Just a sweet experience at Azúcar Y Sal in McAllen

dfwnewsa | February 13, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Just a sweet experience at Azúcar Y Sal in McAllen
The Italian meatball panini was drizzled over with marinara sauce, a slather of basil pesto and mozzarella cheese. (Francisco E. Jimenez | The Monitor)

McALLEN — I don’t think that you can put a price on friendly service, and the folks at Azúcar Y Sal seem to have a monopoly when it comes to treating customers like family.

This makes even more sense when you come to realize that Azúcar Y Sal is a family operation. Run by husband and wife, Ozzy and Kari Loya, they have taken their passions and combined them — Kary with her sweet pastries and cakes (azúcar), and Ozzy with his savory soups and paninis (sal).

Walking into their restaurant, located at 6100 N. 10th St., Suite D, you will be met with cookies and cakes of all kinds, a salad bar for their popular chicken salad variations, and probably their energetic children depending on the time of day. It is a true family business.

My girlfriend and I walked in, tired and hungry, and hoping to find a new restaurant to add to our regular rotation. That we did, but it also felt like we left with new friends.

We were greeted by Kari, who never seemed to stop running around the restaurant. She explained the menu to us and the day’s specials.

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She also seemed legitimately interested in getting to know who we are, and not in the creepy way I do when I see a weird car outside my house.

I ordered one of the specials, the Raton Burger, which came with bacon wrapped jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, caramelized onions, and mozzarella cheese. The burger came with some crispy, homemade french fries.

My girlfriend ordered the BLT, which was not one of the specials, but certainly tasted special. Yes, I make my girlfriend give me bites of all her food. Her BLT came with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheddar cheese, chipotle lime aioli, and a fried egg. For her side, she ordered the chicken and vegetable soup.

We also shared a 32-ounce strawberry and lime agua fresca, which tasted like the actual fruit, not artificial flavoring.

Before we left, we decided to buy some freshly-made chocolate covered strawberries, which we devoured too quickly before either of us could remember to take pictures. You’ll just have to believe me. We ate them. They were divine.

Look, obviously the food was amazing. But our overall experience was so good that we had to come back the very next day. The only time we’ve ever returned to an establishment on back-to-back days was when we had to, like jury duty. We did this of our own accord. We wanted more.

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We were recognized upon our return the next day, and we were met with the same kindness and quality food (and energetic children).

This time, we were granted the pleasure of friendly conversation with Ozzy, who was generous enough to give me a nice cap with his restaurant’s logo. And no, he didn’t know I was going to write a review. Bribery only works with politicians anyway (from what I’ve heard).

This time I ordered the roasted chicken panini, dressed with basil pesto and tucked in with some slices of pepper jack cheese. My girlfriend ordered the Italian meatball panini, drizzled over with marinara sauce, a slather of basil pesto and mozzarella cheese. It came with a seemingly unassuming lentil soup, which was full of texture and full of flavor.

We also ordered some roasted coconut ​​meringue cookies and a slice of chocolate abuelita cake, and like the chocolate covered strawberries from the day before — we devoured our desserts without remembering to take photos. The flavor was too good to be true, but it was all delicious and made with obvious love and care.

I can’t recommend Azúcar Y Sal enough. They are open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The post Just a sweet experience at Azúcar Y Sal in McAllen appeared first on MyRGV.com.

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