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La Botana Mexican Grill: Celebrating Nine Years of Being Troy’s Best-Kept Culinary Secret

La Botana Mexican Grill: Celebrating Nine Years of Being Troy’s Best-Kept Culinary Secret

La Botana Mexican Grill: Celebrating Nine Years of Being Troy’s Best-Kept Culinary Secret
JUNE 2019
LBN Community Series Troy

When Elaine Tercel met her mom, Marjorie Odum, at Emerald Lakes Plaza in Troy for dinner outside their favorite Chinese eatery, Marjorie asked, “Would you like to try the Mexican place here, for a change?”

“I said ‘Sure!’” Elaine recalled. “I’d passed by La Botana for years – especially since I’m a Troy resident and live and work close by – but had never been there. Usually my family goes to southwest Detroit for Mexican food.



“When I entered La Botana, I’m afraid my jaw must’ve dropped,” Elaine laughed.  “I haven’t been to Mexico, but somehow, entering this unassuming storefront, I felt I’d just arrived there, with all the bright-orange, hand-painted tiles, the Mexican folk music, the cooks talking to each other in Spanish, the delicious smells!

“Oh!” she added, “and the bottles of Mexican beer and the margarita glasses!”

“I try to come here at least once a week,” said Paul Garwood, who works in Warren. “I just got back from the Mexican Riviera, and the food I had there can’t even compare to here!”

Owner Fernando Segura and the family of his wife, Susan, are from the state and city of Guanajuato, in central Mexico. Fernando and Susan met when her family would return there for vacations.

“It’s such a beautiful place, with mountains and underground tunnels,” said Fernando, holding a photo book about Guanajuato. “It’s sometimes called ‘hilly place of the frogs.’ That’s why we have paintings of frogs on our wall.

“Guanajuato is a very important city,” Fernando continued. “From there came Dolores Hidalgo (who helped win Mexico’s independence in 1610), Diego Rivera, and our university. Our town is also known for mummies, which were preserved because of all the minerals in the ground. The mummies have even been at the D.I.A. for exhibit.”

In Mexico, generations of Fernando’s family owned a butcher shop.

“I’m also a butcher,” Fernando said. “I cut, marinate and cook all our own meats. That is why the meat in all of our dishes is so tender. And we make our own chorizo sausage.”

“All of our food is prepared totally from scratch,” said Susan, who bakes their tres leches cake and also works as a nurse. “We don’t open any cans of tomatoes for salsa or beans for refried beans. We cut fresh tomatoes, de-seed our jalapeno peppers by hand, peel and mash avocado, and cook up hundreds of pounds of dried beans.

“Most people in this area are familiar with the Tex-Mex style of Mexican food,” Susan added. “Our recipes are truly authentic, from our families.

“If you came to our homes, here or in Mexico, we would serve you exactly what we serve – and eat – here,” she added with a smile.

“We make different things all the time,” Fernando said. “For Lent, we made chili rellenos. And we are becoming known for our tamales. Ours are triple-sized: made by hand, not machine.”

Many of the items at La Botana Mexican Grill are vegetarian or vegan.

“There is no lard in anything,” said Fernando, “and no chicken base. So much that we have is vegetarian.”

Five years ago, La Botana received a liquor license.

“Many people still don’t realize that we serve Mexican and domestic beer, as well as Margaritas and special cocktails of all kinds,” Fernando says. “We also do catering and provide food for parties and business meetings.”

La Botana is bustling with customers at the counter who are placing orders to be served to them at tables by friendly, efficient staff or readied for carrying out. Some are sipping Mexican pop or traditional creamy horchata (a cold, refreshing drink Fernando makes from rice, almonds and cinnamon). Some are chatting about places in Mexico they’ve visited. But all are happily looking forward to enjoying their specially made dishes.

“There’s no outside partner here, or large corporation,” said Susan. “It’s just us, working together as family and staff.  We’re a team here, with a little piece of Mexico — the food, the music. I feel like I am in Mexico. We feel like we’re home, sharing our home.”

5947 John R Road (accessible from Square Lake Road)
Troy, MI  48085













Royal Oak – June 17, 2019

Royal Oak – June 17, 2019

Increase Your Sales and Make Your Business a Draw

Learn how to turn your business into a uniquely positioned destination capable of pulling in customers from hundreds of miles away.

Jon Schallert is an internationally-recognized speaker and business expert specializing in teaching businesses and communities how to turn themselves into consumer destinations. Schallert speaks to thousands annually on his proprietary 14-step “Destination Business” process. His methodology has been used extensively by towns, cities, villages, downtowns, seasonal tourist locations, shopping centers, retail chains, franchises, and independent small business owners.

This free event is July 24 at the Hyatt Place Royal Oak.

Event Schedule 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

8 to 11:15 a.m.
Workshop (open to everyone)

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

12:30 to 2 p.m.

Marketing Roundtable (Royal Oak business only please)

Contact 248-914-4589 for more information.

Register on Eventbrite here

Sign Your Child Up for STEM Summer Camps

Registration is now open for middle school students looking to participate in a hands-on, project-based learning program centered around science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM concepts.

Each camp is grade-specific and enables students to experience culinary arts, engineering, health sciences, information technology, robotics and visual imaging. Students will also have the opportunity to visit STEM-related programs at Oakland University and will create professional portfolios during a career day.

The camps are held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free after-camp care is available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The camp is for incoming sixth graders from June 24 through 28, for incoming seventh graders from July 8 through 12 and incoming eighth graders from July 15 through 19.

The camp is housed at Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast, 5055 Delemere Avenue in Royal Oak. The cost is $190 a week, including lunch and snack. Dinner is provided to students who stay for after-camp care. Click here for more information.

An Open Letter from the Department of Public Services About Park Maintenance

Most of the 50 parks in Royal Oak are hideous overgrown messes right now. As are the boulevards and islands. Many of the soccer and baseball fields haven’t been mowed in over a week. It’s unacceptable.

Every spring we have flooding due to rain, but this year has been especially bad. Hopefully, this week will be our saving grace. Not only is there finally decent weather for the most part, but high school seniors graduated last Friday! That means this week, in addition to our four full-time employees cutting grass, there are now 11 part-timers as well. That’ll help.

We’re also waiting to start pouring concrete and putting four highway guys on mow crews when they’re not cold-patching until we’re caught up.

In the last two days, we had to have ‘stuck’ mowers towed out of parks seven times. The ground is still saturated. It’s a two-week cycle from start to finish to mow our 50 parks. That’s with good weather and dry ground.

Please bear with us folks. It’s gonna take a couple weeks, but we’ll get there. We’re putting up tennis nets in between striping soccer fields and ball diamonds. We’re picking up park rubbish once a week, and we’re keeping the cans close to the road where possible, so we can do it as quickly as possible and get back to mowing.

Many of you had trees planted in front of your homes a couple weeks ago. We’ll be sending two of our arborists out next week to inspect the planted trees. I know some will need replacement, and some need to be moved. The contractor gives us a year warranty, so we have time. July/August once the grass starts growing slower, we’ll focus on the much-needed maintenance in some of our parks.

We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please feel free to call or email me any time. I can generally respond the same day. I do not make job assignments or respond to requests via Facebook. Sorry.

Lee Collick
RO Highway/Parks & Forestry Supervisor

Police Department Starts Cracking Down on Woodward Cruisers

Royal Oak police will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to illegal activity involving cruisers on Woodward Ave.

It falls on the police every year, once the weather turns warm, to depress any unlawful behavior along the city’s nearly six miles of curbs on Woodward Avenue. Speeding, loud music, and littering are just some of the complaints the police department fields.

Woodward Avenue – one of only 31 byways to be designated an All-American Road by the Federal Highway Administration – hosts the Woodward Dream Cruise annually in August. Royal Oak is widely considered the epicenter of the one-day event.

“We are proud of Woodward’s strong heritage and the role we play in keeping the Dream Cruise a safe event for its fans,” said Chief Corrigan O’Donohue. “But the neighbors and businesses along Woodard have had enough with the summer-long activity. For the last few years, we have tried just asking motorists to move along and enforcing the more serious infractions, however, it has become like herding cats and it is pulling a tremendous amount of police resources. There is no question that our residents and business owners would like us to take a more aggressive approach to resolve this issue.”

In addition to the more obvious violations, the Royal Oak Police Department reminds motorists that it is illegal to park on private property without the owner’s permission. Most of the businesses along Woodward have granted police permission to enforce this activity.

To report witnessed infractions, call the police non-emergency line at 248-246-3500.

City Launches Mobile App

The City of Royal Oak has a new mobile app. Find out what’s happening, get meeting agendas, discover employment opportunities within the city and more.

Download the app at:
Apple Store 
Google Play Store

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor
Troy – June 17, 2019

Troy – June 17, 2019

Classical Music Fills Troy Community Center

Join fellow classical music lovers for Mozart in the Summer on Wednesday, June 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. in rooms 304/305 of the Troy Community Center.

Sit back and relax to Mozart’s “Gran Partita” performed by community musicians DMO Winds. The 50-minute piece is scored for two oboes, two clarinets, two basset horns, two bassoons, four French horns and one string bass. This is a small wind symphony that is one of the finest in the repertoire. Meet the musicians during a reception with light refreshments to follow.

The cost is $5 for residents and $10 for non-residents.


Troy Farmers Market Opens Friday, June 21

Check out the Troy Farmers Market every Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., June 21 through Sept. 27 in the Troy Public Library Parking Lot off Big Beaver and Civic Center Roads.

Get fresh and seasonal, Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables, flowers, meats, honey and more, plus baked goods, jams, jellies, spices, pastas and ready-to-eat foods prepared with local ingredients. The farmers market also offers weekly musical entertainment sponsored by J-Ro School of Music.

Food Trucks will also be onsite.

“This is the second year for the Troy Farmers Market and we are so excited to welcome our farmers and local food vendors, and thank our sponsor Genisys Credit Union,” said Cindy Stewart, Community Affairs director and farmers market manager. “Our market will provide local Michigan grown produce and food products to residents and visitors. It’s the perfect gathering place to bring the community together for live entertainment and kids’ activities, while shopping for healthy food.”

For more information, call 248-524-1147 or email

Enroll in the ‘Do Not Knock’ Registry

Through the city, you can register your house, so peddlers will not knock on your door. Visit the Do Not Knock Registry to get the guidelines, learn where you can pick up your window decal and more.

Join a ‘Place of Worship’ Tour

Join the Troy Historical Society on June 19 for a Place of Worship Tours. The tour begins at the Dharma Gate Zen Center, 360 E. Maple Rd, Suite K, in the Maplewood Court Industrial Park at 7:30 p.m. Learn the history of the diverse places of worship, the congregations, and see the beautiful architecture of their buildings. The cost is $7 for Troy historical Society members and $8 for non-members.

DEP Investing $1.8 million in Troy Headquarters

Detroit Engineered Products is investing $1.8 million in its Troy headquarters, located at 850 East Long Lake Road. DEP is an engineering solutions and product development company. The company will be adding 91 high-paying jobs over the next three years. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is providing a performance-based incentive grant to the project.

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor
To share your news, announcements, and events, please email
Birmingham – June 17, 2019

Birmingham – June 17, 2019

Review Water Quality Report

The 2018 Consumers Annual Report on Water Quality is now available. Access the report to learn about water quality and safety on the City’s website at, or download the report here.

For more information, contact the Department of Public Services at 248-530-1700.

Save the Date for Breakfast

Birmingham Public Schools are hosting Breakfast with the Superintendents on Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 8 to 9 a.m. Save the date for this meet-and-greet event.

Bernhard Brenner, the president and founder of Knitcraft

Chef Clash Sunday Event Returns

The popular Chef Clash Sunday event will take place on Sunday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Birmingham chefs are challenged with two dishes, one savory and one sweet. Local judges will score the dishes created at the event. Chefs must complete these dishes using mystery ingredients from the market’s vendors. There will also be samples for shoppers to taste from each chef’s restaurant.

Chefs from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Adachi and Hazel, Ravines and Downtown will go head-to-head to earn this year’s Master Chef Champion title.

The market is located at 660 North Old Woodward, across from Salvatore Scallopini Restaurant and just north of Booth Park. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday now through October. Learn more at

Attend Workshop to Review Construction Agreement

The Birmingham City Commission will hold a workshop to review a construction agreement for the Birmingham N.O.W. Project, the new North Old Woodward Parking Structure and related Bates Street development project, on Thursday, June 20, at 7 p.m. at City Hall (151 Martin Street) in the Commission Room.

This meeting is open to the public and is a workshop of the Commission where no actions will be taken. Formal consideration of the construction agreement is planned for the June 24 City Commission meeting.

Agenda items for City Commission meetings can be found on the city’s website.


Take a Look Behind the Curtain

Opera fans take note. The Baldwin Public Library is hosting Behind the Curtain

Tuesday, June 25, at 7 p.m. The creative teams from the Michigan Opera Theatre will share stories and information about their upcoming productions. Registration required.

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill Street. For more information visit or call 248-647-1700.



Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor
Clawson – June 17, 2019

Clawson – June 17, 2019

Soccer Club Settles in Clawson

Women’s World Cup Soccer is in full effect, but you don’t have to be a globetrotter to get up close and personal. The Oakland County Football Club is now calling Clawson “home.” OCFC is a semi-professional soccer team that will compete at Clawson’s Park Stadium for seven home games. The games are scheduled through July 21. The full schedule is available at

4th of July Party Plans in the Works

The pinnacle of summer parties is coming up and Clawson will be in the mix with the 4th of July celebration. Clawson’s Independence Day celebration tradition started in 1933.

This year’s theme is “Love, Peace, Clawson.” The craft show and midway will be open July 3 and July 4.

If you are interested in volunteering and getting involved with this long-standing tradition, please go to for more details, the committee is always looking for volunteers to help.

Save a Life: Donate Blood

When you need blood, seconds count. The American Red Cross will host a blood drive at City Hall in the Community Room on Tuesday, June 26, from 1 to 7 p.m.

Please help support your community. You never know whose life you’re going to save.

To make an appointment, visit

Bring Your Best Stuffed Friend on a Picnic

Children and their teddy bears or favorite stuffed toys, are invited to the 32nd Annual Teddy Bear Picnic at the playground of the Hunter Community Center located at 509 Fisher Court on Friday, June 22, at 11:30 a.m.

If it rains, the picnic will take place inside the Hunter Community Center

Please bring a bag lunch and a blanket or lawn chair. The library will provide a beverage. Pre-register for this event at the Blair Memorial Library

2019 Summer Reading Program: Libraries Rock!

The 2019 Summer Reading Program at Blair Memorial Library is open to kids preschool age through fifth grade. It includes fun programs, cool contests, prize drawings, story time and more.

A complete calendar of events is included with the registration packet.

Additionally, the Teen Read summer program is for those entering sixth grade through 12th grade. Teens can enter weekly prize drawings by reading books or listening to audio books.

A calendar of events is included with the registration packet. The Teen Read program will conclude with an after-hours party with pizza, lots of fun and prize giveaways.

Register at the Blair Memorial Library.


Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

To share your news, announcements, and events, please email