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E & L Supermercado You would never have found this lunch spot on your own

E & L Supermercado

6000 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI
  • Neighborhood: Corktown & Southwest
  • Price Level:   
  • Cards Accepted
  • Free Parking Available

Tags: lunch, Southwest, tacos, Grocery Store, tamales, botanas, e-l-supermercado

Tucked inside the E&L Supermercado grocery store in Southwest Detroit – behind the mountains of fresh produce and sea of tortillas – is a little lunch counter. You’d probably never find it unless you were grocery shopping here, but it’s worth a special trip even if you’re completely stocked up on sundries.

E&L has been part of the Detroit community since 1948 when founders Edward Fienman and Louie Linawicz first opened up a small grocery store. In 1967, when a larger competitor moved in just down the street, Edward and Louie pivoted their business plan – specializing in meat – and moved the store one block closer to the big box store. Back then the little market was known as E&L Meat Co.

Edward’s son, Ben, took the reigns in 1974 and began expanding the business, purchasing the buildings next door and adding a tortilla factory to the mix. (The factory was later sold to Hacienda Foods and continues to operate today; you can buy their tortillas at E&L among other places.) Ben and his team spent the next decade expanding the grocery sections, incorporating fresh produce and a full kitchen to the market. Ben’s three sons now work at E&L with him.

Inside the market, the lunch counter is brimming with authentic, affordable, and tasty tacos. You’ll find favorites like carne asada, pollo (chicken) and al pastor, but they have more adventurous choices like lengua and tripe, too. You can buy them a la carte, so mix and match to your heart’s content. We’re fans of their carne asada, wonderfully charred and swirling with the flavors of garlic salt and citrus.

The lunch counter also carries tamales, botanas, quesadillas and a few other specials. The tamales are on the small side – we could easily devour two tamales and two tacos in one sitting – but they have an incredible, authentic flavor that can only be improved by a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

If you’re inclined to pick up a few groceries while you’re here, make sure you stop by the meat counter and get the fajita mix. It makes for dynamite fajitas. Really anything from their marinated meats selection is a smart choice. E&L’s bakery is stocked with fresh, made-on-site Mexican pastries (hint: save room for dessert).


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