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First Salsa Thread?

I'm surprised no other thread could be found on this board for the top salsa picks in Austin. Los Pinos consistently serves up my favorite in town. I'm not exactly sure what else is in it other than onion, garlic, tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro, but it's great and available to go for cheap. What are the other standouts? I think Maudie's (do I hear boo's?) and Mi Madre's are worthy, as is the roasted tomato version at Polvo's.

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  1. You will get lots of different opinions on salsa. I like it on the thick side so it will actually stay on a chip. Also a fan of those that have a smokey flavor. There is one at TacoDeli that I like a lot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PappyAustin

      Yes, the green Doña salsa at TacoDeli! EPIC!

      1. re: popvulture

        I've been adjusting to the mashed potatoes in the breakfast taco thing lately and enjoyed a potato, egg, and cheese with the Roasted Tomato Roja from TacoDeli. Although not very spicy, i like the roasted flavor and tartness. very balanced flavors!

        I also like the chipotle pineapple salsa at El Caribe, which is really easy to replicate.

    2. The ones that immediately come to mind for me:

      Torchy's red and green - regardless of what anybody may like or dislike about the rest of their menu, I think the salsas are really great.

      Polvos salsa bar - I particularly love the orange one (arbol?)

      El Chile - I haven't been in years, and I've heard some pretty disconcerting reviews of the restaurant's descent into mediocrity if not outright badness, but their charred salsa was always one of my faves.

      Guero's has great red and green salsas, but I'd suggest sticking with those/chips/margarita, and avoid pretty much everything else on the menu.

      Two more chile de arbol salsas that extend beyond the ATX restaurant realm: La Gloria in SA makes a delicious one, and Iliana de la Vega from El Naranjo has a very, very tasty recipe for salsa de tomatillo con chile de arbol that you can find in a CIA video on YouTube. Not sure if she serves it at her restaurant.

      1. I like Angie's salsa quite a bit; it's pretty hot for a table salsa. I also have a weakness for Serrano's, which is milder and agreeably fresh-tasting.

        1. Agreed. Pinos is crave-worthy (sooo garlicy!!!) and the top of my list by a long shot. It very much reminds me of a salsa I got in El Paso all the time.

          The orange salsa at T. Arrandas on Burnet is quite good too.

          I know it's a no-no on the board, but really, I love Chuy's (the pico kind they serve free - not the Pace version) when it's done right.

          I'm more fond of Polvo's tomatillo than the roasted tomato salsa.

          1. The green sauce at La Tapatia on Anderson Mill is my all time favorite. I went there just yesterday and based my ordering on what would go best with the sauce. (I went for the chicken flautas.)

            I also really like Maudie's. It's the level of garlic in it that makes me so addicted.

            And I must agree, I like the Chuy's pico/salsa stuff. It is just so fresh and light. I'm interested to see what else is posted!

            1. The avocado / jalapeno velvety green sauce at La Fruta Feliz is not as piping hot as other similar varieties that lack the avocado (e.g. El Regio's) and is my favorite tomato-less in town.

              1. I like the super hot one you can get at Habanero Cafe!

                1. To rehash previous salsa threads, El Pollo Rico/Reggio green sauce is the bomb (TacoDeli also has a clone of it). HEB also sells a really good "fresh" chunky roasted red salsa (molcajete?) in their deli. Sometimes from bulk bins and sometimes already packaged up in pint containers. They also have a somewhat new line of "Specialty Series" salsas. Citrus chipotle (Smokey citrus?) is my fave, but the hab is good an (and hot!).


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sqwertz

                    Ok, the green sauce at El Pollo Rico ties with the green "Donna" sauce as the best in the world. It's like crack. I could do shots of that stuff all night long. I want to know how to make it at home!!

                    1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

                      i make a slightly "enhanced" version of it at home. i don't think Taco Deli puts onion or garlic in theirs because i haven't ever picked up on those flavors.

                      this stuff is great on thick totopos.

                      Toss whole green jalapenos, onion quarters, and garlic in neutral oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven until soft and slightly caramelized. Cool. Dump in a blender and slowly drizzle in neutral oil. Salt to taste.

                      it will emulsify and get somewhat mayonaise-y

                      1. re: topodrinko

                        I have never been able to get mine as creamy and emulsified at EPR's. But that may me blender/stick blender.

                        But since I discovered that they will sell you a 24oz drink cup's worth for $3 (First and Stassney, at least) I don't bother trying to make it any more!