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Best Mexican (No Lard)

La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill
4862 E. Grant Road
7090 N. Oracle Road

READERS' PICK: We're not certain how they do it, but lard-free doesn't equal tasteless at La Salsa The only thing they add to the south-of-the-border formula is the single virtue of American fast-food: that of combining speed of service with absolute consistency and reliability. This is a good one to hit before catching the cheap films at the Cineplex about 50 steps away. For a good deal less than the cost of popcorn and a Coke, you and a friend can have a quick and excellent dinner--and skip the concession stand completely. Try the Baja-style fish tacos: grilled mahi-mahi with avocado and lime, the taco and quesadilla combination, or the gourmet burrito, and don't skip the guacamole.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Ever since they opened far on the north side of town, El Saguarito Mexican Food, 7216 N. Oracle Road, has been making downtown vegetarians travel long distances. With a focus on "heart-healthy" rather than vegetarian, it's the perfect place to bring your health-conscious friends and relatives. Especially noteworthy are the lard-free tortillas--big and thin, with just a mild taste of some mystery ingredient. They're the closest a vegetarian can get in taste to the traditional, homemade variety.

CLUE IN: Huddle around a plate of food at La Indita, 622 N. Fourth Ave., and you'll never again say that fat tastes better. Before you even dig into the gigantic bean-and-rice chimichanga, a plate of mushroom tacos, or spinach-and-nut enchiladas, you'll be blessed with a basket of warm, deep-fried corn chips and a bowl of tasty salsa. You can also expect something surprising every time you patronize La Indita, on account that each cook has a slightly different style of presentation, making the experience even more like a home-cooked meal. Mexican sodas, fry bread and outdoor tables under brush canopies top it all off. This is what makes La Indita one of our favorites.

Case History

1997 Winner: El Saguarito Mexican Food

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