Chicks 'N' Salsa

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Healthy Mexican food may have been a culinary oxymoron until Cindy Degen opened this casual, cheery spot in Glen Ellyn. You'll get all the flavor, mouthfeel and comfort of Mexican food, but the kitchcen here substitutes spices, seasonings and from-scratch cooking for the typical lard, extra salt, bacon grease and trans fats you might find elsewhere. This spot is known for its fire-grilled chicken, which you'll find in taquitos, chicken chili, perky tamales and more. The stuff is all hand-pulled, so if you prefer a burrito or enchilada with all white meat, just ask. Locals rave about the fish tacos, offered with tuna or tilapia, which can be topped by four made-fresh-daily salsas. Other noteworthy choices include Alaskan king crab enchildadas, spinach and cheese quesadillas and burritos packed with carnitas, shrimp or steak and potatoes. There's also some out-of-the-ordinary picks that have proved popular, such as a twice-baked sweet potato topped with grilled veggies. And for breakfast, start your day with breakfast burritos, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros or ham and egg quesadillas, too.

Sip agua frescas flavored with fresh squeezed lemon-lime, watermelon or strawberry, but save room for dessert, such as freshly made churros drizzled with caramel and chocolate, just-baked oatmeal raisin cookies or a wrapple -- a flour tortilla filled with apples, rolled, deep fried, dusted with cinnamon sugar and a drizzle of hot caramel.