Best Mexican Food

"Head busboy" Raymundo Garcia at El Taco Real in Hammond

Tony V. Martin, The Times

El Taco Real

Location: 935 Hoffman St., Hammond

Phone: 219-932-8333

Even though El Taco Real has been a Hammond mainstay for more than four decades, Raymundo Garcia still feels like it is an honor and a privilege to serve his faithful customers.

“For me, it’s not just a capitalist enterprise, it’s in my blood,” says Garcia, who refers to himself as the head busboy. “I’m honored to win, but don’t take it for granted. We do what we do with a lot of pride, and think it’s a privilege to serve people.”

The restaurant serves a wide offering of dishes, from their queso fundido appetizer to tacos, enchiladas and fajitas.

He takes pride in the fact that people come in hungry and leave happy.

“We treat our customers as guests, friends, family. We greet them at the door, sit them down, and give them drinks and food,” he says. “It’s an amazing feeling to have them laughing and smiling and satisfied when they leave.”


El Salto

Multiple locations


Casa del Mar

Locations: 650 Ridge Road, Munster; 157 S. Franklin, Valparaiso

Phone: 219-836-5050 (Munster), 219-850-1414 (Valparaiso)