No. 92, Free Beans and Chips at Taqueria Zamora

If you're a Mexican restaurant in the United States, it's almost mandatory that you give customers complimentary chips and salsa–more so than, say, featuring a sleeping Mexican as a mascot. Some places fry the chips fresh and make the salsa, but most let Tostitos and Herdez do the duty.

Sometimes, though, Mexican restaurants go above the obligatory and actually care about an appetizer that only screws with their bottom line. Take, for instance, the meal that is Taqueria Zamora's beans and chips.

The chips are made in-house, thick and crunchy and not greasy at all; the beans, silky and smooth. It's the dusting of the cotija cheese, however, salty and bold, that unites the flavors, that hooks you into eating a plate within minutes, that makes you ask for another plate; their hellish green salsa only speeds up the gobbling process. The cheapskates among you can get this, order one of their gargantuan tacos, and go away with a quick meal for about three bucks–but, then you see the chilaquiles or any of their casera meals, and you start willing your small intestine to expand into ways it's never expanded before, all because of those damn, wonderful beans.

The list so far:

93. Pig in a Blanket Waffle with Gringo Bandito at Cafe Calacas
94. “Pork Hash” at Huong Giang
95. Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla At Kogi
96. Licuados at Mil Jugos
97. Hawaiian Ahi Poke at California Fish Grill
98. Takoyaki at Takoyaki Tanota
99. Fiesta Noodles at Jollibee
100. Chilaquiles Verdes Con Huevos Estrellados at La Tablita California

Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2010!
Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2011!

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