BEST CHIPS AND SALSA - 2003
Jordan's has been a Phoenix landmark since 1946, and the place looks its age, with its dark interior, shiny, gold-flecked wallpaper and ragged red carpeting. Thank goodness for tradition, though -- the owners have seemingly never learned that so many restaurants these days are happy to shame us with food from bags, boxes and freezers. All food here is prepared fresh from scratch daily, including, wonder of wonders, the crispy, salty warm corn chips slapped in baskets for free on our tables. The chefs make their own salsas, including a thin, wet, truly infernal tomato purée; and a gentler mix that kind of reminds us of tomato soup. Our waitress, in fact, actually rolls her eyes when we ask if these beauties are made on-site, by hand. She sighs, and says, "Of course, there's no other way." Long live the legend.
Readers' Choice for Best Salsa: Gardu?o's