Judge rules tacos are ‘Mexican-style sandwiches,’ opens doors for new restaurant in strip mall

FORT WAYNE, Indiana — There has been a lot of discussion about tacos in an Indiana courtroom this week.

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An Allen County judge ruled that “tacos and burritos are Mexican-style sandwiches” may allow a Fort Wayne developer to open a Famous Taco restaurant, according to WANE-15 TV and The Journal Gazette.

This opinion comes after Martin Quintana filed a civil lawsuit against the Allen County Plan Commission for denying his plans to open the taco restaurant in a strip mall located at 6626 West Jefferson Boulevard.

The commission denied the potential development based on a “written commitment,” both outlets reported.

The initial commitment only allowed made-to-order sandwich shops without a drive-thru, alcoholic beverages, or outdoor seating to go into the plaza.

Court documents indicate the commitment was to keep fast-food chain restaurants out of the strip mall, both outlets reported.

Quintana went to the commission with a proposed amendment, which would allow the restaurant to offer Mexican-style food items including made-to-order tacos and burritos. The commission denied the proposed amendment.

Allen Superior Court Judge Craig Bobay said the commission acted correctly in denying the amendment, but the amendment wasn’t necessary in the first place.

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Bobay said the proposed taco restaurant meets the requirements of the initial written commitment.

The court agreed that “tacos and burritos are Mexican-style sandwiches” and the commitment doesn’t restrict future restaurants to only serve American-style sandwiches, both outlets reported.

“The original Written Commitment would also permit a restaurant that serves made-to-order Greek gyros, Indian naan wraps, or Vietnamese Banh mi if these restaurants complied with the other enumerated conditions,” Bobay said in his written opinion.

The ruling is final but can be appealed, both outlets reported.

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