Typically, MTA commuters expect to find a newsstand or coffee kiosk at their local station. But anyone passing through the Wilton Train Station will be treated to a much different kind of experience—one with a little more spice and flavor.
The Teece family opened Vintage Salsa and Rotisserie in the station building in August, and described the spot as a family-friendly, casual counter service rotisserie chicken and Mexican restaurant. They offer dine-in, takeout and free-delivery service with a menu centered around pulled chicken, beef and pork.
“We lived out west and Tiffany grew up out west. There were places that did this type of menu that we don’t really have here in the east. We wanted what we used to love eating there. It’s like ‘California taco-style’ or ‘West Coast Mexican.’ All the chicken is rotisserie, the meats are slow-cooked overnight, everything is pulled—nothing is chopped, cubed, sliced. We wanted something that was very easy—put it into a taco, a burrito, a salad,” explained Tony Teece.
Classics like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, guacamole and tostada salads are on the menu as well as Mexican style pizzas. The Teeces also made a twist on taquitos with something they’ve dubbed the ‘faquito.’
“If you’re familiar with taquitos, it’s a rolled corn tortilla with meat, deep fried, like a little tube. Well, we don’t fry anything—we don’t even have a deep fryer. We use soft flour tortillas, we wrap the meat and we add cheese and we bake them so it’s ‘faux taquito’ or ‘faquito.’ And they are excellent—it’s another crowd-pleaser,” Tony said.
Vintage Salsa offers a kids menu, but also features an item called ‘Vintage-a-go-go,’ which they said works well for the whole family: two 16-ounce containers of two different types of pulled meats, and enough rice, black beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, tortillas, chips, and salsa for a family. “You bring it home, and everybody makes what they want to make, if you want more of this, less of that. For $24, you’re easily feeding four, or if you have three little kids, you’re feeding five people,” he added.
Tony’s wife, Tiffany, said that their experience as a family in town has helped them understand what people want as a dinner option, especially busy families and late commuters who make up a lot of the Wilton populace. “We’re not pretentious—this is what it is. It’s inexpensive, it’s easy, you don’t have to stress with your kids. It’s simple. We have three kids—I want to be comfortable taking my kids to eat, make sure they’re eating enough that I don’t have to come back home and feed my 15-year-old son because he’s still hungry. You don’t have to worry about that here.”
Plus for dine-in eaters with kids, there’s the added entertainment of all the action on the train tracks.
The restaurant has definitely been a family affair for the Teeces; their children have been involved with many parts of the business all along the way up until opening day over the summer, when it became almost a 24 hour thing for the whole family. Son Anthony, who is 15, helped his dad research vendors and find restaurant equipment, and now often pitches in at the front counter when he’s not at school. Their youngest daughter, Riley, even knows how to work the computer system and is really enjoying working with customers who dine in.
“She knows, if she cleans off tables, is nice to people and brings them their sodas, she’ll get a tip! She got a dollar tip the other night and was so excited!” laughed Tony.
The Teeces bring their background in food service and restaurants to this project. Tony opened his first of several pizza places in 1993 in Lake Tahoe, and most recently they launched a salsa business that was the precursor to their current Wilton restaurant. The motto of Vintage Salsa and Rotisserie is “It all started with the salsa!”
“We have five different salsas that we make, all made from scratch, and that’s where the vintage name came from—vintage, just like wine, but instead of grapes, we’re using peppers. We don’t add salt, or garlic powder or anything that would spice it up. If the pepper of that batch has a certain spice that vintage, that salsa is going to have that kind of characteristic. It’s not vintage old, it’s vintage of the type,” Tony explained.
Every dish at the restaurant comes with a side of salsa, but diners need to choose one of five different kinds, each with a varying degree of spice. According to the menu, the varieties range from ‘Anaheim,’ the mildest, and good for kids, to ‘TRIPLE Habanero,’ “for those of you who want to breathe fire.”
“For us it’s the foundation. When you’re eating your burrito, you should have a little bit of salsa with every bite. That’s the west coast thing. Out west, salsa is a condiment, it’s like putting ketchup or mustard on something,” said Tony.
One other thing on the menu that he considered crucial—real Mexican sodas. They offer a variety of Jarritos sodas (mandarin, mango, grapefruit, strawberry, fruit punch and pineapple) plus they also carry Mexican Fanta and the hard-to-find, cult favorite Mexican Coca-cola. “We started researching how we could get it—it’s Coca-Cola, bottled in Mexico, made with 100 percent cane sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup. We’re now listed as one of only two Mexican Coke sellers in Connecticut. It’s got a following,” Tony boasted.
Because of their unique location, the Teeces have taken into account the particular needs of train-riding commuters. They’ve brought in a vendor, Golden Girls Cupcakes, to open up in the morning at 5:30 a.m., with coffee and made-on-the-premises gourmet cupcakes for sale, in addition to bagels, croissants and muffins and coffee. Tony starts lunch at 11:30 a.m. and does a brisk delivery business to many of the offices and businesses in town. Of course, they stay open late for dinner.
“What defined our closing time, I did interviews with train goers a year ago. One gal said, ‘Are you going to be here until the last train?’ I said, ‘Seven something, right?’ Her answer—‘No, 8:10 p.m. is that last peak train.’ And that defined it—okay, we’re going to close at 8:30 p.m. then,” Tony said.
Because of the restaurant’s hours, its accessibility and free Wi-Fi, Tony considers Vintage Salsa to be what he calls a “doorway into town,” and a new business that personifies how Wilton's businesses can work together.
“I would love to set up a big rack and get brochures from every business in town. Because this is a community place as much as it is a business. There are people who come through the train station and there are a lot of big businesses hidden in town—there was a guy who came in and called a cab, and I asked him where he was going—he was going to the office building right here, next to the station! There were these two guys from England coming to a meeting with a big company with offices above the Gap. They come in, they don’t know anything, looking at the map, okay, it’s Wilton. There was a family from Vermont that took the train to visit their grandfather at the Greens. It’s not just the daily commuters—we get a wide variety of people coming in to town and the station deserves to provide more of a service than just us selling coffee or burritos, or the door being open for a bathroom to use.”
Vintage Salsa and Rotisserie is located at 7 Station Rd., in the Wilton Train Station. (203) 957-3200