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El Pinto Green Chile Sauce

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Believe it or not, there are some foods you can't get in Houston. I'm told Santa Fe Flats (21542 Hwy. 249) is pretty much the only place in town where you can get true New Mexican-style food (with the exception of a few dishes at Chuy's). The second-best option, recommended to me by a New Mexico transplant, is El Pinto Green Chile Sauce.

Upon first inspection I was puzzled - the green chile sauce isn't green, and it's a lot chunkier than my comfort zone of tomatillo sauces. Unlike most grocery store sauces, there are no prefabricated reds or greens, or perfectly square pre-cut veggies. The sauce just is. Whatever color or shape the necessary ingredients create is what we get.

The taste was fresher than you'd expect and not overly sweet, flavored with tomatoes, onions, chiles and not much else besides heat. Verdict: I'd buy it again just for a change of pace. You can find the El Pinto line of sauces at most H-E-Bs, Krogers and Walmarts around town.

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