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And for soup lovers, there's the popular amarillo, a spicy homestyle creation afloat with bone-in chicken (or, if you desire, beef or pork) and carrots, potatoes, and giant pieces of squash with do-it-yourself additions of rice, cilantro, and lime. Ruales tells me it is a favorite among the Mexican men who eat at the restaurant and is the only item some of them ever order.
If you visit La 15 y Salsas for the food, there's a chance you might do a bit of shopping as well.
The cheery little room, painted in orange and lime green and filled with clusters of Mexican tile-topped tables, also boasts deli cases and shelves filled with items from Hernandez's homeland. Along with balls of quesillo, bags of hojas de aguacate, and dark brown orbs of Oaxacan chocolate are numerous spices, beans, baked goods, and cooking implements, such as molinillos, ornately carved wooden whisks used to make Oaxacan hot chocolate. And for the adventurous shopper, there's a plastic dish filled with salt and roasted chinicuiles, thin red insect larvae, about an inch or so long, that live on maguey and agave plants. In Oaxaca, they are sprinkled atop tortillas.
1507 W. Hatcher Road
Phoenix, AZ 85021
Region: North Phoenix
The little red worms are crunchy and salty and have a lime-like aftertaste. If you try one, you might catch Hernandez beaming. Her restaurant is the kind of place that will leave you beaming, too.