Indiana judge rules that tacos and burritos are sandwiches

Subway sandwiches are tacos


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Tacos maybe, but a burrito? That’s like saying a hamburger can be made with a wrap for a bun. While it sort of can typically that is denoted as something additional to the burger, ie a pita burger (which may not may not have tzatziki sauce on it).

If a burrito is a sandwich, then this is a pizza:


I have two sleeping bags with complimentary zippers, so I can combine them to make a queen-sized sandwich.


Sounds more like a Burrito Grande to me.


Realize that legal cases on deciding categories often get things completely wrong. Consider the classic 1818 case Maurice v. Judd. Judd, who claimed whale oil wasn’t covered by the heavy taxes applied to fish oil on the grounds that whales aren’t fish, was facing against a fish oil inspector who claimed that Judd still owed the taxes. The court decided in favor of Maurice – in other words, claiming that whales are a type of fish.


There’s long history of things being classified as other things for “reasons” including “they’re tasty and I want to eat them”


Lots of burger places give you choice over what is on your burger. I don’t eat burgers (neither red meat nor gluten are part of my diet) so I can’t say which do and which don’t. I suppose the definition line could be whether the food items are made or order or premade, although a fast food place could slip through by offering one or two items that are made to order. What proportion of items need to be made to order to qualify? If it’s not spelled out in the agreement it’s something that I guess a court would need to make a semi-arbitrary call on.

I was imagining this was going to be a case where a sandwich joint has in its lease that no other sandwich shops would be allow in. I have seen that in lots of leases when I was at Fresh Choice, a salad bar company.

Anyway, turns out it is the opposite, and that makes me happy.


“Can it be held and eaten with one hand so you can keep playing cards?” is the only real Sandwich question.


@micah thanks for making the point I was trying to make, a little more concisely

Yes they are all ‘made to order’ in the sense that there are not piles of burgers waiting to be sold (notwithstanding @robjordan6’s and @JohnBarron’s notes to the contrary). That’s because burgers are hot food and a standard menu item can, yes, be ‘ordered’ in the sense that they only start assembling it when the customer arrives and says ‘I’ll have menu item number 7 please’.

The court judgement here was about ‘made to order’ in the distinctly different sense that @micah notes - i.e. neither customer nor restaurant knows what order will need to be made until it is actually ordered ‘I’ll have a, b, g, x, y and double z in my sandwich please’ - which may be the first time that sandwich has ever been made.

In UK where sandwich culture differs slightly, I used to go into a cafe/sandwich bar every day and the guy would ask me what I wanted in my sandwich. Sometimes it was cheese and pickle, sometimes cheese and salad, sometimes cheese and tomato, sometimes tuna and tomato, sometimes ham and cheese with cucumber and mayo, it could have been ham, cheese, tuna, lettuce, cucumber, tomato mayo, pickle and please do not butter the bread. The permutations are endless - there is no standard ‘menu sandwich’, unlike a burger joint.

Your definition of ‘made to order’ is fine in the context you describe, but does not fit the context of this specific case.


The difference between a (soft) taco and a burrito is just how you fold the tortilla. You want to make a distinction based on that?

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The Cube Rule above certainly does.
3 sides closed and 3 sides open is a Taco, while all 6 sides closed is a Calzone.

I suppose a soft taco could encompass 5 sides closed which would become a Quiche.

I think the only thing people can agree on is that tacos are delicious.


A calzone looks more like a Cornish pasty than a sandwich. They are both made by putting a filling inside a circle of dough which is folded over into a half-moon, crimped shut, and baked.

There is only one solution to this difficult problem… AI


So, it has been settled: Oreo cookies are sandwiches.


always has been.


Assuming comments on the Washington Post article can be believed, there’s some interesting background.

Second hand anonymous comments indicated: There was a residential house on a lot zoned for residential next to other commercial zoned lots and between those commercial lots and the condo development. This lot provided a buffer between the condos and the commercial area. A developer bought the house, filed a permit to build a garage, then razed the house and built a strip mall commercial property instead. On the theory that they were more likely to get the zoning changed to commercial than told to remove the new commercial building. The condo group sued over the development. It appears that the the result was the zoning was changed to allow the commercial use but with some restrictions about restaurant use, only allowing “made to order sandwich shop like Subway” and not fast food. The same developer who built the strip mall also owns the taco restaurant. Attempting to open the taco restaurant, brought the condo group and the developer back to court with a new complaint about breaking the zoning rules again. To which, the court ruling is that this use is not breaking the current zoning with the “sandwich” exception allowed for a restaurant.

Assuming that story is correct, and who wouldn’t believe comments on a Washington Post story, that’s quite the tale of events. The change of zoning after the offence was already committed kind of questions the validity of zoning rules at all. The stupid carve out trying to allow certain types of restaurants but not others was poorly defined, to the point of being useless for any restriction. It may have taken years, but the developer got everything they wanted and was able to ignore the zoning restrictions. The condo group is clearly super mad.

The sandwich story is fun, but an article with all those details would have been much more informative and better sourced than random comments.


So my choice of made-to-order sandwich fillings is iceberg lettuce, melted cheese, a small number of pickles, catsup, and a flame grilled ground beef patty. (is it really? Well, I like BLT’s a lot, and some days I prefer chicken to beef, and a meatball sub can be divine…and cheesesteak is great when I’m in the mood, but if we are just claiming a sandwich has more diverse choices then a hamburger we haven’t kicked hamburger out of the sandwich definition, just made it a subset…like a “chicken sandwich” is still a sandwich but it has less diverse fillings then he general sandwich because you have already fixed one ingredient at chicken)