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Best restaurants in Traverse City area?

I second Burritts, but I go for the fish sausage rather than the whitefish spread. The sausage comes cooked, and I eat it cold though I suppose you could warm it if you really wanted to.

9 Bean Rows in Suttons Bay is my favorite place up that way-- great farm-to-table food, wonderful service, comfortable surroundings.

In Traverse City I'm a fan of Cook's House, but with the caveat of being careful where you're seated. The tables are soooo close together, two adjacent two-tops feels like a four. Last time there we had really, really superficial, pretentious, obnoxious inebriated "dining companions" which rather ruined the experience for us. No idea how to avoid that except to go when they're not so busy-- whenever that might be. Imaginative, meticulously prepared food, though.

Stella is wonderful too, though I think best experienced at dinner when you can take the time to savor it.

I love Georgina's. If you'd enjoy very intense flavors and don't mind a creative spin on some ethnic standards give it a try. I'll have the Ropa and the Vaca Frita, please! The place is small and fills up fast. Supposedly they take reservations but I can't imagine how that could quite work as there always seems to be a line. We just double-check their opening time the day before, and show up early. I enjoy the food enough that I'll eat if for Sunday brunch as well.

For quicker, more casual fare I enjoy Harvest, which is the brick & mortar cousin to the Roaming Harvest (Little Fleet) truck. They serve brunch also, though I haven't been for that. http://roamingharvest.com/harvest/menu/

The food at Patisserie Amie is a treat, but the crowds are not. It might be okay at this time of year, though. http://chezperes.files.wordpress.com/...

Amie transforms into a French restaurant, Chez Perez in the evening. I've not tried it though.

Oct 16, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Detroit in November

By November I think both Selden Street Standard and Gold Cash Gold will be open-- they're currently hiring. And maybe also La Rondinella.

Selden Street Standard, located between Downtown and Midtown, is Andy Hollyday's new place. He was exec chef at Roast from opening until about a year ago when he left to go on his own. Note other former Roast folks tagged along.

http://www.seldenstandard.com/about-us/

Gold Cash Gold is on Michigan Ave in Corktown-- near Nemos's if you know the local sports bars. Phil Cooley (Slow's) put it together and hired Chef Josh Stockton

http://instagram.com/goldcashgolddetroit
https://www.facebook.com/goldcashgold...

La Rondinella is Dave Mancini's (Supino) new spot, going into the space right next door to his current place. Supino is pizza only, he'll be doing more extensive Italian at La Rondinella.

http://goo.gl/bjXHD8

Almost forgot these-- Chef Kate Williams' 2 new eateries over in the GAR Building (Republic and Parks & Rec) are coming along (floor tiles the other day), and I thought Craig Lieckfelt (Guns & Butter) was planning a Fall opening at his brick & mortar on Broadway as well.

http://detroit.eater.com/2014/6/16/62...

https://www.facebook.com/GUNSandBUTTE...

My nominee for Best New Food Item in Metro Detroit for 2014 is easily the Khao Soi from Chef Brad Greenhill's Katoi, currently selling out of Two James Distillery on Michigan Ave in Corktown. If you enjoy south asian noodle soups at all, it's well worth the short drive. Location is more-or-less kitty-corner from Slow's.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Katoi/...

Top of the Pontch was one of our recent Detroit Restaurant Week stops. The food (I had the Japanese tasting menu) was top notch, as were the space, the service and the view. Chef is Justin Vaiciunas.

https://www.facebook.com/topofthepontch

Oct 05, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes
1

Mario Batali finds in Michigan

FYI the people running Hearth & Vine when Batali first patronized and liked it are now at 9 Bean Rows in Suttons Bay. That's not to say Hearth & Vine isn't good (or good again), however 9 Bean Rows is my current overall favorite dining destination in the greater Traverse City/Leelenau area. Their food is interesting and very solid, beverages (Tandem Cider!) are what I like, service is superb+ and the place is charming (without being cutesy) and comfortable. I love their simple but serene back patio. Prices are moderate, which is of course a plus as well.

Oct 01, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes
1

Burmese & Malaysian in Lansing-- Anyone Tried It? (DTW, Lansing)

They posted their first photos to Facebook last March 17. Whether they were open before then I do not know.

I've not been happy with Satay House at all. They offer limited Malaysian items and those I've tried have lacked flavor intensity. My standard is Taste Good Malaysian Cuisine in Elmhurst, Queens NY plus a few other spots around NYC. Mostly I'm on the hunt for very vibrant Curry Laksa, though I also appreciate rojak, rendang and roti canai.

On the other hand an acquaintance who grew up in Thailand and has traveled widely in South Asia enjoys Satay House very much.

The only curry laksa (by whatever name) I've found worth eating in the midwest has been from the Katoi truck in Corktown. Certainly it's pricey at $12.50 for a disposable bowl, but the flavor is all there. I think he has plans to move to a brick & mortar space fairly soon. Hopefully his portion sizes will increase once he does that.

My interest in Naing Myanmar is primarily for their Burmese dishes, especially the tea leaf salad.

Sep 22, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Burmese & Malaysian in Lansing-- Anyone Tried It? (DTW, Lansing)

I am mostly wondering if it's worth the drive from metro Detroit to Lansing for Naing Myanmar Family Restaurant. They do have the signature (?) Burmese tea leaf salad and some soupy noodle bowls that sound promising.

Tempted as I was, I never did make the drive to the Burmese places in Ft Wayne so I was of course pleased to learn of this one so much closer.

Anyone been?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Naing-...

http://npaper-wehaa.com/citypulse#201...

http://goo.gl/Y0zlbv

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/194/18372...

http://www.yelp.com/biz/naing-myanmar...

Sep 20, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Trip Report - Traverse City, Kalkaska, Leland, Fenton, Ann Arbor, Port Clinton

Apparently this

http://www.ronscajunconnection.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/cajun-connect...

115 reviews for a place in an obscure location is impressive.

Sep 19, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

So if you were going to lunch in Birmingham, MI where would you go

A bit late, I know, but I'd go to The Stand. Because I've been wanting to try it. Chef Paul Grosz, formerly (or technically still, I guess) of Cuisine Detroit is there now.

Sep 19, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Trip Report - Traverse City, Kalkaska, Leland, Fenton, Ann Arbor, Port Clinton

Wow, no idea!

We had Curry Pineapple Chancho and Vaca Frita. Loved both so much we tried to go back the next day but the wait was so impossibly long we had to move on.

The chancho is served over white rice, but the sauce was so wonderful we'd have appreciated anything to sop it all up! Not saying the rice was bad (or good) it was just sort of there but much valued as a carrier for that sauce!

The vaca frita, too, was phenomenal. I remember the beans were flavorful. The rice again became saturated in sauce which was fine by me! I'm a major plantain fan, but recall there only being a few slices of "just fine" quality.

After quire a few standout dining experiences over a week in Traverse City area, it's the craving for more of Georgina's dishes that tempts us to drive four hours for dinner! And we *almost* did, last weekend.

For context, we're fans of very intense flavors, regulars at Thai temple Sunday Markets and adventurous eaters generally.

Sep 17, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Detroit suggestions for lunch and dinner in the Motown Museum /Institute of Arts area

I agree that the W Warren strip in Dearborn is fun just because there's so much in addition to restaurants there-- and of course there are good restaurants (Cedarland!) to be found.

Royal Kabob in Hamtramck is also really good though, and they do bake their pita on site. For wrap sandwiches they use the packaged pita (from Yasmeen in Dearborn I think), but they serve their own fresh baked, puffy pitas with entrees.

A slightly tangential but bread-related question-- has anyone tried the new Athens Souvlaki in the Penobscot Building downtown? It's a sister restaurant to their Southfield location. I've never eaten there, but have been told they've made their own pita since 1966.

http://athenssouvlaki.com/about/

Sep 13, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

So *this time*, Andiamo's is *really* going to be *GREAT*!!!!! [Detroit area]

From the comments to that Freep article--

"From the article "Vicari says he doesn’t expect much difference in prices". I compared an old menu (Sterling Heights) with the new one (West Bloomfield). Five comparisons (Old Price / New Price): Soup: ($4.95 / $6.00) Lasagna: ($17.95 / $21.00) Fetticune Alfredo ($16.95 / $19.00) Whitefish Scaliana ($21.95 / $26.00) Ribeye Steak ($36.95 / $40.00). Between 8-20% increases across the board seems a big 'difference' to me."

I had gotten dragged there several times in past years by older relatives. Why would I bother to go now? So may new places to try-- Wright & Co, Top of the Pontch, more casual ones like Johnny Noodle King and (repeat visits to) Katoi. What in the world would motivate me to go to an Andiamo?

Also really the difference in the food between (Andiamo's) Rojo and (same chef's independent) El Asador is so striking, I have to wonder what it was about the Andiamo organization that kept his hands tied while he was there. That example alone leaves a bad (or should I say bland?) taste in my mouth re Andiamo.

Sep 13, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes
1

Detroit suggestions for lunch and dinner in the Motown Museum /Institute of Arts area

Sorry about your Byblos disappointment. Would have sent you here but you specified DIA neighborhood. Next time! That or Cedarland in Dearborn also has the pita you like.

http://goo.gl/VVwxrG

Sep 07, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Shatila expands to WB & SH [DTW]

Okay, but will the satellites have ice cream? That has been my favorite at Shatila, though last time I went it did not seem quite as good as prior years. Hmmm.

Sep 01, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

A look back, what restaurant or bar do you wish was still around? [Detroit area]

Me, too for Chef Ed's

Aug 22, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Detroit suggestions for lunch and dinner in the Motown Museum /Institute of Arts area

Another idea for lunch (or dinner for that matter), and something you won't find in Ann Arbor is Yemen Cafe. It is only 2 miles (5 minutes) out of the way from the route between Motown Museum and DIA. I stop by a few times each month for either dine-in or carry-out.

One prior discussion-- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8021...

Menu link here (though they don't actually do restaurant.com, but that's another story ...)-- http://goo.gl/KqHvbP

Photos here-- http://www.yelp.com/biz/yemen-cafe-ha...

Aug 22, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes
1

Looking to buy Michigan made pop in Detroit

Lafayette Foods in the Lafayette Park shopping center (not far from Eastern Market) carries the glass (sugar) six packs. Also I've seen the individual bottles in a lot of restaurants-- definitely Mudgies for one.

Aug 22, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Detroit suggestions for lunch and dinner in the Motown Museum /Institute of Arts area

The DIA area is my work neighborhood and I'm there at least 5 days/week. I usually bring my lunch, and go to Hamtramck, Corktown or SW Detroit for dinner which does indeed say something.

Good Girls is closed and for good reason (see Y*lp reviews) but Petit Zinc would have been a far better choice even if there still was a choice.

Mario's is old, tired and overpriced in my opinion, plus their chef recently left to join Roma Cafe. Traffic Jam, despite its eclectic decor, is also IMO old, tired and overpriced-- again, see Y*lp reviews.

I realize LaPita in Dearborn is very good, but for whatever reason the Midtown location has just never approached that quality. I've tried, believe me I've tried as it would be so very convenient for me! Actually I find Byblos a block south on Cass a better choice despite its maddening inconsistency. If I want middle-eastern I'll just drive to Royal Kabob in Hamtramck (better) or Cedarland in Dearborn (best!) instead. Neither is so long a drive.

Slow's to Go isn't bad, but I'll usually go searching for the mobile Detroit BBQ Co instead since that's usually great.

We found LaFeria silly-overpriced and the wait for seating maddening, but as I've only been once I'd say make up your own mind on that one.

Cass Cafe, as already mentioned is frustratingly inconsistent. It's a very "campus" place.

The newish Maccabees is also IMO overpriced for what it is, and quality seems to vary both minute to minute and dish to dish. Again, Y*elp reviews may be helpful.

I've been to Grille Midtown three times and left disappointed each time. At those prices food should be scrumptious, and theirs was not. Plus it tends to the very noisy in there.

A place I've been wanting to try but have not yet is Zenith in the Fisher Building, so located between Motown Museum and the DIA. I'm hearing good things about it, the reviews look solid, and the proprietors are experienced restaurateurs (from Boston). Their various menus are included on their site-- http://thezenithatthefisher.com/

Woodbridge Pub over on Trumbull serves up some enjoyable food, plus they're nearer Lincoln St Art Park in case you might want to have a look at that.

http://www.woodbridgepub.com/our-menu/ (scroll for lunch
)http://goo.gl/qX7XGQ

In a pinch I'll eat Pizza at Motor City Brewing, pretty much anything at Go! Sy Thai and select (but not deep fried) dim sum items from Midtown Shangri La.

And I agree the DIA cafe is not a bad choice for a convenient lunch.

Aug 21, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Holiday Market's The Smoke House: Just Say "No." [Detroit area]

I'm also a big fan of Detroit BBQ most of the time, particularly for their brisket. VTB, when did you get the huge portions? I certainly have not noticed that of late.

Generally I think they're worth finding (and the finding can be a challenge!) with a few caveats:

1) They do have 3 rigs now, but their scheduling (or announcing it) isn't the greatest. At all. Even reading the website (FB) daily it can be very tough to figure out where they'll be. Or they'll not announce until 15 minutes prior.

2) They do run out. If you want something in particular get there early-- especially for lunch when they've been known to run out of everything.

3) Brisket is mostly great, the best I've ever had. Except if you should have the misfortune to get served a point (?) piece it can be quite dry and very fatty. At $10 or $12/serving (not sure on current prices or consistency thereof) both the wasted money and the lack of great brisket are disappointing.

Still, from my perspective, they're by far the best in town.

Aug 20, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Ethnic (Thai, Filipino + more) in Corktown [Detroit]

Yeah, I know, VTB! I did ask them about the name. They did have a reasonably reasonable explanation along the lines of being neither this nor that-- not Thai by nationality but cooking Thai food, serving restaurant food out of a truck, and I forget their other examples. No matter the name, though, the food is phenomenal!

Aug 19, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Ethnic (Thai, Filipino + more) in Corktown [Detroit]

This is very, very last minute for all but the Thai food.

St Cece's in Corktown is hosting a "multiple pop-ups" food event today from 5-10pm. One of the participants is Sarap, a new Filipino food project around town. So far Sarap has done sit-down dinners in Detroit and in Port Huron for $40-$50/person. Today they're a la carte, so a chance to try just your favorite for far less.

Also at the St Cece's event will be start-ups/pop-ups High Five Taco, Dr Sushi, Native Soul, Kung Food, Alegria Pops (2014 HATCH contest semi-finalist) and, if you'll classify after-hours food as an ethnicity, DIBS.

Here's the flyer for that event-- http://goo.gl/fDBjGe
https://www.facebook.com/sarapdetroit
http://www.sarapdetroit.com/

Not so last minute is Detroit's (and Corktown's) new Chiang Mai accented Thai food venture, Katoi. They currently set up shop each Wednesday thru Saturday, from 5pm till around 10, behind Two James Distillery on Michigan Ave just west of the the old train station. I've been there twice so far, and also sampled dishes at two of their preview events. In all cases I've been extremely impressed, and I'm a Thai food fanatic (Thai Temple regular) and a Northern cuisine fan especially.

Katoi's chicken-focused Chiang Mai curried noodle bowl equals the best I've ever had-- intense and complex with just a touch of heat. Their Truck Noodles, a pork based bowl and their take on Boat Noodles, runs a close second. Vegetable sides are also enjoyable, but the noodle bowls steal the show. Don't let the Food Truck location fool you, what you'll get is more like specialty restaurant cuisine.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Katoi/...
http://www.yelp.com/biz/katoi-detroit

Aug 19, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Detroit near Hilton Garden Inn Downtown

FYI Cliff Bell's has undergone some changes lately-- new manager, new chef, new approach to dining as opposed to drinking. "Shareable small plates" presumably means more like apps than dinner? http://detroit.eater.com/archives/201...

Joanie, is the Greektown place you're thinking of Fishbones? It's not so much a seafood place as Cajun & Creole (and sushi!) but not really a good representation of that cuisine I don't think.

Aug 15, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Cerviche

rainsux, You found the Acapulco truck during Summer 13? Where? We've been looking and looking. Last we heard Hernesto had gone back to Mexico, probably never to return. He did have the very best ceviche though-- apparently his wife made it. http://goo.gl/vMHqKL

There is a lot of ceviche on the food trucks and in smaller restaurants in SW Detroit. Most of it seems to be bought pre-mixed though (because it is all the same ho-hum) and just scooped out. The Mexican groceries over there sell it by the pound, but again not very interesting-- seems to be made from frozen seafood "mixto" they also sell, and always comes out watery. Here's El Caballo's-- http://goo.gl/GWJurs

I used to enjoy the ceviche at LaTerazza but last I had it (July?) it had slipped into mediocrity with the rest.

If El Asador has it on their menu (and I don't know whether they do) it would probably be worth trying. I don't think he serves up purchased pre-mixed anything.

Another place to try would be the ceviche tent at Patton Park on Futbol (soccer) Sundays. I tried it once a few years back and do not remember being blown away, but it may be just fine now for all I know. http://goo.gl/0Ueei4

Aug 11, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes
1

Thai Food today only Corktown Detroit

Chef Brad Greenhill had scheduled a $45/person pop-up dinner for revolver this weekend, but due to some sort of kitchen malfunction it is now not going to happen. Since there is food already in prep, he's going to finish it and sell a la carte at Motor City Wine from 6pm today only.

This is a big deal (to me, anyway) because I had some of his Thai food at a Katio (his upcoming food truck) preview a few weeks back and was seriously blown away by it.

This guy is getting into Thai food like Pok-Pok's Andy Ricker (Portland & NYC) has.

Info & menu here--

https://www.facebook.com/events/80134...

Due to a kitchen malfunction our revolver dates this weekend were canceled. No bigs, we're moving the party over to MotorCity Wine and doing the menu a la carte from the Katoi truck. Come eat some dope Thai food.

PHAT HUA KHAEROT (v) 6
(charred carrots + lime + peanuts + coconut yogurt

)

KRATHIAM TAENG KHANG (v) 5
(garlic cucumber + birdseye chili + szechuan peppercorn)

KAENG SOM KUNG 10
(tiger prawn + sour curry + yolk + crispy rice cake)

SUEA RONG HAI + KHAO NIAW 12
(crying tiger smoked brisket + toasted chili sauce + sticky rice)

HET PAA NAAM TOK + KHAO NIAW (v) 9
(grilled wild mushrooms + lemongrass chili sauce + sticky rice)

PAA TONG GOY (v) 7
(fried chinese dough + durian custard)

v = vegetarian

Jul 12, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Harrison MI (north of Clare): PASTIES!

Thanks for that tip! I'll definitely be trying those if I ever get up that way.

Closer to home (in my case metro Detroit), have you ever tried the pasties from Thomas Cake Shop in the plaza with Thai Taste on Livernois & Long Lake in Troy? It seems an unlikely source, I realize, but I spotted a "pasties" sign in their window and was curious enough to inquire about them. Yes, the nice woman replied, they do include rutabaga. I bought one just to try, even though I already had Thai food for our dinner.

It turned out to be the best pasty I, child of a Yooper, had ever eater.

Jun 27, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

New Annual Thai Food Festival-Thai Temple-Sterling Heights (not MBMC-Warren)

There's another post on this, with a nice, informative article here--

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/980049

I do plan to go, and I often go to Sunday Market @MBMC.

For any others such as myself who can't get enough of the more atypical (relative to metro Detroit restaurants) Thai food, there's a second opportunity on Sunday. Chef Brad Greenhill, formerly of Carmen in Boston's North End, has been doing catering and pop-ups around Ann Arbor (as Righteous Rojo) for a while now. He's got a Thai food truck in the works to debut hopefully later this summer. But this Sunday evening he's doing food for Motor City Wine's (Corktown) weekly Sundaylicious event.

Here's the event listing for Sunday and a link to an article about his intermittently-mobile Thai cuisine project. The menu he'll have available at Motor City Wine is copied below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/14578...

http://www.freep.com/article/20140618...

SOM TAM (v option) 7
(pounded green papaya salad

)

KHAO PHOT GAENG KIAW WAAN (v) 6
(blistered corn + grilled leek + green curry)

KHAO SOI (v option) 11
(chiang mia curried noodles + drumstick)
v: mushroom + tofu

MUU SATEH 9
(pork skewers + peanut sauce + spicy cucumber)

AI TIIM (v) 6
(iced coconut cream sundae + sweet sticky rice)

(v = vegan)

Jun 27, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Detroit restaurant hummus-where/how is it produced?

I don't really know either, but I am sure the proprietor (youngish guy) at International Foods on Dequindre near 17 Mile in Sterling Heights is very, very proud of his! He'll also caution you that it is fresh, so cannot be expected to have as long a shelf life as the commercially processed kind.

http://shopinternationalfoods.com/

May 28, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Pandan leaves (DTW)

Try Seven Seas on Nine Mile near Ryan in Warren. I think I saw some there within the past couple of weeks.

Definitely phone ahead, though.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seven-...

May 28, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

El Papa de los Pollitos - Detroit MI

Los Gallos is very good, but definitely not the same people (nor the same marinade).

When I asked at the soccer field (where Papa de los Pollitos used to show up after they left that problematic storefront), I was told they'd stop coming around. Sad.

Looks like their last post to their Facebook page was last July. Includes quite a few nice photos from Patton Park, though. https://www.facebook.com/elpapadelosp...

Patton Park is west of their former storefront location, and west of Los Gallos. It is nearly across the street from Roman Village. In conjunction with the Sunday Hispanic Futbol (soccer) league games-- often six of them simultaneously-- there are always food stands. I've been going on off weeks from Thai Temple. Some stands are better than others, some very "grandma and the kids." Interesting and I think worthwhile though.

https://www.facebook.com/puestospatto...

May 28, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Detroit for 4th of July

Detroit Fireworks are June 23, which is outside the window of Joanie's visit.

May 20, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Weekend in Ann Arbor with a 2 year-old: suggestions?

Just one note-- Los Altos is mostly (? all) booths, Nuestra Familia is tables. I think high chairs work better with tables, by far, but FYI either way.

May 07, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes

Weekend in Ann Arbor with a 2 year-old: suggestions?

I don't know what happened to El Rey (it seems to change hands or change active participants from time to time) but I stopped by for some tacos a few weeks back and they were just bad-- leathery yellow corn shells, overcooked chorizo, dried out cilantro, only one not-good salsa choice. That is sad to me because I've really loved the place previously-- both the food and just the look if it. I did not try their grilled chicken so I don't know whether quality has declined there as well.

Mentions of Lupita's always amuse me because Los Altos is the same owner, same recipes, etc. but a larger place, more extensive menu and I think far more comfortable. Los Altos has adjacent paved, fenced parking, and now accepts credit cards and has a liquor license. Here's an interview with the owner of both.

http://www2.metrotimes.com/food/story...

Taqueria Nuestra Familia is absolutely my favorite place for Mexican in Detroit. The food, the service and the decor are all great, and it is very common to see small children dining with their families in here. They also have adjacent, fenced parking.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-nues...

I like Mexicantown Bakery better than LaGloria, perhaps mostly because I think it is a far cuter place, plus I like their flan and their Mexican cheesecake. I think the bakery counters at E & L and Prince Valley markets both have better empanadas than the bakeries though, and PV's tres leche cakes are both delicious and showy.

May 07, 2014
ak994 in Great Lakes