Without a doubt, it’s “Pollos Mazatepec.” While there are now several branches, I always go to the enormous one that’s on the federal highway to Atlixco, across from the exit for Chipilo.
Why do I love it? Mainly, it’s because of the salsas. There are six of them, plus slices of lime and pickled chiles, and what I like best is to start my meal with a salsa and handmade tortilla taco. Later, the smoked meats (chicken, sausage, pork, ribs) arrive, and they also pair wonderfully with all the sauces. But I still eat yet another purely salsa taco just to finish the meal.
That is, unless you don’t like spicy food. Having grown up in Texas and eaten a ton of Bob’s Jalapeño Chips, I came here ready to try all the salsas available! My first experience with salsa macha left me choking and almost crying in the middle of my host family’s lunch. That moment was later followed by eating a canned chipotle with nothing else, which also resulted in tears and near-suffocation.
I’ve since learned to moderate my salsas and this is currently what I have in my fridge:
“Why so many?” you might wonder. Well, they all have different flavors and can be used in a variety of dishes:
“Búfalo” is like Tabasco sauce (vinegar-y) and is good on potato chips.
“Herdez” is for when you’re feeling lazy and want a fresh-tasting salsa, but don’t want to make it.
The “Salsa de Chipotle” is sweet and smoky, and tastes great on seafood.
The three “Kin T’iyat” jars are salsa macha– ground chilies in olive oil– and two are made with “chiltepin” pepper, while the third is made with “chile mora,” meaning each flavor is distinct. The bottom one also contains peanuts and pumpkin and sesame seeds. I will eat salsa macha on anything, but it is especially incredible on pizza and quesadillas.
“Chimay” and “De Boca en Boca” are Habanero salsas (only a few drops will suffice in any dish).
Finally, the “Nescafe” jar contains homemade chiltepin and peanut salsa. I also put it on everything.
As you can see, there is no shortage of opportunities to spice up your food here! If you can tolerate varying degrees of fire in your mouth, I suggest you try every salsa you find!