One of the things that distinguishes a good Mexican place from a mediocre one is its tortilla chips. When a waiter brings a basket to your table and they are toasty warm, perfectly salted, and deliciously crunchy, it's usually a sign of good things to come. A basket of greasy staleness, on the other hand, is generally a sign that you should get the hell out of Dodge or suffer the consequences -- which could range from a merely inadequate meal to one that leaves you suffering from Montezuma's revenge all night.
If your local eatery isn't all it could be in the tortilla department, don't despair -- you can make really good tortilla chips at home. Better yet, they're baked, so they're healthier than most of their restaurant or store-bought counterparts. I don't think anything is more important than the freshness factor, though: why eat chips from a bag that could be months old, when it takes a matter of minutes to make your own from fresh tortillas? Give it a shot. The recipe is here.