Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots.
The casual, sports-bar style menu puts the emphasis on fajitas, burritos, and enchiladas but broadens the appeal with ribs and burgers in a festive setting. The high-ceilinged main dining room is augmented by a small bar stocked with Mexican beers and tequilas and the requisite TV screens. Proprietors Safa Zaraga and Eduardo Mayin emphasize friendly service as Huerto — which means kitchen garden — settles into the building that housed Big Daddy’s and Chuck Daly’s in previous incarnations. 6199 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-865-2900. L & D daily. $15 huertotequilabar.com
Vegans were happy when this attractive spot seating just 25 was unveiled by Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd in the West Village. Done up in apple green with varnished wooden tables etched with the Detroit Vegan Soul logo, it’s in the row of storefronts on Agnes Street between Van Dyke and Parker. They are translating Boyd’s family recipes into the vegan discipline.
Winners include the soul platter, mac and cheese (substitute), maple-glazed yams, tart collard greens, and interpretations of catfish and pepper steak with tofu and seitan respectively as the ingredients. 8029 Agnes, Detroit; 313-649-2759. L & D Wed.-Sat., L Sun. $12 detroitvegansoul.com