Raul is quoted in the Reader as saying his brother’s famous salsa still served at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo is from a family recipe to eat with breakfast. I have heard another story behind Ernesto’s salsa huevona. He would put the tomatoes, jalapenos and knob onions on the grill and forget about them while having a beer. It didn’t matter if the vegetables were charred beyond recognition, the flavors had deepened and matured in the roasting, and when hand crushed, the salsa is a perfect match for scorched meats. I don’t know if the story is true but the flavor is.
The gringa with al pastor was maybe the best bite of food for me in 2013. The pork was rich and layered with rendered fat, seared hard, with blackened pineapple providing explosions of acidity. The thick masa tortillas captured the juices of the meat as well as the melty chihuahua cheese and a dip of salsa huevona. L’ Patron is doing a lot of things really well- the battered fish tacos with crunchy cabbage and tangy mayo were real satisfying, the cucumber water was refreshing in taste and viscosity. I can’t wait to go back for another gringa, maybe ask about the story.