By Mayté Penman
Good things take time to percolate; a good meat takes time to marinate. This was no different for the inaugural Food Truck Rally during the SW Detroit Restaurant Week last Monday which was months in the making.
A few years ago, members of the community shared their desire to make the burgeoning food truck scene more inclusive. And we can now say: We finally did it. It was a successful night with organizers estimating 1500-1600 people in attendance.
The event took place at Batch Brewing Company on Monday, Oct. 3rd from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Detroiters purchased boozy drinks from the hosting location and non-alcoholic drinks like café de olla and café con canela by Cafecito Alvarez.
There was a constant stream of folks coming in and out. The atmosphere and the music were alive and exciting. Our beautiful Leslie Vargas handpicked the music; DJ Coco played the music for the night.
This was a unique opportunity to reconnect with friends and acquaintances we used to engage with pre-covid and to meet new ones around food, music, and drinks. And for some, it was a moment to be proud and appreciate a vibrant Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month.
The Food Truck Rally featured eight trucks and a coffee pop up and each truck had their own flavor and specialty. If you missed it, now you have the chance to visit them one by one in their own location.
Cafecito Alvarez, El Parián, Los Dos Amigos, Papelón, Tacos del Barrio, Tacos El Caballo, Taqueria El Rey, Coronados Tacos, Batch Brewing Co. By reading the comments below, we can see the impact in the community.
Shaun Nethercott, a SW Detroit resident: “The energy of the Food Truck Rally was amazing. People felt free to join each other’s table. Between and at tables, comparisons and analysis of the varied food…in between bites and actual sighs of pleasure. So nice to feel community in that moment!”
Kimberly Watts, a Woodbridge resident “Tacos, churros, and beers – oh, my! Thanks Batch for hosting the SW Detroit Restaurant Week Food Truck Rally. There were soooo many great choices and friendly business owners serving up tasty treats with a festive vibe! This was a great way to support several of them.”
Alejandro Ugalde, a Lincoln Park resident: “The food truck rally is something I would like to see more often. It had an inherent festive vibe; everybody shared tables, conversations, and laughs. And that, I believe, is the base of a great community.”
Amanda Saad, a Dearborn resident: “The SW Detroit Restaurant week good truck rally was a great display of community, culture and connectivity. I attended with my daughter and was immediately greeted by a food truck owner who saw me in hijab and informed me he had halal meat. There was a DJ and balloon artist for the kids. We had incredible food and conversation with friends old and new. I look forward to more events like this in the future.”
And Nancy Lopez, one of the owners of a taco truck: “We had a good turnout and it was a beautiful form of how our community can come together to represent southwest Detroit!! And it was a great way to promote our business and that we had a pleasure to satisfy many customers with our tacos!!”
The Wayne Health Mobile Unit was also present and provided flu and booster shots and checked blood pressure for whoever requested. This was sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s REACH Program.
SW Detroit Restaurant Week is an annual event organized by community leaders; Juan Carlos Dueweke-Perez of Featherstone, Leslie Vargas of La Jalisciense (a participating restaurant), Jorge Casarez (husband of Monica Echeverri Casarez, original co-founder of the event), Mayté Penman from TechTown Detroit, 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).
Photos by Mayté Penman and Juan Carlos Dueweke-Perez