Some of the more visible ones are situated on main intersections in Detroit’s Mexicantown and are therefore above-ground legal. The others that are hidden behind tire shops and in the parking lots of factories are not so legal. My Mexicano friends at the office are well aware of two things: (1) I despise Americanized “Mexican” restaurant tourist traps that attract local suburbanites and city folk who think that flour tortillas piled with 12 pounds of processed cheese is “Mexican food”, and (2) I love, and covet, any illegal Mexican establishment owned by illegal aliens that attempts to, and succeeds, at serving customers who desire real Mexican food. This includes the use of real (double) corn (not flour) tortillas; fresh herbs; multiple meats (including marinated pork, and of course, chorizo); and bathing food items in fresh cilantro … all at bargain prices. This is the kind of food I have only found in the most remote (non-tourist) places in Mexico. For that reason, and since that time in Mexico, I reject all Americanized (non-Mexican) “Mexican” food.
Thank goodness my company has had a batch of very talented and amazing Mexican and Mexican-American interns-turned permanent employees working for us (and me) this year – they have taken me into the bowels of the most amazing places in Mexicantown that only the most astute locals would know about and frequent as customers. The only issue is language – but thank goodness I have translators.