Cafe Salsa stands out from the crowd of suburban Mexican restaurants with its extensive selection of tequilas. From low-end to high-end, the place offers many brands (Patron, Cuervo, Don Julio, Don Eduardo) in many different styles (silver, resposado
, triple-distilled and commemorative). You can sample them on their own or as part of a margarita; served in a pint glass, the drinks start at $6.95 for the house version.
But tequila isnít the only reason to visit Cafe Salsa. The restaurant also has good food. In addition to the expected tacos, burritos and fajitas ($7-$12 for dinners), it offers a few atypical dishes like the $13 pollo negro (blackened chicken served over salsa verde), the $10 BBQ smoked chicken quesadillas and the $13 chicken a la Mexicana, which is like a Mexican stir fry with diced meat, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and ranchero sauce.
Like most Mexican eateries, Cafe Salsa is covered with over-the-top decor that is both hokey and colorful. The dining room is full of flowers, while the bar is adorned with multi-colored banners and photos of Chicago baseball players. The impressive collection of bottles is another eye-catcher for fans of the Mexican ta-kill-ya. The full tequila menu was out of print during our visit, but a nice, long glance behind the bar does the trick.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jim Collins