WTF Fun Fact 13741 – It’s Official: Tacos are Sandwiches

An Indiana judge has recently decreed that tacos are sandwiches. And so are burritos. Well, at least they’re “Mexican-style sandwiches.”

This quirky ruling has effectively seasoned the path for a new culinary venture in Fort Wayne, Indiana, sparking both chuckles and relief in the local food scene.

The Case That Stirred the Pot

The story begins with Martin Quintana, a 53-year-old restaurateur eager to open his second location of The Famous Taco. Positioned about 120 miles northeast of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne seemed ripe for a new eatery. However, Quintana’s journey took a detour into the legal world due to a rather specific zoning issue.

His property, slated for development, was restricted by a prior agreement to house only a “sandwich bar-style restaurant” specializing in “made-to-order” or “subway-style” sandwiches. When Quintana proposed his taco and burrito-focused menu, the nearby Covington Creek Association raised eyebrows, suggesting the concept didn’t sandwich into the existing terms.

A Tasty Verdict that Tacos are Sandwiches

Undeterred, Quintana took his case to the Fort Wayne Plan Commission in December 2022, seeking an amendment to explicitly include his Mexican-style offerings under the umbrella of permissible business models. The Plan Commission declined, pushing Quintana to challenge the decision in court.

Enter Judge Craig Bobay of Allen Superior Court, who faced the task of untangling this culinary conundrum. In a decision that might make legal and gastronomic history, Judge Bobay ruled that the Plan Commission was correct in denying the amendment—not because Quintana’s proposal was out of line, but because it was unnecessary. The judge found that tacos and burritos, in their essence, could be considered sandwiches. This interpretation opened the door (or perhaps the serving window) for The Famous Taco to proceed under the original agreement.

A Ruling with Relish

This verdict brings more than just another dining option to Fort Wayne; it highlights the often humorous intersection of law and everyday life. Judge Bobay’s ruling cuts through formalities to embrace a broader, more inclusive definition of what we can serve under a “sandwich bar-style” label.

The decision has been a win not just for Quintana, who can now expand his taco empire, but also for lovers of Mexican cuisine who might appreciate the judicial nod to the versatility of their favorite dishes. It seems that in Indiana, at least, the spirit of the law can accommodate a generous helping of culinary creativity.

What’s Next Now that Tacos are Sandwiches?

With legal hurdles cleared, Quintana is set to spice up Fort Wayne’s food scene. The new location of The Famous Taco promises a menu that blends traditional Mexican flavors with the convenience of a sandwich bar setup. Residents and visitors can look forward to crafting their Mexican-style “sandwiches” with a variety of fresh, made-to-order ingredients.

This case may also set a precedent for how we categorize food businesses, not just in Indiana but potentially elsewhere. It serves as a reminder that sometimes, innovation in business can come down to how broadly one interprets a term—or in this case, a menu item.

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Source: “Indiana judge opens door for new eatery, finding `tacos and burritos are Mexican-style sandwiches’” — AP News


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