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DINING: Delicia’s ‘little mule’ of a neighbor offers big flavors

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Dining - A&E

In movies, the little sister or brother is usually the annoying one, trying too hard to get attention and generally making a nuisance of himself or herself.

When it comes to restaurants, though, the little sibling can be just as engaging in its own way as the elder. Think of Recess’ adjacent Room Four, The Jazz Kitchen’s Bebop Pizza Kitchen, Taste Café & Marketplace’s neighboring Eat + Drink, or the subject of this dining jaunt, La Mulita (5212 N. College Ave., 925-0677).
 

ae-apb-lamulita03-15col.jpg La Mulita’s Chimichurri Sliders pair nicely with Chicken Tortilla Soup. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

The “little mule” that shares a kitchen with Delicia has its own, spunky personality. A roadside cantina variation with strings of lights, standard red stools at the bar, and corrugated metal décor, La Mulita offers a street-food menu with enough variation to encourage repeat visits.

We started by supplementing our chips and salsa with Roasted Red Cabbage & Sundried Tomato Pesto Dip ($5). It seemed slight, at first, but the flavorful mix that included ginger, lemon and walnuts made it an interesting—if not essential—addition.

A pair of Chimichurri Sliders ($7) mixed ground beef with Worcestershire sauce, onion, red bell pepper, garlic and tomatillos. All good, apart from an excess amount of pickled slaw and chimi sauce. A little goes a long way with wet toppings, not just for flavor but also to avoid a sloppy mess. We also sampled the Pork Milanese Cemitas ($6.75), a south-of-the-border take on the breaded tenderloin. It was just crispy enough without feeling deep-fried, and the combo of Oaxaca cheese, chorizo, egg, chipotles and cilantro mayo delivered a nice kick in the tastebuds.


ae-apb-lamulita01-15col.jpg The mule on the wall of La Mulita isn’t so little. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

Side options include Plantain Chips ($2), Kale Chips ($2.25), Sweet Potato Wedges ($3.50) and Colombian Coleslaw ($2.50), as well as a serrano aioli that adds the right amount of flavor to the chips and wedges. Put them all together with a few beers and you have an impressive grazing tableau.

Desserts are limited to Churros & Chocolate ($3.50) and that was just fine with us. La Mulita’s version is softer than the theme-park staple version but still encrusted with plenty of sugar. I almost forgot to dip mine in the chocolate dip that accompanied them. 

Based on the freshness of the ingredients and the fun flavor combinations, we’re a little sorry we didn’t try La Mulita’s guacamole and salsa fresca. Darn. Guess we’ll have to go back.

A heads up: Unlike most restaurants, here the dinner menu is briefer than lunch, with no soup and fewer taco and sandwich options. As this joint grows in popularity, that might change—if the ownership isn’t too stubborn.•

—Lou Harry



               
 

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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