Tacos and burritos are technically sandwiches, according to an Indiana judge

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

An Indiana judge may have settled a contentious culinary debate: Are tacos and burritos technically sandwiches?According to Judge Craig Bobay of Allen County Superior Court, the answer is yes. His ruling comes as part of a zoning case in Fort Wayne.In 2022, Martin Quintana, a 53-year-old developer, submitted a bid to the Allen County Plan Commission to open a restaurant in a local strip mall. After initially approving his proposal, the commission reneged, denying his plans based on an agreement with a nearby neighborhood association.The agreement stipulated that only establishments without a drive-thru, outdoor seating and alcoholic beverages, and that specifically serve “made-to-order” or “Subway-style” sandwiches, can operate in the strip mall.Quintana’s restaurant — The Famous Taco — did not plan on having a drive-thru, outdoor seating or offer alcohol. However, the commission determined that Quintana’s intention to serve tacos, burritos and other made-to-order Mexican items, which he formally submitted as an amendment to the original proposal, did not meet the final, sandwich-related criteria.Quintana sued the Fort Wayne Plan Commission in December 2022, arguing that his amendment, which was agreed to by the neighborhood association, should be approved and the restaurant allowed to open.After nearly two years of legal battles, Quintana got the ruling he hoped for.“The Court agrees with Quintana that tacos and burritos are Mexican-style sandwiches, and the original Written Commitment does not restrict potential restaurants to only American cuisine-style sandwiches,” Bobay wrote, specifying that Quintana did not even have to submit the amendment to the proposal.On Wednesday, Quintana expressed relief and gratitude for the decision.“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 Associated Press.There isn’t a specific timetable for when Quintana’s The Famous Taco, which will be his second location in the city, will open. However, he is eyeing within the next two to three months.The plan commission can appeal the ruling.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

An Indiana judge may have settled a contentious culinary debate: Are tacos and burritos technically sandwiches?

According to Judge Craig Bobay of Allen County Superior Court, the answer is yes. His ruling comes as part of a zoning case in Fort Wayne.

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In 2022, Martin Quintana, a 53-year-old developer, submitted a bid to the Allen County Plan Commission to open a restaurant in a local strip mall. After initially approving his proposal, the commission reneged, denying his plans based on an agreement with a nearby neighborhood association.

The agreement stipulated that only establishments without a drive-thru, outdoor seating and alcoholic beverages, and that specifically serve “made-to-order” or “Subway-style” sandwiches, can operate in the strip mall.

Quintana’s restaurant — The Famous Taco — did not plan on having a drive-thru, outdoor seating or offer alcohol. However, the commission determined that Quintana’s intention to serve tacos, burritos and other made-to-order Mexican items, which he formally submitted as an amendment to the original proposal, did not meet the final, sandwich-related criteria.

Quintana sued the Fort Wayne Plan Commission in December 2022, arguing that his amendment, which was agreed to by the neighborhood association, should be approved and the restaurant allowed to open.

After nearly two years of legal battles, Quintana got the ruling he hoped for.

“The Court agrees with Quintana that tacos and burritos are Mexican-style sandwiches, and the original Written Commitment does not restrict potential restaurants to only American cuisine-style sandwiches,” Bobay wrote, specifying that Quintana did not even have to submit the amendment to the proposal.

On Wednesday, Quintana expressed relief and gratitude for the decision.

“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 Associated Press.

There isn’t a specific timetable for when Quintana’s The Famous Taco, which will be his second location in the city, will open. However, he is eyeing within the next two to three months.

The plan commission can appeal the ruling.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.