Imperial has metro Detroit buzzing and I’m here to add my praise. Their modern take on Mexican food is something special and the cocktails are worth the trip alone.
Long wooden communal tables and huge wooden booths give the restaurant a streamlined, yet comfortable feel. Parties of two are not suppose to sit at the huge booths during peak hours, but we were there before the dinner crowd. Huge booth to ourselves!
We had to try the chips and salsa and ordered the trio of salsas with varying degrees of heat, but each one was very tasty. We like spicy salsa and didn’t find any of them to be overly hot. Marc’s favorite was the hot, but I liked the medium-spiced salsa verde that had a pesto-like texture. My guess is that the tomatillos were blended with lots of cilantro for that consistency. The flavor was great.
I ordered the incredible organic hibiscus margarita with a cinnamon sugar rim. It was one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. The weather was chilly outside, but sipping on this beautiful drink made me feel like I was somewhere warm and sunny. Each month they have a cocktail of the month that they post on Facebook and each month I vow to make a trip to have that cocktail.
The menu is concise with a few small, but delicious plates that are perfect for sharing with friends and are perfect for enjoying with a good cocktail or beer. They offer several tacos, a few bacon-wrapped hotdogs, a veggie hotdog, elote corn, grilled jalapeños and of course, chips and salsa.
We ordered the al pastor (spicy pork), carne asada, carnitas and chorizo tacos. Each taco had a slightly different variation of toppings like pickled onions, jalapeños, cilantro and queso fresco. Each taco was full of flavor. Marc ordered the sonoran hot dog which was bacon-wrapped with tomatoes, cilantro and cheese and enjoyed it. They also offer an excellent seitan taco for vegetarians. We ordered one on our second visit to Imperial and we had to order another one because they were that good. Marc was very impressed with it.
Our waitress brought over their house sauces to try on our tacos and I wish I could remember the flavor combinations. The orange one was habañero orange which was very hot, but the flavor combination was incredible. The green one had green apple in it and complimented the grilled tacos really well. The red one was delicious, too, and smoky, if I remember correctly. We weren’t offered these sauces on our second visit and we forgot to ask, so make sure you ask for these secret sauces and try them out. A little goes a long way for the spicy orange one, friends.
And because I must order churros when I see them on a menu, I ordered this guy. It was soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside and covered in cinnamon and sugar. I’m usually a good sharer of my food, but I don’t think Marc had more than a tiny bite. Churros forever!
Check out Imperial if you find yourself in Ferndale with a craving for tacos and craft cocktails!