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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The Hungry Student: La Indita

    The+chicken+enchiladas+with+green+sauce+at+La+Indita+on+Thursday.+La+Indita+serves+Mexican+food+with+a+Native+American+twist.
    Jessie Webster

    The chicken enchiladas with green sauce at La Indita on Thursday. La Indita serves Mexican food with a Native American twist.

    La Indita is easy to miss. An understated front façade and slightly confusing entrance conceals a charming, family-run restaurant whose menu abounds with traditional Mexican and regional Native American flavors.

    Maria Garcia, a Tarascan Indian from the Mexican state of Michoacán, is the mastermind behind the menu and successfully blends the cultures while still making the food appeal to American palates.

    The food relies on flavorful sauces to elevate its dishes beyond the typical quasi-Mexican fare — most notable of which was the green sauce, creamy and bright with tomatillo, smothering the chicken enchiladas. The red chile sauce had a bit of a kick, but, like the green, was smooth and multifaceted.

    The biggest surprise was the roasted, shredded beef found in the taco combination. The beef was stripped down to its natural flavors and allowed to simmer in its own juices, making for pure beefy goodness. 

    Another rarity was the beverage selection. Not Coke, not Pepsi, but RC Cola graces the menu. This off-brand selection is an indication of the restaurant’s separation from the commercial.

    The chips were fried in-house and the salsa made in-house. Though curtly delivered and in a small quantity, they set the tone for the rest of the meal — filling, fresh and dynamic.

    The interior is certainly not modern, but if one chooses to see the antiquated charm of the restaurant, it adds to the experience. The dining room is filled with wooden booths and colorful murals. Weather permitting, the patio is a better choice. Ask a hostess if the patio is open and you will be led through a short but very narrow hall and out the back door. Another mural consumes the space, but it is the aroma of the small garden that makes the slightly slower outdoor service worth it.

    The food was slow to come out but piping hot. Even the shell of the veggie tostada was still crispy under the pile of stewed and sautéed vegetables when it was delivered and ultimately consumed. Two other vegetarian items that came with the veggie platter, the spinach Tarascan taco and eggplant enchilada, were also excellent. The taco featured a fry bread shell that was a soft, chewy vehicle for the creamy spinach and showcased the restaurant’s use of Native American foods and techniques.

    The flavorful meal was affordable, even for students. Three ate more than their fill for under $30. La Indita offers daily specials as well as a special menu posted and changed regularly near the main counter. Credit card die-hards beware, though — the restaurant charges an extra dollar if one wishes to use plastic.

    Overall, La Indita is a gem — a charming place to bring friends and family for a quality and inexpensive meal and to try something new. 

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