Fuego Cocina y Tequileria
2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington
Every order of tacos at Clarendon’s Fuego Cocina y Tequileria comes with not one, but three types of salsa in the colors of a stop light. Green, the mildest, consists of pureed avocado, raw tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, serrano chiles, and salt. The red has no tomatoes—just boiled tomatillos, chile de arbol (which gives it color), garlic, oil, and salt. Best of all: the yellow, whose color is meant to signify “caution,” with roasted yellow bell peppers, tomatillos, onions, blistered jalapeños (halfseeded), cilantro, and garlic. “It’s spicy, but it’s got a lot of layers of different flavors,” says chef/owner Jeff Tunks. “I eat it on everything.” Fuego’s extensive salsa offerings also include roja and verde table salsas for chips, pico de gallo, and an off-the-menu ghost pepper salsa with shaved white onions and lime juice for extreme heat-seekers. There’s no question that the ingredients are fresh; the restaurant grows seven to eight varieties of peppers on its balcony to supplement the salsa supply.