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Salsas of San Diego

Are there any salsas that you have experienced at eateries around SD that have particularly 'wowed' you?

Where and what type of Salsa?

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  1. I like the different salsas at Mama Testa which cover a wide range of spicyness and taste. They have one with roasted sesame seeds which isn't very spicy but really good.

    1. There have been a couple at Mama Testas that have been beyond belief good. They have so many on at any given time that it's hard to pick which one is my favorite. Some really good salsa recipes being used there, though.

      But, believe it or not, my number one table salsa is the one that the Sombrero's on 30th St. in South Park gives out. I usually buy the to-go size for $1.08. It's a standard Chili Arbol salsa, but there is just something to it that is incredible. The consistency, the level of heat, the flavor. I've eaten at most all of the Sombreros in town, as well as most of the other mexican fast food and restaurant joints, and I've yet to find a better hot table salsa.

      What's funny is that since the Sombreros are all individually owned (or so I am led to believe), no two salsas are alike between the locations. So, if I want that particular one, I have to got to that specific Sombreros.

      If anyone does go and pickup a to-go salsa from Sombrero's on 30th, make a second stop down the street at Food Bowl market and pickup a bag of their fresh-fried tortilla chips (totopos, if you prefer), which they sell in twist-tied plastic bags on top of the counter of the carniceria in the back. $1.25 for a bag. My favorite chips to go with my favorite salsa. Picking up some fresh Oaxaca cheese while you're there is optional.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cookieshoes

        We're addicted to this salsa and often get our food at Benny's down the street and the salsa from Sombrero's... Go figure.

      2. Escalera my son @ MT !!!! Doesn't get much better. Whats your fav ??

          1. re: Masa Assassin

            Farmer's Market for the 1st one

            The last picture is of my favorite salsas - Aqui es Texcoco's 4 salsas are without equal in my book.

            Latest word from Paco is that he is developing a Salsa Borracha with beer!

          2. Mama Testa's--all the 3 and 4 chili rated spicy ones. My favorite was their tomatillo, which they only serve when you order certain tacos now.

            1. Taqueria Lucha Libre has some interesting salsas, a couple that I'd never come across before. I can't really remember the exact details (there were eight or nine at the time I was there), but some ingredients that I do recall were:


              All with a nice balance of flavor and good heat in most. Que saborrrr!

              1. Cocina de Maria's is one of my favorites. Pain-inducing, yet addictive. I also like the fresh habanero one at Mariscos German.

                1. I used to really love the salsa at Old Town Mexican Cafe. Not the one they usually put on the tables. You have to ask for their "other one". It was always killer but the problem is, I have had such horrible experiences there the last three times I went that I have quit going.

                  You end out paying over $40 for two and end out with way less than a subpar dinner. You could do better at a spot like Robertos, which isn't saying much.

                  I like some of the salsas at Mama Testa's too. The variety there really makes it worth the stop.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Wino

                    I'll second the rec for the Escalera at Mama Testas. And I love their salsa bar. But, I agree with KR that dark red sauce at Aqui es Texcoco is totally addictive. I always have to take a cup home...I could almost drink it. The green sauce is very good as well. I did hear Paco say he is working on a new sauce with beer. It should be a killer.

                    1. re: P Macias

                      Hands down - what Kare R. and P Macias said. (Even thought about asking if I could buy the sauce and then forgot.) Oh well. Just means I'll "have" to go back again and try something different.

                  2. Palomino's on Clairemont Mesa has a good salsa bar (along with fresh radishes, cucumbers, marinated carrots, etc.) and the Santana's in El Cajon has a delicious salsa verde. I don't care for the salsas at Mama Testa's (or the food, for that matter)...

                    4 Replies
                      1. re: deckape

                        Palominos. Clairmont Mesa at Ruffin. Excellent salsas and marinated carrots, radish, etc.

                        Palmitos. Clairmont Mesa near 805. Excellent but different and less selection of salsas also has cooked chiles and onions.

                        1. re: Cathy

                          There's also a Palominos on Miramar Road, just west of the 15. Their hot salsa is also a chili arbol salsa. For me, it's a few notches away from the South Park Sombrero's Arbol salsa. The consistency of the Miramar one is a little more watery, and doesn't have as much flavor behind the heat. They do give you free tortilla chips there, though.

                          Right across the street from Palominos on Clairemont Mesa is Harvest Taco, which is a great taco shop. Probably the best taco shop I've been to in all of the Miramar/Scripps Area. The carne asada burrito there is a definite winner. One of the few taco shops in the area that actually uses good tortillas for the burritos, too. Pretty sure they have lard in them. Which, in my book, is much better than the flat/stale no-lard variety in use at most other places. They brown up so nicely and have that wonderful texture to them. The salsa bar there is good too.

                          Still gotta go with South Park Sombrero's salsa though ;)

                          1. re: Cathy

                            Thanks for that, I'll have to run by.