El Nacimiento Thrives on Good Food and Giving Back

El Nacimiento Restaurant Taqueria, in southwest Detroit, prides itself on being a community partner, in addition to a great place to enjoy a variety of authentic Mexican foods and drinks.
“We are always involved in the community,” said Alvaro Padilla, 36, who has worked there since it
opened in 2001.
He said his father, owner Rodrigo Padilla, makes it clear that the family business is not just
about drumming up sales.
“It is about giving back to the community,” Padilla said. “We also want to have a good name in
the community.”
The restaurant, whose name means Nativity in English, has opened its doors for community
meetings, hosted teen dances and donated food to churches, schools and others who have asked.
The spacious restaurant, which also offers outdoor seating, is painted in bright colors and adorned with colorful Mexican-inspired decorations. Guests can sit at tables or booths. There is a bar where customers can sit and drink or watch music videos, sporting events or even novelas, which
are Spanish-language soap operas.
The menu is packed with the usual offerings of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. But it
also features seafood, steaks and popular non-alcoholic drinks such as horchata, which is made
from rice.
Located at 7400 W. Vernor, the popular restaurant is frequently packed with customers.
It remains strong despite fierce competition from numerous Mexican restaurants and food trucks in southwest Detroit.
El Nacimiento stands out because of its community support, said John Lopez, 49,
a local realtor and Southwest Detroit resident.
“It is a beautiful thing,” Lopez said. “ I t makes a difference when you are there for the community. People look for whether you are authentic or not and whether you  give back or not.”
Monica Garza Flores, another southwest Detroit resident likes that. “It’s good that they give back,” she said. “They should support the community.”
Elizabeth Valdez agrees. She heads Detroit Southwest Pride, a neighborhood and grassroots community group, and said she likes to spend her money at businesses that help
the community.
“I will support a business that supports the community,” she said. “That is a big
deal.”
She said there are businesses in the community that help out in a similar way but that
there is a need for more.
“There is always a need,” Valdez said. Padilla, who has worked for the restaurant since it opened, said he is proud of the business’ generosity. “We would not be who we are if we did not give
back,” he said.

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