I can count on three fingers the number of Mexican joints that charge for chips and salsa (at least the ones I’m aware of): Benito’s Mexican Cuisine on West Magnolia Avenue, Amy’s Restaurant on the North Side, and, now, Tacos Del Norte (300 Central Av, 682-707-7401). The Northside eatery is the renamed/revamped version of owner Martin Cardona’s recently shuttered Papa’s Smokehouse. 

It’s every Texan’s birthright to fill up on free chips and salsa, so I’m going to have to reach out to the high council of Tex-Mex on this one. I’m not sure this kind of renegade behavior is allowed!

For what it’s worth ($1.99), the salsa was a delicious mélange of chunky, roasted, smoked vegetables: onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, and chiles. Kidding aside, I’m not sure why more places don’t charge for the ubiquitous appetizer – although I’m grateful they don’t. That would just be chaos. 

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