Pueblan taco and pizza concept La Noria Bistro opens in Southwest Detroit


  • Photo by Tom Perkins
  • La Noria.

El Barzon's long-awaited sister restaurant is up and running in Southwest Detroit.

Like El Barzon, La Noria Bistro is an Italian and Mexican restaurant, but this time around owner Norberto Garita is focusing on wood-fired pizzas and what he describes as Pueblan street food.

Many Mexican immigrants in Southwest are from the Mexican state of Jalisco, Garito says, so he's introducing new flavors by focusing on Pueblan dishes.

Among those is grasshopper, which he first cures in lemon and salt, then pan-sautées before it's added to tacos or pizza. In Puebla and neighboring Oaxaca, grasshopper is a wintertime staple that's purchased in bulk from street vendors who catch the insect.
Another new dish is the tacos árabes, a variety similar to tacos al pastor. Pork for both styles essentially bastes on a vertical spit called a trompo that Detroiters usually see utilized for gyro meat.

But pastor is a sweet and savory taco, while árabes (Arabic) are seasoned and layered with parsley, cumin, clove, and onion. Once it's shaved from the trompo, the meat is folded into a flour tortilla that's similar to pita bread.

Chicken in chileajo
  • Chicken in chileajo

In the tamales de frijole, Garita wraps the black beans and masa in yerba santa, a fragrant, peppery tropical leaf found in southern Mexico that ramps up the tamale's flavor. (Interestingly, it tastes a little like root beer.)

Puebla is also known for its sandwiches, and Garita stacks several varieties, like the cemita, which holds milanesas, carne asada, or other meats. The name cemita comes from the bun itself, which is a golden brown, sweet and savory sesame seed roll. Pueblan-style cemitas come with papalo, a cilantro-like herb with a minty pop, as well as avocado, chipotle mole, and a stringy Oaxacan cheese.
For the menu's Italian side, Garita cooks Noria's pizzas in a wood-fire oven, which hold the usual pizza toppings, but he also offers a chicken mole pizza and one topped with grasshoppers.

In his chicken milanese, Garito fries the bird with arugula and sangria medley tomatoes.

La Noria is located at 5517 Michigan Ave. It's open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Monday.

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