DINING: Tucked away in Dunaway's, a minimal Mexican lunchery

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

Most restaurant locations don’t need much explaining. Oh, sometimes there needs to be some detailed guidance on how to get there or how to translate a menu, but rarely is there a question of what exactly a restaurant is. And what it isn’t.

So let me start by making clear—as the staff does when you walk in—that even though Comida Tipica Mexicana (351 S. East St.) shares a parking lot, a kitchen and, most notably, an art deco dining area with the long-established Dunaway’s restaurant, it isn’t Dunaway’s. Call Dunaway’s at 638-7677 and you can get info about it, but you’ll be told clearly that Comida Tipica Mexicana isn’t Dunaway’s.

Did I mention that Comida Tipica Mexicana isn’t Dunaway’s?

Dining The chicken tacos are built with double corn tortillas and topped with cilantro and onion. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The lunch-only eatery, affiliated with the Mexican consulate—is the midday tenant here, offering a limited menu of traditional Mexican items served in Dunaway’s bar area. On the way in, you’ll be warned that it’s “just Mexican.” On the way out, you can buy Spanish-language candies and other treats off a table. Everything is cash-only.

And the food?

Well, we ordered everything on the menu, which isn’t such a feat when you realize there are only five items. Tamales ($2.50) arrived near liquefied in their corn husks. Tacos ($2) were doubly supported, each loosely packed in a pair of irregular corn tortillas sprinkled with cilantro. The Quesadillas ($5) benefited from a nice outer crunch from flour tortillas strong enough to contain the ample chicken filling. The Burrito ($5) may not have the tell-us-what-you-want-in-it quality that chain joints have us accustomed to, but there’s something to be said for trusting the kitchen. As for the Tortas ($5), the Mexican sandwich never showed up at our table (or, small blessing, on our bill).

All the menu items—except the mysteriously missing Tortas—were workmanlike, sincere, filling and authentic (to my limited experience) without any risk of being called gourmet. And the prices made even our over-loaded lunch seem cheap.•

—Lou Harry


Third in a month-long series of reviews of new ethnic eateries.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.