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Restaurants & Bars

Tried Mestizo “Mexican Soul Food” in Warren [DTW]...

VTB | Dec 26, 201105:45 PM     6

...and it is the most authentic Mexican within ten miles in any direction (32500 Van Dyke just south of 14 Mile). But, perhaps that is nothing over which to get too excited? In any event, I ordered the following:

1. Carnitas tacos

2. Arrachera tacos (beef marinated in beer, onions, garlic and “secret” spices)

3. Pastor tacos (marinated pork with grilled pineapple; though, I saw no pineapple)

The taco accompaniment options I chose were corn tortillas and no cheese (I didn’t know queso fresco was a choice until after I ordered). The tacos are 2 for $2.50—a good value—and were garnished with fresh cilantro and (too much) chopped onion. All the meats were julienne in size and were thoroughly fried such that one could hardly be distinguished from the next. But, how can tastebuds disparage tender fried meat on a warm tortilla with fresh herbage and homemade salsa??

I was given four salsas by the personable and nice looking hired help. This appreciated gesture probably is above and beyond policy. The regular tomato salsa was not good. Huh? Anyway, the avocado-ish tomatillo mild salsa was nice, and the habanero salsa was very nice. The fourth salsa was a freaky heavily smoked apple sauce concoction bearing a slight kick. I appreciated the creativity. Yes, the tacos were consumed with pleasure but they were a clear cut below, while structurally comparable to, those from Taqueria Alameda, etc..

The interior of the joint is quite nice, particularly considering the exteriors of its neighboring businesses. It was opened a couple weeks ago by a minister (and his/her spouse?) who also takes the lead in the kitchen. Alcohol is not served, needless to say. The minister is Mexican-American and apparently was raised in the American South. Thus, the term soul food plays a double meaning, in that this Southern minister also serves ribs, pulled pork and deep fried catfish. Frankly, the host and waitress* were a bit evasive and/or clueless when I grilled them about this offbeat ownership. Yet another reason for me to return: intel’ gathering. Not to mention, January will be their 10% off Grand Opening specials. *The waitress said “minister” rather than “priest,” so I’m just going with it.

Maybe next time I’ll try their nopales tacos (prickly pear cactus pad flesh), ceviche or empanadas. I’m going to take a pass on their barbecue. No other good Mexican is around (El Charro truly is a fun pig-out, but is not good Mexican; La Palapa at Hall near Van Dyke arguably also has some high points), however there IS good barbecue not too far, given that RUB now is a couple miles away and Lazybones ain’t much further. PS—Thank you to Sir Boagman for letting me steal from his ethereal restaurant review syntax, while banging out this preceding report.

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