Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Amy Payne
It’s not uncommon to see a long line of customers waiting to get into The Salty Cowboy Tequileria, a highly popular restaurant at 55 East Oak Street, Zionsville.
Jason Hughes, general manager of The Salty Cowboy, is always happy to see a line of people waiting to get in.
“It’s walk-in only, and we always have a nice crowd, particularly on the weekends,” Hughes says. “We have had a lot of repeat customers, which has been great. The positive feedback has made everyone happy here.”
The Salty Cowboy, owned by Shari Jenkins, opened in August 2015 out of a renovated house and has been a big hit ever since.
Hughes’ favorite dish at The Salty Cowboy is the guacamole.
“It takes a bit of effort, but it’s worth it,” Hughes says.
The Salty Cowboy has several “Dare to Double Dip” favorites including the queso dip, habanero queso dip, chips and salsa, yucca fries and guacamole. Another popular starter is “The Trailer Park,” which is guacamole, salsa verde, queso and smoked tomato salsa.
Appetizers featured are The Ceviche, which includes pacific cod, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocado and chips. Cocktail De Camarones, a Mexican shrimp cocktail, Rojo Chicken Empanadas, with smoked Gouda, Texas caviar, sweet chili and mojo sauce. Guacamole Empanadas with Texas caviar, cilantro cream and habanero sauce. BBQ Pork Empanadas, and Dirty Fries, with smoked pork, queso, agave beer BBQ and jalapeños.
“The nachos are another guilty pleasure,” Hughes says. “They are delicious. When they dine out of the kitchen, a lot of people ask what they are.”
Nachos include The Classico, which contains smoked chicken, lettuce, jalapeño, sour cream, guacamole, Texas cavalier, pico de gallo and queso, Mama Sugar, with pulled pork, lettuce, pickled onions, agave beer, queso, sautéed poblanos, onions and salsa verde, The Willie Nelson, guajillo chile Rojo chicken, pickled jalapeños, sautéed poblanos and opinions, queso, pico de gallo and cilantro crema and The Dolly Parton, smaller but mighty nachos with guajillo chile Rojo chicken, lettuce, queso, pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo, sautéed poblanos, onions and cilantro crema.
“The ‘Bangin Burritos’ have also been a huge hit,” Hughes says. “We have a lot of customers ordering those.”
“The Bangin Burritos” include “The Billy Goat,” with fiesta rice, sautéed poblanos, onions, beer black beans, goat cheese, queso, rojo sauce and salsa verde and chicken can be added. There is also a “Yard Bird,” with Rojo chicken, Texas caviar, fiesta rice, sautéed poblanos, onions and pico de gallo and “Tipsy Texan,” with smoked pork or smoked beef, agave beer BBQ, sautéed poblanos, onions, fiesta rice, queso and salsa verde.
Quesadillas include “The Sugar Shack,” with pulled pork, sautéed poblanos, onions, mex cheese, and agave beer BBQ, and “Cozumel,” with smoked Portobello, Texas caviar, sautéed poblanos, onions, mex cheese, topped with smoked jalapeño, pineapple salsa and cilantro crema.
Entrees include The BBQ sandwich, with brisket, pork or chicken, cole slaw and pickled jalapeños, The Cowboy Steak, an 8oz certified Angus Beef flat iron with Chimichurri sauce, sautéed poblanos, onions, beer beans and pico, Fajitas and Texas Lettuce Wraps.
The popular tacos are The Pink Taco, with a pink corn tortilla, battered pacific cod, cilantro crema, pickled onions, smoked jalapeño and pineapple salsa, The Cancun Oink, with pulled pork, agave beer BBQ, queso and pico de gallo, The Angry Jalapeño, a Rojo chicken, pickled jalapeño, queso fresco, habanero crema and cilantro.
“I love the tacos,” Hughes says. “They have also been very popular.”
Th Salty Cowboy also has burgers like The Mojo, a half-pound burger with guacamole, pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and mojo sauce and The Gigi, with guajillo cheese sauce, guacamole, white cheddar, and fried onions.
Hughes says it has been rewarding to see the restaurant do so well over the last two years.
“I’ve loved seeing the hardworking staff having a great night and getting good tips,” Hughes says. “They have been the backbone of the restaurant. The customers have really been amazing and have been completely excited about The Salty Cowboy.”
The Salty Cowboy is open 4-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday through Saturday and 4-9 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, visit saltycowboytequileria.com.