Let me start by saying, I LOVE Mexican food. I aspire to do a bunch of international travel, but my adventures have only just begun on that road. However, I did make an amazing trip to Mexico about a year and half ago and did it up right. My best friend's husband is Mexican, so we saw that place and ate that food the way Mexicans do it. It was beyond awesome and I can't wait to go back for the most amazing hand ground blue corn tortilla quesadilla with cheese and cactus flower anyone has ever eaten (made by an indigenous woman after we had been on horseback up the side of a volcano all day...what?!?)! All the food was so ridiculously awesome and fresh, I drool about it when I sleep, well, that's my excuse for drooling anyway :)
|Cooking blue corn goodness at the volcano Paricutin|
So...all of that being said, if you can't make it to Mexico anytime soon, we have a little piece of it here in Indy! Get excited, because Los Chilaquiles will blow your tastebuds off. They have a quote on their menu that says something about "life's too short, eat good food, you can always buy a new shirt." Truer words haven ever been on a menu. This place is situated in an unremarkable plaza on the Southwestish corner of Lafayette Rd. and 38th Street. There's tons of orange barrels blocking your way to get in there, but don't be deterred. We have been a few times and every time has been just as awesome as the last. Once inside, it is modest and clean. The waitstaff are pretty friendly and the owner is super friendly! She loves this place and will talk to you all day about if you want. Pretty interesting lady and definitely takes pride in her restaurant and her food. The menu is well thought out and includes so many things you rarely see on Mexican restaurant menus in the U.S. The owner even has a secret recipe of her Grandmother's in El Salvador (which I am aware, is not Mexico, but is where the owner is from).
Check out this quaint inside...
...on to THE FOOD
Well, to put it short and sweet. This is, without hesitation, the best Mexican food I've had outside of Mexico, and we just moved from Florida. Not only is this place authentic, it's creative and thoughtful. They start you with fresh made salsas and chips, no watering down those salsas for the gringos!! They are kinda spicy, but no worries, they serve 'em with a little crema to help with that.
Then, you get to try to figure out how you will choose what to get. Everything sounds so delicious and there might be some things you haven't heard of. Just ask, they will be happy to help you figure out what things are! I can't help it, they have Sopes, which I have never seen in a Mexican restaurant outside of Mexico or outside of my friend's house when her husband makes them by hand. I order them and let Hubs worry about the menu exploration.
He orders something different each time. But, for me, the beet dyed onions topping the handmade corn sopes with shredded chicken, beans, lettuce queso blanco (which is so delicious) and a little salsa are where it's at. These are so tasty, a little messy to eat, I just picked mine up and chowed down last night!! And, how pretty are they? The beautifully colored green rice on the side is actually really awesome as well. The rice is no filler here, if you have room for it, or want to scrape it all up with your sopes, you won't be disappointed. It's really good rice, with a great flavor and texture and some little corn pieces in it. Since when does a restaurant with an $8 dinner worry about presentation? You guessed it, Los Chilaquiles does.
Hubs, keeping to his menu tour, tried something we haven't had from here yet. He order chicken mole. I tried a little, although, I have to admit, mole is not my favorite to begin with. As far as mole goes, this one was good. Little hints of chocolate, and a really nice texture, the chicken was really tender. It's a fresh made mole, so if that's your thing, I think you'll be pleased. Beans and rice with this one too topped with that delectable queso blanco...mmmmm.
Even though, I was so terribly full, I couldn't forget the flan. I ordered it to go, although, if you decided to order in, you'll see how gorgeous it is when it comes out. You can split one, it's okay :) They drizzle it with chocolate sauce, it's got a firm, but creamy texture with a pop of coconut. It looks like it came out of a kitchen at a 4 star restaurant. Even the to go flan was pretty! Is this place for real?
One last treat that we did not get this time, are their fresh squeezed juices. The apple juice is to die for. If you take kids, they will love it. They puree the entire apple, nothing added, it comes out this frothy beautiful green drink that I have never had anywhere else before. It's a must try...
The Wrap Up
This is my favorite Mexican restaurant ever, not just in Indianapolis. It might be one of my favorite restaurants period. There are so many things we haven't tried on this menu, but I look forward to going here a lot. I really hope you decide to check this place out, even if it's a little out of your way. It will be totally worth it. You have to give props to the owner and her vision. Being able to serve such fresh food and presenting it with such pride is not the cheapest way to go, but she does it, and her prices are a barely higher than other Mexican joints (Not by much!!, this place is still VERY economical). I think she could place this in the foodiest of cities and people would be crazy for it. But, for now, I'll keep it for myself and...now, I guess, you. Go forth, my friends, and Salud!