Best Of 2006

Best Salsa: Pueblo Solis

With its airy, year-old addition and charming covered patio, Pueblo Solis isn't quite the elbow-your-way-to-the bar, sit-in-the-laps-of-your-dining-companions affair that it once was. But this authentic Mexican restaurant still packs <\#213>em in, and deservedly so (cf. "Best Mexican Restaurant" 2005, "Best Guacamole" 2003 and 2004, "Best Margarita" 2004). On a recent Saturday night our affable waitress is visibly in the weeds. "I'll bring your drinks in just a second," she says breathlessly. Then, pointing to a busser, she adds, "And he'll keep you in chips and salsa." Just like in the movies, when the hero sees the girl of his dreams and all else fades to black, we now only have eyes for He Who Brings the Salsa. Here he comes! With the salsa! The three small ramekins, known in some circles (ours) as the Holy Trinity, hold 1) a smooth, mild tomatillo salsa, 2) a smoky chile de arbol salsa and 3) a good-heck-that's-hot blend of red and green chiles. The warm, salty chips stand up to each salsa without detracting from the nuanced flavors. Dip, crunch, repeat. Everything's a happy blur. The margaritas must have arrived at some point, because we're sort of tipsy. We glance at the menu and order something dinnerish. It'll be good. Of course it'll be good: We're at Pueblo Solis.

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