If you can't take the heat, stay away from the salsa bar at Westmont's Taco Grill. This cozy Mexican eatery separates itself from similar restaurants with its small bar featuring about 15 green and red sauces and salsas. Quality burritos ($6-$8), tacos ($2) and quesadillas ($7) also help this place outdo most other Mexican dives in the area. Taco Grill is a popular lunch destination, but also gets a lot of carry-out traffic. The yellow dining room is decorated with red chili peppers and can accommodate about 20.
Above the salsa bar, the sneeze guard is covered with marker scribbles rating each of the offerings below. There are four categories: mild, x-hot, xx-hot and xxx-hot. The mild and x-hot choices have some kick and the xx-hot will leave you with burning lips and a runny nose. But the xxx-hot sauces are so hot, they are almost inedible. A small dip into a thick orange-ish sauce stayed with me for about 20 minutes. I did see one customer loading up on the same stuff, so maybe my taste buds are just weaker than I thought. But it was so overwhelming, I don't see how you could taste anything else. The salsa bar is stocked with small plastic cups and slightly larger Styrofoam ones for patrons to transport the salsas to their tables or to their homes. Dine-in customers are treated to a complimentary basket of tortilla chips, which gives people a chance to properly sample all the bar has to offer.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jim Collins