Reviewed by Barbara Chisholm, Fri., Aug. 25, 2000
Jardin CoronaWhen you buy a home from someone, you know you're at least getting the structure. You hope to get the major appliances, too; who wants to start out scouting appliance stores for refrigerators and such? And superstitions hold that you should inherit the broom, too. Likewise, when a business changes hands, certain things come with the deal. In restaurants, there are appliances, linens, etc., and if you're lucky, staff and recipes. Recipes are the state secrets of the trade, and when Bert Mendez took over Jardin Corona in 1996, he became guardian of the secrets behind the popular salsas. The green is tomatillo-based and the red is tomato-based; that's as much as he's willing to go as far as the recipes are concerned. And speaking of "to go," that's what countless customers do with the addictive salsa. While the salsas are not sold commercially, they are available for takeout and in the case of Jardin Corona, it's more like run-out. The restaurant goes through around 10 gallons of the stuff every day. The recipes date from 1994, but the current owner considers the recipes perfect as they are, and no changes have been made to them in all these years. Loyal patrons feel likewise. After an absence of several years from the Hot Sauce Festival, Jardin Corona will be in attendance this year. This will be the first appearance with the new owners, and as always, the salsa served up is the same that is served daily in the restaurant.
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