Plaza Mexico opened on Nine Mile Road in 2001. It is a small restaurant that has cultivated a faithful following and has attracted customers from all over Southeast Michigan. It offers excellent Mexican cuisine with generous portions at a great price.
If dining in, you can seat yourself in a booth or at a table by the window. Depending on when you come, there may be only one waitress for the whole restaurant, but she is efficient and friendly. A large mural of a hacienda adorns one wall and the sounds of Spanish and pots and pans drift out from the kitchen.
It is a family restaurant owned by Ana and Felipe Hernandez. Ana is the main chef and has created all of the recipes. She does not speak English, so I had the opportunity to speak with her youngest daughter Melisa, a waitress, about the family business.
Ana and Felipe are from a small town called San Ignacio in Jalisco, Mexico. The family still vacations there a few months out of the year. They moved to a neighborhood in Southwest Detroit, and Ana worked for many years as a cook at Loco’s Bar and Grill. Cooking is her passion, and she was inspired to start her own Mexican restaurant.
Plaza Mexico started with four owners, but over time, Ana and Felipe bought out the other partners. With their daughters on staff, this is truly a work of love. Recently, the success of the restaurant has enabled them to move to a home in nearby St. Clair Shores, a short drive from Plaza.
When they bought the building, it was previously a Chinese restaurant, and had been many other businesses before that. With quality food and hard work, the Hernandez’s have achieved staying power. Fajitas are one of their most popular dishes, as well as the #1 Combo (beef enchilada, chicken burrito and hard beef taco) and the California Burrito (flour tortilla topped with ranchero and cheese, filled with beans, lettuce, pico, spicy salsa verde and grilled chicken or steak). Their large menu has it all, including quesadillas, tamales, enchiladas, chimichangas, nachos, fried ice cream and more.
When asked about the future of Plaza Mexico, Melisa says the family hopes to open a second location, a larger restaurant with a bar. The small size of the current restaurant makes a bar impractical. Melisa studies business at Wayne State and hopes to one day manage her own Plaza. And what would become of this Eastpointe location? Melisa responds, “We would keep it. This place is like our baby, what got us started. We try to make people feel like they’re at home here.”
Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This article was also posted at MakeMacombYourHome.com on Oct. 8, 2014.