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TASTE TEST: Tapas Cafe's paella a taste of Spain

The paella at Tapas Cafe in Crown Point is ready to be devoured.

Tapas Cafe has delighted diners with its Spanish cuisine on U.S. 30 in Merrillville for years, but it recently relocated to the old Phat Phil's sandwich shop space at 518 N. Main St. in Crown Point.

The food is as delicious as ever at the new spot, and the menu has been broadened to include tacos, flatbreads, pasta and cheap lunch options.

The highlight is of course the tapas, the sophisticated Spanish small plates that are ideal for sharing and add up to a full meal with delectable variety. If you'd prefer a traditional entree, though large enough for two, try the paella, the Valencian rice dish that's like a more festive Spanish cousin to risotto.

The paella wows at Tapas Cafe.

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Options include shrimp, steak and chicken, though seafood is the most traditional option. The pan of succulent, absorbent rice soaks up the juices from the Juicy Gulf Shrimp or whatever your choice of protein, infusing it with flavor. 

Every bite of the plump, fat-grained rice sings. Tender bell pepper and briny green olives add some variety and nutrition. A topping of parsley completes the gorgeous plating. 

The dish looks stunning, tastes even better, and transports the diner to seaside Spain.

For more information, call (219) 769-7008 or visit www.tapascafe.net.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.