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La Familia Cafe

November 28, 2019

  • 224 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 312-8014
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s always exciting when new restaurants open downtown.   I’ve become one of those downtown workers that sort of gets stuck in a rut.  I don’t always have time or want to sit down and eat and there’s not a lot of grab and go options downtown.

A few weeks ago I noticed a new sign on a building that has been home to several restaurants over the years and not long after that, I started to notice people coming out with large boxes of food to-go.

La Familia Cafe is on Michigan Avenue across from the Kalamazoo County Courthouse. The building was most recently Chau Haus Schnitzel Station but it has been multiple restaurants over the years. 

The restaurant underwent a huge renovation before La Familia moved in.  The dark green carpeting and wood panel chair rail are gone.  They’ve been replaced with a shiny wood laminate floor and a more modern looking white wall. The old fashioned furniture leftover from the days of being a family restaurant also gone replaced with, again, more modern looking black tables and chairs.

I had no idea when I walked in if La Familia was going to be a full service restaurant or counter service.  That question was quickly answered when I walked in to a packed dining room and a fairly long long of people waiting at a small lunch counter near the back.  I had my fingers crossed this would be a counter service restaurant and to my delight, it is.

The special the day I stopped in was Four Asada Street tacos.  I ordered that as well as one Al Pastor Street Taco just so I could try it.  The cost came out to about just over $11 with the tip.

There was really no place to wait for a to-go because the place was pretty full.  I found a spot along the wall near the bathroom and waited for my name.  They were really busy so it took well over 15 minutes for my order to come out.  They’re still pretty new and people are just finding them so my assumption is this will die down a little over time…..but then again, I also went right during the lunch rush which I didn’t have to do…i just wasn’t t hinking.

I grabbed the bag of food when my name was called and headed back to the office to eat.  I unwrapped the Al Pastor taco first since it was packaged by itself.  The Street Tacos come with two grilled corn tortillas, protein, cilantro and onion.  I had asked for no onion on all of the tacos but the Al Pastor came with it. Not a huge deal as I just brushed it to the side.  The corn tortillas were pretty small but they got as much meat as they could on to each one.   The meat was tender and flavorful.  The only downside is this is about a one bite size taco.

The four Asada Street Tacos were the same as the El Pastor but with steak instead of pork.  These four tacos did come without onions like they were supposed to.  Again, the meat was very tender and had a delicious salty flavor to it.   Both of the tacos could have used a little bit of hot sauce just to kick them up a little.  None was offered when I ordered so unsure if that is an option or not.

La Familia Cafe is going to do pretty well downtown.  The taco portion sizes are a little on the small size but the flavor is there and that’s what really matters.  I crave tacos and having this place just up the block from where I work is going to satisfy that craving several more times.



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