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Sal’s History

The Valley's Family Tradition Since 1942


Sal’s History

Established 1942
Salvador Salazar

The Valley’s Family Tradition Since 1942

THE LEGEND BEHIND SAL SALAZAR and his Mexican restaurant began on Sal’s birth date, Mexican Independence Day, September 16, 1925. Seventeen years later, in the summer of 1942, Sal, a farm worker who loved good food and made loyal friends, was picking peaches for 35 cents an hour. Acting on an impulse, Sal climbed down from his ladder on that hot day, threw his basket on the ground and vowed, “I have picked my Last Elberta.” Sal Salazar wanted to sell tacos and other Mexican food to the local farm workers. He started by building a shed from some scrap wood. The wood came from an old man who had planned to use it for a chicken coop, but got too old to finish it. Sal had offered the old man $25 — a lot back then considering he was a peach picker up until then. He decided that when he ran out of wood, that’s how big the place would be. He began with the help of his mom and dad (Karl and Lorraine’s Grandparents), Jose Maria and Antonia. The venture seemed to make everyone happy.

It was a short time before the Salazar family’s hard work, great food and knack for service turned the small taco shed into a very popular family restaurant, Sal’s Place. People came from miles around to find the little building on Park Street in Selma, California. When asked of his success, Sal said simply, “I make Mexican food like Mexican families cook at home.” Sal eventually met his wife Eleanor who helped him grow the business. From the start, quality authentic recipes and friendly service became a Sal’s trademark that lives to this day. There were many regulars that came to visit from all over the country. New recipes were constantly being created and serving people became a way of life. His wife, Eleanor who helped Sal build the business, carried on the tradition for 27 more years. Today, their children Lorraine and Karl, with their families continue the 80 year legacy as if Sal and Eleanor are watching over the preparation of every meal. Preparing classic Mexican cuisine using the finest ingredients available in our Valley, the Original Sal’s has a quality that can’t be imitated.