Pork Barbacoa Salad at Café Rio

On a large, fresh flour tortilla is a mixture of blended Mexican cheese, rice, beans, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla strips and cotija cheese. But, of course, it’s the pork barbacoa—slow roasted with secret spices for five hours, then hand-shredded and marinated for 24 hours—that makes this salad so special. It comes with a choice of tomatillo or cilantro-lime vinaigrette dressing. $7.75, 9002 W. Sahara Ave., 948-1500, multiple locations.

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Chef Sammy D never expected to dedicate his professional life to delivering creative culinary comfort food for the masses. Nah, this rising superstar chef thought he’d employ those skills to pay the bills, then devote most of his time and vision to higher gastronomic pursuits. You know, one of those classy joints that elevates dining to an art form. But a funny thing happened on his way to that dream: He realized he is exactly where he should be.



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