Be it tasty tacos, or some traditional birria, Jose de Jesus Lopez knows how to keep people coming back to Taqueria Mi Pueblo.
“Mi pueblo means ‘my town,’” explains Lopez. “Instead of putting Jalisco, where my state is, I said well, it’s for everybody, my town.”
This large Mexican restaurant in Southwest Detroit had some quaint beginnings. It all started with Lopez making tacos for his family and friends on weekends. He used to make tacos in Mexico City, and missed the taste of home. They just served them out of a house, but eventually, he wanted to expand. Besides cooking, Lopez worked in construction, so he transformed the adjoining building, which was an abandoned dining room, into a small 13-table restaurant, which opened in 2000.
Thanks to the hard work of he and his family, the restaurant grew. By 2003, they were so busy they needed to expand, so he put his construction hat back on and got to work. The restaurant is now quite large, with several dining rooms. Lopez says he expanded the restaurant to incorporate the house and the front yard.
The other reason the restaurant flourished, was thanks to its delicious, authentic food. Lopez and his family loved serving people the food they would eat at home. Given that it was a bit different than what most Americans expected to find at a Mexican restaurant, he decided to deliver plates of the more traditional dishes to guests for free so they could try it. His method worked, as he says everything on the menu sells.
While they are perhaps most well-known for the tacos that started it all, they also have a series of traditional Mexican soups. Pozole is a soup from the Jalisco region, which has pork and hominy in a chili-based broth, that’s not too spicy. They also serve birria, but not in the way you might expect. Instead of in a taco or a quesadilla, they serve it the way they do in Jalisco, as a stew, or just the meat plated with rice, beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, and tortillas. Other popular dishes include their fajitas, and burritos. For dessert, you can try their arroz con leche, a Mexican version of rice pudding, and flan, both of which are family recipes.
For more information, watch the video above.
Taqueria Mi Pueblo is located at 7278 Dix Street in Southwest Detroit. They also have two quick service locations called Mi Pueblo Express in Detroit and Clinton Township.