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Conrad Classon

Staff writer 

Many of you have probably walked by Xinachtli on your way Elderberry’s or Mac and Bobs, but you have missed out on a hidden gem of Main Street.  Joel Rodriguez, owner of Xinachtli, emigrated from Mexico City a decade ago and opened the cozy authentic Mexican restaurant in August of 2010.

Rodriguez, being a foodie, prefers to stay with the locals and tries to eat at local hotspots wherever he might be. From this he gained inspiration to open a restaurant in Salem, true to his Mexican roots.

From the Latino music to the hand carved Mexican dragons sitting over the bar, Mr. Rodriguez successfully brought the local, authentic, and homey feel of Mexico City to Salem.

Prices are very reasonable, especially for college students. For between 10 and 20 dollars, you can taste zesty, hot, and fresh flavors of Mexico.

“I really love when somebody comes in and says ‘let me try your special’, and they are not scared about paying $15 for an authentic dish,” Rodriguez said.

The restaurant itself is small with around 12 seats total, set up around a bar. The funky lime green walls definitely make it a fun atmosphere to eat in. Friday afternoons seem to be when Professors dine at Xinachtli and when the place is packed, it can take a while for your food to come out – but well worth the wait!

Mr. Rodriguez offers imported Coke from Mexico that use a sweeter cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup found in American Coke. In addition, Mr. Rodriguez offers specialty drinks daily, including: Horchata, a traditional Mexican drink made of rice with vanilla and cinnamon, and a Hibiscus tea called Jamaica .

You won’t find Tex-Mex burritos at Xinachtli, because Mr. Rodriguez follows the traditional food recipes that have been passed down through his grandmother and mother.

So if you are looking for good atmosphere and good food, head to Xinachtli located at 300 Main Street of Salem, (across from West Hall). Mr. Rodriguez loves cooking, and his food is excellent and fair in price – an important part of having a successful restaurant.

Hours :

Monday-Friday 10:30-3:30pm

Saturday 10:00 – 5pm

Friday & Saturday 5:30 – 9:30pm