Dining Destination: Restaurant Week is back in Southwest Detroit

Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week (SWDRW) is back for its third year, following a pandemic pause. This year’s event runs through Sunday, and occurs during Hispanic Heritage Month, featuring 21 participating restaurants.

Each restaurant promotes 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 composed of 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", and creator of Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor), and Fatou-Seydi Sarr (founder of African Bureau of Immigration and Social Affairs). 

“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," says Juan Carlos Dueweke-Pérez. “Food is universal, but experiences and hospitality are not the same across cultures. That’s why this event matters so much.”

The week-long 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 cultural access among the city’s ethnic groups.

This year is different from previous years with an inaugural Food Truck Rally at Batch Brewing Company kicking off the festivities yesterday. Also this year, throughout the event, the organizers are honoring Monica Casarez. She was an essential part of the creation of SWDRW, and was among the health care workers who passed away early in the pandemic. Organizers describe her as a "fierce advocate whose passion and drive continue to resonate within our community".

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 preparing halal and/or vegan options.

Menu prices vary by restaurant, with some only accepting cash payments, and more information available here. As well as more than 10 food trucks at Batch Brewing yesterday, a complete list of participating restaurants include:

● 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

All photos supplied by Featherstone.