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xman887's Profile

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Northern Lakes & Seafood; Relocated to Troy, MI

"a bit of a shyster" is a huge understatement.

Jan 04, 2014
xman887 in Great Lakes

The Stand-Birmingham, MI

what I was trying to convey is that stryker corp is the family's business savvy enterprise. the restaurants are hobbies.

Nov 30, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

The Stand-Birmingham, MI

i am looking forward to trying it myself

the restaurant (and the b'ham incarnation of zazzios before it) is a green leaf trust (stryker family) entity (they built the building). their billions demonstrate their business savvy. the restaurants are more like expensive hobbies.

Oct 28, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

Lake Orion, Michigan, & Environs

it has been a number of years since I have been, but my friends rave about sagebrush cantina

also have heard good things about this newer brewpub

Oct 28, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

Detroit - downtown - one night only

went to slows for lunch last friday. five of us, so I thought we would be screwed because we would need more than a four top. walked in at 11:30 and sat right down. service has improved tremendously over the past year or two. fairly friendly versus disinterested. attentive. drinks taken care of promptly and refilled when needed. and delivery of the food in a reasonable amount of time.

lately, iI have been hooked on the triple threat sandwich - pulled pork with thick cut bacon and a thick sliced of smoked ham. not the most kosher meal, but really good. and i got a different side this time - waffle fries with cheese, which is the same cheese from the mac-n-cheese. pretty good. pretty filling, but pretty good.

now if they would just serve plain old brewed iced tea and not just the mango/passion fruit/honey/balsamic/whatever sweet concoction that they have for $2 a glass with "no refills" (nod to boagman who i bet would drink a glass of sand delivered by valet that parked his car in the $3 lot across the street before ordering a $2 no refill iced tea...)

Sep 26, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

joe's bistro - birmingha, mi

tried the new bistro joe's in the papa joe's market for dinner last night and i like it.

the place is upstairs from the market. you can get to it from a separate entrance so you do not have to walk thru the market to get to the restaurant.

as soon as we got to the top of the stairs, my daughter said, "this is like the place we went to in new york" - mario batalli's "eataly" in the flatiron district. it is similar but on a much smaller scale. it is above and pretty segregated from the market, but you know where you are. there is a cool/hip vibe to the place, both décor and background music. we sat next to a cool collage of broken blue delft plates and cups. fun. there are a few tables and high tops and a bar along the north end of the building going back toward the open kitchen and there is a long row of tables behind a wall of glass along the woodward side of the building.

the menu is divided into small plate appetizers, a charcuterie plate, a cheese plate, raw bar appetizers, soups/salads, flatbread pizzas, snapper and chicken from the wood burning oven, five pasta & seafood entree's, a list of steaks, and a rotating daily special.

we were seated promptly, water glasses were filled, and are server was there quickly for drinks. coke products (daughter) and all craft beers on tap (me - new holland full circle).

our server was new, but he did a decent job of guiding us thru the menu.

we started with the tuna "tacushi" appetizer: four, three-bite crispy taco's filled with sushi grade tuna, a cilantro salad, and topped with caviar. very good.

we also ordered the foie appetizer: a nice piece of seared duck liver along with a phyllo wrapped pate served with a small block of rhubarb chutney, which was very good.

for dinner we split a prosciutto flatbread - a good size eight piece pizza covered with prosciutto, arugula, roasted peaches, gorgonzola, and drizzled with a nice balsamic. again very good.

the tab was $55 plus tip.

a cool room with a lot of good places to explore on the menu. good service and very good quality. I am looking forward to going back.

Sep 14, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

Billy Sims BBQ Troy, MI

lockhart's is much better than billy sims.

the addition of the cubano is a plus for lockhart's.

May 27, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

Billy Sims BBQ Troy, MI

had dinner there two nights ago. it is a small quick service place. food is made to order from shoulders in sitting in the warming unit.

I had the triple 20 - pulled pork sandwich with special bbq sauce and provolone. decent smokiness to the meat. sauce was mild/bland. bottle of spicy sauce on the table was not very spicy. bbq beans were ok. potato salad was ok.

two pork sandwiches, two sides, one drink = $18.

I put it in the same class as dickey's in troy. ok, but nothing special.

had dinner at lockhart's tonight. much better. a couple of new menu items. i had the cubano: pulled pork, smoked ham, pickles, mustard, mayo, and cheese on a cuban roll - very good.

next time - smoked tri-tip with provolone and brisket au jus (like a french dip)

May 25, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

Comerica Park - Eat there or before we go [Detroit]

eat outside the park. the food at comerica park is unbelievably basic - dogs, suasages, little caesar's pizza, etc around the stadium. the food court behind home plate has chicken finders, tacos/burritos, etc. absolutely no great shakes. unlike parks around the counrty that offer decent bbq (kc, baltimore, milwaukee) sushi ((?) l.a.), tex mex (arizona, houston, rangers).

Mar 09, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

Nostalgia - Help remembering Jacobson's coffee brand?

to be specific, whole foods bought the merchant of vino stores to get to the jonna's wine expertise for their entire company. when their non-compete expired, the jonna's started the plum markets.

Feb 22, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

Novi - Business Lunch??

stev and rocky's is a very good place.

wish i had seen this sooner to tell you to order a "malaga" off of the secret drink menu at the bar...

Feb 01, 2013
xman887 in Great Lakes

RIP: Caucus Club [DTW]

i agree. i would get there once or twice a year. i was there in december and it was the same. decent, but nothing to write home about. much more about nostalgia (and i have only been going for 20 years, well past its prime) than the food.

Oct 08, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

Best and worst on the Outer Banks

i have tried many of the places between kitty hawk and hatteras and have been dissapointed with all of them. have not been to carolla bbq.

had good bbq two years ago on the ride in on caratoke hwy - maybe 10 miles before the bridge.

Aug 28, 2012
xman887 in Southeast

DTW Trip Report

Aug 28, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

DTW Trip Report

was the ice cream from treat dreams? he has a truck in addition to his ferndale store. great, creative ice cream.

Aug 26, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes


agree. had a fantastic dinner there last night. the setting was great, service was excellent, and the food was some of the best restaurant food we have had in obx. i had a tomato and spinach salad with tapenade - the best tomatos that i have had all season. for dinner i had one of the two fish specials: pan fried tile fish with tasso, a small crab cake, smoked gouda mashed potatoes, and succotash. others in our group of 16 had filets, crabcakes, tuna, tuna/filet mixed grills, etc. hald the people had salads that were large enough to share. we ordered two deserts and they brought us two others on the house to sample. we also had seven bottles of wine. the final bill was $50 per person, plus tip.

Aug 24, 2012
xman887 in Southeast

Best and worst on the Outer Banks

our crew of 25 is finishing up our fourth trip to obx (kdh) today. food highlights for the week:

colington cafe - had a fantastic dinner there last night. the setting was great, service was excellent, and the food was some of the best restaurant food we have had in obx. i had a tomato and spinach salad with tapenade - the best tomatos that i have had all season. for dinner i had one of the two fish specials: pan fried tile fish with tasso, a small crab cake, smoked gouda mashed potatoes, and succotash. we had plenty of wine all night and got out for $50 per person, plus tip.

duck donuts - really good, fresh donuts. kids loved them

tortuga's lie - a standby for us. very good steamers. i had a blackened tuna steak sandwich for lunch one day and it was very nice.

aweful arthur's - a good selection of beer and fresh oysters

red drum - very good selection of beers

mexicali - great place for late night beers out on their cornhole court

mama kwan's - good beer selection, deep fried wonton apps were a bit disappointing, good blackened fish tacos

billy's - fresh seafood store on colington rd. that the bartender at aweful arthurs recommended. great selection and great prices (a bit cheaper than austin's, and harris teeter)

blue crab - a great local/dive bar on colington rd. that we happened across on the way to billy's. five cans of beer = $10.75. have been twice this week and will go back once more today.

Aug 24, 2012
xman887 in Southeast

Looking for restaurant recs in Detroit

went to roast for dinner on saturday and had a very good meal.

app: marrow - i liked it. my wife was completely grossed out (bad consistency - she won't eat anything with a jelly-like form). the waitress and i were able to goad her into trying it, albeit a microscopic piece - no luck.

app: beef cheek perogi. the beef cheek was very good but i thought the perogi was too dense/heavy, not like the featherwieght ones my grandparents used to make from scratch. my wife liked it.

entree: pork shank confit. the waitress steered me away from the suckling pig beast of the day for this and it was excellent. nice firey bbq glaze atop ultra tender pork.

entree: filet. cooked perfectly. i tried a piece the next day and it was good.

side - whipped potatos. very light and fluffy. i only had a tatse and it was good.

side - brussel sprouts. carmelized and crispy with a balsamic glaze. very good.

our waitress was great. friendly, helpful, pleasant, attentive, and had a little edge. she did a nice job.

i was a bit surprised by the bill. two apps, two entress, two sides, two beers (very nice selection), and two glasses of wine was only $122.

Aug 14, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

morela - matt prentice's second go 'round (dtw)

went to the resurected morels in farmington hills for lunch yesterday. i really liked the old morels in bingham farms, so i was looking forward to trying the new place.

where is this place? the web site has a phone number, but no address. called and asked and the hostess said, "oh yeah, we know there is no address on the site. we are working on that." it is on the south side of northwestern, south of 14 mile.

i find the place and there is a big banner outside proclaiming "open for lunch." but there are no cars in the front or side parking lot. are they open?

walk in. there is a outdoor patio to the left. a bar surrounded by three glass walls on the left. a small dinning area on the riught, a larger room of tables and booths behiond the hostess stand, and an even bigger room in the back. decor is clean and low key. white tablecloths. small planter on the table. a littlle upscale, but casual. was this place always here? was it another restaurant?

it is 11:30 and i am the second table seated in the entire place. not a good sign.

after five minutes, my customer calls and asks, "where the hell is this place?" i explain and he says, "oh, it's he old macaroni grill." bingo. i knew there was something familiar.

the menu says that as much as possible, everything is local. all beers are michigan craft beers and all wines are from the u.s.

we order two apps to split:

bistro arancini ($9)
two Flash Fried Risotto Cake Stuffed with Housemade Meatball, Detroit Street Jam Asiago Cheese, Roasted Tomato Puree, Parmesan Veloute. they were good

braised pork belly ($10)
Southern Influenced Spice Rub, Apple Cider Natural Reduction, Michigan White Cheddar Grit Cake, Pickled Wild Mushrooms. excellent and generous portion.


horseraddish encrusted norwegian salmon ($15)
Garlic Whipped Potatoes, Roasted Red Pepper Béarnaise, Grilled Asparagus, Micro Radish Greens. the salmon was good. the horseraddish crust was different. i would try something else next time.

chicken breast milanese ($12)
Sautéed Breaded Chicken Breast, Fingerling Potatoes, Haricot Verts, Cherry Tomato, Lemon Caper Butter Sauce. looked good. my customer liked it.

add on an iced tea and a diet pepsi and the bill was $53. even boagman might crowbar his wallet open here for what you get.

the food was pretty good. the service was attentive. the prices were reasonable. by the time we left at 1:00pm, the main room was 80% and there were a few people in the bar area.

i will go back.

Aug 03, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

New Hella's [DTW]

hellas was a great place. i grew up with gus' niece. many great memories.

Jul 30, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

obx - kill devil hills (08/12)

we are making our fourth every other year trip to obx in august. we have been to a lot of good places in nags, kill, and kitty the last three times: tortuga, mama kwan, obx brewing, etc., etc.

anything new or noteworthy since 08/10 (in obx or on the road before the bridge) that we should look for? interests: bbq, seafood, micro brew, food stands, markets, beer stores (great selection of beer), etc. we (10 adults) always take one night to eat out and are always on the hunt for something new or different.

Jul 22, 2012
xman887 in Southeast

'Que Alert. Detroit, eastside.

tried z's for lunch today. 12:15pm and not a person in the place. had the detroit burnt ends dinner (two sides + cornbread) for $9.95.

the burnt ends were good. the ends were tender but a few pieces were more fatty than meaty and i struggled to find the smoke. they were more like a steak with a good char right off the grill. decent, but i like lockhart's burnt ends better.

sauces: hot and sweet were good. cherry/apple was ok. the asian sauce was not good. no mustard or vinegar based sauces.

collard greens totally kicked ass. served in a big coffee cup, very tender and studded with small chunks of pork. needed a little salt. loved them.

slaw: heaping plastic cup of vinegar based slaw. subtlle and got better the further i got. also needed a bit of salt and pepper.

cornbread: muffin sized serving and savory, not sweet. i am not a huge cornbread fan, but ate every piece because it was a perfect vehicle to soak up all of the greens pot liquor.

the guy at the counter was very friendly.

i ate in the place (tables that accommodate 20 plus five stools at a counter. not one person came in during the lunch hour.

overall, it was good. i would go back in the area, but i would not make a trip across town for it.

Jul 19, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

Good Steak/BBQ/Breakfast Auburn Hills, MI area?

lelli's just about a mile south and the other side of the street (corner of opdyke & featherstone) from the defunct big buck. started in 1939 in midtown detroit, they opened this suburban outpost in 1996. fantastic food and service. pricey, but worth it. get a big steak with zip sauce. they are known for chataubriand for two.

Jul 19, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

"He's baaaaaack." DTW

have you ever seen kwame and lavan in the same room?

my guess is that levan either owns the property (his sweet georgia brown used to be in the space - deep fried lobster tails - good god !?!) or he owes some serious back rent from when he occupied the space and convinced the owner that this would be a way of working off the debt (since nobody else can succeed in the spot despite reasonable foot traffic from the casino/greektown).

May 15, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

Looking for restaurant recs in Detroit

check out the sugar house

about 2 miles up michigan avenue (next to slows). you can even catch one of the six cabs in downtown detroit to get there.

May 15, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

"He's baaaaaack." DTW

i had the pleasure of meeting mr. hawkins several years ago (before he was convicted) and talked business. i ended up staying as far away as possible. what a disaster.

May 14, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

Downriver DTW

i had dinner at moro's years ago and it was pretty good. i have been there for lunch about four times with a customer that likes to go there. his words: "if you like garlic, you'll love moro's."

its a small, old school room witrh a dark, clubby feel to it. white linen table cloths and startched napkins. the waiters are all in black tux's. service is prompt and professional and a little abrupt - take your order, bring your food no small talk or kibitzing - down to business. there is also some show involved - tableside salad preparation; some entrees & desets at dinner, too. the food is good. tom moro is a seasoned pro. the food is not over the top great, but solid. personally i like roma's house salad, veal, and pasta with meat sauce a little better, but i would not hesitate to order it here. the soups are pretty good, too, and usually something more adventurous than your basic minestrone. worth checking out.

May 07, 2012
xman887 in Great Lakes

4 days in Chicago, where to eat?

it was jake melnick's. sorry - my bad for leaving that out.

Apr 10, 2012
xman887 in Chicago Area

4 days in Chicago, where to eat?

had a late lunch with a group of seven on 04/06 and enjoyed it. the beer menu is very unique and broad with a lot of hidden gems. i was pleased with an "against the grain quiet rye-it" and a "green flash hop head red." we ordered a plate of onion rings as an app. eight big rings came and went pretty quick. we immediately ordered another and added an order of housemade bbq chips served with crumbled blue cheese and a tangy blue cheese sauce. i had a pretty good bbq brisket sandwich, though the slaw was bland. two got bbq pork sandwiches and they enjoyed them. two got half slabs of ribs (the waitress ordered a whole slab, split it, and gave each a side, saving a few bucks) and they ate all of them. one thought they were a bit spicy (wimp). one got the bbq pork nachos and it was a mountain of chips, toppings and pork. i tried them and they were decent, but a bit too heavily sauced for me. and one got a small skillet of bbq beans and a small skillet of cornbread and picked off of the nachos and ribs. bill for 7 was about $150. i enjoyed it and would go back even if it was only to work though more of that beer list.

Apr 09, 2012
xman887 in Chicago Area

4 days in Chicago, where to eat?

went to rock bottom brewery last thursday (04/05). actually sat on the rb grille side, but we were given menus for both sides. beers were good - i had an ipa and an oatmeal stout. for dinner, i had a salad with asian vegetables and some thin slices of nicely seared rare tuna. it was pretty good. my oldest daughter went with a simple buttered noodles dish while my youngest daughter went with the two crab cake entree. i tried it, and though i am not a huge crab cake fan, they were very good - not much filler and a good, subtle citrusy tartness. it was different, but good. service was good. tab was about $60. i would go back.

Apr 09, 2012
xman887 in Chicago Area