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Mutiny at Pi's Thai in Hazel Park, MI

Black Lily,
We didn’t mean to strongly endorse Thai King based on our first visit. I was just trying to indicate that I’m encouraged or hopeful and that I found the people very likable. As you say, a regular place takes a while to work out their kinks, but I think (actually, I know) Thai King is having even more startup problems than the average place. But, this is understandable given that it’s their first own restaurant.

I went back yesterday and it was better than when I ate at their pre-opening, and I anticipate it will be even better the next time. I’m not forecasting they ever totally will blow away all other places in town, and of course I’ll never expect them to achieve wonderful Thai home/street cooking levels. Just to be more clear, this time around.

My fried rice (luckily?) was not too salty. My pad thai, the second time around, had nice texture to the noodles, but both times it was too sweet, as you also experienced. I didn’t have lime juice but I added my own rice vinegar, and that did the trick for me. The spice levels are a bit of lottery. Some medium orders are nuclear, and some hot orders are mild…

Anyway, I hope you give them another chance, say, next month. I realize that their prices aren’t exactly student friendly, but you usually get two meals out of one order, assuming you like what you got in the first place. Please write a follow up review (and some reviews of other places, too, if you would). Cheers

Jan 08, 2011
vtombrown in Great Lakes

penny black - nrochester, mi

Thanks for the report xman887. Your well written info jives with the verbal report I got from Sir Boagman. Needless to say, I'm in no hurry to fight that noisy crowd (even if no line, but still crowded) for the spotty dining. However, I probably eventually will try it. I'll go with your fish taco rec. Cheers

Dec 30, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

DTW: Redsmoke BBQ Greektown

Phew. (That would have been embarrassing for me if you'd hated the place)

Dec 30, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Thanks Phx CH'ers for the great vacation eats tips

Happy New Year to you guys, too.
(PS--Thanks Rubee for correcting my spelling of Schreiner's...ooops)

Dec 29, 2010
vtombrown in Phoenix

Lellis in Southfield, MI ????

Great report, Rosedale. Thx for the read. Yum!

Dec 29, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Mutiny at Pi's Thai in Hazel Park, MI

:-) She has her guilty pleasures (clothes, lotions) and I have mine. No problem. Good to see you. Please report out if you make it back to Thai King before me. (Thanks, too, for the info on Penny Black BBQ in Rochester, MI)

Dec 29, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Mutiny at Pi's Thai in Hazel Park, MI

Ooops....Thai King is not "as open" as they indicated last night. We were able to cry our way in for lunch today, but their real opening won't be until this coming Monday. The food was good, and the Thai King people were really nice, but some of the ingredients still aren't in stock. I'll head back for a real test run next week.

Note to self: Don't bring the wife along to Chowhound events, because Boagman spills a little too much information about how much I spend on food when I'm dining without her...
;-)

Dec 29, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Mutiny at Pi's Thai in Hazel Park, MI

While I once made it to the Pi’s Thai restaurant in Sterling Hts., and was not bowled over, I never did make it to the Pi’s Thai in Hazel Park, despite some recollected comments from Sir Boagman and jjspw. Well, the self described master chef behind the HP Pi’s Thai (James) has broken off and started his own place, via a partnership with a past customer (Robert & Natalie). Nice story; that is, unless you happen to be Mr. Pi.

The new place is Thai King, at the southwest corner of 15 Mile and Mound, in Sterling Hts. I dropped by for dinner tonight when I saw some cooking goin’ on, but they said they were just practicing for their opening tomorrow (12/29). James was super nice to me, and surely would have shared some of his practice dishes, but he said the restaurant license doesn’t go into effect until tomorrow. So, he sent me on my way with smiles, a pat on the back, a menu and some coupons (buy 1 dish, get 2nd at 50% off).

The menu is encouraging, though the prices are about $0.75 more than the other area Thai places. I shall report back within a couple days, although others perhaps may beat me to the punch.

Their website supposedly will be www.thaikingfood.com , but I can’t yet get it to work. (while troubleshooting their website, I also found this past comment on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/user_details?user... )
Hours are 10am-9pm Mon-Sat, and Sun is TBD.

My first taste will be the tom yum soup, and it had BETTER be good!, or I am not going to be kind.
Cheers

Dec 28, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Thanks Phx CH'ers for the great vacation eats tips

I was lucky enough to visit Phoenix last week, and had some great eats, as a result of your rec’s. Just wanted to say THANKS :-)

Breakfast on The Farm at South Mountain. My fav’. Fantastic place for kids. Healthy food. Benedict and everything. (Aside: Speaking of kid-friendly, The Children’s “Museum” of Phoenix is AWESOME for fun exercise)

Prime rib at The Stockyards. While they seemingly don’t have a proprietary beef source and artfully age the meat and all that fancy Chicago stuff, I still say, “they nailed it.” Everything else about the restaurant was generally okay/good (bbq ribs were bad), but since I went for the prime rib, nothing else mattered to me and I left thoroughly happy. I do think it is 20% overpriced, but I was on vacation so, “what the heck. “

America’s Taco Shop. Yes! Sure wish Detroit had this casual beer ‘n al pastor place.

Shreiners Sausage Shop. Great selection. I was expecting a more authentic “German” feel to the offerings, but I left happy, nevertheless.

China Magic. Loved watching noodles being pulled. Will go back until I’ve tried every noodle style. Sure, the noodles’ soups or sauces aren’t profoundly extraordinary, but at least they’d be recognizable if served in China, which is more than can be said about most Chinese restaurant food in the USA.

Chompies. Okay, some of you warned me about this belly-stuffer place. And, yes, it is lame. Fake “deli.” Photos on the wall of NYC cityscapes can’t help the actual food quality. The owners can at least be proud of all the cash they’re raking in, and I’m sure they are.

Phoenix Downtown Farmers Market, Wednesday afternoon version. In its infant stage, but a lot of beautiful (supposedly local organic) food is packed onto a small number of tables. Local ranchers and hog/poultry farmers need to start selling at this market. Very good experience. Adjacent café was a bonus. This downtown area of Phoenix FINALLY is coming around for real. In seven years, it will be super cool and bustling.

Y’all are the best, you lucky dawgs.

Dec 28, 2010
vtombrown in Phoenix

DTW: Redsmoke BBQ Greektown

Hi momskitchen,
Yes, RedSmoke is good. As you know, you have many choices downtown, but if you are considering RedSmoke, I’d say definitely go for it.

The place seems very professionally owned, so don’t expect that this is a “find” where an artisan pit master is giving his/her own restaurant a whirl. No, RedSmoke is a trendy/stylish business with good music and a good local beer list. Like other casino-era upstarts, the prices are a bit high, unless you know the ins-and-outs of the casino comps/promos game.

Well, on to the important thing: the food. I had the Classic Combo for $16.99. It has a choice of two meats, one side, two big pieces of Texas toast, and one big cornbread muffin w/o butter. I selected beef brisket and homemade andouille sausage.

Both were very tasty, and the tender beef had a nice thick black bark, though not a memorably deep smoke ring. I think they store the beef in a steam tray, so it was slightly watery to me, but “juicy” to others. The sausage had been split length wise, so grill marks could be laid upon its center (not my personal preference). The meat portions were modest, and I was thankful for that, because had more been provided, I’d have overstuffed myself.

The sides (dinner, not lunch) are well above average in size. My included side was mac’n’cheese (not bad), and I added a side of baked beans for $3.99. The beans had a hint of pit drippings but mostly contained a bunch of tomato sauce and molasses goo with some kick. I’m sad to report I ate all the product. Similarly, the muffin was oozing baked honey, so as to satisfy the obvious sweet tooths at the nearby tables.

Roughly five sauces were on the table and each was very good, IMO (the kickiest was called Poblano, though it wouldn’t register on the JanPrimus index). Dragonmead “Sir William” ESB was a dollar off, so I got 16oz for $4. Good local brew choice, particularly for that price.

My neighborhoodly waiter was pleasurably entertaining and genuine, but had zero short term memory. Thus, when I ordered water and a Dragonmead beer, he said, “Do you want water, too?” and when I again said yes, he said, “What kind of beer do you want?” to which I again said Dragonmead. Not surprisingly, I never got my water… But, he got a 20% tip just for the quirkiness and enthusiasm.

The kitchen was a bit slow, given that there was the equivalent of about one cook for every table when I visited, so I worry what would happen once the early game at The Joe lets out and the restaurants fill up. Oh well, at least there will be plenty good to drink while you wait.

PS--Twenty years ago I heard Michigan Tech had matriculated an actual female student. Perhaps that one person was you, momskitchen?

Dec 28, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

top picks in metro detroit

:-) I've never been to a party where I was anything more than an appendix to the invitation list; so, don't bet the house on your supposition vdoucette.

In any event, JanPrimus, your chili sounds almost exactly like the recipe featured in this month's Cooks Illustrated, except that their version had a nominal (seemingly optional) addition of pinto beans. I made it tonight and it was quite delicious. Next time, I'll use more fresh "hot" peppers (fresno, poblano, serrano), rather than so many dried peppers, because the wife said it tasted more like beef mole than chili.

And, hey, based on the famous Bizarrebecue, I would NEVER miss an event at the J.P. estate (though, this time, I'll park a bit further from the fairway).

PS---Boagman takes his chili with a powerful dollop of soft aged cheese upon it.
PPS---I transport strong pre-mixed drinks, salad sides and/or cornbread.
PPPS---If momskitchen comes, she will need to ration-out the pickles, while keeping the crock sequestered in a secure location.

Dec 27, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Noise comparison-- electric kettle vs. Zojirushi dispensing pot

Hello Sid and ChefWong. Thanks again for your advice. I ended up buying the Zojirushi CD-WBC40 Micom 4-Liter model. Although it is a Chinese-made model, the quality is good for the price. And, it is super quiet. Nobody knows it's even heating up. Actually, its loudest feature is the dispensing pump. Very happy.

Dec 26, 2010
vtombrown in Cookware

top picks in metro detroit

Your Westside compatriot Jim M says he's been to Cuisine several times and the fancy French-style food was wonderful. (perhaps he'd like to expand on that description?)

Dec 25, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

top picks in metro detroit

Interesting read. Mr. Skid seems to be a big ethnic food fan.
Staff picks are entertaining. The Tom's Oyster Bar pick makes me scratch my head a bit, and the Oxford Inn pick makes me wonder whether that place has improved since I ate there thirteen years ago, or so.
Worthwhile article, in any event.
Thanks xman887.

Dec 23, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

DTW area: Achatz Burgers

PS--On my way to Metro Beach, I did go in Sept. and had a mighty enjoyable quick, old fashion burger. If I were closer I'd also have been back since then. Thx RedTop.

Dec 22, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Detroit: London Chop House to Re-open

Perhaps they should keep the Fishbones personnel where they're at, and start fresh at London Chop House?

Dec 22, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Detroit: Slow's To Go now open...

Now, we just need Corridor Sausage Co. to open, and we'll be golden!
Thx for the alert.

Dec 22, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Bar Louie for food (Auburn Hills, MI Great Lakes Crossing)

Hi D., Yeah, too harsh...Bar Louie actually is nice and tasty.

Dec 16, 2010
vtombrown in Chains

Bar Louie for Food (Great Lakes Crossing - Auburn Hills, MI) "pointer post"

My "Bar Louie - Great Lakes Crossing" post quickly was relocated to the Chains Board, at the following spot:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7529...

You might just like this place. Cheers.

Dec 16, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

DTW: Dearborn Holiday Lunch options

Wow, sounds like a darn swell Holiday Lunch. I hope you got some appreciation for hooking it up.
Braised Short Ribs, Popovers...love it!
My lunch wasn't quite as elegant as your's, but anything involving edible grub, not working and buzzed coworkers, is pretty worthwhile. I'll post about mine, but as a preview, I'll just say that it ended at Great Lakes Crossing's Toby Keith bar, for some mechanical bull riding. Funny how that bull makes middle aged coworker's shirts ride upwards, just enough to display that corresponding waistbands have edged downwardly... in an unflattering manner, needless to say.

Dec 16, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Good place to buy beer or hard cider in Metro Detroit?

Count me in with GrueLurks and xman887, as I like Champagne's, too! Not the best hours, but its got a sweet selection and very good prices. And, hey, if you're at Champagne's, why not also swing around the corner to the microbrewery/meadery Kuhnhenn, and pick up a little something to-go (not cheap, but VERY interesting, special and unique)?

Dec 16, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

China Chef - Rochester, MI

Two reviews in one day? Go on with your bad self, donbui82.
I've driven past this place a million times, and never thought to try it. Based on your rec' and on the indirectly referenced photo of their Pho, I'll give it a try. Looks promising. Thanks for the tip!
PS--While it's on Rochester Rd., it's actually located in Troy proper (not being picky; just trying to help orient people to the location of your place...which happens to be next to a good Korean grocery store, as you know).

http://www.google.com/maps?q=China+Ch...

PPS--I also haven't forgotten your Prime Rib lead (Parrot Cove). But, I'm totally locked-up for the two weeks leading to Dec. 26.

Dec 15, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Soup, Chili and other great bowls of joy in SE Michigan

Blue Star? Never heard of it. Is it a "must try?" Is it reasonably clean? (wife is picky about where the toddler goes)

-----
Blue Star Restaurant
33133 S Gratiot Ave, Clinton Township, MI 48035

Dec 15, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Soup, Chili and other great bowls of joy in SE Michigan

Hi Bro'. Sorry. Although I had it just a few days ago, I can't recall for sure, about the beans. All I know is that it had a nice little kick*---maybe it was the bright red oil floating in it---and some quality ground lamb. Balance, thoughtfulness and quality. *granted, JP would laugh at my application of the term "kick," and be embarrassed for me.
Oasis is right next to Pei Wei, in the Meijer complex at 12 Mile and Mound. This place is genuinely respectable (maybe not great) across the whole menu.

Dec 14, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) in metro-Detroit?

Iowaboy3, I know this is not spot-on topic, but I suspect you are the kind of guy who would appreciate Ajishin Japanese Restaurant, in VERY nearby Novi. It is a noodle soup / sushi place, chock full of Japanese people. Tragically, they can't offer beer, so have a couple before you go, and then hustle-up a single seat at the sushi bar (takes time) for some noodle heaven. I would think jjspw would support this place, too; otherwise, I'll be disappointed, and question myself.

PS--speaking of jjspw...tried Jade in Windsor, for dim sum? It's been a while for me but I have pretty good memories.

-----
Ajishin
42270 Grand River Ave, Novi, MI 48375

Dec 14, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

DTW: Gaucho Steakhouse Northville...anyone been there?

Well, momskitchen, you barely gave us 30minutes to spot and reply to your question. Your daughter probably has you fixed up with one of those i-Phones so maybe you saw our responses just in time....not that they would have greatly helped you. Regardless, how was your holiday luncheon???!! Do you hate yourself for what you did there?

Dec 14, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Soup, Chili and other great bowls of joy in SE Michigan

Let me guess, your kids got stir crazy, you tried to escape to the computer, and afterwards both your wife and your office boss lamented that they'd hoped you'd "got something done" while around the house the "entire" day? :-)

I have a fond soup memory, but it is 15yrs old, and may not be right or worthy. But, I once sure enjoyed the lobster bisque at Rochester Chop House. Came with a shot of sherry, if memory serves.

Oddly, I also had an awesome(!) Lamb "Chili" at Oasis Middle Eastern Restaurant in Warren. Better than I possibly could make at home, and that's meant to be a compliment. (Though, some might not see it that way.)

Warren is a crap eggs-and-coney wasteland. AARP members can't even eat here, coupon in hand. But, there's been a sudden surge in Middle Eastern restaurant construction starts, so I am hopeful.

Dec 14, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Penzy's is a chain, and Entenmann's isn't?

Pointer posting addresses all my original concerns. I shall do so, and I shall graciously extricate myself from the larger debate, without further comment. Thank you CH Team and rworange for the considerations.

Dec 14, 2010
vtombrown in Site Talk

DTW: Gaucho Steakhouse Northville...anyone been there?

Ha! You don't get to order there. They bring EVERY meat to your table, and multiple times. It is a pig-out of the highest order. As Boagman says, don't fill up in advance on the salad bar (unless you care about your health or something).
Oh, the pain..... I'd have cried right there, but I didn't want to lose face in front of all the sexy Brazilian expats which frequent the place.

Dec 14, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) in metro-Detroit?

(edit--sorry i didn't realize Sir Boagman was simultaneously typing)
Yes, Hong Hua is good. But, you of course are at possible risk of being disappointed if you go alone and can only afford/consume one dish. Bring coworkers so as to get a variety of options, if possible...

Shangrila is several miles north of there. http://www.ordershangrila.com/contact...
I've only had dim sum when there, and it was pretty decent, but not fantastic. (couple years ago) Hopefully G.L Chowhounds will chime-in here.

To my knowledge, no place in this city serves the southeastern China version of a xaio long bao steamed dumpling having the soup on the inside of the big dumpling. Sorry.

Anyway, welcome and good luck.

Dec 13, 2010
vtombrown in Great Lakes