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Mar 12, 2003 07:29 PM

Fort Wayne, Indiana Mexican food

  • k

We just moved here from the west coast 8 months ago. We have adapted well...except...we miss REAL mexican food. The few places we have tried have been a miss. Everthing is covered in red sauce and cheese. No one serves real tamales. This is not good, people!! I don't mind making my own meals, but it would be nice to go out once in a while and splurge.
Any recommendations? Thanks!

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  1. b
    Barry Strugatz

    Do not despair, there is good authentic Mexican food in F.W. Try El Paraiso, it's a Mexican supermarket with a restaurant. 4181 Diplomat Plaza (at Hessen Cassell & Paulding).
    There are several good Mexican restaurants on Calhoun on the Southside. Also try the Mexican grocery on Creighton between Hoagland & Fairfield. Please report back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Barry Strugatz

      And hold tightly on to your purse/wallet when heading into those neighborhoods.

      Columbia City, just west of Fort Wayne, used to have El Comedor, which wasn't half bad, but it has been closed for a year and a half with a sign on the front saying "Will Re-open Soon". Anybody know if they are actually going to re-open?

      Back to Fort Wayne...there's a Mexican place on Goshen Road (in the strip mall with Big Lots/Dollar General, etc) that I've enjoyed very much. However, having never been to the American Southwest or Mexico, I don't know if the food is "real" or not. I do know that there are usually Mexicans dining there, and it's run by a Mexican family.

      1. re: TAR
        Barry Strugatz

        My in-laws live on the South Side. When visiting over the years I have never had my wallet or purse stolen.

    2. I grew up in New Mexico, so I know authentic! Fort Wayne isn't much for having a wonderful selection of Mexican restaurants unless you want canned sauce over enchiladas, but a pretty close one would be El Azteca on State. That is about as close as you can get without going to Chicago or Indy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: candacep77

        I would have had to agree in the past, but no longer.

        Cebolla's (several locations) and Las Lomas are both very good. There is plenty of Tex-Mex on their menus, but you'll also find some more authentic dishes. But everything's very fresh and delicious.

        For more authentic, there are several taquerias now. El Paraiso and Taqueria Coahuila, to name a couple.

      2. Fort Wayne has a growing hispanic population, with Mexican grocers and bakeries AND some really interesting startup restaurants that are very authentic. If you want a nice dining experience, that's not what I'm writing about here, rather I'm writing about some hole-in-the-wall place that you'd NEVER go into without knowing. They're sprouting up here and there, run by entrepreneurs who have a good cook standing behind them, but very little startup capital. One place is on the corner of Calhoun and Woodland, across the street from an Asian grocery. They are located in a former (and maybe still sometimes) used car dealership, and you have to look to find their Tamaleria sign, but that's what they make and they're worth the trip to get a dozen. I will sometimes drive 40 miles there and 40 back to pick up a dozen of these tamales. They make other stuff too like burritos and such, but tamales are their specialty. Generally they're selling food carry out, but they do have a place to sit if you must sit. I get the tamales and sit outside in my car for the first. Everyone I've taken there and given the customary tamale too once outside the door and in the car has been surprised that such good tastes come out of this place. They're just as good the next day warmed under cloth towel in the microwave.

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          1. If you want the best Mexican Food in Fort Wayne You need to check out the Margarita on Calhoun st. they were the first and are still the best don't be fooled by the others in Fort Wayne!!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: irriswife

              N.B. La Margarita serves Tex-Mex. I don't mean to imply it is not a good restaurant --- they have my favorite enchiladas (either cheese or beef) outside of Chicago. Their beans and rice are consistently excellent as well. But, there are other places in Fort Wayne for more authentic Mexican food.

              Taqueria Coahuila (3123 S Clinton St), for example. It is a dive for certain, and there is always a television BLARING Spanish soap operas, but the tacos are great.

              Cash only.

              The menu is, as of my last visit, not translated into English. So have your Google Translate app ready if you don't speak Spanish. I recommend the tacos de lengua (beef tongue tacos).

              Also, George's International Grocery on Broadway and Taylor has some great chicharones. Nothing like pork rinds, which seems to be how it translates to English. More like super succulent roast hog---steaming hot. They only have it on certain days (Saturday, maybe?) and there is no seating there. I believe El Paraiso (mentioned elsewhere in this post) has similar chicarones, and there is seating there (although it's also a grocery).

              Laredo Mexican restaurant & grocery (mostly Tex-Mex as well), one block north of George's on Broadway, has the best chips I've ever had (I've never heard one person disagree after trying them). The salsa is not bad either. They are sold in the grocery (back entrance) and are of course served in the restaurant. Only thing of particular interest in the restaurant is the menudo (Saturday's only) served with chopped onion and lime.