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Best Salsa 

La Salsa

1800 E. Fort Lowell Road

4861 E. Grant Road

7090 N. Oracle Road

READERS' PICK: The proper way to test the flavor of a fine salsa: First make sure you're using the right chip; it should be warm to the touch and fresh, like the ones at La Salsa. Then, swirl it once only into the plastic cup. It should have salsa covering no more than a third of its total surface area. Hold it under the nose until the zesty bouquet wafts ever so delicately into the nostrils and then crunch down like a mofo. La Salsa offers five or six varieties and heat levels with everything from the Mexicana, little more than diced tomatoes and onions, to the Fuente, which has the proper amount of afterburn to clear those sinuses. Not one of these salsas is of vintage quality, as they're all made fresh daily. Our favorite is the Salsa Verde with its mean, green bite and its seedy tomatillo body. WARNING: Even though it's a salsa bar we suggest that you DO NOT line up and down a shooter of each.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: El Charro, 311 N. Court Ave.; 6310 E. Broadway Blvd. See Best Tucson Restaurant, Runner-up, page 90.

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