’s Food Section.
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