Hispanic Heritage Month runs through the middle of October, and if you’re looking for a way to explore, experience, and of course, eat in celebration, you can’t do better than a trip to the southwestern edge of Motown. Best of all, Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week (SWDRW) will be in full effect there from Friday October 4, until Sunday October 13, 2019.
Any visit to this neighborhood is special, but this particular time of year presents a culinary extravaganza. A group of twenty-four local eateries are banding together to show off their respective cultures. Most traditional restaurant weeks are dominated by prix fixe menus set at reduced prices in an effort to attract guests to places they ordinarily consider to be outside their budget. In this case, you will already find a community filled with very affordable establishments, so their take is different. Each participating venue will offer an exclusive dish that that celebrates its own heritage and influences. These palate pleasers will only be available during SWDRW.
"To those who are not from Southwest Detroit, especially to folks from the Metro Detroit area, Southwest is often seen as interchangeable with Mexicantown. As a result, it is often thought that only Mexican food is offered," said Juan Carlos Dueweke-Perez, co-founder of SWDRW. “Doing a little digging, we were surprised to find that even we had missed the incredible diversity that exists in the neighborhood. Among the cuisines represented are those from Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Honduras, Cuba, Colombia, multiple regions of México and, of course, Tex-Mex."
While each restaurant’s full menu will also be available, below are some examples of the unique dishes being offered as part of the culinary celebration.
Armando’s will be saluting Cuban and Tex-Mex cuisine with its Rajas de Chile Poblano con Elote y Crema. The dish has roasted poblano peppers, with onions and corn, cooked in cream sauce, served with Spanish rice, fried beans, and tortillas.
Asty Time specializes in the tastes from the Dominican Republic. Its specialty offering will be Filete de Pescado al Coco, which is fish sauteed in spiced coconut milk, accompanied with rice and fried banana.
Pupuseria Y Restaurante Salvadoreño will be highlighting El Salvador with its feature, Desayuno Salvadoreño. The dish has pupusas with scrambled chicharron, cheese and beans accompanied with cabbage relish and tomato sauce, fried plantains, beans and cream or cheese.
El Rey de a las Arepas will be calling on its Colombian and Venezuelan influences for Carnes de Caldo, a chicken stew with potatoes, onions, green bananas, coriander, garlic, salt, cassava, auyama, occumo, and corn, served with a side of a mini fried arepa and white rice.
El Salpicon will be representing Nayarit, Mexico with its featured specialty, Del Mar Dream, a mix of seafood, shrimp, prawns, and mussels accompanied by octopus cooked with butter, garlic and special seasoning, and served with rice and salad.
"During these ten days of the event, there is no competition among us, just pride as welcome guests enjoy these special foods from our own cultures,” said Esteban Perez, one of the owners of El Salpicón.
Other participating restaurants include Antojitos El Catracho, Armando’s Mexican Restaurant, Camino Real Mexican Grill, Centro Botanero, El Asador Steakhouse, El Barzon Restaurante, El Rancho Restaurant, La Palapa del Parian, La Posada, La Rosita, La Terraza, Los Altos Restaurant, Peso Bar, Rincon Tropical, Señor Lopez Restaurant, Taqueria El Caporal, Taqueria El Nacimiento, Taqueria El Rey, Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado, and Mexican Village Restaurant.
While in Southwest Detroit, stop in at some of the many markets and shops offering unique items, rarely found elsewhere in the city. With Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) coming up at the end of the month, it’s a spectacular time to seek out some exceptional new décor, much of which is also well-suited if your family’s tradition is more in the Halloween vein.
Photos of specialty dishes courtesy of Featherstone Moments, a Detroit-based digital marketing company.
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