Los Galanes: Genérico O Muy Rico

Los Galanes is an “authentic” Mexican restaurant located in the heart of Mexicantown Southwest Detroit

Isabella Vasquez, Junior Writer

¡Olé! Mexicantown, in Southwest Detroit, is a place that many people make a trip to when they are craving authentic Mexican food, and an experience that makes you feel like you are in Mexico. Los Galanes is just one restaurant people go to with the hopes of not being disappointed with subpar dishes.

Los Galanes has a rating of 4.5 stars on google. The restaurant offers classic Mexican food and drinks on the menu for a reasonable price. For example, they have tacos, tostadas, milanesas (flattened, breaded chicken breast or steak that is deep fried), rice, beans, horchata (cinnamon rice water), and more. The restaurant is decorated with popular Mexican items such as colorful Mexican banners, palm trees, cacti, and portraits to help make you feel like you are in Mexico. They even have a mural on the back of the building which depicts a combination of Frida Kahlo, and symbols related to Mexican culture. During the warmer months, there is a patio with outdoor seating.

Los Galanes is an average restaurant to eat at if you like America’s take on Mexican cuisine. The restaurant would have been better if the food was more authentic. They need to make the staples to every meal, such as rice and beans, better quality. It would also be better if they fixed up the chips and salsa, and guacamole. Getting the basics right will definitely make the restaurant more authentic. If they continue to keep the Americanized-Mexican cuisine, then they should advertise it as such, though the location is really off-putting, because you would think only authentic Mexican restaurants would be in Mexicantown. However, the decorations and atmosphere of the place definitely helps to make the restaurant more likable.

This restaurant is different because they have weekend Latin dance nights. They have an open area in the front of the restaurant that is a patio dedicated for dancing and music. Although I wasn’t able to witness the Latin dance night, they claim they do this on their website. This is a really cool concept, and it helps to bring more people into the restaurant. This also helps add to the atmosphere, and make it seem like you are in Mexico. In addition, they created a dish called the Botana. This dish made the city’s culinary scene famous. It is a mix between Canadian poutine, a Coney dog, and Mexican toppings. 

Los Galanes does some things better than other Mexican restaurants. To start, they have really attentive servers. This helped make the experience more enjoyable, because we didn’t have to wait so long to order or get our drinks refilled. The wait for food was about 45 minutes for a party of 12. I thought this was exceptional timing and not a long wait at all for such a large party. The menu features many Mexican dishes that will make you indecisive about what to order. I ended up ordering a chicken milanesa. Milanesas are very popular, and I was excited to see how authentic it tasted. When the food arrived, it was a really large portion, which is how they normally are. The milanesa had cheese on top, and this only added to the flavor and made it taste even better. The chicken milanesa did not disappoint. The quality of the chicken was really good, and there were only a couple of nerves. This is pretty good compared to other restaurants, in which every bite feels like it has a nerve in it. The chicken milanesa lived up to my expectations, which I did not expect. It was the best milanesa I have ever had from a restaurant. In addition, the place was decorated nicely. I liked all the bright colors, and Mexican-style paintings. I could really feel the Mexican heritage in the restaurant. The decorations did a fantastic job portraying Mexican culture. 

Even though I liked some aspects of the restaurant, other aspects were not up to par. As a Mexican, and having had authentic Mexican food before, I don’t think the majority of the food at Los Galanes is that good. Most of the food I ate was subpar at best. For starters, the chips and salsa were horrendous. The chips tasted store bought, and in order to give them an authentic and homemade feeling, they dip them in oil. This only makes them greasy and crunchy to the point that you would think they are stale. For the salsa, it was quite watery and tomatoey. Next, the guacamole was even more disappointing. It was also really tomatoey, and it tasted bland. In addition, there were not enough seasonings or garnishes to make it have that authentic flavoring that a guacamole from a Mexican restaurant should. Furthermore, the rice and beans followed this horrible pattern. They were a big disappointment when it was brought to the table. The rice tasted crunchy and a little like plastic. To say the least, it didn’t taste like a fresh pot of homemade rice that my abuela makes. As for the beans, they were alright tasting, but it felt like they were made from a powdered bean packet.  Beans and rice on the side is a staple to almost all, if not all, dishes eaten in Mexico. To top it off, my favorite Mexican drink, agua de horchata, was chalky. Although the flavoring was still there, the chalkiness was off-putting and took away from the flavor.  Moving on to the non-food related items, they don’t take reservations. This especially becomes a pain when you have a big party who is waiting on a table during their prime time. Moreover, there is no kids’ menu. This makes it quite tricky for picky eaters to find something on the menu in the correct portion. 

The ambiance of the restaurant is unbelievable, and it is very unique. There are so many traditional Mexican decorations that it will give you a sense that you are in Mexico. On the other hand, the food didn’t deliver like the atmosphere did. The food was very bland and basic. The majority of it was not authentic. I expected more out of Los Galanes, especially since it is located in Mexicantown. If you are willing to make a trip to Mexicantown, your time will be better spent eating at a different restaurant or taqueria.

Overall, I give Los Galanes a 2.5 out of 5. If you are looking for authentic Mexican food, I don’t recommend that you go there. The food did not live up to the authentic Mexican cuisine that I’ve had before. There are plenty of other restaurants in Mexicantown that would be better food-wise. However, if you are looking for a fun night out filled with dancing, and Americanized-Mexican food, then Los Galanes is the place to go.