Amber Ainsworth/MJ

By AMBER AINSWORTH, A&E Editor

Manuel’s Taco Hut is a small, and I mean really small, Mexican restaurant in Allen Park. Don’t be fooled by the little building though; Manuel’s has a lot going on inside.

Manuel's Shrimp Fajitas
Amber Ainsworth/MJ

I heard of Manuel’s through word of mouth — how the restaurant goes all out for the holidays. With Halloween right around the corner, Manuel’s is currently decked out for the season. Entering the dim building, patrons are dining under blacklights. From ceiling to floor, decorations adorn the walls and themed music is playing. Adding to the spirit of Halloween, the waitstaff is dressed in costume — we had a waiter in a toga.

As for the food, typical to most Mexican eateries, chips and salsa are brought to the table to begin the meal. It was a bit runny for my liking, but I still devoured the whole bowl. I ordered the shrimp fajitas — three tortillas, guacamole, beans, and rice. They are advertised as “sizzling” in the menu, and they definitely were. The shrimp was seasoned well and there was enough shrimp and scorching vegetables to fill all of the tortillas.

On previous trips to Manuel’s, I typically ordered the chipotle chicken wrap — a large wrap filled with chicken breast marinated in olive oil and chipotle sauce, black beans, pico de gallo and lettuce. It’s plenty to fill me and then some.

While there are other Mexican dining establishments to choose from nearby, Manuel’s seems like an obvious choice based on ambiance alone. I have never eaten somewhere quite as festive as Manuel’s, but being someone who loves Halloween, I’m sure glad I found it.

Plus, Manuel’s gets special decor during Christmas also. The restaurant is brighter, with penguins, Santas, and snow adorning the interior, complete with an elevated train near the ceiling that circles the restaurant.

Dining at Manuel’s Taco Hut during both Halloween and Christmas is an immersive experience.

I advise you to arrive early and give yourself some time, as the place fills up quickly. Even on a weekday, it’s not uncommon for a crowd to be forming in the lobby with a line out the door.