Bites & Bitters: A bit of Little Mexico comes to Warsaw via the 26th Street Mexican Grill

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By: Tom Westerhof

Tom Westerhof/Bites & Bitters

There may be bigger and fancier eating establishments to enjoy Mexican food in the Warsaw area, but you will be hard pressed to find one offering more delectable fare than what is served on the four top tables that dot the landscape at 26th Street Mexican Grill. Located in a tiny strip mall/subdivided industrial building just south of the intersection of S.R. 15 and U.S. 30, one of the latest joints to join the Mexican cuisine scene in Kosciusko county is at home in this setting.

Named after one of the main roads coursing through the Little Mexico neighborhood in Chicago where his parents met, the owner, Arturo Garcia, has brought a bit of Little Mexico to Warsaw, with prices to match. Outside of the Torta Cubana and Torta Hawaiiana (each priced at $7.50), every other dish on the menu, consisting of typical Mexican meals, checks in at $5.50 or less. Just as the plain exterior belies what’s behind the walls, the pricing isn’t indicative of the amount of food you receive: the question of how everyone’s going to eat everything on their plate will dominate the conversation as soon as the orders are delivered.

I’m a sucker for Cuban sandwiches, so when I spotted the Torta Cubana, I pointed my finger at it, recited “I want that” and got back to working on my Diet Coke, tortilla chips and “just pour it in my mouth” salsa. Arriving well before I expected it would, the sandwich could have swallowed my face — it was that massive. Consisting of breaded steak, ham, chorizo, egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado and mayo, it was a meat lover’s dream come true. I made it all the way through the sandwich, the only saving grace for my stomach being the light airy bun that held this monster in place. And it was oh so good.

I’m infamous for being prone to hyperbole, but the chorizo set this sandwich apart from others. I’ll likely never order anything different from the 26th Street Mexican Grill, and if I ever do it will probably feel like cheating … on a big massive monster. …

Try any of the tortas, they’re what separate this restaurant from others and will be what keep you coming back. Just be sure to get there before everyone else finds out about it. The “little” theme extends to the parking lot, with barely enough parking for the handful of employees that work there, let alone customers. Carry-out is available — simply give them a call at 574-306-2938 and your meal will be waiting for you when you arrive.

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