Ok, it’s a chain, but it’s in Ironworks (there are some other central Indiana locations as well), and I had to try it because that’s super close to my house. A friend and I headed over for a weeknight meal. I was surprised it wasn’t busier than it was—usually new places seemed to be packed in this town no matter what they are. But It was probably only about half full.
Anyhow, we settled in and ordered a couple of the barrel select margaritas ($16)—which is their top shelf margarita. It has fancier liquors in it and it also has a fair amount of orange in it. It was a good margarita but maybe just a little too orange for me. I think I would try the house margarita next time. They also brought the obligatory chips and salsa. The salsa was fine—had a mild, fresh taste. The chips were not good. They were like the cheapest grocery store tortilla chips. And not warm. You can make chips so good (just look at Nada) or go with quality non-homemade chips, but these were disappointing. I guess on the bright side, I was not tempted to eat more than a couple.
It’s also a really big menu (as it seems that most Mexican places are). There is a fair amount of tasty sounding items (I would like to try the ceviches, which I love when done well, but it was just too damn cold out). We settled on sharing the empanada trio ($12). There were three—one with chicken, one with steak, and one with cheese and corn. They served them with a special salsa and pico de gallo. They were all pretty good. The cheese one was nice and rich and I really enjoyed the slightly pickly topping on the steak. I also liked adding some freshness from the pico de gallo. I sort of wished for a light crema or guac but I enjoyed them all. The crust was nice and crisp. Mind blowing? No. Quite tasty? Yes.
We then ordered their street tacos—you can get them in sets of three or order three different ones, which is what we did ($15). I had the tinga chicken, fish, and shrimp (the fish was one of the signature flavors). I will say the fish was probably my favorite—I liked that the fish was in smaller hunks rather than one big piece. This made it much easier to eat. The fish had a slightly spicy chipotle flavor and was topped with red cabbage and a slice of avocado. While I love avocado, this big slice was a little hard to eat (sorta like when the fish is one big piece). Maybe chop it up or use some guac for extra flavor? Same goes for the shrimp taco which was basically the same seasonings and toppings. However, these were whole shrimp and kept spilling out when I was eating it. Again, would love it if they chopped them into smaller pieces to make it less messy. The chicken taco was a bit easier to handle—it was seasoned shredded chicken topped with queso fresco. The menu said crema too, but I wasn’t seeing any. I got some extra pico de gallo and used the lime and salsa with the tacos and they were decent. Most interesting tacos I have had? No. But not bad. I liked the empanadas better and next time I would try something other than tacos. The elote corn on the side was mushy and sort of lukewarm.
Service was decent, but maybe a little slow at the end considering it wasn’t that busy. It took a fair amount of time to get the check. I am sure we will be back at some point considering the proximity to our house…so please send me your favorite items.
Verde (multiple locations)
2727 East 86th Street