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Pars Persian Restaurant Farmington Hills Update

Thanks for the read! Sadly, it will be a couple years before I'm back in Los Angeles, but for future reference, do you tout the Darya in Santa Ana or west LA -Santa Monica Blvd (they seem different)?

1 day ago
VTB in Great Lakes

DTW- new Venezuelan restaurant-El Rey de las Arepas

Will try during Christmas break (& report back), thanks!!

Dec 10, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Breakfast in Plymouth, MI /DTW

Man, we now know our 'Go-To' person for all things Plymouth! Cool.

Dec 04, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Beans & Cornbread [Southfield/DTW]

It got me to make red beans and rice last night, and cornbread will be on offer tonight. Maybe I just need to get over there! (But I'm using up miscellaneous herbs, veggies and cornmeal ingredients leftover from Thanksgiving.)

Dec 01, 2014
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Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Nov 22, 2014
VTB in Recipes

Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Nov 22, 2014
VTB in Recipes

ISO Beef Tallow [DTW]

Thank you very much HoB. I really feel like I don't know what I should regarding eastern market butchers. Ronnie's sounds like a good lead, after the closer Hollywood and Meijer, of course.

Nov 21, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

ISO Beef Tallow [DTW]

Hi, Anybody know where I could buy a quart of beef tallow (meltable fat), preferably not super far from Troy (MI)? Would be willing to go to Eastern Market if necessary.TIA

Nov 21, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Tried Ottava Via for Detroit Restaurant Week...

Finally made it to Ottava Via.  Now that Corktown is hopping like crazy I felt a little more safe leaving my car parked on the side street by the restaurant.  Fun place and, even though they go for the “Italy is better than America” vibe, it still is not a bad place to catch a Detroit team game on the T.V.’s.

 

Per the above recommendation, I had to try the pork.  Thank you!  I decided to get the plate rather than the sandwich ($16 instead of $10).  The sandwich probably is the better deal, but I was very happy, regardless.  It was made by rubbing herbs (and a tapenade?) on a salted slab of Berkshire pork belly and then rolling it into a log and cooking it “confit” method.  I was pretty sure I knew what this meant, but I looked it up to be certain:  Slow cooked while submerged in its own rendered fat (never to exceed 185°F), then stored (preserved) under that fat at room temperature for days to months.  Interesting way to preserve meat.

Anyway, they pulled the log out from the fat and sliced me a one inch thick piece, five inches in diameter, crisped-up the outside under the broiler, and served it with a small arugula fennel salad, a few baby roasted red skin potatoes and a splash of jus.  Not quite a hungry man’s full meal, but for $16 of quality chow in a nice atmosphere, I call that a heck of a start.  

 

I also split a ten inch vegetarian pizza ($12).  It was quite nice—grilled asparagus, fresh mushroom, red peppers, capers, etc..  The only reason why Ottava Via’s pizza doesn’t stand out is because it faces stiffer competition in Detroit than does, say, their confit.  Tough going against the likes of Tomatoes Apizza, Biga, Supino’s, etc..   But, if you can make it between 3pm and 6pm on Mon & Tue you currently can get half off on all pizzas.  Nice!  On Wed Happy Hour they have half off on all small plates, such as garlic shrimp, arancini (yum!), calamari, etc..  Each weekday for HH they serve $4 craft cocktails, too.  Wish this place were closer to my suburban home…

Nov 16, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Looking for MILROYS style Fish and Chips in Detroit Area.

Always appreciate tips on the Specials. Thanks!

Nov 16, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Yard*Bird (BBQ); Keego Harbor; DTW

Thanks for the tips.  I left even more upbeat than you guys.  My perception (I don’t fully trust myself in this case*) is that Slows has slid downward a bit over the last few years.  So, based on only my first visit to Yardbird, I found it preferable to Slows. 

*As a point of reference, on the other hand, I found during my last visit to Lazybones that their Sides had improved, after originally being okay but later slipping into inedible territory until only recently.

 

I tried the brisket, pulled pork and sausage plate, and was thrilled with all three.  Did you guys pause at the smoker when coming in from the back parking lot?  What a scent!  I didn’t try the sauces, as I just wanted to savor those meats.  Will sample sauces next time. 

 

BTW, the servers are hip and funky and the manager was nice to me.  That being said, one server dropped a tray of glasses and another fell on floor (yikes).  Maybe it was slippery or coincidental, I don’t know.

 

The cornbread was excellently moist--- wish I could make it that way at home.  The mac and cheese was quality stuff, though I should warn parents that it may not be kid friendly, due to sharpness.  Maybe high character cheese in a béchamel sauce with an acidic touch of mustard or wine?  For a change of pace I also had fried green tomatoes which also were worthwhile. 

 

I was given a taste of the attractive-looking deep fried catfish.  The fish was moist and seemed fresh enough but the crisp batter was dark and strongly herbed/flavored (maybe even grated hard cheese in the batter?), seemingly by design;  however, I needed to soften the punch with big dollops of mild aioli. 

 

Looking forward to trying the chili next time. Just hope that is soon.

Nov 14, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Birthday dinner in Oakland County, MI

If you can still get the Groupon for Lelli's in Auburn Hills I'd definitely choose that old school steakhouse. Delicious and a bit of a nostalgic hoot.
http://touch.groupon.com/deals/lelli-s-4
(There are several detailed write ups already on this board.)

Nov 12, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Anybody tried? - farm direct, dry aged [DTW]

Farm in Brighton. No mention I could find regarding how long the cuts are dry aged, but interesting nonetheless. May be a closer but more expensive version of John Henry's.
http://www.premiumqualitybeef.com/the...

Nov 09, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Middle Aged Suburbanites Do Detroit #2 - Vincente's, Russell Street Deli, Detroit City Distillery

As RedTop indicated--Thanks for the read!
I'm glad to hear there is at least one other person out there who is done with tolerating bacon mania.

Oct 29, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Shatila...and the wonders it holds. [DTW area]

And, as RS said, don't forget the Shatila on 15 Mile and Ryan, next to the pretty solid Sahara Chaldean restaurant.

Oct 26, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Marine City Fish Company (DTW)

Hi RedTop, When you report back on MCFC, please share with us some of the other food or non-food trip highlights, too. Thanks!

Oct 26, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes
1

Dinner at El Asador, drinks at Sugar House (SW Detroit)

Thank you to Alpoe and HoB for encouraging me to try El Asador. If this joint was up in my burb, I’d probably hit it at least once per month, even though I don’t get out that much these days. This isn’t to say my meal was deeply memorable, but it is to say that it was solid and that I enjoy Mexican food and there unfortunately isn’t much competition in the Metro area.

Here was my experience: I went on Saturday night at 8:30pm. I figured out that the parking lot is accessed from the back alley. Cool. Went in to find that all 11(?) small tables were occupied (by suburbanites), but there was nobody in front of me on the waiting list. So, I was seated within eight to ten minutes. While I was waiting, I admired the guacamole cart activity. Nothing fancy. Just real fun.

Once seated, the service was swift. I wanted to try HoB’s scallop and swiss chard tacos. Sold out. I pivoted to the char grilled pork with adobo sauce. Sold out. I resorted to the mahi mahi Veracruz. Sold out, too! Still, I don’t have a problem with this, given the lateness of my arrival. And, hey, ACROSS THE BOARD the menu looks good, I can appreciate them not wanting to carry buffer inventory (which would just have to later get sold, less fresh). The waitress then offered* to have the salmon prepared for me Veracruz (mahi mahi) style. Sounded like a good compromise, so I got it with beans and red rice, preceded by HoB’s poblano soup.

*Okay, actually I’m a cheapskate, and when I said, “if you don’t have the mahi mahi, then I’ll have the salmon in banana leaf,” the waitress (reading my personality) warned me that often on Saturday nights (including this one) they charge $5 extra for that salmon for reason of having added a mandatory chile cream sauce, called the “Saturday Special.” My gently indignant reaction to this scheme resulted in the hybrid ‘salmon Veracruz’ solution. ;-) Did I mention that it is amazing these adorable young waitresses from the ‘hood outwardly show no contempt for the suburbanite Yelp foodies who have overrun the place? Let’s just say that these youngsters/moms don’t yet have iPhone 6s, designer riding boots and intercontinental boyfriends, yet they still can perform empathetically for their with-it customers’ ‘big night ethnic adventure experiences,’ in the down-draft of a graffiti-ridden refinery, aka ‘Home,’ to them.

Speaking of down, I took Mouseman’s advice and walked the nominally scant seventy meters to the liquor store “across the street.” There was enough light, in the night, for me to see that the route was probably clear as I set off, but there was no guarantee that some rascals wouldn’t be wandering along by the time I got cashed out and had to thirstily make the glory dash back to the restaurant. Regardless, I’m the type who would unequivocally risk life and limb, for booze. While at the counter, I received an admonition from the clerk about how the bullet proof glass was “not just there for decoration.” Of course, this place is surely far from the most dangerous area of Detroit, and it may show much nicer in daylight. Still, don’t forget to lock your car, if you come after sundown.

Back to El Asador at serving time (much later, due to overrun kitchen). The poblano soup was simple and inspiring. I will definitely try to recreate this six-ingredient puree at home within the next few weeks. Yum. The fish was enjoyable. Nice sauce of serrano peppers, olives, cilantro, citrus, capers, onions, garlic and a bit of tomato sauce, along with some other things, perhaps avocado tree leaves or something...maybe bay leaves but I don’t think so? Probably unique for the Metro area. Same topping as the pictured snapper on the Wiki website “Cuisine of Veracruz” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_.... The salmon filet section was just 3”x3”x0.75”, but that was fine with me given all the goodies there were to eat in the topping. It was not overcooked, but may have been just a minute or two beyond peak.

The rice and beans both were of tiny portion and no better than Don Pablo’s (which I actually find somewhat enjoyable), at best. Also included were good chips and three tablespoons of interesting homemade salsa. For $15 before drinks, tax or tip, I felt that they provided good value, even if not a kick-ass great deal.

Good enough that I ordered a takeout chicken mole meal for my wife who was arriving at the airport 17 minutes away. This meat and the sauce also were good like the fish dish, but not quite as so (maybe the mole sauce actually ranks very good and I just am not knowledgeable enough to fully appreciate it?). The pan roasted zucchini side was fresh and fine. The white rice I ordered turned out to be refried beans. The chicken noodle soup was a bit disappointing, though maybe my expectations were unreasonably high.

Next time I’m doing a pick up at the airport, I’ll hit this place again. I want to try the homemade salad dressing and check out those borracho beans that come with the kabobs; but as a substitution, because I’m going to give a try to the grilled sirloin with mixed chile butter sauce…double yum! It is an asador (grill/rotisserie) after all. Thanks again for the tips, you all.

Oct 20, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes
1

Coming back to Detroit from Grand Rapids...

West Texas BBQ Co ?
http://www.westexbbq.com/

Oct 17, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Ann Arbor Michigan

Love the sour beer at Jolly Pumpkin! Great area for a stroll / window shopping, too.

Oct 13, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Ann Arbor Michigan

Aventura is quite good if you can afford to go a little bit trendy and upper scale.
I don't feel that their suckling pig is what they do best, though, despite their touting of it. Cool bar and some genuine talent in the kitchen.
http://aventuraannarbor.com/#about

Oct 12, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Dinner at El Asador, drinks at Sugar House (SW Detroit)

Wow, great write up HoB! Thanks for sharing. I'm now kind of wondering how I might put together a cream of poblano soup. Love the thought of swiss chard on a taco.
Good luck at work...

Oct 12, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

So if you were going to lunch in Birmingham, MI where would you go

Even if Social isn't the single optimal answer (can't be significantly from it), you still are going to need to hit this place to check it off on your list. So, you can't really lose.
If it is a cocktail lunch, I recommend the white sangria. Yum!

Sep 22, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Trip Report - Traverse City, Kalkaska, Leland, Fenton, Ann Arbor, Port Clinton

Ron's Cajun Connection ;-)
Their ettouffee and jambalaya recipes are on their website, but not their gumbo.

Sep 18, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

A Personal Announcement

Thank you for facilitating my years of enjoyment on the board. Kick butt in Law School. :-)

Sep 09, 2014
VTB in Site Talk
2

Lunch between Detroit and Frankenmuth, Michigan

Flint is more half way. But, if you are considering to stop around Clarkston, then go to the Clarkston Union or to the Woodshop. Not Andiamo's please...

Aug 31, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Detroit suggestions for lunch and dinner in the Motown Museum /Institute of Arts area

+1on Byblos and Shangrila. Woodbridge holds a fond place in many people's hearts, but would seem a little dicey of a place to take kids. BTW, even though Slows To Go doesn't officially have tables, my kid and I have always been able to manage with the counter....just wish they had beer so that I could drowned out my guilt while eating their fatty, carb-y fare.

Aug 21, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Detroit suggestions for lunch and dinner in the Motown Museum /Institute of Arts area

Like the suggestions. Seva would not be a memorable dinner experience, but would be good on some (maybe not all) lunch dishes. Very comfortable for kids (has good kids menu), as long as you don't mind your kids seeing tattoos and body piercing. Healthy, clean, pleasant. Mostly vegetarian. Decent bar.

Aug 20, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Holiday Market's The Smoke House: Just Say "No." [Detroit area]

Well, I guess I won't try to pile on, regarding ROHM. But, I did get a smile over the Kirk's reference. Memories! Hey, since other bbq places are being mentioned, let me throw out a compliment for the Detroit Barbecue Company. They work out of a luxury trailer at Kuhnhenn's brewpub Tuesdays through Fridays until September 11. After, it will be Wednesdays through Saturdays. I got the two meat combo and chips for $12 including tax. No tip seemingly required. The brisket and pulled pork were HUGE. More than enough for two people. The brisket was very good. The pulled pork was good, especially the edges having some bark. Sauce actually was good. I have a vague memory of having had tough brisket from some guest server at Kuhnhenn in the past. Can't recall whether it was Detroit Barbecue Co (Kuhnhenn affects memory). Regardless, last eve was way worth it.
https://m.facebook.com/Detbbqco?_rdr
ps- some dude on Yawn is really pissed at Detroit Barbecue Co for them having not shown up to cater his big party. Not sure about the real story, but I think I'll just limit my enjoyment to their trailer stops.

Aug 20, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes
1

premium farm raised meats-muskegon

If I lived in your area, I'd check out Creswick Farms to see whether they have anything good going.
http://www.creswickfarms.com/home.html

Aug 19, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes

Ethnic (Thai, Filipino + more) in Corktown [Detroit]

I really can't wait to try Katoi (and I'm referring to the foodtruck meaning).
Thanks so much for the info!

Aug 19, 2014
VTB in Great Lakes