Authentic Mexican eatery nestled in Grabill
Tropic Chicken, El Azteca partner; Museum of Art hosts Second Thursdays
One of the best parts of doing this column are the surprises — being delighted when I find things when I am not even looking for them. Many times, I don’t have an objective or a plan when I head out. There’s no rhyme or reason.
More than a few times the only requirement is that I have to be in the mood and it has to be in front of my face. It often is a simple gut feeling.
I’m glad to share that happened again last week as I was searching for an impromptu adventure with my 13-year-old daughter while she was home during spring break.
Our odyssey took us to Grabill after hanging out at the Spencerville Covered Bridge.
I grew up in these parts and it had been a while since I soaked in the scenery. Obviously, there’s a lot of good home cooking based on the strong Amish influence and country folk in the area. I had no doubt there would be good eats if we put our minds to finding them.
What we found sandwiched between the shops and all that is Grabill was authentic Mexican food at Isabel’s Tacos, 13329 Main St.
As I entered the family-run eatery that opened about three years ago, I found a spacious one-room dining space filled with colorful piñatas and yellow, blue, and brown views of Mexican-themed vistas.
As my server tended to my order, I quizzed her. She told me her family built it from a popular food truck to a well-loved community restaurant. The food truck is still going strong, and I was told it started with tacos. She admitted the tacos are her favorite, and my daughter took the hint.
The tacos are full of rich flavors. It was a wonderful mess on the plate. As with most teenagers, she’s picky and every piece has to keep her attention. With one bite she noticed the cilantro and the portion size, two tacos resting on rice and refried beans with plenty of onions and ground beef.
I got the carne asada burrito. It was big and thick and dwarfed its dish. Wow.
The chips and salsa were amazing, punching my palate with flavor. They cost extra but were well worth it.
I think the secret for Isabel’s is its simplicity. Just a simple, quiet environment with food that shines and service that is all about your enjoyment.
Isabel’s Taco is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Bring cash if you can because it costs a bit extra to use your credit or debit card.
Grab at bite at Museum of Art
Come for the art and stay for the food and fun during Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Second Thursdays.
The upcoming event will be Deco Night on Thursday, April 13, will feature the works of glass artist and collector David Huchthausen. Along with free admission to enjoy the artwork, there will also be tours, live music by She Shed (Carly Ingalls and Jana DeBusk), a cash bar, and light appetizers.
Tropic Chicken, El Azteca joining forces
A popular Mexican restaurant is moving into a familiar location.
According to their Facebook page, Tropic Chicken will be teaming up with and relocating to El Azteca at 535 W. State Blvd. this month. A similar note at Tropic Chicken, 3307 E. State Blvd., shares a similar message.
The social media message states, “We will be offering favorites from both El Azteca and Tropic Chicken menus. The decision to combine was easy, both owners are from Mexico and want to bring the flavors and feel of Mexico to this new and improved menu. The best way was to combine! The first date of the merged menu is scheduled to open April 26.”
The typewritten note at Tropic Chicken reads: “We will continue to offer our delicious Mexican food, al pastor tacos, Cuban tortas, ribs, rice, and beans, and much more. We will also add new dishes to our menu and we will have beers, micheladas, and margaritas.”
Off the Eaten Path is the Whatzup weekly column that covers Northeast Indiana’s restaurant and food news. Send your news items to firstname.lastname@example.org.