El Arbol is open! County residents have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Mexican street food restaurant since news of its pending arrival hit the local news back in the spring.
The newest downtown Brighton eatery is owned by Steve Pilon of Wooden Spoon fame, and managed by his daughter Lauren.
El Arbol is in the former Yum Yum Tree location at 140 W Main in downtown Brighton, and the restaurant’s name — “The Tree” in Spanish — pays homage to that beloved downtown family destination.
The food at El Arbol is not Tex-Mex — you’ll have to source your enchiladas and burritos elsewhere. El Arbol strives to offer authentic Mexican street food fare, and that means individual tacos served on a double corn tortilla, elote (grilled corn on the cob with spicy mayo and shredded cheese), pozole, torta and the like. Check out this handy guide, on the difference:
The menu at El Arbol is gluten-free, with the exception of the churros (bummer!) and the quesadilla (a corn tortilla substitution is available on request). Vegans and vegetarians will find options as well. According to its Facebook page, El Arbol is working on a “cilantro-free” pico, to help customers with the genetic hiccup that makes that herb taste like soap.
In keeping with the food philosophy of the Wooden Spoon, ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible. The corn tortillas and chips are from La Michoacana, a family-owned company operating in Detroit since 1940.
Soft drinks, including horchata, are offered, as well as wine, beer (including craft drafts and the usual Mexican brews), and, of course, margaritas and a variety of tequilas round out the list. Dessert? Churros — the real thing, served with chocolate dipping sauce.
Want to consume your tacos at the Mill Pond, or at home? El Arbol sports the area’s first and only walk-up taco window (Taco Bell drive-thru does not count!). Open for the evening crowd Tuesday-Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday, the taco window brings the “street” to El Arbol’s Mexican street food game. Make it authentic, and wander down Main Street munching your taco!