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Las Margaritas – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

If you put “spicy” and “specialty” in your item name, I’m pretty much a shoe-in for trying it.

Such was the case with Las Margaritas Spicy Pollo Verde Bake Specialty, a mashup of marinated chunks of chicken breast sautéed with lime, fresh jalapeño, mushrooms, black bean and corn salsa and verde sauce, covered with cheese and baked over cilantro-lime rice and served with cheese-covered tortilla chips.

Beginning with a calm walk through the capsaicin countryside, it took several cheesy chip digs before hitting upon the first spicy visitor. Coming in the form of slightly grilled, slightly pickled jalapenos, it’s a friendly howdya-do followed by a quick disappearance. As I continued my journey, a hint of sweetness, tartness and, juuust a bit of heat crept along. I’d stumbled upon the salsa verde. A nice, light green sauce, the salsa verde is a “refreshing” spiciness, like a quick tickle and then it’s gone, faster than Urban Meyer’s coaching tenure at Jacksonville.

Nearing the end of my heat hike, I’d found more of the same. Little spicy salsa verde critters running up and disappearing into the tall grass, while jalapenos followed suit. It’s consistent throughout the dish, but the heat is low, retreats quickly, and leaves you with the calming presence of cilantro and lime.

This is a solid entry dish for the “mayo is spicy” crowd, and a refreshing one for those looking for a tiny kick of heat, but not as the feature. That said, we’re dropping Las Margaritas at #121, just after Flip Side’s Chili Pepper Burger, and bumping Nomad’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich down a spot.

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