Loyal readers may remember a series of posts having to do with crispy tacos in NW Indiana. Those same loyal readers might also realize that this weekend's Cinco de Mayo celebration can only mean one thing here at S'C'&C. Gringo tacos! That's right. The last few years I've brought you different posts featuring some of the Midwest's best crispy tacos. The Northwest Indiana region is one of the handful of crispy taco hot spots on the American map. You can look back to my previous reports on all the Americanized Mexican tacos by clicking HERE for the original and HERE for the follow up.
The Town Club Restaurant (Highland, IN)
I never knew of taco night at this NW Indiana favorite for lake perch until I stopped in on a Wednesday. Having not seen anyone eating them I decided to go ahead and get one ($3) without asking what they were. Fingers crossed they were the signature deep fried tacos of these parts. Well even though these are a bit different than the standard style found around here they're still fried tacos and thus I enjoyed my single serving. Flour tortillas are lightly fried and steak replaces the standard ground beef and while it does get semi dry it also gets well crisped. A little bit of salsa, sour cream, as well as a nice amount of melted cheese on the bottom made up for the dryness. Lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese go on top. I thought this was a nice Midwest style Fried Taco. When I walked to the restroom I noticed a newspaper article about the tacos. So the story goes the then owner was inspired by some tacos he ate in Jamaica (lol) back in 1963. He then decided to put something similar to them on the menu at TC as a way to compete with some of the other spots in the area that we're starting to serve Mexican food. His niche was right as customers started to flock here on Wednesdays for his unique lightly fried steak tacos. Could this be the taco that triggered the trend in NWI? Prob not but it's a good to one to pair in a 1-2 punch with the legendary Loncar's who also does tacos on Wednesdays. The readily available Lake Perch sandwich at Town Club is always on point.
Deep Fried Taco at The Town Club
Dan the Man's Taco Stand (Rossville, IN)
I came across this sign up above when driving down the Main street of some random Indiana town. I guess Dan aka the Man used to work over at Indiana Beach in his High School days. It's there where he learned to make the parks signature tacos which are served inside the park at a place called 'Taco Shoppe'. Taco Shoppe is synonymous with the beach as a couple of their crispy fried tacos are a part of many visitors visits. I always wanted to go try them but I'm not visiting Indiana Beach just to eat them. Even I have my limits. Dan's are said to be the same recipe which is a softly fried white corn tortilla stuffed with ground beef topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese. Not sure why but Indiana has a strong deep fried taco culture though these weren't as good as the ones you'll find in Da Region.
Crispy Taco at Dan the Man's Taco Stand
R Bar & Grill (Highland, IN)
Here we have what I believe to be an Eastern European owned bar that sits in a strip mall in Highland Indiana. This is not the type of spot you'd expect to find deep fried tacos at yet because we're in Northwest Indiana it's pretty much always a possibility you'll find them. Here they do them Tuesday's only. They're not the best representation of this style of taco so there's really no reason to wait until Tuesday to try them when there's better spots serving them through the week. But if this is your local watering hole it's not a bad thing to have fresh fried meat in the shell tacos avail. They execute them nicely as far as prep but the shell wasn't hard enough and I couldn't really detect much seasoning in the beef. All that said I still ate both and would get them again if this we're my local spot to drink.
Deep Fried Tacos at R Bar & Grill
2904 45th St
Highland, IN 46322
Dan the Man's Taco Stand
22 W Main St
Rossville, IN 46065
R Bar & Grill
9521 Indianapolis Blvd
Highland, IN 46322