Salsa dancing

Want to cure your ulcer? Our reviewer says the powerful spices at the Buenos Grill will make you feel better.

Want to cure your ulcer? Our reviewer says the powerful spices at the Buenos Grill will make you feel better.

Photo By Nick Higman

Buenos Grill

3892 Mayberry Dr.
Reno, NV 89509

(775) 787-8226

When nursing an ulcer, it’s probably not the best idea to eat mounds of spicy salsa, but I’ve never been one to let ill health keep me down. I’m glad I didn’t last night. My husband talked me into joining him at the Buenos Grill. I could stick with the fish taco, he reasoned, avoiding the salsa bar altogether. Who was he kidding? The moment I walked in the front door, my nostrils perked up, and my stomach acids started churning. They knew what was coming, and it was wonderful.

Buenos Grill serves some of the best, and probably the healthiest, Mexican food around. Everything is made fresh, and you can taste it. The San Felipe-style fried fish in my favorite, the Baja burrito ($7.50), steamed when I bit into its crunchy exterior. Delicious. The pinto beans and rice are scooped out of large, bubbling pots and spread generously over the fish, along with fresh guacamole, rich sour cream, fiery chili sauce, salsa and cheese melted on top, when ordered “wet.” One burrito is usually enough for me and my husband—they are that large and juicy. We rarely let such common sense dictate our orders, however, and usually end up taking some home. The Buenos burrito ($7.50), charbroiled fish with mango salsa and citrus honey butter, is another favorite of ours. I had never even heard of citrus honey butter before I found the Buenos Grill. Now, I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

The Buenos Grill serves an array of appetizers, as well, everything from chips and salsa ($2) to coconut crunchy shrimp ($8.95). Smaller meals, such as chicken-lime tortilla soup ($4.50) and tostada salads ($5.50) are also available, as are larger specialties, like fajitas: steak, chicken or shrimp with sautéed vegetables and served with a choice of beans, rice and warm flour tortilla ($12.50).

The best thing about Buenos Grill, however, is the salsa bar. There are five freshly made salsas available for the taking at the front counter. There is also a little sign instructing customers to please take only as much as they will eat. Such an amount, of course, is relative. My husband has been known to take and eat more than 10 servings with one burrito. Last night was no different. We took turns racing back and forth to the salsa bar, salivating as we went, to restock. After about five servings of the hottest salsa offered, my stomach was screaming—begging me to stop. I gave it no heed and poured on another serving. It’s just too good. Truly, there is nothing like fresh salsa, where the vegetables are still identifiable, crunchy and flavorful, and the peppers not sugared down. For salsa lovers, this open bar is a dream come true.

The staff at Buenos Grill is friendly, generally speedy and well-meaning. The service can be sketchy at times, but the servers are quick to correct any mistakes. Last night, for example, our beers were warm. I went in and asked if we could get colder ones. The young man behind the counter opened the refrigerator and felt about a dozen bottles before landing on one he thought would please me. Later, the chips that arrived with our salsa were obviously from the bottom of the bag: they were small crumbles in the bowl. My husband asked if we could switch them out. No problem, a new bowl of large and crispy chips was handed over immediately.

Such can be expected from a place this laid back. The décor is sparse. Formica tables are scattered about the colorfully painted room. Orders are placed at the counter, near the self-serve napkins and tableware. Everything about Buenos Grill is relaxed. It’s not a fussy place. It’s where people go on a sunny summer evening, as the stress of the day is slowly falling away, to sit outside and enjoy an inexpensive and tasty meal. Actually, I can’t think of a better remedy for an ulcer.