Mexican food and seafood often means fish on tacos, but Mariscos Don Miguel is going a different direction.

Owner Martin Topete came to Elkhart via Chicago and is serving a menu that’s 90 percent seafood.

Ceviche comes to the table even before you order at Mariscos Don Miguel, 1700 Toledo Road, Elkhart. (Flavor 574 photo/Marshall V. King)
Ceviche comes to the table even before you order at Mariscos Don Miguel, 1700 Toledo Road, Elkhart. (Flavor 574 photo/Marshall V. King)

You’ll find coctels, a Mexican version of shrimp cocktails, but these have more than just shrimp. There are platters with whole fish, and various kinds of ceviche where the seafood is cooked with lime juice rather than heat. One of the few dishes on the menu that has steak, chicken and sausage is akin to fajitas and served in a molcajete, or giant stone vessel used for grinding spices or making guacamole.

Topete makes a dish called “Parilla Levanta Muertos” that includes crab legs, clams, shrimp, octopus, scallops and oyster in a spicy sauce. The name indicates that it could raise the dead, but it’s simply a rich and flavorful dish that showcases the seafood available.

The restaurant changed color and has a different take on seafood. (Flavor 574 photo/Marshall V. King)
The restaurant changed color and has a different take on seafood. (Flavor 574 photo/Marshall V. King)

Instead of just chips and salsa, diners get a taste of ceviche when they’re seated. Topete makes it fresh and often to keep up with demand. The fresh flavors shine through as you spoon one of the versions onto crisp tostadas or chips.

The menu is “estilo Nayarit,” or from the Nayarit region of Mexico where his family has ties. He worked in family restaurants in Chicago before coming to northern Indiana and taking over the location that housed the beloved ModMex at 1700 Toledo Road, Elkhart.

MARISCOS DON MIGUEL
• Address: 1700 Toledo Road, Elkhart
• Phone: 574-327-6364
• Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
• Social media: On Facebook @Mariscos-Don-Miguel-Estilo-Nayarit

You won’t find fish tacos on the menu and it takes a little work to navigate the range of options since many of them are new offerings for northern Indiana. Customers are finding their way.

“Across the board, the response has been good,” Topete said. He’s seeing Anglo and Hispanic customers and some become regulars.

Prices range from $3 for a tostada with fish or shrimp ceviche to $51.95 for a massive portion of Parilla Levanta Muertos. Mariscos Don Miguel has a liquor license and is offering beer, wine and cocktails.

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