In the mood for some tacos? Got a hankerin' for salsa? Wandering around Elmhurst and not a Chipotle fan? Try Salseria Cantina & Grill, 116 North York Rd in Elmhurst.
I think the key to enjoying this place is to have your expectations in line. It's not a typical Mexican place, nor incredibly authentic; it's more like a bar with a Mexican-American menu. The booths at the front are all circular so you can stare at the TVs and the large selection of margaritas swirling in dispensers.
Naturally, you get chips and salsa -- and here you are free to go fetch more whenever you want. There's a "salsa bar," which is really just small dishes of various kinds set out, I believe there were 5, with labels. We tried the standard-issue fresh tomato (good texture and flavor), a roasted tomato and garlic (really yummy, my favorite) and salsa verde (a little sweet). The chips are super-greasy but fresh with just the right amount of salt.
The menu has some good options, and I ended up with grilled veggie tacos, and opted for black beans instead of refried. Platters come with rice, beans, pico, lettuce, guac and sour cream. The guacamole was chunky and had some great flavor. My tacos were not the bestest EVER, but they had plenty of peppers, squash and zucchini plus cheese, lettuce and pico. While I am not a vegetarian, I appreciate the option to have any of the platters made with grilled veggies instead of meat, and to sub black beans, which are just a little healthier. My husband had enchiladas suiza, and devoured them.
The waitress did a good job of keeping our waters filled, checking in on us, and teasing my husband about the three baskets of chips we (he) managed to eat.
So, okay, it's a little dark, and it was a little stuffy (warm day out), and the margaritas are swirling around in slurpee-style machines, but if you just want to eat some decent Mexican and salty, greasy chips with plenty of fresh salsa, Salseria seems to fit the bill.