Listen to the story that aired on WDET.
Drive through Detroit’s southwest side and Mexican restaurants are a common sight, a reflection of the waves of Mexican migration to the Motor City over the years. But what many Detroiters know as Mexican food — the melted cheese-laden combo platters of enchiladas, flautas and the ubiquitous Detroit-style botana — is more Tex-Mex. Decades ago, Mexican-Americans split their time between Texas and Michigan to work in agriculture, and that history plays out on many of the area’s menus.
Nancy Lopez and her family are from Guadalajara, in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, where many of the street corners in the region are lined with taqueros — taco vendors who prepare regional specialties such as suadero de res (beef), buche (pork stomach) and tacos al pastor (roasted pork, shepherd style). Nancy and her family own a fleet of taco trucks called El Parian that serve these traditional dishes, a reminder of home for many Jalisco natives who’ve migrated to Detroit over the past 30-plus years.
Serena Maria Daniels first reported on El Parian Loncheria on tostadamagazine.com and takes a closer look at its role in Detroit’s Mexican community as a Feet in 2 Worlds Food Journalism Fellow at WDET.
Read more about the Fi2W Food Journalism Fellows
Support for the fellowship comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and through matching gifts from station donors, The International Association of Culinary Professionals’ foundation, The Culinary Trust, and its Growing Leaders Food Writing program. The Food Writing Program is funded with the support of the Boston Foundation.
Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, an anonymous donor and readers like you.