The State Of Chips And Salsa In Austin Texas Part Three: Los Altos

To be perfectly clear; Los Altos would not be entered into this series if they weren’t putting out some of the very best salsas in Austin.

They would be disqualified right off the bat due to their using a low grade, commercial totopo that we imagine gets dropped off once a week on their loading dock and is then served whether it’s stale, fresh or whatever other middling condition the chip ends up in.


But those salsas are fantastic. Yes, we said salsas, as Los Altos puts out two.

The red is the standard rendition of Tex Mex that’s available all over town, but there’s magic in this taqueria’s version. Firstly, there’s always a heaping helping of finely chopped sweet onion in this sauce. The consistency is thin, which is my preference and the heat level is always good and high.

It won’t clear your head by any stretch but it contains sufficient, minced jalapenos to get the message across that this is a Mexican restaurant with a sensibility geared towards a love for the chile.

The salsa verde is really not a verde at all. It’s more of a tan/olive color and its provenance remains a mystery to me even after eating several gallons of it over the years. There’s vinegar afoot in this sauce which is normally not to my liking but in this rendition it works quite well.

Too bad about the totopos. We really, really wish Los Altos would bite the bullet and start charging for their chips and salsa. No, we’re not high rollers that want to see the riff raff go elsewhere. We would just like to pay a dollar or two so we could get a higher quality chip.

These are abysmal.

The girls laughed at me one day when I walked in with some homemade totopos from my home kitchen. I let one waitress try one and she about fainted. “Que rico”, I believe was her statement.

Indeed. A homemade tortilla chip is one of life’s great pleasures. A pleasure that I would love to see Los Altos endeavor to provide.

 

About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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