Peak and Elm Caves: Chips and Salsa Now Served at the Tex-Mex Restaurant

Categories: Food News

When Peak and Elm Cocina, the Tex-Mex restaurant on the outskirts of Deep Ellum, opened earlier this year, owner Jesse Moreno Sr. made a shocking announcement. Despite the menu featuring enchiladas, fajitas and other classics, the restaurant would not be serving gratis chips and salsa.

See also:
- Peak & Elm Cocina y Bar Shuns Gratis Chips and Salsa: Pitchforks and Torches Await

As we pointed out as the restaurant first opened, chips and salsa were part of everyone's perceived right during a Tex-Mex meal. Other restaurants had tried and failed to get rid of the snack. We wondered how long Peak and Elm could hold out.

As a replacement, the restaurant offered a small bowl of sliced carrots, jicama, onion and jalapeño marinated in apple-cider vinegar. The vegetables were light, fresh and crisp, with an acidic tang -- the perfect thing to wake up your palate before a heavy Tex-Mex meal. But about two months ago, according to a waiter, the restaurant couldn't take the pressure any longer. "Customers expect chips and salsa when they come to a Tex-Mex type restaurant," he told me.

Now when you sit down at a table at Peak and Elm, chips and a small dish of tomato-based salsa arrive shortly after. The chips are made at nearby La Popular Tamale House, which also owns Peak and Elm. They're warm, not at all greasy and a good start to a Tex-Mex meal, provided you can exercise some restraint.

Apparently if you want to open a Te-Mex restaurant, you better put chips and salsa on every table. You've been warned.

Location Info

Peak & Elm Cocina y Bar

132 N. Peak St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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This is a bummer. Can you still request the vegetables?

Deborah Wilson Soleto
Deborah Wilson Soleto

I didn't mind it. They instead served veggies and some dip which was a perfect light snack before a heavy meal

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I hate saying this: But this is a no-brainer, especially in Texas.


What else would you want besides an extra 1,000 calories before your cheese and lard enchiladas, washed down with a sugary margarita?

primi_timpano topcommenter

Considering the cost of tomatoes, I am surprised so many restaurants still serve them gratis.


Yes, I believe even Tei An has had to conform to the Dallas "palate". Of course they disguise dried yakisoba  as "sombrero chips" and that "deeply roasted heirloom salsa" is really yuzu spiked squid ink. Ole ole, ole ole.


It happens everywhere...everyone wants chips and salsa. I've seen it at Chili's, Applebee's, and Cheddar's.

I also just admitted to going to a Chili's, an Applebee's, and a Cheddar's.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Nictacular God forbid anyone go eat at any of those places,  (turns up nose, sneaks into Friday's)

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