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DTW: Bokharat

I actually just mix it myself...very simple. There are only seven spices, all pretty common. There is a decent recipe on Food.com.

Nov 15, 2013
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Onion Roll Deli - Royal Oak, MI - DTW

Ok....I'll take your word for it and give it a try! It doesn't seem like it should be hard to make a decent corned beef sandwich but everywhere else I have tried has been fatty or stringy or just plain not good. All the reviews on Hygrade sound great, I'll let you know when I try it. I'm sure it will be soon!!!

Jul 22, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Onion Roll Deli - Royal Oak, MI - DTW

bb, I assure you, it IS true. My heart is broken in pieces. I have been craving a corned beef sandwich all week....sigh.

They were my absolute favorite. I just cannot imagine going anywhere else. :-( Dare I say it...it may be time for me to give up corned beef. Perhaps it's a sign from the food gods!

Jul 21, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Onion Roll Deli - Royal Oak, MI - DTW

I've been to Stacked twice. In my opinion, it in no way compares to Onion Roll. The atmosphere, of course, is nicer but the quality and quantity of corned beef were much better at OR!!!

Jul 12, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Onion Roll Deli - Royal Oak, MI - DTW

I think you may have called it...I think both Alexs were tired. Last time we were there they were telling us how business has been down the last few years and how tired they were. I think they were still busy but they were supporting two families on what they made, much harder than most people realize! I truly wish them well, they are great guys! I'll miss those sandwiches!

Jul 12, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Onion Roll Deli - Royal Oak, MI - DTW

Say it ain't so...... drove by Onion Roll today and there is a "For Lease" sign in the window. Granted, it's been a few months since I've eaten there, but I've driven by a hundred times... when did this happen? I'm so sad. I still believe they served one of the best corned beef sandwiches in the Metro Detroit area!

Sniff Sniff Sniff

Jul 11, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Crust Bakery (Fenton) > Zingerman's (Ann Arbor) [Michigan]

The place in Clarkston is called Essence on Main!

Jun 15, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Baconfest - DTW

How did I miss that one? Sounds awesome!

Jun 03, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Baconfest - DTW

I cannot be the only one who attended Baconfest! I was hoping for opinions! It was a lot of fun. There were some excellent offerings and a few, I think, missed the mark a little.

The Bacon Vodka was interesting, Cork Wine Pub's Pork Belly Slider was very good. Zin Wine Bar's Bacon Stuffed Squash Blossom with Black Garlic was very tasty. The Butterscotch Bacon Pudding from Cafe Muse was not a highlight, their Mac and Cheese was good, but across the aisle Cheeky Monkeys' Butterscotch Bacon Scones and Maple Glazed Walnuts were awesome. Can't remember who had the Candied Bacon on a Stick but they was excellent too, maybe Toasted Oak?

I think we probably tried 15 items. I wish I hadn't run out of stomach room before trying everything.

It was a great night and I was glad to see so many restaurants and food businesses having fun with some really creative dishes.

I will definitely return if they plan another for next year!

Jun 02, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Baconfest - DTW

Anybody heading to Baconfest later today (June 2nd) at Royal Oak Farmers Market?

We picked up a couple tickets from a friend, apparently it's now sold out. Looking forward to trying all things bacon!

Jun 01, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Caterer in mid-Michigan?

There is an excellent restaurant, Fork In The Road Diner, that spun out of a food truck, Trailer Park'd. They are located in Lansing and are absolutely fantastic. They have a very innovative menu and everything we have tried has been wonderful. These boys know food! I'm not sure if they cater but it's worth a try! Good luck!

Mar 03, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

DTW - where to get pierogi

goatgolfer, thanks for the correction! I had forgotten they are closed on both Monday and Saturday!

Mar 01, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Best of Detroit report in Real Detroit Weekly your thoughts? LINK

This is a completely ridiculous list! I will echo the question that everyone else has asked, "Who voted on this"? Pathetic!

Mar 01, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

DTW - where to get pierogi

I usually head over to the Polish American Cultural Center in Troy. They have a restaurant inside, Wawel, that is open everyday. It's definitely not a fancy place but has excellent, authentic food at a very reasonable price. If you pick the right day you may be watching a polka contest in the other room as you dine. I love this place because more often than not you are surrounded by tables of older grandmas who probably make the same food at home.

Mar 01, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

DTW Shepherd Bakery - Warren

Thanks for the tip! I could pretty much eat my weight in toum (had no idea it had a name)! Fresh, warm bread, baba, salad and toum...the food of the gods!

Jan 28, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Coney Island Steak (DTW Specific)

Are you serious? I would imagine the best of steaks at a coney would be equal to that of Denny's or Big Boy, maybe worse!

As rcloud mentioned, you would be better off walking to the grocery store..anything there would be better!

Jan 27, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Taco trucks and street food in metro Detroit?

They update FB daily with specials and locations. I "liked" them long ago and receive a lot of updates etc. If you aren't on FB..not sure about updates, maybe Twitter?

Jan 03, 2012
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

DTW: Spices?

Happy New Year!

Royal Oak is 7am to 1pm every Saturday. I know they have a Friday market as well but we have never been on Friday so I'm not sure which, if any, of the vendors are the same as the Saturday market.

The Old Winery is every Saturday until the beginning of the regular Farmington Farmers Market season, don't quote me on this but I think their last market day is April 28th, they are open from 9am to 2pm.

Dec 31, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

DTW: Spices?

There are several spice vendors at local farmers markets that are not nearly as expensive as Penzey's. Royal Oak Farmers Market has Dirty Girl Farms, Eastern Market has Sue's Spices and The Old Winery in Farmington has Earth's Legacy (which is all organic spices). I can't say for sure about Dirty Girl but I know both Sue's Spices and Earth's Legacy are really fresh. I have special ordered large amounts from Sue's and they were SUPER fresh.

Dec 30, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

The Old Winery Farmers Market - Farmington, Michigan [DTW]

Not sure what you mean by that...the vendors haven't all commited to the entire season..only about 25 of the 37 are full season vendors the rest come and go.

The website has the schedule of vendors. They do this to add variety to the market. As far as I know there hasn't been anyone that didn't show up? Oh wait..the raw milk guy had a flood at his house and missed but that was the only one that wasn't there that was supposed to be..unless I missed something!

Dec 22, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

The Old Winery Farmers Market - Farmington, Michigan [DTW]

HA...Starbucks, that definitely will not be me! I don't think you will be disappointed in Garden Gate's meat, it's really very good.

Dec 20, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

The Old Winery Farmers Market - Farmington, Michigan [DTW]

VTB..loved to hear your review of The Old Winery. There is something warm and sweet about this market. It's local and I really like the farmers/vendors.

Rest assured the whole "adorable Mennonite thing" is very real . Friends of ours who have a work share in their CSA have been to their farm and absolutely verified that it was a Mennonite farm. Jean (the mom) is very business-minded and I was told that she is the co-market master with Alex from Cheeky Monkeys. I'm very thorough in my interrogations..lol.

We bought sausage and a pork roast last week from Garden Gate. They were really quite tasty! Apparently they process all the meat at the certified butcher shop on their farm. The husband, Neil, is the butcher. The meat is in butcher paper but is wrapped with plastic inside the paper. I specifically asked about vacuum packaging and they explained that the plastic and paper combo was the best to avoid freezer burn. I can't say I know if that is accurate as we didn't keep the meat around long enough for it to burn! They also mentioned that purchasing a vacuum sealing machine would cost upwards of $ 5,000,so that may be part of it as well.

We hung out at the cafe for several hours playing Battleship with my son, eating crepes, an awesome sandwich from Cheeky Monkeys, can't think what the sandwich was called but it had ham and pineapple chutney, we also enjoyed some of their cookies and coffee..good stuff!

My wife bought two pasties from U.P. Pasties. Haven't tried them yet but as far as I know they are only sold frozen, I think they have chicken or turkey pot pie as well.

I'm sure we probably crossed paths last week. We will have to introduce our families sometime.

Dec 19, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Gastronomy; Southfield [DTW]

RedTop, I think that is the case!

We used to frequent many of his restaurants. When he owned only a couple restaurants he was very hands on and you would see him regularly at each restaurant. As he added more and more restaurants the quality of food seemed to suffer.

There is no doubt he is a talented chef but translating that into managing a successful group of restaurants is not an easy feat!

I wish him the best in this endeavor but I think it's a horrible location. I can't wait to check out the menu!

Dec 15, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Dessert/pastry in dtw

http://www.sweetdreamsweb.com/

I adore Shatila but for super impressive and tasty cakes we always go to Sweet Dreams. They have locations in West Bloomfield, Warren and Dearborn. I do suggest ordering what you would like as there have been a few occasions their cake was the tiniest bit stale, still good, but they are to die for if you order for pick up!

Dec 14, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

The Old Winery Farmers Market - Farmington, Michigan [DTW]

No...this has nothing to do with the farmers market. It's a different group of people and it is supposed to be way more upscale than the flea market.

Dec 08, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

The Old Winery Farmers Market - Farmington, Michigan [DTW]

I asked about Captain John's and they said they just backed out, I think the website hasn't been updated, as it was a recent change. Red Wood has the coolest set up, a grill in a wagon but they only do outside events so they won't be there until the March or April dates.

Garden Gate Farm will be carrying their own meat, they are the ones that gave me the flyer and told me about the place. They are certified naturally grown with excellent pork and beef, pretty decent sausages, eggs and produce.

As far as produce goes...yeah, the winter is tough for a farmers market in that regard but kudos to them for stepping out and providing a local shopping venue with local and artisan vendors. They told me there would be four or five produce vendors.

There are several baked goods vendors including a great sourdough bread guy and another french pastry company (Golden Wheat). They have killer croissants!!!

Apparently Cheeky Monkeys will not only be making baked goods but also offering sandwiches, salads, and soups. I had no idea they previously owned a restaurant. Garden Gate's daughter (I can't remember her name) will be making crepes too.

I think I asked Garden Gate a thousand questions but I'm sure I missed something. Thanks for noting the Saturday only hours, VTB!!

Dec 08, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

The Old Winery Farmers Market - Farmington, Michigan [DTW]

Didn't know if anyone heard about this...

There is a new winter farmers market opening in Farmington in the old winery building at Grand River and Orchard Lake.

It's supposed to be a lot of the Farmington Farmers Market regular season vendors. There will be some local produce (hoop house and winter type vegetable) and some produce from Florida, meat, eggs, cheese and a lot of local artisan type food vendors. They will have McClure's Pickles and I've heard a cafe of some kind.

I'm definitely going to check it out. The flyer says the hours are 9am to 2pm.

Pretty cool that they are opening for the winter. We are always looking for something fun to do during the winter months.

Dec 07, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Restaurant Impossible Detroit

Ok...I love this question, Tokyo!!!

I had this conversation the other day, while sitting in Onion Roll Deli on Woodward in Royal Oak. They serve one of, if not the best, corned beef sandwiches I have ever had but the place is a dive!

We always return because the food is really good and the two owners (both named Alex) that are always onsite are seriously great hardworking guys.

The place is tiny, they have been there for so long and still do a decent business but when you sit there you realize how much more they would do if the place looked better. I don't know if it actually would qualify for Restaurant Impossible because of it's size but it's a place I think has unlimited potential because their food (especially corned beef) are really very good!

Dec 04, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

Detroit dinner Saturday night by art museum

Really...there are many places I can think of just off the top of my head that are within a few miles of the DIA.

* Majestic Cafe - fun place with good food and many veggie options. (Within two blocks of the DIA)

* Atlas Global Bistro - just south of Mack (2 miles maybe from DIA) - Their lunch/dinner options are good but frankly, we have been to brunch twice there and it was terrible both times!

* Marios - A Detroit institution on Second - very near TJs

* Union Street - Between Warren and Mack on Woodward - Solid food and veggie options

* Byblos Cafe & Grill - on Palmer - Traditional Lebanese food loads of veggie options.

* Good Girls Go To Paris - Awesome crepes - evening hours on the weekend.

* Woodbridge Pub - Hit or miss food but still worth a trip. Tons of veggie options

* Cass Cafe - A Wayne State mainstay, decent food, great art and music.

* Avalon Bakery - Open until 6pm, great for sandwiches and baked goods.

If you aren't above scarfing food down in your car, Slows to Go is on Cass too.

I'm not including the Whintey because I think the food is okish but certainly not worth the $$. Although weekend brunch there is reasonable and good!

If you are willing to go another couple miles in any direction there are countless restaurants. This is just off the top of my head. I know I am forgetting a few spots!

Dec 04, 2011
Jack Freeman in Great Lakes

I Stuffed a Turkey with Twinkies

You are my hero! Before I started reading I knew the outcome wasn't going to be pretty but I love that you tried it! I too challenge you to the White Castle stuffing test. I'm sure it couldn't turn out any worse than this did.

Dec 04, 2011
Jack Freeman in Features