Dine and Dish: The family history behind 80 years at Sal's

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For generations, diners have known when you need a good, home-cooked Mexican meal, you can always find one on Park Street in Selma.

The Original Sal's pops up right in the middle of the neighborhood off Highway 99.

Sal's in Selma has been serving up meals since 1942.

Sal's son, Karl, runs the place famous for tamales, combination plates, burritos and short ribs.

"Grandma's recipe, right," he said. "We just add the spices to it, let it bake for quite a long time and this is what it is. Don't buy a cheap piece of meat."

We sat down with the Salazar family to talk and sample some favorites. Karl's son, Sal, shares his grandfather's name

"Oh yes, the namesake," Sal said. "Not a lot of pressure, though."

Sal also shares his grandfather's passion for cooking.

"My grandfather was back in the kitchen, my great grandparents and I feel that running through my veins when I'm back there cooking as well," he said.

Karl says consistency is key because many of these customers have been coming back for several decades.

"When he comes in on Sunday morning, he knows what his huevos rancheros is going to taste like," he said. "Regardless of what they order, they know that flavor. Hopefully, they can say mouth-watering already."

Murals went up on the walls in 1981, a year after Sal passed away. But his recipes live on as a Selma favorite has become a Valley favorite.

"We'll be celebrating 80 years in September of this year and we're going to make a big party because, after COVID, we have to have reasons to celebrate," says Lorraine Salazar.

The family says they're blessed to be part of this neighborhood.

"If you move, you lose the ambiance, you lose the atmosphere," Karl said.
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