Mexican food is one of my top two favorite ethnic cuisines (the other is Thai, in case you were wondering), and there is no shortage of delicious Mexican food in the Metro Detroit area. I mean, there’s an entire area of the city of Detroit called Mexicantown, for guacamole’s sake. Obviously, we’ve got this cuisine covered, and the restaurants in the surrounding area know how to make some top-notch meals.
We can sit here and argue about which Mexican dishes rank highest on the list, but for argument’s sake, let’s all just agree that the following three are where it’s at: burritos, fajitas and enchiladas. When you’re craving one, or all three (thank you, combination plate), head to one of the following restaurants in the Metro Detroit area:
Loco’s Tex-Mex Grille, 454 E. Lafayette St., Detroit, is located in Greektown instead of Mexicantown, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less delicious. There are plenty of burritos, fajitas and enchiladas on the menu here to suit whatever your palate craves. The Grande Burro Loco burrito is a massive 12 inch tortilla packed with chicken or steak, beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, sour cream and salsa verde, which is then topped with sizzling cheese and served with a side of rice. However, that’s not the most massive one on the menu. The El Gigante is the “king of burritos” here: it’s a 15 inch tortilla stuffed with similar fixin’s.
If you’re feeling indecisive, try the Supreme Fajitas, which combines steak, chicken, shrimp and fresh vegetables all in one skillet. Enchiladas come in all varieties, including cheese, chicken, steak, ground beef and vegetable. The Crawfish Enchiladas are the most unique, which are wrapped in corn tortillas with onions and cheese and topped with a homemade sauce and even more cheese.
Burrito King, 30950 N. Beck Rd., Novi, is a restaurant I stumbled across last weekend, and it was one of the more fortunate accidents to happen! While we are focusing on fajitas, enchiladas and burritos here, you’re going to be hooked as soon as you sit down to a basket of warm chips and a quartet of delicious salsas and dips.
Try the Burrito Jalisco (a tortilla stuffed with steak, cactus, pico de gallo, cheese, rice and beans) if you’re feeling adventurous, or the Ole Burrito (with your choice of meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole and sour cream) if you’re feeling more traditional. The Enchiladas Supreme allows you to try three different enchiladas: one meat of your choice, one bean and one cheese, all of which are topped with red sauce and melted cheese. The Trio Fajitas includes grilled steak, chicken and shrimp with onions, tomatoes and green peppers. No matter which you choose, you will not leave hungry or unhappy.
Mexican Fiesta II, 4401 Ford Rd., Canton, is a restaurant at which I could eat every day of my life, if such a thing were healthy. On another note, the original Mexican Fiesta location resides in Dearborn Heights, and both menus are basically identical. It just depends which establishment is closer to you!
Fajitas can be ordered in steak, chicken or shrimp varieties, and the Fajita Dinner Special is a great idea if you’re out on a date, since it’s a serving for two. You still get your choice of steak, chicken or shrimp, served with grilled onion, mushrooms, green peppers and tomatoes. The Cheese Enchiladas here are what dreams are made of, so you really can’t go wrong. You can also choose from chicken, beef or bean. Burritos come in similar offerings, including the Braised Beef Tip or Pork and Cheese Burrito. Each meal is served with your choice of rice and beans or rice and coleslaw.
Tios, 401 E. Liberty St. #2, Ann Arbor, is home to Mount Nachismo, a five-pound, $39.99 plate of nachos that is also known as one of the most horrific eating challenges around. Since I typically prefer to skip having a heart attack whilst dining out, let’s just focus on the entrees, shall we?
The Enchilada Sampler allows you to experience three different flavors at once. Order three different ones, or stick with the same trio. Your filling choices include cheese, ground beef, chicken, carnitas, mushroom, refried beans and steak. No matter what you go with, each corn tortilla will also be stuffed with Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese and red onion. The Wet Burrito is another great option—the 12 inch tortilla is packed with beans, cheese, Spanish rice, tomatoes and onions, then topped with enchilada sauce and melted cheese. If you’re craving Fajitas, you can pick from chicken, steak, mushroom or shrimp, each of which is served on a sizzling skillet with onions and peppers.
Las Palapas, 33308 Plymouth Rd., Livonia, has a recent addition to its menu that fits perfectly into this category. The California Burrito includes your choice of steak or grilled chicken, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo and red skin potatoes, all rolled up in a tortilla. Sunshine not included.
If that particular burrito doesn’t fit your fancy, perhaps order the Chorizo Burrito (with chorizo, ground beef, beans, rice and cheese, topped with sauce and cheese dip) or Burrito Deluxe (one chicken and bean burrito, one beef and bean burrito, both topped with sauce, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole). Other great options include the Enchiladas Verdes (chicken enchiladas with cheese, salsa verde and sour cream) and Fajitas Marinas (shrimp, scallop and tilapia fajitas with onions, tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers).
El Nacimiento, 7400 Vernor Hwy., Detroit, is one of my personal favorite Mexicantown restaurants. It’s both authentic and delicious, and there are plenty of options when it comes to the three staples.
The menu’s traditional Mexican dinners include Fajitas de Res, Pollo y Camaron (grilled steak, chicken or sautéed shrimp with an array of bell peppers, onions and tomatoes), as well as favorites like Burritos (a large flour tortilla with your choice of meat and onion and cilantro) and Enchiladas de Queso, Res o Pollo (cheese, steak or marinated chicken enchiladas wrapped in corn tortillas, dipped in red sauce and topped with cheese and sour cream). All dinners are served with rice, beans, salad and tortilla chips, and other dishes can be upgraded to dinner entrees for a small charge.
It’s understandable that choosing a favorite among the burrito, fajita and enchilada is as difficult as choosing your favorite child, so what I suggest is that you simply check all of the above Mexican restaurants off of your Metro Detroit dining out bucket list. Tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!