If you ever spent much time in Fort Worth, you’ve probably been to Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. The place is legendary.
Founded by the Garcia family more than 75 years ago, it grew from a tiny diner where guests had to traipse through the kitchen to be seated, to a sprawling, indoor/outdoor restaurant that takes up most of a city block and seats 1,000 guests at a time.
People often recommend the place for its beautiful garden setting, its famous margaritas, and its see-and-be-seen vibe (you’ll often see visiting celebrities dining there) but the place did receive a coveted James Beard award for excellence a few years back. So the food is pretty good, too.
Especially the salsa.
Several years back, the Garcia family, which still runs the restaurant, started selling its famous salsa in supermarkets.
Joe T.’s jarred salsas taste rather amazingly like the stuff served tableside in their restaurant. Fresh, just hot enough, and a perfect complement to Tex-Mex dishes.
It’s on the thin side, which I much prefer to the gloppy or gooey texture of some commercially prepared, jarred salsas. The chunks of tomatoes and onions are big enough to taste, and you also get a nice kick from the jalapenos, cilantro, and vinegar. I like it not just on chips, but spooned over migas, enchiladas or chilaquiles, or used instead of Rotel tomatoes to make a nice, spicy queso dip. There’s no easier way to put me in a Fort Worth state of mind.