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What’s the trick to Burrito Loco’s smoky salsa?

By Robin Domeier
You Asked For It
Restaurant writer Robin Domeier tracks down Charlotte restaurant recipes that readers have requested. Domeier is owner of Nibbles Personal Chef.

More Information

  • Burrito Loco

    Where: 391 E. Plaza Drive, Mooresville.

    Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday.

    Contact: 704-663-0919;

  • Burrito Loco Salsa

    1 whole medium tomato

    1/2 cup yellow onion, divided

    1 garlic clove

    1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

    1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, in the juice

    9 ounces tomato juice

    1/2 cup pickled jalapenos

    2 1/2 teaspoons salt

    2 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

    1/4 teaspoon cumin

    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    2-3 sprigs of cilantro

    PREHEAT the oven on the broiler setting. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tomato and half of the onion on top. Drizzle both with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

    PLACE the garlic clove on a small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle it with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Close the package and place it on the baking sheet. Broil, watching carefully, until the outsides of the tomato and onion are charred and the garlic is soft. Remove from the oven and let the vegetables cool slightly.

    PLACE the vegetables and the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until just smooth.

    DICE the remaining onion and stir it into the rest of the salsa.

    YIELD: 4 to 6 servings.

  • What a recipe?

    Are you looking for a recipe from a Charlotte-area restaurant that is currently in business? Send your requests to Robin Domeier,, with your name, why you like

    the recipe, where you live and the restaurant’s location.

Rachel Sutherland would love to know the recipe for the salsa at Burrito Loco in Mooresville.

“I am full-on obsessed,” Sutherland said. “I buy pints of it at a time and won’t share with my family.”

It’s not that the ingredients in Burrito Loco’s salsa (tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapenos) are all that unusual. Rather, it’s the handling of those ingredients that brings about something special.

The tomato, onions and garlic are roasted and the jalapenos are pickled – though you won’t have to do that yourself, since you can buy them that way. You will need to roast the tomato and onion until they’re charred on the outside. Don’t flake off the char. Blending it in with everything else gives the salsa a subtle smokiness.

Usually the longer a salsa sits, the better it tastes. But this is one salsa that’s darn near perfect from the get-go.

Robin Domeier is the owner of Nibbles Personal Chef.
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