I don’t know about y’all, but to me, the best food stories are the ones that are shared over actual… well, food.
Sharing the chisme with co-workers, having a heart-to-heart with your mamá, venting with your partner while prepping dinner. These conversations almost always involve a meal.
It’s the type of storytelling I’ve been wishing to do more of for ages, literally. Back in 2019, Tostada partnered with Detour Detroit to host a fundraising dinner party at PizzaPlex, where we invited a handful of prominent Detroit chefs to lead a conversation about authenticity. We packed the space with nearly 80 people and were itching to keep the momentum going… That is, until, March 2020 when the world shut down.
Happy to say that more than two years since then, Tostada has joined in as a thought partner with Frame — the Hazel Park revolving creative hub that hosts chefs for pop-up dining events and month-long residents — for TAQUERIAbar with Eddie Vargas. When Frame owners Joe and Cari Vaughn approached me about the idea of organizing a pop-up taqueria, my first thought went to birria. After all, you really can’t escape viral quesabirria content on social media these days. And when you consider that the bulk of Mexicanos who reside in Detroit hail from birria’s birthplace in Jalisco, it’s a no-brainer that the Motor City is carving out its name in the birria game.
So naturally, I had to link up the Frame duo with Vargas, who, when he co-founded Peso, made it a point to incorporate his family’s recipe for birria. Vargas is also just hard to miss in the local restaurant scene in general. He currently manages three restaurants under El Parian’s helm and has spent most of his adult life working in the local hospitality world.
What we came up with is a menu that’s a love letter to family recipes and Mexican culinary traditions. From April 6 through May 8, Vargas will showcase his heirloom recipe with quesabirria and birria platters, along with tacos made with shrimp or cauliflower “al pastor,” and tostadas with your choice of ceviche or grilled pulpo sautéed in garlic butter and chiles (note, any dish involving octopus is my own personal obsession and therefore was a must for the menu). For dessert, flan with mango puree and to drink, mezcal cocktails, horchata, and agua frescas.
Pretty much everything we love about the taquerias of SW Detroit but just over the Detroit border in Hazel Park.
Reservations are recommended and are now open. Bar, patio, and table seating is available and food is sold à la carte. For more details, click here and nos vemos pronto!
Author: Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels is an award-winning journalist based in Detroit. She specializes in reporting on issues that intersect food, identity, and culture.
Find her one Twitter and Instagram @serenamaria36!