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All of the plaques on the wall bespeak busier, better days: citations in the Observer's annual Best of Dallas issue for best chips and salsa, inclusion in D magazine's list of top restaurants. Problem is, most of the laurels date from the early and mid-1990s. Why is that? Competition, we figure, from splashier Mexican joints that don't stack up nearly as well in the kitchen. Cantino Laredo remains one of our all-time favorites, not only for the outstanding chips and salsa, but for the shredded beef enchiladas, uniformly tasty chicken dishes (especially Pollo Laredo, a grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed artichoke hearts, peppers, mushrooms and onion in a chipotle-wine sauce) and the best local version of carnitas (slow-cooked pork roast) we've tried. Now back to that salsa. The tomatillo version, served warm, is full of smoky flavor imparted by the mix of tomatillos and chipotle peppers. Cantina Laredo also serves up a second salsa: a cool, tomato-based brew that's just as good, though not as distinctive. Taken together and accompanied by thin, non-greasy chips, they still rate as the city's best chips and salsa.