This year’s event will run from Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 9. The 10-day event will occur during Hispanic Heritage Month and will feature 21 participating restaurants. Each restaurant will feature an exclusive dish that will showcase its chefs’ and owners’ Latin and culinary roots, ranging from traditional items like Mole Poblano to a more modern and fusion style of food, such as Chicken and Waffles.
While other restaurant week efforts are often created by economic development organizations or private hospitality companies, SWDRW is a grassroots group of community leaders including Juan Carlos Dueweke-Pérez of Featherstone, Leslie Vargas of La Jalisciense (a participating restaurant), Jorge Casarez (husband of the Monica Casarez, original co-founder of the event), Mayte Penman from Techtown, Shaffwan Ahmed, Chef Ederique Goudia co-founder of Taste the Diaspora, Chef Amanda Saab, two-time contestant of Master Chef (Season 6 and 12) and creator of Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor, and Fatou-Seydi Sarr, founder of African Bureau of Immigration and Social Affairs (ABISA).
“I am grateful for the support from the volunteers making the event happen and guiding its inclusive direction, including folks in food, social justice, the hospitality industry, and economic development”, said Juan Carlos Dueweke-Pérez.
Food Trucks Get into the Act
This year will be different from previous years by featuring an inaugural Food Truck Rally at Batch Brewing Company on Monday, Oct. 3 from 4-10 p.m. Beer will be sold by Batch Brewing Co, and non-alcoholic drinks by Cafecito Alvarez as well as each of the food trucks. DJ Coco will be playing music for the night. Sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s REACH Program, the Wayne Health Mobile Unit will be providing health screenings, and flu and booster shots, as available, between 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Watch this space for more details about the Food Truck Rally in a future issue of EL CENTRAL Hispanic News.
Menu prices will vary by restaurant, with some only accepting cash payments. More information is available at swdetroitrestaurantweek.com/about-2022/.
The event began as a promotional opportunity but has become a social and educational tool to increase awareness of the vast diversity of nationalities in the city of Detroit and expand on the cultural access among the city’s ethnic groups. Among the 21 restaurants participating in the event representing six nationalities (El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Venezuela and Mexico) as well as six regions of Mexico. A number of restaurants’ are actively preparing halal and/or vegan options. A complete list of participating restaurants is provided below.
Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week (SWDRW) is an informal organization created by community leaders to support Latin foodpreneurs through marketing, public relations, and community engagement.
SWDRW is also a guide to the residents of Metro Detroit to introduce them to and educate them about the Latin nationalities represented in the neighborhood and the metro area. Through this event, the organizers would like to remember Monica Casarez. She was an essential part of the creation of Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week and an influential and passionate individual dedicated to bettering the world before she left it. She was among the health care workers who passed away early in the pandemic. She was a fierce advocate whose passion and drive continue to resonate within our community. Monica saw Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week as a creative way to bring customers to small mom-and-pop restaurants and highlight the greater metro area and talent of the Latinx communities of Southeast Michigan. Monica was more than can be described and we hope to honor her memory with food and togetherness.
RESTAURANTS PARTICIPATING DURING THE 10-DAY EVENT
● Armando’s Mexican Restaurant – TBD
● Asty Time – Albóndigas a la criolla arroz con guandules
● El Asador Steakhouse – Tacos dorados de camaron
● El Barzon Restaurante – Camarones al mojo de ajo
● El Palenque Restaurant – Mole verde
● El Rancho Restaurant – Guisadillas
● El Rey de a las Arepas – Chicken and waffles
● La Jalisciense – Aguachiles
● La Cuscatleca – Empanadas de plátano y fritos de elote
● La Palapa del Parian – Pozole verde de pollo
● La Posada – Pozole verde
● La Rosita – Breakfast dish: Chilaquiles; Dinner: Mole
● La Terraza – Alambres
● Las Palmas – Flautas
● Los Altos Restaurant – Chiles Rellenos
● Los Galanes – Enchiladas
● Mariscos El Salpicón – Jesse’s Platter
● Mi Lindo San Blas – TBD
● Taqueria El Nacimiento – Molcajete estilo Guadalajara
● Taqueria Lupitas – Mole Poblano
● Taqueria Mi Pueblo – Mole Poblano
Photos by Alex Ugalde