Indiana Judge’s Decision: Tacos and Burritos Classified As Sandwiches

In a legal battle that pitted a developer against a local zoning commission, an Indiana judge has delivered a surprising verdict that settled a longstanding cultural debate: tacos and burritos qualify as sandwiches.

The dispute originated in 2022 when Martin Quintana sought approval to establish “The Famous Taco Mexican Grill” in a Fort Wayne strip mall. However, his application was rebuffed by the Allen County Planning Commission, which cited an existing agreement governing the types of eateries permitted at the location.

According to the agreement, only restaurants serving alcohol-free, “made-to-order or subway-style sandwiches” were eligible to operate in the strip mall. This provision aimed to restrict certain national fast-food chains from establishing a presence in the area, as outlined in court documents.

After an extended legal battle, Judge Craig Bobay of the Allen County Superior Court sided with Quintana, ruling that his proposed restaurant fell within the parameters of the original agreement. In his decision, Bobay contended that tacos and burritos could be categorized as “Mexican style sandwiches,” thereby clearing the way for Quintana’s establishment to move forward.

“The Famous Taco restaurant is permissible under the terms of the original Written Commitment,” Bobay affirmed, noting that the agreement did not expressly limit potential eateries to offering American cuisine-style sandwiches. He also confirmed “that tacos and burritos are Mexican style sandwiches, and the original Written Commitment does not restrict potential restaurants to only American cuisine-style sandwiches.”

While Quintana emerges victorious from the legal skirmish, the Allen County Planning Commission retains the option to contest the ruling through an appeals process.

Following his victory, Quintana told the Associated Press that he is relieved that the legal battle is over and is looking forward to opening the restaurant.

“I’m glad this thing is over. We are happy. When you have a decision like this the only thing you can be is happy. We’re excited,” he told the news outlet, confirming that his family-owned restaurant will likely be opening within the next two to three months.