The recently opened Verde Flavors of Mexico restaurant, located at the southeast corner of 146th Street and North Michigan Road in Zionsville, gets its inspiration from the hometown of Co-owner and Operator Paul Arechiga. Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, is known for its great food and vibrant art scene. It is also the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila. The Arechiga family left the city in 2003, but loves to share its rich culture through their collective restaurants.
Arechiga Restaurant Group not only includes Verde Flavors of Mexico, but other Midwest restaurants such as El Jefe, Hacienda Real, Los Agaves and Salsa Verde. Each restaurant brand has its own distinct character, ranging from fast casual to seafood. The many members of the Arechiga family all help and support each other in their endeavors.
Paul Arechiga settled in the Indianapolis area in 2009. After working and gaining experience in the restaurant industry, he opened his first restaurant in Fishers. His newest Verde Flavors of Mexico restaurant is situated within the mixed-use development of Appaloosa Crossing, and joins the existing Carmel and Ironworks locations.
“We have had our eye on Zionsville for years,” he says. “We were fortunate to be perceived as a leader in our industry, and the developers of Appaloosa Crossing sought us out and said they would love to have us. When we first looked at it, all we saw was literally just dirt. They showed us drawings and renderings, and we thought it would be the perfect space.”
“It is the farthest location we have from Indianapolis, but we scouted out the area and could tell there was a big need for a high-end restaurant,” Arechiga continues. “People from the Zionsville area were driving to the Ironworks location. A local place was needed to celebrate special occasions such as anniversaries, graduations or even a special date night.”
The interior of the restaurant has an upscale vibe, but with its two big glass garage doors, the line between inside and outside dining spaces is blurred. The resulting patio sensibility gives patrons the feeling of being on vacation. Plus, the outdoor seating helps to almost double the capacity.
Dishes served are based on traditional Guadalajara recipes, but are elevated beyond what is usually offered in a Mexican restaurant. Even the cocktails are eye-catching as well as refreshing. Since the state of Jalisco borders the coast, seafood is represented on the menu.
“We know that you can get tacos anywhere, so we work with family recipes but give them a modern presentation,” Arechiga says. “We focus on consistency. The food from Guadalajara is already number-one in our opinion, and that’s where we get our inspiration.”
When asked what his personal favorites are, Arechiga doesn’t hesitate in naming the pulpo, or octopus. It is served chargrilled with veggies, rice and asparagus. Another favorite is Ostiones Rock a Verde, which is the restaurant’s version of oysters Rockefeller. Arechiga says the toasted crumbs and cheese make the dish special. However, he enjoys the beef entrées as well.
The Carne Asada is another one of his picks. It is marinated, open-grilled skirt steak served with rice, beans, onions and cactus. Arechiga especially recommends ordering Molcajete for the table, or if someone has a big appetite, for their self. It is a variety of proteins flamboyantly served in a bursting hot lava rock. Included are grilled steak, chicken, shrimp and chorizo. Condiments include ranchera salsa and onion. Cactus, rice and beans are part of the entrée as well.
The menu is extensive, from appetizers to desserts. Salads and soups, including Pozole made with pork, hominy and red chiles, are included. There is an incredible selection of countless brands of tequila, and many specialty margaritas and inventive cocktails to choose from.
Extremely popular is Clase Azul tequila, which is currently having a moment of fame. Its recognizable blue and white porcelain container is hand painted. Known for its balance, body and flavor, it is a favorite with the Arechiga family. When the top of its bottle is sawed off and the rough edges are sanded, it can be upcycled into a margarita glass.
“We want to give customers a wonderful experience,” Arechiga says. “I can’t tell you how excited we are, and motivated by the response we have gotten so far. We have had so many compliments on both the interior of the restaurant and the food on social media. We feel embraced and welcome in Zionsville. We rarely slow down, but every now and then we take a rare look back at what is going on. We are so gratified when we see our customers truly enjoying our food and the atmosphere of our restaurant.”
Verde Flavors of Mexico is located at 3221 South U.S. Highway 421 in Zionsville. For more info, call 317-344-2030 or visit verdeflavorsofmexico.com. Also visit them on Facebook and Instagram.