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Aug 2, 2009 09:18 PM

Not run of the mill Mexicantown [Detroit, MI]

So, I plan on going to Mexicantown this weekend and I'd like to try some different places than usual. I've been to Honeybee mkt, La Gloria bakery, Lupita's, Evie's etc. What are some other places ( restaurants and grocery stores) that I may have missed out on. Also does anyplace make a good hurrache ?

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    1. This would be Deee-troit. Hit El Barzón, on Junction south of Michigan Ave. If you like pozole, theirs is tops (green or red). Enchiladas con mole also excellent. Also has liquor. Not sure about the huaraches, but also try El Comal in the center of Mexicantown, which has Salvadoran and Guatemalan food as well as Mexican--since they have a variety of Latin American foods, they might have them. The Mexicans in Detroit are mostly from Jalisco state or elsewhere in west central Mexico, where that is a less common dish.

      18 Replies
      1. re: Jim M

        Did El Barzon ever get its Liquor license?

        BTW did you notice your old post is being used as a review on the elbarzonrestaurant.com website? Another Blue Ox :)

        1. re: JanPrimus

          LOL funny stuff but at least Jim tried the food unlike the "fanfreakingtastic" beans that hadn't even been tasted by the reviewer of the BO. Not that they didn't take that line and run with it.
          Evie's Tamales would be on my list for not run of the mill. I hope to try one of the taco trucks in the future. We should do a CH taco truck and brew pub crawl.
          I'll volunteer to be the designated driver.

          1. re: Fritter

            I am up for a Taco & Brew crawl... Sign me up for your newsletter.
            Showtime at theapollo dot org

            1. re: JanPrimus

              I have an email in my profile if any one is interested. I think it would be a blast to get together and hit some places. I have a Yukon so I can easilly take three people.


            2. re: Fritter

              Actually, I have since been there and tried the beans, and they were nothing shy of fantastic. While I was surprised by the Blue Ox using my endorsement as a "review by Chowhound", I still stand by what I said. They know what they're doing!

              1. re: boagman

                I'm glad to hear it however it really doesn't have much to do with the fact that you hadn't even tried the beans and they used a single descriptive from your review (out of context) to promote their product.
                I don't see the correlation here since Jims review was used in it's entirety and not manipulated and morphed into some thing he never said.

                1. re: Fritter

                  Thanks for the heads-up, y'all. Actually, this is a little bit sneaky on their part--the free guacamole was only an opening promotion, and you now have to pay for it. On the plus side, it's great guacamole, and yes, they now have a full bar. Last time I was in there the barmaid specifically recommended the green pozole to me. IMO it was exceptional pozole. A dish of guacamole, pozole, and a Corona with a twist of lime made a pretty superb meal.

                  1. re: Fritter

                    OH! I didn't realize that you were speaking about their website, which I just now looked at. You're right that they did that, but they're right in that the beans actually *are* fan-freaking-tastic. Yes, they shouldn't have done that, but it's not exactly a heinous crime in my book, since they can, in fact, back up what they're saying I said. ;)

                    What I was thinking was that they'd posted up my CH post in their restaurant in its entirety, and that they'd somehow modified it to say something that it didn't. That's not the case, but now I see what you're talking about, Fritter.

                    Go easy...this place is worth a misstep like this, really.

                2. re: Fritter

                  That's a great idea! Are you all in the metro area? I'm in Farmington Hills. And I adore Mexican food. REAL Mexican food!

                  1. re: Rheta

                    I'm in the Rochester Hills area.

                    1. re: Fritter

                      I'm a little bit north of Metro Airport.

                  2. re: Fritter

                    > taco truck & brew pub crawl

                    Great idea!

                    (I'm in West Bloomfield)

                    1. re: rainsux

                      I'll start another thread in the morning. This sounds like a lot of fun!

                      1. re: Fritter

                        I have a Durango that will hold up to 8 plus, because of a stupid heart thing, I don't drink so that makes me a DESIGNATED DRIVER!!!! I'll keep my eyes peeled for any plans.

                    2. re: Fritter

                      The Taco Truck Trawl (I know...it's a bit of a reach...) sounds like a *great* idea to me! If the date/time works out for me, I'd be in, and I think my friend Donna would be in, too! Great suggestion! Great food, affordable prices, good people! Win!

                      1. re: boagman

                        I started a new thread. Lets here from every one interested. Sounds like a great time to me!



                        1. re: Fritter

                          Since that thread is locked I created a quick and dirty forum for those that are interested in the crawl can discuss things.


                          Feel free to register and post.

                          1. re: JanPrimus

                            If anyone is having trouble getting into the forum please contact me at showtime@theapollo.org

                3. Los Galanes has more variety than the cheese/beans/rice type dishes. They also have outdoor seating.

                  1. This place is not in Mexicantown, but the food is great and cheap. I can strongly recommend a place in Waterford named La Michoacana at 4530 Elizabeth Lake Rd.
                    Everything I've had there has been delicious.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MARISKANY

                      I have been intending to post about La Michoacana. I've eaten dinner there
                      3x in 3-weeks. The basket of chips arrives with three salsas; all with *flavor*.
                      Most entrees are offered with either American or Mexican preparation.

                      The menu lacks any combination plates. I asked; they declined to invent one.
                      I'll keep asking ... <g>

                      They do not have a liquor license ... dunno if they allow carry-in.

                    2. I had dinner last night from El Barzon.

                      I have to say I was pretty disappointed with my dinner. The first thing I did was check the website to see what we wanted as we getting some carry out. The wife went with the Enchilada's and I went for the Mole Pablano with a few extra Goat Barbacoa Taco's.

                      Looking over the website I thought I was in for a good deal. The prices were pretty good looking. It looked like about a $20.50 meal.The Mole Pablano looked good in the picture (The chicken looks like its still on the bone). So I headed on out to Michigan and Junction.

                      Arriving at the bar I put in my order and ordered a Negro Modelo at the bar. My bill ended up being $37 bucks and change. OK I did add the Negro Modelo...but that can't be that much of a difference. So I took a peak at the menu and wow are the prices different from the website. Chicken Poblano on the website is $10 and at the restaurant it is $15. The Taco's and Enchilada's are also incorectly priced. OK so with the beer It should have been $24 bucks but I got nailed for $37. After driving out I was not about to turn for home and start dinner planning all over. I had already driven to Plymouth that day for Thai only to find the restaurant closed for the weekend. I was hungry so I paid. It felt very bait and switch.

                      Taking everything home I was hopeful, It smelled good. When I got home to open the Styrofoam I got my first disappointment. The Chicken was a tough chicken breast with no skin or bones. I dislike chicken breast a lot....I want to use the word hate here but it is not that bad...it is just the most bland and boring meat I know. It is my least favorite part of the bird. The Mole sauce was good and satisfying. I have no complaints there.

                      As for the sides of spanish rice and refried beans....I am sick and tired of this being the only option for sides at Mexican places. Rarely are either interesting and this was no exception. So far this all felt like something I could do with a broken hot plate, a used dixie cup and a etch-a-sketch.

                      As for the Taco's....Tortilla, meat and Cilantro...and that's it. With the meat being a goat Barbacoa, I had the risk of finding grizzle and chewy bits. One Taco was clean...the other had bone in it with a few large chucks of connective tissue. Things that a quick eye should have spotted.

                      My wife had the Enchilada's and she is not much for words...she just gave me a "Meh".

                      I really wanted to like this....but for $37 bucks I feel as if I got the shaft.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: JanPrimus

                        I'm surprised! I had a terrific meal there two years ago, the highlight of which was an excellent chicken mole, skin, bones, and all!! It was the best I'd ever tasted.

                        1. re: mrfinewine

                          I have read many good reviews from a lot of trusted reviewers. I am sure what I got was not what everyone else has been experiencing. A serious bummer.

                        2. re: JanPrimus

                          I ate here on Sat. I thought the mole was great ( I was expecting more than a breast too, but since I like chicken breast it didn't bug me )? I also had a bowl of the pozole verde , which was also good. It didn't strike me as the kind of place to get a taco or torta at. I'd probably leave that up to the actual taquerias, as it seems to me that a place that tries to look more " fancied up" than the average mexicantown spot probably doesn't focus a lot of attention on tacos. I picked tacos up at El Rey and was more than satisfied with those.

                          1. re: moose734

                            As the original recommender, it's been awhile since I've had the chicken breast dishes. Possible that they don't travel well. On recent visits I've had the pozole (liked both green and red) and the enchiladas con mole, as well as some of the Italian pastas. Glad you enjoyed it. What I like most is that the basic sauces (mole, guacamole, sauces served with chips) really have a lot of flavor.