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Did Pars in Farmington Hills actually reopen as scheduled?

I’ll try (may not be able to resist) to spare you guys my typical pompous, amateurish “analysis.” But, I can report that I’ve now tried both of the new Persian restos in town--- Pars and nearby Rumi --- for a head to head ghormeh sabzi taste-off. How nice it is to have some Persian food in the area…

Although Pars’ building obviously had been home to some other less fancy tenants, it now is elegantly dressed up. Glad I didn’t wear tennis shoes, even though I’m sure I’d have been welcome either way. Big crowd this eve, bless their hearts. Mostly Iranian Americans and Iranian born USA residents, with many of the women being dressed in full length chadors(?) or at least in big loose fitting clothes with head scarfs. Somewhat ironically, yet still anticipated, the hostesses were very slender, attractive, young blondes who were less modestly attired…not to be a complainer.

The employees were very attentive, conscientious and plentiful. I would only comment that it was painfully obvious they were inexperienced. I don’t much care, other than that I was a bit embarrassed for them while they struggled. I should also correct a bit of info I previously passed along: though the person answering the phone informed me beer and wine are served, it turns out that Pars will not be able to serve at least until sometime next week.

Anyway, I ordered the ghormeh sabzi, a surprisingly dark dull green monochromatic puree of parsley, green onions, cilantro, fenugreek, dried lime, etc.. with a small amount of kidney beans and browned beef cubes added after the pureeing. This underwhelming sight comes in a medium sized bowl along with a plate of basmati rice. I found it to be delicious. Clearly the work of a real chef. It probably should have been accompanied by something. Anything. A little bread and feta/mint, or some pickles, or just something to make the meal appear more three dimensional. Regardless, I went there for a unique and special taste, and I got what I came for. The $14.99 price seemed very reasonable. Though, with the more downscale, but flavorful Zayeqa Pakistani joint approximately at the same intersection, I anticipate some will say they’d prefer the latter. There’s room for both.

For kicks, I also ordered the fesenjan for takeout. It was comprised of a small portion of chicken cubes, sautéed with a walnut and pomegranate puree. $17.99. Not much to say, other than everyone should try this famous Persian dish at least once, whether it bores you or tickles your fancy. Delicate, sour and rich. Note that the point of the dish is the gravy and rice. The chicken is not the central feature. To wrap up, I feel that the classy (however tasteful you find the fancy decorations to be) and affordable Pars is a valuable new part of the metro area dining scene.

Next, I stopped by Rumi in downtown Farmington (kinda nice area for an evening stroll!). Rumi is more of a stark, short order joint. This being said, the cook (this eve) was Iranian and he has a lot of experience working in California at Persian restaurants. Okay, Rumi is not high cuisine, but that isn’t to say it is inauthentic, and simple authenticity is what you want, right? The ghormeh sabzi was a larger portion, at $2 lower in price, versus Pars. Bigger chunks of meat, too, if that is what you are in to. I liked it and will be back. But, next time I may try their khoresht gheimeh, made of beef chunks, tomatoes, yellow split peas, onion, lime and spices, along with eggplant. Hmmmm?! These are the two Persian off-menu ‘stews du jour’ usually offered, along the Lebanese standard kabobs, etc. On weekends they sometimes also offer a ‘bagheli polo’ which I think is basmati rice baked with fava or lima beans, saffron and fresh dill, etc.. Would like to try that, too.

Whatever caricatures you may have seen of Iranians, I would at least like to contend that the people are leaders in the education of women, they are friendly to modern Germany (i.e., some liberal Westerners), and they possess a classical culinary tradition. FWIW. Cheers

about 3 hours ago
VTB in Great Lakes

Michigan Food Tour Musts?

Unfortunately, I don't have anything to add to your trip. But, that Pinterest page was awesome.

about 9 hours ago
VTB in Great Lakes

Has anyone tried the persian food at Rumi's Farmington Hills?

Something tells me that you know more about this place than you are letting on. Looks to me like Rumi's is a Persian owned restaurant selling Lebanese food, along with only a couple Persian dishes. That being said, the pics I've found on the web look pretty darn good. If I swing by there and try the Persian stew of the day, I'll let you know how it (or your's) is. Thanks for bringing this place to my attention, in any case!
http://www.rumisflame.com/#!menu/c11ip

1 day ago
VTB in Great Lakes

Did Pars in Farmington Hills actually reopen as scheduled?

Yup. Opened Tuesday. Apparently they unlock the doors at 4pm on weekdays, and at 11am on weekends (closing at 11pm). I've not yet made it over there. The host on the phone said their wine/beer license still is good.
PS--the hubbub is more of a personal fondness for Persian food, rather than a universal appeal thing, I think. In any event, I'm really looking forward to it.
Interesting interview regarding Persian food: http://www.splendidtable.org/episode/558

1 day ago
VTB in Great Lakes

Dragonmeade + Lazybones Menu (Dragonbones) - Detroit Suburbs

I've ordered LB delivery into Dragonmeade a couple few times and thought it was really cool. The LB phone (counter) folks reported growing weary of buzzed callers. (Not me ;-) )

I can't imagine Dragonmeade having good food of their own. Guess I'll just have to go with beer only. Thanks for the heads up.

That being said, Lazybones can be pretty inconsistent, which drives me crazy. Went there the night before last and the sides such as beans (maybe too meaty), greens and mac & cheese were all solid (much better than a few years ago), and the pulled pork was excellent. But, my fave burnt ends were tough and forgettable, and the ribs were inedible dry rubber. I go once per quarter and never know what to expect from visit to visit.

Jul 26, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Addictive Eclectic Ribeye with Poblano Pepper La Crema Sauce, MONEY [El Asador Steakhouse, Detroit]

Wow, good looking pics!

Jul 26, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Connie & Barbara's Soul Food [DTW]

https://foursquare.com/v/connie--barb... Nope. But, the breakfast pics on foursquare look decent, for those having a diet which allows such indulgences.

Jul 20, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Patio brunch in Detroit?

If you have the right frame of mind going, you might be able to make the cute/ramshackle Le Petit Zinc work? http://www.lepetitzincdetroit.com/

Jul 11, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Jaws; Farmington Hills/Detroit

It's 11:30pm and I just now saw that pic. Having one of them burgers would bode well for me.
BTW, here is a link showing the little I know about Ernie's:
http://utrmichigan.com/episode-316/44...

Jul 09, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Pars Restaurant is coming back to Farmington Hills, MI

BTW, Pars is targeting to open on 21-July. Less than two weeks :-).

Jul 09, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Harrison MI (north of Clare): PASTIES!

BTW, I did finally go try Thomas Cake Shop's pastie per ak994. Good. They take an entire single layer, delicious homemade pie crust and fold it in half over the stuffing, like a calzone. Huge. This is no baseball sized thing. The filling seemed wholesome, which is a good thing, but it was a bit dry (perhaps to keep the crust nice?) and not seasoned enough for me. I'd call it bland, or call it a blank canvas for some aggressive gravy. I don't know whether gravy is available because my wife made the purchase. We will return, even if I have to make my own gravy at home. I should also comment that my preferences may be far from an authentic original style pastie (I wouldn't know, as I sadly have never visited the U.P), so take my feedback with a grain of salt.

Jul 07, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Ludington and Manistee MI?

Hi, The rivers were warm, as was the lake near the river outlet in Ludington State Park. Generally the lake temp was tolerable, particularly for kids. I was happy with my microbrews on the uncrowded beach in 80F sunshine, so much so that I found the town wide restaurant closure time of 9pm to be a bit of a hindrance. Fortunately they also have a Meijer grocery in town. :-)

Jul 07, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Ludington and Manistee MI?

Well, I had a great holiday in Ludington. Great fireworks, surprisingly good prices, not overcrowded or over-policed. The streets and beaches were all clean and decorated with cute planted annuals, to match the many flags. The ferry was showing off, blowing its steam horn. Kid friendly parks, free parking, numerous outpourings of genuine gratitude for my patronage. Not sure I could possibly ask more of a lake beach town. For this reason, I didn’t make a side trip to Manistee, as planned. Next time, for sure.

On our first night we went to Blu Moon per Ross B. Happy. Would go back. I might shy away from the expensive dishes (>$22), as I think the chef is competent but not up cranking out four star dishes on a consistent basis. My wife’s cherry/pear/candiedwalnut/greens salad was overpowered by dressing. My fries were soaked to the core in oil. Granted, I arrived at closing time!, so I give a pass. The coleslaw was decent and the grilled bread was good. But, my fried fish was huge and delicious (see pic, but note that it doesn’t do full justice, as the fish was much thicker than it appears). Great batter. Perhaps the fish had been cooked one or two minutes beyond optimum, but it still could have maybe even passed for something from a London fish and chip shop, and was only $14+, in an adorable sit down atmosphere. Did I mention that there also were a surprisingly high number unaccompanied females hanging out downtown, in the vicinity of Blue Moon, Barley and Rye, The Mitten Bar and Jamesport Brewing Company? I’ll assume this is something Wahooty can relate to ;-)

The next morning I went to House of Flavors for breakfast. Excellent toast. From where does the bread come?? No problems with the eggs, hash browns, pancakes, sausage. Solid place. Got a quiche and a pastry from Le Serving Spoon. Next time I’m in town for a birthday I will get the cake from there. But, until then, I might next try Chef John’s European Bakery (right downtown but very hidden) for baked breakfast goods…too bad it was closed on Sunday, so I was unable to taste compare. Behind Le Serving Spoon is a relatively new place named Café 106, I think. I was eying some food belonging to the diners on the patio, which looking quite good. Next time, for that place. The espresso at the Redolencia Coffee place was truly excellent, and this is a very spacious and comfortable place to hang out. Though, they were playing Jimi Hendrix (not loud) while I was there, and some might not find this comforting.

Went to Stix Bar, as also mentioned by Ross B. This place was wildly popular on July 3&4, for both pub grub and beer. This dive seems to be actively targeting a young Tommy Hilfiger crowd. I didn’t feel highly welcomed (except in my dreams), but if you are young, attractive and sporting designer “laid back” dock wear, you might dig this newly-clever, ol’ roadhouse, as did many on the holiday weekend.

Hey, there also is a good sized, cool looking gourmet grocery, named Best Choice Market. If you want to have a high-brow cookout, this would be the place to get the fancy steaks, wild mushrooms, organic shallots and quality bottled demi glace. I didn’t get beyond the window shopping. Just sayin’ what looks to be. I did get pulled in to Luciano’s Ristoranti, for some “olde world home recipe” Italian pasta and pizza. It was okay, but I’ll probably try the pub food at Sportsman’s or at the other cute trendy bars before doubling back to Luciano’s, even though I did enjoy their piano player while eating my pizza.

Time for more fish. I went to Scotty’s. The community institution where everyone went as a kid, and now where they return as an adult and say, “Back in the day it was fantastic, but now it’s really gone downhill.” Anyway, when I arrived inside, I got a terrible feeling. The feeling like this place didn’t go downhill; rather, there is no way this place ever could have been good in the first place, unless evaluating from the perspective of the whole time having been located in a tacky, budget level, retirement community. But, I had invited another party with my family, so it was too late to get the caravan turned around. While most of the dishes met or admittedly slightly exceeded my suddenly plummeted expectations, I must say that the fried perch was very good, and it was reasonably priced. I’ve had fried perch about fifteen times, and Scotty’s ranks about #6 out of those, particularly when price is considered. I’m not sure whether this is a caution or a recommendation. I just might be back.

Finally, I went to the food bloggers’ “secret find” of Bortell’s fish shack, which is on the (way, way!) south side of Ludington. On Saturday July 5th this place made me feel like I was at some kind of Yelp convention. Bortell’s is in the middle of nowhere. Seemingly at the end of a road, surrounded by only about six summer mansion properties. There is no other reason to be in the neighborhood unless you are a member of one of those six families or you are a foodie who will go to the end of the earth for a piece of widely available flesh, dredged in cornmeal and dropped into a heavily used vat of hot vegetable oil. I ashamedly was of the latter, of course.

The clams, shrimp and other misc. industrial fish all were forgettable, as of course were the fries, coleslaw and even the smoked fish (okay, decent). However, the lake perch was quite good. Comparable to Scotty’s. The deep fried Lake Superior whitefish was excellent, though! I recommend getting a pound of it per person, and nothing else…even noting, that the 1LB is the precooking weight, and it will cost you $22 a la carte(!), without even a plastic fork or maybe even a place to sit when the few picnic tables fill up, other than on your butt in a small plot of trampled grass. Huh? So, think twice about before wearing a short skirt. (You are allowed to, and should, bring your own side dishes and drinks—including beer, apparently, if discrete— and also don’t forget to bring wetnaps and fresh lemon wedges, PLEASE). Say, Yes, when asked whether you want your fish salted. Again, as Ross B pointed out, Cash Only. (Thanks Ross B) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bortel...

Indeed, I will be back to Bortell’s. Along the way, I may pull off the road at the Consumers Energy power plant pedestrian overpass and try to walk around to get a high altitude view of the lake, which apparently is possible. That might be awesome. Also just a short turnoff along the way is some place called Historic White Pine Village, which looked sort of fun from the road, behind the locked gates.

I hope I don’t sound ungracious, as I’ve tried to share my impressions of what delineates the great from the good from the okay, at this wonderful vacation town. The bottom line is that I heartily cast my vote for this destination, feeling that even a big-city food fanatic won’t find her/himself feeling adrift with nowhere good to anchor, while in Ludington. Thanks again for the input from Cw/E, Wahooty and Ross B.

PS: During our drive, I stopped in East Lansing at the MSU Ag School’s dairy for some student-made delicious Spartan green tea ice cream, as well as some “Big Ten” Husker sweet corn ice cream, which was even tastier.

Jul 06, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes
1

Gift for Friend? Foods Unique to Michigan?

Maybe Great Lakes smoked whitefish, as these lakes define our state, in many respects. Though, can never go wrong with cherries, either!

Jul 02, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - 10 Minute Salads, Vegetables and Side Dishes

I don't have the book. Looking forward to getting an excuse from this thread, for buying it. Pickles get me 30% there.

Jun 30, 2014
VTB in Home Cooking

Harrison MI (north of Clare): PASTIES!

Yeah, I may not make it clear to Harrison real soon (WILL try a pastie if I do). But, I sure as heck will head to Thomas Cake Shop ASAP! We may have to start a separate thread.

Jun 30, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Taste of Thailand Foodfest [DTW]

I wasn't able to make it. Anything impress, beyond an above an average Metro area short order Thai meal? Actually, I'd have been happy with that. I'm just asking whether anyone went above and beyond...out of curiosity.

Jun 30, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Restaurant close to Detroit Opera House

My wife likes Angelina over Small Plates, saying the pasta was house made, with love. Perfect location.

Jun 26, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Pars Restaurant is coming back to Farmington Hills, MI

Awesome!!!! Another CH get together may be in order. Plus I still owe Rainsux for overpaying at the last one.
Mmmmmm, Persian fesenjan (duck would be nice), and ghormeh sabzi with lamb.

Jun 25, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Taste of Thailand Foodfest [DTW]

Thanks BobRe. I never knew this place existed! I might try to swing by there.

Jun 24, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Chicken Wings in Detroit?

Nice photo Alpoe!

Jun 19, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Has anyone tried Pickles and Rye yet? [Suburban Detroit]

Darn, I'd give the sandwich in that beautiful photo a B even if the beef had spoiled.   Maybe I'm hungry or am just an easy grader.

Jun 18, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Most robust coffee beans available in Detroit

Chazzano is closed on Saturdays! (Jewish owned)

Jun 09, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Most robust coffee beans available in Detroit

Hi, DEFINITELY do a tasting at Chazzano. http://www.chazzanocoffee.com/
I think it is not far from you, at 9Mile just west of 75...just across 696. You will find something perfect. Then you will need to decide whether perfection is worth the extra ten cents per mug.

Jun 08, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Ludington and Manistee MI?

Great sounding tips. Thank you Ross B !

Jun 04, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Tried B Spot Burgers in Rochester Hills, MI tonight...

Cool, thx. I may go for one not quite so loaded, during my next Trader Joe's trip.

Jun 02, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Tried B Spot Burgers in Rochester Hills, MI tonight...

Still tempting, due to location. ..
Was the bun good?

Jun 01, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Deviled Eggs

I feel guilty for having doubly enjoyed your post.

Jun 01, 2014
VTB in Austin
1

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

Great feedback / trip report, thanks! Your comments are so kind to our area.

May 29, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Detroit for 4th of July

I second Two James Distillery!
Joanie- I think you need to split your Dearborn food tour into two separate, painfully stuffing days. One for Al Ameer, New Yasmeen and Shatilla, and another for Cedarland and Hamido.

May 27, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes