I have seen salsas mentioned occasionally on various threads about particular Mexican or Latin American restaurants, but I haven't seen a thread combining them all. So let's start one! Let us know about your favorite salsa at a restaurant in the Raleigh-Durham-Cary area. Tell us about the heat level, color, and flavor characteristics. I'm more interested in restaurant-specific salsas than in bottled salsas available in supermarkets.
I'll start the ball rolling with a shout-out to my favorite. El Cerro restaurant in Cary at 3434 Kildaire Farm Rd. in the same complex as Wake Technical Community College. The magic salsa is served by request only. It is NOT what they bring you automatically at the table with your chips.
Ask for the dark red super hot salsa if you really appreciate a good burn, but also a lot of flavor. This tastes like it has a combination of habanero and maybe chipotle or ancho. Plenty of fire, but a hint of smokiness (not too much). It has no chunks like a pico de gallo, and is generally smooth, but not runny and watery. There are flakes of real pepper in it, letting you know it's not just an infusion. It is also not a vinegar based salsa (I happen to hate those). They make it in-house.
The restaurant is hard to recommend apart from the salsa. Get the carnitas. They are actually very good. The chips are pretty good too. Everything else we have tried has been absolutely terrible. But I keep going back for the carnitas and hot salsa!
Okay, your turn.