Southwest Detroit – Whether you crave their enchiladas or their signature Mexican sandwich, Armando’s has been dishing up people’s favorites since 1967.
Armando Galan was the original owner, and he started off with a small taqueria on Vernor in Southwest Detroit. Over the years the restaurant grew in popularity, taking over the next storefront, and then the next one until Armando’s took over the whole building.
Eventually, in the late 80s, he wanted to open up other restaurants outside of Detroit, that’s where Cecilia Benedict and her family come in.
Cecelia’s mother, Serafina Hernandez, worked with Armando for several years. She started off cleaning the restaurant, with little Cecilia sleeping in the booths as she did so, and worked her way to being a chef alongside Armando. In the late 80s, he offered to sell his original location to Hernandez, and she bought it, while he went on to open other restaurants.
While it had new owners, they knew to keep what made Armando’s special.
“I don’t want to change everything, I just want to make it more efficient, " explains Cecilia Benedict, the current Owner, and General Manager.
You can still spot the beautiful black velvet paintings which depict Aztec warriors, and the wall full of Tigers memorabilia from when they won the World Series and celebrated at the restaurant.
They kept a lot of the dishes the same as well.
“Our food is traditional to what Armando Galan had started,” explains Benedict. “Traditional, but with some of Detroit’s influence in it.”
Signature dishes include the Mexican Sandwich, which is layers of tortillas, rice, and beans with chunky stewed beef and Muenster cheese on top. The Botana is another classic, a pile of chips with chorizo, beans, and cheese, topped with large slices of fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, and avocados.
As tastes have changed though, they added new items to the menu as well. Recently they added on their Quesabirria, also known as a birria taco. It’s a dish that was made popular on Instagram featuring meat that has been slow-cooked in a pepper and tomatillo sauce put in a tortilla with lots of cheese which you dip in a beef consume. They also added that birra meat to chips to make their new birria nachos, which you can find on the menu for Cinco de Mayo.
Currently, they are open Thursday through Sunday for dine-in service from 2 pm to 10 pm. However, they plan to open specially for dine-in service on Cinco de Mayo. They are open for carryout every day from 10:30 am to 10 pm. See the video above for more details.
Armando’s is located at 4242 Vernor Highway in Detroit.