Monday, December 12, 2011

La Parada

I love that you can live in this town for years and find new places that turn out to be little gems.  This place is one of them to me.  And it wasn’t perfect, but there is just something about it that makes you just like it as soon as you walk in.  Hubby might say it is the Mexican t.v. shows playing some show depicting scantily clad women that warmed his heart, so to speak, but I like the pure charm of the place.  It is a little tiny, almost diner-like place (anyone know what it originally was?) but it is super clean, and just a sort of a darn cute dive, if you know what I mean. 
I asked around (wow, people are pretty into this place) about what to order and got a lot of different answers, but probably 80% of them included some form of tacos so we knew we had to get several flavors of those ($1.99 each).  Because it sounded good (even if hubby thought I was potentially crazy), I also ordered a shrimp ceviche tostada ($3.75).
But first, they bring you chips and salsa—there is a mild very tomato saucey kind of salsa for dipping and then two hotter salsas for seasoning with.  One red, one green.  I really liked the green one right away, but it was pretty hot just by itself on a chip.  The chips themselves are nothing special, a little thicker than is my preference.
So the first thing they brought us was the tostada.  It was simple, with basically just chopped shrimp, cilantro, tomato and onion with a nice amount of lime juice and a couple of slices of avocado on top.  And it was a pretty generous portion for less than $4.  I really quite liked it.  Again, it wasn’t complicated, or particularly spicy, but the shrimp was tender (seriously, they can get it right but like 75% of Indy restaurants can’t?), and it was super fresh and light.  Turned out it was nice that they brought it first, because the tacos were spicier and would have really drowned out the flavors here if you ate them together I think.
So I tried to get a tongue taco because so many people recommended them, but as it turned out, it wasn’t to be because there was some miscommunication between me and our server.  But I can always make the best of what is offered (and I look forward to getting one the next time).  So we ended up with pork, spicy pork, and chicken (I am using their designations and not the traditional names just to avoid confusion because that is how they designate them on their English menus).
By far my favorite was the spicy pork (same for hubby).  The meat was exceedingly tender and had a nice amount of heat to it and lots and lots of flavor.  The corn tortillas (2 per taco) were also soft and you could really taste the corn flavor.  They were simply topped with onions and cilantro with lime wedges on the side.  They were good just like that, but when you topped them with some of that salsa verde.  Wow, it was amazing. One of the best tacos I have had.
The regular pork was also good.  If I didn’t have the spicy pork, I might rave about it more, but it was much milder in flavor.  The meat was also tender, but with some nice little crispy bits, and again, once I topped it with more of the green salsa, I was a happy camper.  The chicken was probably the least impressive, but it was still good—some of the better grilled chicken I have had in a Mexican place.  It was well seasoned and cooked and wasn’t tough at all, although it was a little dry.
So with this much food, a soda and a bottled beer for hubby, our bill was like $15.  The server was really super nice (even if we didn’t communicate with each other very well) and I wish this place was in my neighborhood.  The menu is huge and I want to try pretty much everything on it.  A bunch of you guys responded on twitter about what you recommend here when I asked, would love you guys to post a comment here telling everyone again (and anyone else too). I need a sub list of things to try at this place.  But no way will I not be ordering that spicy pork taco. Wow.
La Parada
1638 East New York Street
Indy   46201

La Parada on Urbanspoon


  1. The restaurant is actually a brand new building (I live right behind it on Vermont...I think it was built about 3 or 4 years ago).


  2. Erin - Long time viewer, first time commenter. Just chiming to say if you're not eating tacos from Chris's Ice Cream in Nora, you're missing out. Don't let the name misguide you, their menu of mexican street food is where it's at. And, from what I gather from your other posts, within easy striking distance for you. Their menu isn't deep but their pork tacos are transcendent (yeah, I just used "transcendent to describe tacos).


  3. i look forwarding to trying this place. but if you haven't been to The Tamale Place on Rockville and Lynhurst, you are missing out. they have phenomenal tamales, tacos and tortas. i'd like to see your thoughts on it Erin.

  4. Joe in Hockey Puck OhioDecember 14, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Erin, this sounds like a "must eat" next time in Indianapolis. We buzzed through on Monday and had a great quick lunch at Mesh. Very, very good.

    Don't discount the ladies. Went to a Black Hawks game on Sunday with an old friend. Club seats, great food in both quantity and choice and out came the "Ice Girls". A definite plus!

  5. I ate back at La Parada in 2008 when I worked on Arsenal. The building has definitely been there longer than 4 years.

    The spicy pork was my go to taco - I was never adventurous enough to try the ceviche.

    So glad you gave them some love!

  6. My husband and I went yesterday based on this review. WOW. This is almost the exact review I would have written. I agree with you on all points. This place is charming, delicious, and the shrimp is perfectly cooked. I want to try new things but I bet I will always have to get at least one shrimp taco!

  7. Jannie, I can't believe it is a new building! Hmmm...

    Jeremiah. yay! thanks for commenting. And I am intrigued. Have never heard about this place in regards to tacos...adding to the list now..

    Keith, it's on the list!

    Joe, I would certainly give it a go!

    Tamre, yeah, I would have guessed it was there longer too!

    Sarah, hooray! One of my favorite things to hear (that I turned someone onto a new place). Glad you liked it. I will have to add the shrimp taco to my next visit.

  8. Visited yesterday. The shredded beef taco was spectacular. Liked the pork too. Great recommendation!

  9. I just checked the old city aerials and a building has been in La Parada's exact spot since at least 1937 (when the first aerials were taken). The images of the building are slightly fuzzy until 1972. I can say with near certainty that the building has been there since at least 1972 but likely since before 1937. Pretty cool. I love this restaurant but never thought about the building itself until I read this post.

  10. Went for lunch.  They have moved into the strip mall behind the original building.  On the list of places to revisit.
    Great value and GREAT food, efficient service and friendly staff.  A no brainer.

  11. the original location was an old Roslyns Bakery building and then after that a really good BBQ place for awhile. La Parada has now moved into the building behind their orignal location - bigger space