The Best Store Bought Salsa – AdamLovesFood’s Top 5 Supermarket Salsas

While I’m on this salsa kick — having just posted my friend’s Redneck Caviar Recipe she got from Paula Deen, I’ve decided to put together a Top 5 of my favorite store-bought salsas. That way if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to mix up some crazy salsa, you can just buy a good one from the grocery store — with no extra effort required. And don’t worry, there’s no Tostitos brand salsa on this list. There’s plenty of variety, and most are available anywhere.

The Best Store-Bought Salsas
An AdamLovesFood Top 5

5. Frontera Cilantro Jalapeno Salsa

I love cilantro. I also love Rick Bayless. If you are not familiar with Rick Bayless,  he is the winner of the first season of Top Chef Masters, the proprietor of a number of excellent restaurants in Chicago, and one of the best Mexican chefs in the U.S. One of those restaurants is Frontera Grill, and for several years now their salsas have been available at major grocery stores around the country. This one has an herby freshness with a bit of heat and smoke. There’s also some tartness, but it’s more interesting than anything else. Definitely worth a try if you have it in your salsa aisle.

4. Desert Pepper Corn, Black Bean, & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

I picked this particular salsa because I couldn’t classify their as a salsa. Because if I could, it’d be at the top of the list. Sooo good…  Anyway, Desert Pepper makes some great Tex-Mex salsas too and this one in my opinion is their best. It’s earthy, full of smokiness, and has some chunky bits of corn, black beans, and peppers, which gives it a great texture. Definitely a bit on the spicy side, but I’m down with the fire.

3. Giant Supermarket Fresh Salsa

Sometimes when I’m craving salsa I just want that mild stuff they serve at Chipotle… Or what one who speaks bueno espanol would call Pico Di Gallo. Bright, somewhat sweet, and quite juicy, this salsa is packed with flavor. Plus it’s healthy and you just can’t stop eating it. Of all the pico di gallos I’ve had before, this one definitely stands out. It’s like they picked all the veggies off the farm, and mixed it by hand in the grocery store… And honestly I think that’s how this salsa is made. So if you have a , check it out. It’s pretty darn addictive.

2. Green Mountain Gringo Medium Salsa

This salsa is by far my favorite standard salsa you can get in the supermarket. It’s got chunks of tomatoes, good heat, bold flavors, and is easy to eat. Not your run of the mill watery store-bought salsa, that’s for sure. Plus they offer some that go perfectly with it. If you want a really good salsa that’s widely available get Green Mountain Gringo.

And the winner….

1. Costco Santa Barbara Mango Salsa with Peach

I was first introduced to this salsa by a friend from college who had a Costco membership. Once I had it, I was sold, and got my own membership just for the salsa. Never have I tasted a salsa as good as this one. It is a mix of sweet &  spicy.  It’s thick and juicy, and most of all full of delicious flavors. The peach & mango combo creates great texture and has a brightness you can’t find in your average fruit based salsa. Granted you do have to get a Costco membership to buy it, or tag a long with someone who does… But trust me, it’s totally worth it.

Redneck Caviar Recipe – Aka: Crack Salsa

Courtesy of Food Network & My Homegirl Paula Deen

I’m gonna try and make this quick, since I’ve committed to posting at least twice a week from here on out. Plus a few “ALF” fanboys have been encouraging me to stay on top of the blog since I’ve been so inconsistent as of late — and they actually enjoy reading this nonsense.

I just have to quickly give a shoutout to Jabarie Brown of the amazingly underrated & Brendan Hanrahan (Winner of the Ironman-France)* and founder of the infamous .  Thank you both for keeping me regular in a non bodily function way. Without readers like you, AdamLovesFood would be twitching in an alley somewhere in Northeast, eating canned chicken and vienna sausages… Metaphorically speaking that is.

But I digress… Let’s talk about my favorite new salsa!

I was at an engagement party for an about week ago and came across this salsa recipe made by the host, who borrowed it from the bride-to-be, who got it from crazy ole’ Paula Deen. They call it Redneck Caviar. Paula calls it South Georgia Caviar. And I call it Crack Salsa. It is so frickin addictive, I went through a gallon sized container in two days. And it has black-eyed peas. Something I’d not normally eat. But they are a pretty darn good bean for salsa. Plus they are full of iron, potassium, and fiber! Woohoo for healthy salsa. Check out Paula’s video recipe… Because “you think caviar is fish eggs? Wrong! It’s black-eyed-peas honey!”

*Brendan did not win the Ironman France. He just .

Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen – Chipotle’s Asian Concept Has Opened in DC – Big Update

Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen – The First Asian Style Chipotle Has Opened in DC -  (Update with breaking news, pics & video – 9/2011)

9-15-11 (update) -Shophouse DC officially opened Thursday morning and has even begun receiving . Overall the impression of it is mixed, but I’m sure they have to work out their initial growing pains before anyone can begin making legit conclusions.

I’m still  super excited to try out their food. I mean, if a chain like this serving asian cuisine can be as succesful as Chipotle, it will be awesome. I mean in what suburban area can you find fresh, quick noodles and curries in a fast food setting? Right now DC is the only location, but if it is succesful here I’m sure it will expand. Look for a review of the restaurant in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out my pre-opening coverage below.

9-2-11 (archived content) Still no word on its opening date, but we do know that for it’s first location in DC’s Dupont Circle. Additionally,we have breaking news that it will seat approximately 40 people. But most importantly AdamLovesFood has stumbled upon some exclusive behind-the scenes-photos and videos that we bring you first. A little birdie has provided me with some new information and some great pics of the , along with what looks like an inventory list of that should be making it into their dishes. Seems as though there will be some fresh asian herbs, spices, and a whole lot of peppers in their offering. Possibly an emphasis on spicy cuisine with a mix of thai, vietnamese, and chinese dishes…? Take a look at some of the pics we came across. . Other than that, we found out they are acquiring a liquor license, and will most likely be serving alcoholic beverages Sunday-Saturday from 11am-12am. They also have a very cool timelapse video of their construction, which you can view below. Sadly, still no word on opening date, menu, or the type of food service being offered, but as you can tell, we have a lot to look forward to. And we will certainly keep you updated – unless of course we get a cease and desist letter. ;) Again, the name of the joint is Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen (brought to you by the creators of Chipotle). It should hopefully be opening at 1516 Connecticut Ave, NW (just off DC’s Dupont Circle) within the next month or so. ARCHIVED CONTENT – 4/27/11 – I’m a little behind on this topic, but I found out recently that Chipotle put out an official press release on their new Asian Concept Restaurant called Shophouse! As I noted in a few weeks back, the restaurant will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and will be opening up the first shop in Dupont Circle in downtown DC this summer. According to Steve Ells (the founder of and mastermind behind this project),  the restaurant will have Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian influences, and will serve dishes made from seasonal ingredients including “grilled and braised meats, a variety of fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs, spicy sauces, and an array of garnishes.” It’s still unknown what specific dishes will be served,  but I have a gut feeling they’ll be served in a fashion similar to Chipotle’s production line mechanic.

Shophouse's New Storefront - Courtesy of Prince of Petworth

“I have always believed that the Chipotle model would work well with a variety of different cuisines,” said Ells. “Chipotle’s success is not necessarily about burritos and tacos, but rather about serving great, sustainably raised food that is delicious, affordable, and convenient.” “Anyone who has traveled throughout Southeast Asia can tell you that food there is served very fast — it’s also full of flavor, nutritious, and affordable.”  This cuisine gives us a great opportunity to prove the idea that the Chipotle model can work with other cuisines.” In my opinion, Ells new restaurant comes at a great time, since DC is lacking in quick, tasty Asian meals — especially Chinese.  And to me, this type of concept could be a huge hit in high-trafficked areas with a lunchtime crowd, like malls, who usually serve mediocre unhealthy Asian cuisine, and places with lots of commercial offices – like Dupont Circle, or any downtown area in major cities around the world. You can look forward to Shophouse opening this summer on a date TBD. However the address is set, and the doors will open at 1516 Connecticut Ave, NW.

Seared White Tuna in Homemade Miso – Sushi Yoshi – DC Dish of the Day

Seared White Tuna in Homemade Miso Broth Over Baby Greens – Sushi Yoshi

Where can you get it?

101 Church Street
Vienna, VA 22180

How much?
$9.00 for appetizer portion.

Ingredients: White Tuna, Mixed Baby Greens, Homemade Miso Broth, Fresh Lime, Lotus Root/Lime garnish

Why it’s so Good: Beautifully seared fatty white tuna. Crisp on the outside, buttery on the inside. A bit of acid to contrast the fish. Simple, gorgeous mixed baby greens to give a little crunch/texture. Warm salty miso broth to complete the clean, simple, & truly delicious dish.

Bottom Line: One of the first Dish of the Days from outside the District, this one comes from one of my favorite new sushi places. Located on the corner of a quaint side street in downtown Vienna Virginia, surrounded by little boutique shops and offices, Sushi Yoshi is a hidden gem. They pride themselves on serving authentic Japanese cuisine with an emphasis on a beautiful aesthetic for their dish presentation. Plus they don’t have that gimmicky strip-mall-suburbia sushi feel. It’s more like a small town cute cafe sushi feel.

When inside, you notice there’s 3 sushi chefs at work in a very small space, but they do an amazing job.  Overall you can’t go wrong with their sushi, especially since they provide an extensive list of special rolls, the ability to order 1/2 rolls for 1/2 the price, and a huge Japanese specials menu filled with traditional Japanese dishes I’ve rarely seen at any Japanese/Sushi restaurant outside (or inside) the District.

Away from the uniqueness of this Sushi spot, this dish is one of the cleanest, simplest, tasty plays on my favorite fish served in Sushi restaurants (White Tuna). It’s really something special, at one of the best sushi places in the suburbs of DC.