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DTW: Spices?

I'm a loyal Penzey's customer. They have a great selection of spices and the in-store customer service is excellent. (I've never done online business with them.) Make sure you sign up for the catalog, It always has many interesting recipes -- and usually has coupons for a free or deeply discounted product.

Dec 31, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

DTW -- Manhattan Clam Chowder

I can't seem to find it anywhere in the Detroit area; all I have found around here is New England-style chowders. Does anybody serve a good bowl of Manhattan-style chowder in Metro Detroit?

Dec 13, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

penny black - nrochester, mi

RDW's founder is a former colleague of mine from my Metro times days. Rest assured, there is never a negative review of ANYTHING in RDW. And the bigger the ad you buy, the nicer the review will be.

Jun 05, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Detroit dinner recs on a Friday

If you are near the DIA, you are near my all-around favorite Detroit restaurant, Traffic Jam and Snug. The restaurant's Web site seems to be down (http://www.trafficjamdetroit.com/), but here is a recent segment from a new TV show, "Dining in the D," about the place

http://dininginthed.com/traffic-jam-s...

Yrlp reviews:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/traffic-jam-a...

May 28, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Detroit Eastern Market

I work right around the corner from Eastern Market. If you are in the mood for excellent soups or sandwiches (the corned beef is superior), try Russell Street Deli. I've heard many people rave about their weekend breakfasts, but I have never had one myself.

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Russell Street Deli
2465 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207

May 11, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Visitors need dining advice

This is exactly the kind of information we were looking for. Many thanks -- and keep it coming!

Jan 31, 2011
vdoucette in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Visitors need dining advice

My wife and I will be visiting Toronto the first weekend of March. We've only been there once before, in 2001.

We'll be staying at a hotel near the North York Center subway station, and attending an event Saturday night at Massey Hall.

We like to eat: ethnic, spicy, interesting. We want to avoid hotel food. We won't have a lot of time to explore, but want to make the most of it.

What should we eat that is an easy walk (we're a bit hobbled) from the Yonge-University-
spadia line?

Jan 31, 2011
vdoucette in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Taste of Ethiopia - Southfield, MI (Groupon 1/16)

Bought one myself. I've been there before and remember how good it is.

Jan 16, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Tried Tongue Thai'd in Royal Oak, MI today...

I went for lunch today -- it was so bad I will never go back.

Ordered the twisted curry w/chicken. Service was very disorganized and the wait was longer than I thought it should have been -- roughly 1:15 p.m.

My drinks weren't delivered until after I was well into the dish. Rather than serving it over the rice, I got a little side bowl of rice. I guess I was supposed to stir it into the curry, which had WAY too much sauce for my liking.

The dish itself? It wasn't that bad, except for the potatoes -- they were just barely above raw!

I complained and the woman running the place explained that she was "training" a new cook and a new server. She offered another dish for takeout, but I declined it. She then comped the meal.

I went down the street to Buddy's and had a slice of pizza.

Jan 13, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Looking for an elegant jazzy supperclub in the lower Michigan area

The bankruptcy sale of Baker's has been set for 1/31/11, according to a reliably jazzy friend.

Jan 09, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Royal Oak area recommendations for Sunday dinner?

Memphis Smoke is now closed. It has been sold and is going to be turned into a Mexican place; I can't remember the name. It's owned by the same guy who opened the Mexican place recently in Ferndale in the location where Rosie O'Grady's used to be. Whey he needs to have two places with the same name and menu so close together is beyond me.

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Memphis Smoke
100 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067

Jan 07, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Bad Brads, New Baltimore MI: Anyone been?

I've only eaten the brisket; I thought it was good, but not quite up to Lockharts in royal Oak. Service was friendly. And how can you not want to support a place that serves not one, but two kinds of Boone's Farm?

BTW, the links in coney's post seem to have nothing to do with the restaurant in question.

Jan 06, 2011
vdoucette in Great Lakes

top picks in metro detroit

If by "Vince" you mean vtombrown, then I have no business at all replying to this thread.

I'm not even a Vince myself ....

Dec 27, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Lunch near the DIA in Detroit

Glad to be of service!

Dec 27, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

top picks in metro detroit

Here is my non-inclusive, in-no-particular-order list, subject to change at any time due to my capricious nature:

Traffic Jam in Detroit, for nachos, cream of mushroom soup, mac-and-cheese and darned near anything I've ever tried. Fine beers from what I remember, but diabetes stopped my drinking in 1999.

Sweet Lorraine's in Berkley. Always good, often with a surprise on the menu. (Let the record show that I will always miss the Raven Gallery, a folk club that occupied this space for many years previously. No liquor license, so a high school kid like me could get in and hear national-level musicians without a hassle. Close enough to the house to ride my bike.)

Los Altos in Detroit. My favorite Mexican food. A former co-worker at Metro Times clued me in.

Side Street Diner in Grosse Pointe. Co-owner Meghan Spicer is my favorite restaurateur on the planet. She and her cousin Sheila Taylor do basic diner fare, elevated and very, very good. (And unless she's swamped with the lunch rush, I can count on a Meghan hug with every meal!)

Russell Street Deli in Detroit's Eastern Market. Great atmosphere, great sandwiches, and great that the new owners didn't screw it up. Close to the office -- who could ask for more?

Supino's Pizza, also in Eastern Market. It takes guts to open a restaurant in Detroit, especially in a place that had previously held a pretty mediocre pizza place. This one is worth a trip for the fine thin-crust pizza and its inventive toppings. (If you only like Buddy's-style deep dish, this isn't the place for you.)

Tomatoes Apizza. I've only been to the Farmington Hills location. My wife and I really like it, and any kids we've ever taken there have loved it.

Priya in Troy. My go-to spot for Indian food, especially since Ruchi in Southfield closed. Priya is much better than Ruchi was, but Ruchi was only about five minutes from my house.

Lockhart's in Royal Oak. Barbecue heaven, and close by. The staff has been accommodating when my party of four turned into a party of six (with one in a wheelchair) on a busy, busy night. The smoke ham we bought for holiday noshing has been wonderful -- and popular. I await the coming bowl of pea soup.

May's Bangkok Express in Ferndale. Yes, it's a greasy chopstick. But it was my introduction to Thai food (under a previous owner), it's fast, and it's cheap. It's also where I met my wife.

There are others I could add, if I were more awake and alert.

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Tomatoes Apizza
29275 14 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI

Los Altos Restaurant
7056 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209

May's Bangkok Express
254 W 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220

Priya Restaurant
72 W Maple Rd, Troy, MI 48084

Supino
2457 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207

Russell Street Deli
2465 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207

Dec 25, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

top picks in metro detroit

Nate -- or The Unstoppable Nate Dogg as he is sometimes known -- is a colleague of mine. (I am a part-time copy editor at CDB. That used to be a full-time job, but the newspaper business is not an especially happy or lucrative place to be these days.)
Nate's dad has owned or run a series of restaurants; Nate grew up in restaurant kitchens and knows more about the business than many people who write about it.
I wasn't around when he called out for staff suggestions, so mine aren't on the list.

Dec 24, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Mazza - Berkley, MI

I went there for lunch today, around 1 p.m. They were out of the first two items I asked for. I didn't bother asking for a third.

Dec 20, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

DTW -- Wanna buy/lease a restaurant?

We swung by our neighborhood Indian restaurant, Ruchin at 29555 Northwestern Hwy. in Southfield, to see signs in the window offering to buy/lease a turnkey reataurant operation. Here's your chance!

Dec 19, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

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

Cost Plus Wine Warehouse in Detroit's Eastern Market. The website sucks, but the selection is excellent:

http://www.costpluswinewarehouse.com/

Dec 16, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

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

Was the chowder New England style or Manhattan style? I don''t really like New England clam chowder, but I love the tomato-based Manhattan stuff. Is there anywhere in the Detroit area where I can get a good bowl of Manhattan clam chowder?

Dec 16, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Lunch near the DIA in Detroit

Glad to help. Please let us know how it goes.

Dec 13, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Lunch near the DIA in Detroit

Traffic Jam & Snug. Never disappoints me.

http://www.trafficjamdetroit.com/

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Traffic Jam & Snug Restaurant
511 W Canfield St, Detroit, MI 48201

Dec 13, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Taqueria Alameda - Westland, MI

I stopped in for lunch Monday. The hits were great. The misses weren't
I ordered a burrito -- can't remember which variety. A few leisurely minutes later I got my chips and salsa -- those were fresh and excellent.
A few more minutes later the burrito arrived, with the accompanying rice and beans. Here's where the problems started.
The beans were ice cold and the rice lukewarm at best. The burrito was supposed to include refried beans, but there weren't any beans in the burrito. The burrito was very tasty, no doubt, but one of the ingredients was missing. And I could have done without the blaring TV above my head.
It's a pretty long haul from my house to this place. I don't know if/when I will go again. It was SO CLOSE to being great ...

Dec 08, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Good Detroit Area Vegetarian (Please don't say Inn Season Cafe)

I work right around the corner from Eastern Market, and I live about five minutes away from the Southfield Taste of Ethiopia location.

If you are going to visit the Eastern Market location, you should know that the food -- as I understand it, ALL the food -- is cooked that morning in Southfield, transported to Eastern Market, then reheated and served.

Nov 14, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Looking for an elegant jazzy supperclub in the lower Michigan area

I've never been to the Dirty Dog, which is why it slipped my mind.

Owner Gretchen Carhartt Valade is an heiress to the Carhartt clothing company fortune. She's a lifelong jazz lover who runs three or four record labels. She donated about $10 million th the endowment of the Detroit International Jazz Festival a few years ago when it was just about bankrupt. I am sure that the music will be first-rate. (As with Cliff Bell's, I have friends who play there and love the place.)

When my employment situation improves, I'll check it out.

http://www.metroalive.com/Michigan/gr...

Nov 14, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Looking for an elegant jazzy supperclub in the lower Michigan area

I've not been to Baker's in a while, but the place has recently gone into bankruptcy. AFAIK it is still operating. Call first to check and see if they are open and who is playing. When I was last there the food was very underwhelming. As great a place as it once was, it is now a shadow of its old self.

OTOH, Cliff Bell's is a very cool place -- Art Deco decor lovingly restored and some really good sight lines in the room. A good friend of mine has a standing Wednesday-night gig there, and he loves it. I can't speak for the food, but I love the atmosphere.

Nov 12, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Best Cheese Steak (Philly) in Michigan

Yes. I can't vouch for authenticity, 'cause I've never been to Philly, but I liked what I've had.

Nov 02, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes

Chicken-fried steak -- Metro Detroit

I'm new to these parts; tried the search function but couldn't find what I needed -- I apologize if this has been discussed before.

Where can I get chicken-fried steak around the Detroit area? I'd prefer to stay away from chain places.

Many thinks!

Vic

Oct 30, 2010
vdoucette in Great Lakes