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 the lone star state 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, buche and tacos al pastor. Nancy and her family
own a fleet of taco trucks called El Parian that serve these traditional dishes and are a reminder of home
for many of the Jalisco natives who’ve migrated to Detroit over the past 30-plus years.
Serena Maria Daniels first reported on El Parian Loncheria in her independent new media site, Tostadamagazine.com and takes a closer look at its impact in Detroit’s Mexican immigrant community as a Feet in 2 Worlds food journalism fellow at WDET. Feet in 2 Worlds Detroit Food Journalism Fellow at WDET.
Feet in 2 Worlds is a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School that brings the work of immigrant journalists and journalists of color to public radio and online media. Follow the FI2W podcast here.