Cortelyou Road might be Ditmas Park's version of a main road, but all those on the lookout for authentic Mexican and organic fare should head to Avenue H, where Salud has taken over.
Eduardo Larios, owner of Salud, said the decision to set up shop on the border of Ditmas Park at 1308 Ave. H was an easy one. "It's got amazing potential and is really up and coming," he said.
Patrons range from the everyday commuter to locals looking for a place to sit, relax and do work. "Musicians and kids from Brooklyn College come in, really awesome moms and kids [come in]," he said.
But the restaurant, which Larios calls "a latin-take on organic goodness," is ready for more. "We're ready for a new onslaught of people," Larios said.
Opened in 2008, Salud was Larios' way to pay homage to his father. "My father came here in the 1960's from Mexico," he said. "In 1983 he opened an organic juice bar [in Manhattan] with this small little shack concept. On every corner in Mexico City, there's a juice bar. But in 1983, 'organic' wasn't a thing and the business had to close."
So, Larios, an art director by day, and his sister Beatriz, a caterer, began working to open their own version of Mexican staple.
The decision to create a healthy yet authentically Mexican business was also influenced by Larios' father. "My father died of diabetes, and in the Latino communities, [diabetes] is huge," he said. "I'm aware of the stereotypical 'Taco Bell' Mexican food. We don't eat that. This is what we ate. These are our family's recipes."
All items are made fresh when ordered, and many ingredients are made on-site, including mexican chocolate, jam and peanut butter. "Our menu is always evolving," Larios said. "Mexican food is all about taste.
He noted the quinoa ginger veggie burger, made from scratch, and the chicken torta are big favorites, something his customers seconded. "I highly recommend the chicken torta," said one patron while waiting to order. "It's great. It's all great, it's all really healthy."
And soon the family business might serve a larger clientele. Sources say the family business might be expanding to neighboring boroughs, but whats most important to Larios is to continue to serve Ditmas Park while honoring his roots.
"It's about having fun and coming together," he said. "It's a family business that cares about the eating habits of people in the neighborhood. This is my house."