Southwest Detroit – From the brightly colored murals to their sizzling fajitas, La Palapa del Parian gives you a taste of Mexico. This new restaurant, located in Southwest Detroit, gets part of its name from the small city in Mexico where the owners are from, El Parian.
“It’s a little town in Guadalajara, Jalisco,” said Nancy Diaz-Lopez, the owner. “There’s a lot of restaurants and there’s entertainment. They have live mariachi.”
The “La Palapa” part of their name is a nod to how the restaurant got started.
“A ‘la palapa’ is almost like a little garage... where you set up like a BBQ,” explains Diaz-Lopez. You see, this restaurant began as a food truck. During the recession, Nancy’s parents owned a food truck, but her dad was unable to have it running as much as he would like because of his other job. Nancy and her husband convinced her parents to rent it to them, and so they did. One food truck became two, then three, and finally four. Nancy and her husband decided to turn the building they were using as a commissary into a restaurant, but just when they were about to open, COVID-19 came to Michigan, and the Governor ordered restaurants to close for dine-in service.
“Once you have staff, you really can’t push them to the side,” said Diaz-Lopez. “We already have a name-brand, [we can do] orders to-go, and then that’s how people will start seeing what we are about, give them that taste.”
Hard work, and some delicious food, paid off.
“That’s what makes me very proud, we haven’t given up,” said Diaz-Lopez.
Their menu features many of the same dishes you can find at their food trucks, but they added a lot more. While lots of their meals are native to their home state of Jalisco, they have food from all over Mexico. They have popular dishes like fajitas, enchiladas, and burritos but they also feature some homier dishes, like Pozole Verde, a pork and hominy stew in a tomatillo sauce, served with tostadas, onions, radishes, and limes.
Currently, they offer dine-in, patio seating, and carry-out. If you would like to try La Palapa Del Parian, it is located at 1633 Lawndale Street in Southwest Detroit.