Best Chips And Salsa (2002)

¡Cantina! del Pedregal

Chips and salsa. They go together like love and marriage. A horse and carriage. Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Batman and Robin, Britney Spears and her belly button, they're inseparable.

We're addictive dunkers, never able to stop at just one basket. But we're highly particular about our chips. They must be thin, crispy, lightly salted, blooming with rich corn flavor, not greasy, and served warm (cold chips, bleh). We're stuck up over our salsa, too. No puny tomato purée will do -- some pico de gallo is always welcome, but at least one of the dips has to be a flame-thrower.

We've found the perfect combination at Cantina!, the upstairs restaurant next to the Boulders resort (they can't keep us off the pretty patio, sipping margaritas and double-dipping like nobody's business). Chips are yellow and blue corn, airy crisp. Salsas are inspired, both in variety and in macho flavor. We start with the complimentary servings of salsa dulce (mild) and salsa media picosa (regular), both thick with fresh vegetables.

Five others flavors beckon, and they're all dramatic: salsa picante (sweet and spiced), salsa verde (sharp, metallic jalapeños and tomatillos), salsa tejana (gutsy garlic, cumin and spice), salsa arbol (seriously hot) and salsa habanero (bring-us-to-our-knees fiery). For just $5, we get a variety pack, a thrilling taste-bud tour of picante, arbol and verde.

These chips are champs, and these salsas sure sizzle.


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