In the last few weeks, the DIVAS made two trips to Mexicantown, a small community just outside downtown Detroit, where vibrantly colored buildings, most of them authentic Mexican restaurants, are up and down the main streets of this southwest Detroit neighborhood. We had so many telling us to visit their favorite restaurants in Mexicantown, but there were just too many to know where to start. We’ve been before, quite a while ago, so we were anxious to explore.
Los Galanes Restaurante Mexicano, located on Bagley Ave., was our first stop. The atmosphere of Los Galanes is only topped by their food. Los Galanes is located on a corner, and has outdoor seating, but it was not available the day of our visit. We arrived early and were seated immediately upon entering, but the waitress was in no hurry to take our orders or deliver our food. The menu had many impressive choices, and next visit we plan on trying the Enchiladas de Mole, made with a spicy chocolate sauce. One of us had the Chimichangas luncheon plate, and it was excellent. It was two flour tortillas, rolled and fried, loaded with several types of cheese. It was topped with their special sauce, cheese, lettuce, guacamole, tomato and sour cream, for $7.29. Another had the Mexican Tacos, which were three soft corn tortilla tacos, filled with beef and topped with cilantro and onions, also $7.29.
Both luncheon plates were fabulous, had generous portions, and just what we were looking for. The restaurant was very authentic, colorful, and one of the larger places in Mexicantown. When we left, the place was full and there were several large groups in the restaurant. Maybe this was why service was so slow. But for the most part, this was an excellent choice.
Our second trip several weeks later was to Xochimilco Restaurant, also on Bagley Ave. There is a side entrance to the restaurant, right off its own parking lot. Since parking in Mexicantown is at a premium, we were happy with this setup. Upon entering, we noticed how dark it was, and reading the menu in the dark was a challenge. Our server was new and friendly. The staff at the entrance was not. When seated, our server started us off with chips and salsa that we enjoyed.
Menu choices were few. One of us had the Botana. It looked and tasted wonderful, but smaller than we remembered. Another had the Quesadilla plate, which was served with Spanish rice and refried beans. The Quesadillas were two flour tortillas, folded in half, with a skimpy cheese filling. It was very boring. These were both luncheon specials so the price was low. Our total bill for both lunches was around $12.00. Xochimilco could use a refresh, both with the atmosphere and food choices.
Don’t forget to check out the Mexican bakeries, several located on Bagley Ave., as they carry the Mexican favorites, including churros and tamales. The central point of Mexicantown is located at Bagley and Vernor streets, and crosses 24th St. Just follow all the hand-painted murals done in authentic Mexican flair. Mexicantown is one of Detroit’s most vibrant communities. If you’re looking for a slightly Americanized version of authentic Mexican food, take a trip to Mexicantown, it’s worth a visit or two.