I had an uneven experience at La Quesadilla Mexican Grill in St. John, Ind., recently. The restaurant came highly recommended, so I was anxious to try it. The spotless eatery is bright and the staff is more than accommodating. Its location off busy U.S. 41 (also known as Indianapolis Boulevard and Wicker Avenue) in a strip mall makes it a little difficult to find if you’re driving fast, but the signage is large and clearly visible from the street.
The still-hot tortilla chips and salsa are complimentary and delicious. We opted for an order of guacamole to start our meal and it was very good. Beverages are refilled without asking — such a nice touch.
I chose the Pancho Special ($14.99), red snapper and shrimp on a bed of rice surrounded by lettuce and tomato. I was looking forward to succulent fish but, instead, it was overcooked and the shrimp were like erasers. But, a request for something else was met with aplomb. I went with a combination meal ($8.99) — tamale, enchilada and a beef taco. The rice and beans were excellent as were the tamale and enchilada. The taco, on the other hand, had no sauce, and was just fried ground beef in a crispy taco shell. Very strange.
One of my dinner companions had the same combo plate I did, and my other companion ordered off the lower-priced and smaller-portioned express lunch menu (not available on weekends). She had a chile relleno ($5.99), which was said to be outstanding.
It was mid-afternoon (2 p.m.) and the restaurant wasn’t crowded when we dined, so I’m thinking perhaps the best cooks are brought in for the busy lunch and dinner hours. Or it could have been an off day. We all have them. I’ll go back just to give the restaurant another shot based on how kind the staff and owner were. In addition to giving me a new entrée, they comped our guacamole.
Amenities include private party accommodation, parking lot, set-up, delivery and pick-up catering, lunch menu, nonalcoholic beverages ($2.59), and a children’s menu ($3.99 to $5.49). Friend them on Facebook for special offers and coupons.
La Quesadilla Mexican Grill
Address: 10033 Wicker Ave. (Indianapolis Blvd./U.S. 41), St. John, IN 46373
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays