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Marshall County Taco Wars, Final Weekend to Vote for Mila’s Mini Market

August 11, 2017

Milas_TacosTacos are one of those perfect foods. Tortilla, filling and topping come together in a hand-held package. They’re simple and yet satisfying. They often reflect the story and the heritage of the person who prepared them. In Indiana’s Cool North, dozens of taco makers were considered in the opening rounds of Taco Wars, the seven-county search for the best taco in northern Indiana. Voters narrowed the list to one winner per county and now region-wide voting is underway until noon Monday, Aug. 14, do not forget vote here,

Mila’s Mini Market

213 East Jefferson St., Plymouth

Marshall County Taco Wars winner

The little building a few blocks from the center of town is warm and inviting. When you walk in, grocery items fill the store, including colorful helium balloons and bags of the beloved Taki snack food.

“We actually started just as a grocery store,” said Evelin Vargas, whose family has operated the market for nearly nine years. Israel and Itania Vargas had a restaurant in California. After moving to Indiana with their three children, they opened Mila’s and soon after that started selling tacos. They’ve added other menu items, including their popular guacamole, but tacos are still king. “We’re definitely known for tacos,” Evelin said. Steak, chicken and pork were the original meats offered and are still among the most popular, but there’s also barbacoa (stewed beef), carnitas (deep fried pork), chorizo (sausage), beef tongue and beef tripe. The meats are tender and, particularly in the case of the carnitas, full of flavor. Classic green and red salsas go on the traditional toppings of onion and cilantro.

Mila’s will put your photo on the wall of fame if you can down 10 of their tacos. The record is 26 so far this year, said Evelin. A customer appreciation day for those who help put Mila’s over the top in the county voting drew a crowd. Aside from that, business has been strong because of Taco Wars. “We’ve had crazy numbers of new customers coming in,” Evelin said.

MIla's restaurantAuthor: Marshall V. King is a northern Indiana freelance writer who has been writing about food since 2000. You can find him on social media at @hungrymarshall.