BERWYN – If what you want is simply good Mexican food, then look no further than Tacos Y Salsa in Berwyn.
Its food is as straightforward as its name, with home-cooked fare including tacos, enchiladas, tortas and more.
On a recent weekday evening, my dining companion and I headed to Berwyn, ready for some hearty Mexican cuisine. After snagging a street parking spot not far from the restaurant, the clouds opened above us, making the restaurant's warm interior a welcome comfort after the rain.
Tacos Y Salsa's small storefront may not look like much, nestled between other businesses along 26th Street, but big flavor waits within its doors. Its brightly colored interior includes a counter and less than 10 tables, making it a cozy neighborhood spot.
After we took our seats – joined in the restaurant by a handful of what appeared to be regular diners – our waitress quickly delivered chips and two kinds of salsa to our table.
To drink, I ordered horchata, which is rice water. It was delicious and hit the spot. My dining companion ordered a Diet Coke, and it came right in the can. There's nothing pretentious about Tacos Y Salsa; the focus remains on flavorful fare.
Not content with just chips and salsa, we ordered guacamole. It was fresh, filled with chunks of avocado and tomato, as well as a generous amount of cilantro, which I love. As a quick Google search will tell you, cilantro tastes like soap to some people. I only have sympathy in my heart for those poor souls.
Next up were our entrees. My companion opted for the classic ground beef tacos. He ordered them as a meal, with rice and refried beans on the side.
Eager to try multiple kinds of tacos – as Tacos Y Salsa offers many – I ordered the chicken, pork and chorizo tacos, along with the restaurant's taco jarocho, which won best taco in 2014 as part of the Berwyn Development Corporation's inaugural Berwyn's Best contest.
This year, Tacos Y Salsa also won best soup for its caldo de camaron, or shrimp soup, which we unfortunately did not try during our visit.
The taco jarocho is a flour tortilla filled with grilled tilapia that is glazed with garlic and lime and then drizzled with a special chipotle sauce.
Both my dining companion and I ordered all the toppings on our tacos, including lettuce, tomato, onion and cilantro. I was happy to note my tacos came with plenty of the tasty herb.
Although the taco jarocho was the taco to win an award, of my four choices, the pork taco was my favorite. It had a lot of flavor without being spicy. I don't think heat should ever be mistaken for flavor.
The chorizo was good and crispy, and the tilapia filets were beautiful pieces of fish to behold, with the perfect amount of gold from the grill. While chicken can sometimes slip into the boring and ordinary, the chicken tacos were well-seasoned and juicy.
I should mention I ordered a side of refried beans, but I definitely overestimated the size of my stomach. Although the circumference of the tacos' tortillas might be small, they are packed to the brim with meat, making for some mighty hearty tacos.
As my companion remarked, the tacos were "overflowing with delicious south-of-the-border goodness."
I couldn't have said it better myself!
The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at Suburban Life Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. Only positive dining experiences will result in published reviews.
If you go
What: Tacos Y Salsa
Where: 6346 26th St., Berwyn
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday