Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America. A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks. This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.
Review by Dustin Heller (@eatindywatchindie on Instagram)
What comes to mind when you think of Latin American cuisine? Bold Flavors, vibrant colors, a little spice? If those things pique your interest, then you will love the SoBro hot spot under the spotlight this week! Delicia is located at 5215 N. College Ave., where they are serving up New Latin cuisine right here in the Hoosier State. Inspired by the remarkable culinary traditions found in the Americas, Caribbean, and Spain, Delicia is very passionate about every aspect of the dining experience. Since opening in 2013, Delicia has been the toast of the midtown.
Delicia is owned and operated by the same folks who brought us The Northside Social and their family of restaurants. Residing in what used to be an old video rental store, Delicia’s décor falls right in line with the upscale food they’re serving. From the exposed wood beams to the painted brick walls, the interior of the restaurant is both modern and chic. I don’t really know how else to say it, but there is a vibe at Delicia that something great is about to happen.
The awe-inspiring menu at Delicia is overseen by Executive Chef Ricky Martinez. Martinez moved to Indy as a teenager from his family’s farm in Mexico; with him, he brought a strong work ethic and a love of cooking. Delicia is a scratch kitchen that prides itself on bringing a modern twist to the traditional stylings of their global cuisine. From the dinner and brunch menus to the extensive drink menu, Delicia stays true to their mission. Before I get into my “can’t miss” items, I’d be remiss to not mention their amazing soup, which comes complimentary with every meal. Hmmm…I guess by definition, you really can’t miss it either way. With that tasty appetizer, here are the rest of my “can’t miss” choices:
Chupe Peruano: Chupe is simply the South American word for stew, and what we have here is a Peruvian chowder that is chock full of goodness. Peruvian cuisine is notable for applying international cooking methods to local ingredients available in Peru. Asian influence is front and center in Delicia’s Chupe Peruano, from the Japanese inspired Udon noodles to the Chinese cabbage, aka bok choy. Never fear, that is only the beginning of this succulent stew: add in summer peas, corn, green onion, fried okra, shiitake mushroom, and of course, a perfectly poached egg. The yolk from the egg adds a richness to the broth that’s to die for. Oh, I almost forgot: make sure and add the coconut shrimp–it’s the cherry on top of this savory sundae.
Queso Fundido con Chorizo: Queso fundido is Spanish for melted cheese. It’s fun to say and even more fun to eat. Really, who doesn’t love hot, gooey melted cheese? Delicia uses a combination of Chihuahua and panela cheese for the queso, which is baked in an iron skillet. The cheese is then topped with chorizo (Spanish pork sausage) and house-made tomatillo-poblano sauce. All these tasty ingredients mixed together make for the perfect start to any meal. Grab a chip and dig in!
Tamal Corn Cakes: Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. The base is a tamal corn cake; imagine a tamale in cake form. The corn adds a sweetness that really helps balance the dish. Next up is the barbacoa; shredded beef that has been slow cooked until it melts in your mouth. Then they cover the beef with cilantro-lime crema and queso fresco. Finish it off with pico de gallo and serve it with a side of herb green rice for good measure. I’m requesting these for my birthday cake next year.
Short Ribs with Ancho Salsa: The short rib is removed from the bone and then braised for maximum tenderness. It is smothered with a rich ancho salsa to give it a nice smoky flavor. It is then topped with fried onions and served on a bed of roasted veggies and yucca mash. This mouthwatering dish is a favorite for a lot of my foodie friends.
I’m confident in saying that whatever you choose from Delicia will in fact be, Delicia…ous. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Buen provecho!