FLINT, Michigan—It’s all in the name. Of course, Soriano’s is a restaurant, but it is so much more. Soriano’s is a family with a proud tradition, now being carried on by a new generation.
At the helm of Soriano’s Mexican Kitchen is Erica Soriano, 25, who after a lifetime in the family business is, for the first time, the owner.
Located at the corner of Saginaw and Court streets, Soriano’s opened in late June featuring authentic Mexican food. It is the same spot most recently made popular by El Potrero Mexican Restaurant, which closed in April when its lease was up.
The remodeled space includes a new full bar on display and an open foyer. Soriano grew up around her parents’ restaurants in Grand Rapids and Holland, which also carried the family name. Both her parents, Juan Soriano and Consuelo Quintana, were born in Mexico. Erica was born in southern California and the family relocated to Michigan when she was 6 and opened their first restaurant when she was 7.
The west Michigan family restaurants closed a few years ago, but they saw a new opportunity in Flint.
“There’s too many places now in Grand Rapids and we noticed that there isn’t as much here, and we knew the previous Mexican restaurant closed,” Soriano says.
Now, the whole family makes the business a team effort. Erica’s sister and mom help out up front by serving and running the register while Erica’s brother, dad, and boyfriend work in the kitchen.
“I love the family support and that we’re all working together to make this work,” says Erica.
Erica says that customers from their old restaurant in Grand Rapids have already made a trip down to their new location.
Among their most popular dishes are the fajitas, which come with steak, chicken, shrimp, a combination of all three meats, or just vegetables. Listen for the bell to ring to know your order is ready and the sizzling plate is on the way. Another popular dish is the pollo zamora, which is topped with the kitchen’s original frijoles de la olla with arbol sauce.
Each dish, except appetizers, come with a hearty portion of rice and beans. And unlike most Mexican restaurants, Soriano’s simply uses salt and water when making their beans instead of lard.
The restaurant has a lunch and dinner menu in addition to a bar and kids menu. There is free parking on the side of the building and in the back. Carry out also is available.
While Erica says they currently rent the building, she hopes that one day they own a permanent spot downtown or close by.
“More people know each other here,” said Erica. “Before we opened the restaurant, we would go out to eat here and we noticed that people are very friendly and very welcoming and we like that (about Flint).”
Soriano’s Mexican Kitchen is located at 836 S. Saginaw St. in downtown Flint. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, check out Soriano’s Facebook page