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Authentic French baguettes, please!!!

How authentic? Any specific French bakery or bread you're trying to emulate?

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Chicago Area

where to find good breakfast, lunch near Hyatt Regency, Dearborn

Miller's is a good suggestion. It's a joint, not anything fancy, and the menu is pretty limited -- burgers, cheeseburgers, fries, union rings and an occasional special like a ham sandwich. But the burgers are amazing. It is cash only, just fyi.

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

where to find good breakfast, lunch near Hyatt Regency, Dearborn

The Hyatt actually has a wonderful breakfast buffet. We go there for business breakfasts. Even though it's almost always empty, the food itself is delicious. Beyond that, I second checking out West Warren Avenue. For breakfast, you could go to one of the pastry palaces -- Shatila or New Jasmeen and see what strikes your fancy. Shatila has so many choices it would take you days to eat your way through them.

For an inexpensive lunch, I highly recommend Al-Ameer, also on West Warren. There are lunch specials for well under $10, sandwiches for under $5 and fresh juices and salads. It's about a 15 minute ride from your hotel.

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

Anniversary Dinner in Detroit

The Lark is expensive, and it has attitude. If it's your first time there, I would hate for you to drive all that way and then be disappointed. Also, one of the Lark's chefs was the first person voted off Top Chef DC for using frozen puff pastry in his maple dessert. Not exactly a good reflection of the kitchen.

I think you'd enjoy The Whitney for atmosphere, since it's an anniversary, and there is nothing else like it in the Detroit area. If you had a friend who was a DAC member, I'd send you there, because the food is always good and it's such a pretty club,

Don't do the Earle. Its day passed 20 years ago. I don't think they've changed the menu since Bo was coaching the Wolverines. It's not worth the trip. Neither is Eve. I've never had a good meal there, and Eve was the second person voted off Top Chef last year.

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

NYer coming for the weekend - please help

On your way in from O'Hare, how about a swing by Smoque? Or stop by on your way back to O'Hare. It's at 3800 N. Pulaski, about 15 minutes from O'Hare. You may decide to miss your flight, or get some brisket to go.

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Smoque
3800 N Pulaski Rd Ste 2, Chicago, IL 60641

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Chicago Area

Visiting during Taste of Chicago

There should be a map of Taste of Chicago and the booth layout on the Web. But I echo the warnings here. This is not good street food (in fact, Chicago does not have much because of city ordinances that severely limit where food carts can set up). It's essentially the catering operations of restaurants. In any case, you need to have a strategy: a way in, a way to get to what you want to eat, and a way out.

I'd say go once; see if it suits you, and have backup plans to go to good restaurants while you are in town.

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Taste of Chicago Restaurant
3170 S Ashland Ave Ste H, Chicago, IL 60608

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Chicago Area

The first five places I should eat in Chicago

I am moving to Chicago in July. I've visited the city many times through the years, and have eaten my way around town, but I've done so as a visitor, not as a local. What are the first five places you'd recommend I visit when I arrive?

I'm open to all kinds of cuisine and price levels -- I'm a big fan of Asian food, I love places with an emphasis on local products, I have a car and I will venture to neighborhoods off the beaten path.

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Chicago Area

In Chicago, have reservations for 2, but dining alone

Looking forward to your reviews. But just fyi, it's perfectly okay to tell restaurants (especially high end ones) that you're by yourself. It's also a courtesy in a day when many restaurants find it hard to make ends meet.

In the case of Alinea, they're planning on certain number of diners and their tables won't turn more than twice. If you tell them two and then show up by yourself they've spent twice as much on your table as they had to. While your tab probably covers the cost of ingredients for both people, I'm sure they'd appreciate the opportunity to sell another seat.

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Jun 19, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Chicago Area

Best French-style patisserie in Chicago?

another vote for Fritz. It's very authentic French pastry but modern. They also have bostok, which you don't find many places (almonds, almond paste, a sweet dough).

Jun 04, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Chicago Area

Can't Miss Eats in Saugatuck & Traverse City

As long as you know that Saugatuck and Traverse City are not anywhere close to each other :) you'll enjoy both of them. But be advised that in the summer, they are both overrun with tourists. Much of the traffic is on two-and-four lane roads (neither is right on a major highway) so just time your trip accordingly.

Highly, highly recommend that you stop at the many orchards and farm stands between Traverse City and Petoskey on U.S. 31. You can eat at some of them, and there's everything from cherries to pie to pizza. Just turn in that one that strikes your fancy.

In Petoskey, one of the best bargains you will find is at the Weathervane, the bar downstairs in the Perry Hotel. They serve a dirt cheap special each night, incluing locally caught whitefish, fried chicken, roast turkey, and you get everything included for $9.95. They also pull a nice Guinness. http://www.staffords.com/

The dining room upstairs at the Perry has knockout views of Lake Michigan and a fantastic breakfast. It's also an elegant spot for dinner. But reserve.

Also in Petoskey, there's a new branch of Plath's Meats. http://www.plathmeats.com/ They smoke fish, meats, their own bacon, and it's a great place to pick up fixings for a picnic. They know everything there is to know about meat.

In Traverse City, there's a terrific burger joint called Don's Drive Inn, right on the main drag. It's all good - burgers, shakes, fries. I went there on my birthday last year because I like it so much, and I'm a foodie. You can get your meal and dine in, or take it to a nearby beach.

May 30, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

Cleveland - West Side Market Recs?

Sorry if you missed this! But I love West Side Market. Take a cooler if you can. Ohio City Pasta makes some of the best ravioli and traditional pastas around and their sauces are superb. If you enough from them (I think it's $50) they give you a coupon that you can use at their takeaway stand across the aisle.

I've bought meat from Wiencek's, which I highly recommend.

Don't skip the produce side! The guys are willing to deal especially at the end of the day. And a West Side Market bag is $1, so you can haul everything home.

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West Side Market
1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH

May 30, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

Rue Dumaine dinner report [Dayton/Centerville]

I'm a frequent traveler to New Orleans and when I read in Saveur that Anne Kearney (Peristyle) had opened Rue Dumaine outside Dayton, I decided to work it into a business trip. It's the best meal I've had in recent weeks, and definitely worth a trip if you're in Dayton or Cincinnati. Don't be put off by the surroundings: it's set in a strip mall next to a Chipotle and a Cold Stone. Inside, you would think you were in a big-city restaurant.

I started with La Petite Cuisine, which is a sort of homage to Oysters Rockefeller, except that it's not baked. It's a sort of oyster stew with poached oysters, bacon, spinach, in what they bill as a veloute but which is more like a creamy broth. It's infused with Pernod, thyme and tarragon and it's easily one of the best things I've ever eaten.

Moving on to the Dumaine salad, which changes with the seasons. It had fresh strawberries, pine nuts and a balsamic vinaigrette. Very fresh taste. The bread served with it came from Dorothy Lane Market and it's definitely a nice accompaniment.

I had trout amandine for a main, which was perfectly cooked, nothing too flashy or sauced up, just good plain cooking. And for dessert, strawberry rhubarb crisp.

I ate at the bar although it would have been easy to get a table over the holiday weekend. The wine pairings were perfect and the bartenders know as much about the food as the wine. The bill with two full glasses plus tastes of a bunch of others was about $58. (Dayton is obviously not New York or Chicago.)

Chef was not there: she was visiting Nola, but everyone bade me to come back when she is because apparently the liveliness notches upward when she's in the house.

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Rue Dumaine
1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Centerville, OH 45459

May 30, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

NYC girl looking for food in Columbus, Ohio.....help!!!

From someone with an LCB background: I'll put in a vote for Kihachi. I lived in Tokyo and it's absolutely an authentic izakaya -- and even more authentic than those in NYC that are calling themselves izakaya. I've always been taken there in a group with Japanese diners, and if you can go with someone Japanese, you will get things that are not on the menu, but even if you don't, the menu is much more varied and extensive than the usual sushi place. You can skip sushi altogether and have a great meal.

This is going to sound strange because it's inside a mall, but Adobe Gilas actually does a very nice job with its Mexican street food. I duck in before movies, sit at the bar, and ask them for small plates (the manager will do it if you're nice). The mahi-mahi tacos are splendid and there are beer specials to put you in a good mood.

Enjoy Columbus. It has amazing retailing and just wait until the farmers markets begin. You won't have any trouble finding good things to eat.

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Adobe Gila's
3978 Easton Sta, Columbus, OH 43219

Kihachi Japanese Restaurant
2667 Federated Blvd, Columbus, OH 43235

May 03, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

US-23 between Flushing, MI and Ann Arbor next Saturday for Dinner

Would you consider Mexican? I'm a fan of Border Cantina, and they have a branch in Brighton. You'd jump on I-96 West for two exits, and jump off at Grand River. Turn left, and it's just past Target. Their chicken dishes are particularly tasty and everything is made fresh.

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Border Cantina
8724 W Grand River Ave, Brighton, MI 48116

May 03, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes

Cost Plus World Market and great food buys?

My experience is that they have a broad selection of international foods, but they aren't necessarily a bargain, particularly when so many supermarkets are ramping up their specialty foods. Some of the wines are good deals, though -- especially when they are on sale. I've found bottles at Cost Plus that are $10 cheaper than at Whole Foods. (They're side by side in Chicago so it's easy to compare.)

May 03, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Chains

good new inexpensive choices in Ann Arbor area

I'm happy to hear about Nagomi, and I give an enthusiastic thumbs up to Pacific Beach Burrito. It's exactly like a SoCal taqueria, except the menu is much more extensive. I've been alternating between fish tacos and the rolled beef or chicken tacos, which come with guac and a generous helping of salad. They have also offered dishes made with cactus, but you have to ask for it since it's not always available. The prices are cheap and as a bonus, try the Mexican carrots -- carrots in a vinaigrette with bits of cilantro. I have eaten there about once a week since they opened.

Can't go with the poster who recommended Great Plains Burgers. The menu is only burgers (cooked medium unless you ask otherwise) fries and shakes. In a town where so many places now make their burgers with meat from Knights, I was not impressed with the burger, which is of unknown origin, and I wouldn't send you there just for fries and a shake.

May 02, 2010
CulinaryWoman in Great Lakes