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Best Salsa

Café Poca Cosa
88 E. Broadway

READERS' AND STAFF PICK: Our select panel of food experts has determined salsa to be one of the most perfect foods ever made--and Café Poca Cosa has the best version of any in our salsa-laden town. Few salsas are too far off the mark. Maybe it's the fresh taste of tomato and cilantro. Perhaps the pungency of garlic or onions. Or the hot zing that happens to your tongue and taste buds from the peppers. It's a utilitarian food, too, because it has no fat, is high in vitamin C and fiber, goes on almost anything else you eat, or can be consumed as a meal in its own right (at least for those of us for whom chips and salsa constitute a meal). Salsa keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. At Café Poca Cosa, the salsa is not only all of the above, it may just be the food of the gods. The finely minced salsa has a perfect balance of cool vegetable flavors and spicy heat, of body and soul.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: El Charro, 311 N. Court Ave.

CAT'S MEOW: No, a tomatillo is not a little tomato, nor is it a little green tomato. They are little and green, however, and from the same family as the tomato. Tomatillo salsa is one that is rarely found in our Sonoran-style restaurants, but is a staple (along with two other excellent choices) at La Parrilla Suiza, 5602 E. Speedway and 2720 N. Oracle Road. This smooth, mild salsa is fresh tasting, with lots of garlic and cilantro, and just a taste of bitterness. With this and the endless bowls of tortilla chips, the majority of dinner usually ends up in the takeout container.

Case History

1998 Winner: El Charro
1997 Winner: La Parrilla Suiza
1996 Winner: El Charro

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