One of the things I love about Chattanooga’s food scene is that new places pop up pretty often. Last year, the West Village opened with some new restaurants, boutiques and other fun businesses. One of those restaurants is Citron Et Sel, a tequila and provisions bar. I finally got to check it out a couple weeks ago, just in time to try some of their new menu items.
Citron Et Sel opened earlier this year and has been a pretty popular spot since its opening. The name translates to “lemon and salt” in French, though ironically, their food and drinks are not French inspired. The menu draws on Central and South American tastes and fresh, all-natural flavors. They have a massive tequila collection, naturally, with a few rums and bourbons mixed in. The cocktail I had was quite tasty, and I already know which one I’m trying next time. More on that later.
After listening to my friends rave about this place for nearly six months, I finally made my way to it a couple weeks ago to check out some of their new menu items. But first, queso dip. The day I went was kind of gray, dreary, and a little rainy, so it felt like a queso kind of day.
As warm, gooey, and delicious as that queso was, next time, I’m totally trying the tableside guacamole.
One of the new menu items was chicken taquitos. Taquitos are basically rolled tacos that are toasted, and then topped with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and everything else you’d put in your taco. The order comes with three, which is a great size for a shared starter or a meal.
Next up, I tried their new take on Queso Fundido. If anyone tells you there’s too much queso, they’re wrong; there’s no such thing as too much queso. Anyway, this version replaces their previous queso fundido, which was with mushrooms. This queso fundido was topped with chorizo, chihuahua and Monterrey Jack cheeses, and pico de gallo, and served with soft tortillas and chips. It was queso on steroids, and also delicious.
Oh, and I can’t forget their off-the-cobb street corn. That plus the queso was a killer combination.
Lastly, I got to try their new Smothered Chicken Burrito. I’m usually not into burritos, but I couldn’t say no to this one. The balance of flavors was excellent, and it wasn’t overly spicy. The queso and salsa verde were the best toppings. The other half of it made a great lunch at work the next day, too.
And now, the drinks. When I told my friend that I was coming to Citron Et Sel, she immediately told me I had to get the “Grapefruits of Wrath” cocktail. I’m usually not into tequila (thanks, college bars), but I trusted her recommendation, so I ordered one toward the end of my meal. It’s made with tequila, rosemary simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and lime juice, and finished with a half-sugar, half-salt rim. Y’all, I might have been converted.
The bartender told me that next time I need to try the Prickly Pear margarita. The “Mark Twain” cocktail also sounds pretty tasty. Decisions, decisions!
Outside of the food and drinks, there’s another element of fun to dining at Citron Et Sel. In the events side of the restaurant, there’s a wagon with an old bell hanging from it. At the end of your meal, you can get a tequila shot in an ice glass and try to “ring the bell” by throwing your ice glass at the bell after you’ve taken the shot. I’m willing to bet this gets really entertaining if the people doing it have already had a drink or two, or if tequila gets to them rather quickly.
Of course, I had to give it a try when I was there. I declined the tequila (I was there on a Sunday and had work to do later in the day, after all), but they kindly let me do it with water. I nailed the bell, but I doubt I’d have the same results with the tequila, or after more than one cocktail.
If you’re planning a visit to Citron Et Sel anytime soon, here are some of their weekly specials:
- Tuesday: Taco Tuesday! All tacos are $2, and Dos Equis beer is $3.
- Wednesday: Ladies’ Night! Get free chips & salsa and 25% off specialty cocktails.
- Thursday: Live music, free chips & salsa, and $3 Dos Equis.
If you want to spice up your lunch break during the week, head to Citron Et Sel for 3 tacos and 1 side for just $10. Considering my office is less than 3 blocks from here, that may be added to my lunch rotation.
Thanks so much for having me, y’all! I’ll be back for some tacos before too long.
What’s one restaurant or bar in your city that you’re excited to try?