Sam Alvarado’s passion and respect for handcrafted Mexican food started at a young age. He grew up watching his family cook at home and in the kitchens of Detroit’s popular Mexican Fiesta restaurant chain, which his grandfather founded. Today, as the co-owner and head chef of Fuego Grill, Alvarado draws from that early culinary foundation to craft his own menu of fresh, made-from-scratch dishes that “more than impressed” a food writer for the Dearborn Free Press. He assembles traditional entrees such as carne asada, milanesa sandwiches, and fish tacos with halal meats and locally grown vegetables, creating cuisine that’s as flavorful and conscientious as a chocolate-covered Jiminy Cricket.
It's Friday night at 1 a.m., and all you want in the whole world is a taco. Luckily, Armando's Mexican Restaurant is there, ready to serve you a dish and maybe pour you a margarita nightcap. Though it's open late, Armando's is no sleepy dive—even after midnight, it's typical to see a line of people waiting to snag one of the tile-topped tables. Nearly a half-century after opening—and almost 30 years after the Tigers celebrated their 1984 World Series title there—the restaurant is still one of the city's most beloved. The Huffington Post recently named it as a staple of Detroit's Mexican-food scene. CBS Local praised their signature sizzling fajitas for their juicy marinade, and also declared that Armando's has "one of the best tortas" in Detroit.
Aside from the lauded, eclectic menu—which includes Cuban sandwiches, Spanish steak, and the perennially popular Baja seafood tacos—it's easy to see why the restaurant retains such a following. Warm yellow walls hung with vintage photos give the dining room a homey feel, while a covered patio beckons with colorful flags and twinkling lights. The casual atmosphere invites guests to linger over a peach margarita while watching the game on flat-screen TVs, or to camp out at a table once mariachi players begin to strum a lively tune. Luckily, Armando's makes it hard for anyone to overstay their welcome: they're open until 2 a.m. Sunday–Thursday and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
In the restaurant which tied for Best Mexican Restaurant in 2009 by HOUR Detroit, head chef and owner Norberto Garita blends his Mexican heritage with experience in Italian kitchens to craft El Barzon's menus of Italian and Mexican dishes. Diners can embark on the culinary excursion with the zuppa di vongole brimming with clams and shrimp swimming in tomato broth ($12) and the chilies rellenos packed with beef or cheese and drizzled with homemade tomato sauce ($7). Ham and cheese snuggle like a knight and his chain-mail blanket inside a lightly breaded chicken breast in the pollo El Barzon ($16), and Mediterranean-imported sea bass rests under a layer of fresh herbs and garlic ($25). Guests can also sample classic international dishes such as homemade italian pastas ($12+) and mexican tortas ($5+).
This hidden Hamtramck gem is home to Maria’s House Made Salsa. We are a family owned and operated establishment dedicated to bringing you the most exceptional entrees. We create each menu item using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. The result is a fusion of unique flavors!
At Baja Fresh, spice-yearning patrons can swing by to sample comforting casual fare without the hassle of building a catapult powerful enough to reach Mexico. Grab a burrito or taco served inside the stuffed blanket of a tortilla, or get a bowlful of delectable insides with the shell-less version—or get a combination. The meats that make up each meal are never frozen and are all-natural. Optional ingredients to lay the groundwork for handheld feasts include fire-grilled or charbroiled chicken and steak, slow-roasted pork carnitas, black or pinto beans and cheese, and specialty seafood options; a vegetarian-friendly version includes peppers, chilies, and onions layered with freshly simmered black or pinto beans, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo.
Tim Castañeda's culinary education began at his family's dinner table. Nourished by the fresh salsas and flavorful meats, Tim developed a deep appreciation for and understanding of the traditional flavors of Mexican cuisine. After cooking in his family's restaurants during his youth, Tim continued to perfect his recipes and spice blends in Mexican eateries throughout the country. He brings his years of experience to Zumba Mexican Grille, where he whips up freshly made tacos, burritos, and quesadillas reminiscent of the authentic dishes of his childhood.
Named for the Spanish slang word for "energy," Zumba bustles with color and zest—from its shiny stainless-steel counters and rainbows of wooden chairs to the skirt steak, red-chili pork, and fresh vegetables sizzling on its grills. When customers walk in, their first step is to pick meats, toppings, and black, pinto, or magic beans. Then the servers behind the counter begin building Mexican specialties—including the burritos, named the city's best by Real Detroit Weekly. After receiving their orders, guests stroll over to the fresh salsa bar, where six different housemade varieties in various spice levels await them.