READERS' PICK: Leave the decision to fate and let the chef choose at Café Poca Cosa. After the waitress or waiter reads through the scrumptious selection of dishes for the day (all posted on a chalkboard that travels from table to table), the customer usually sits there looking dumb and drooling. Avoid this embarrassment and let the chef put together a sampling of three of the best dishes. You'll never go wrong. The last time we tried the Chef's Plate, we ended up with a satiny, melt-in-your-mouth pastel de elote (similar to a black-bean and corn tamal), pollo mole verde (chicken with unsweetened chocolate and green chiles) and a third dish that contained savory beef strips with a tangy sauce of tomatillo and nopales. Every dish is accompanied by whole beans, lightly spiced rice, corn tortillas, a heap of greens and garden fresh veggies, and a bottle of vinaigrette. The menu always offers the most creative treatments of pork, beef, chicken and fish. But vegetarians will not be disappointed; there are always enough selections to make a vegetarian Chef's Plate to die for, and not from heart disease.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Mi Nidito, 1813 S. Fourth Ave. We thought David Letterman and Jay Leno were just being cruel when they made jokes about the president's appetite -- for food, that is, not sex. But so rarely does anyone so famous eat SO MUCH that Mi Nidito named a platter after our 42nd president: The President's Plate includes chile relleno, chicken enchilada, bean tostada, birria taco, beef tamale, rice and beans. The question is: Who would want to eat that much? Bill, of course, prefaced his meal there last spring with a couple pieces of quesadilla. When we checked recently, the folks at Mi Nidito told us many have ordered the plate, but none have finished it since.