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Yard*Bird (BBQ); Keego Harbor; DTW

I apologize for the poor photo focus, but it was too dim for my tablet's camera to focus.

Boagman invited me to accompany him for an early dinner last night at Yard*Bird (formerly Jeremy's). I was curious, as Jeremy's kitchen never Wow!'d me. Then there was their dining room with a few too many tables (fixed). And the valet-thing (fixed).

The bldg has been gutted and re-done in the spirit of Vinsetta Garage. The garage doors open to an enlarged patio. Sadly; the patio is only a sidewalk away from Cass Lake Road. But if you are dining with good company, it is not a problem.

The remodel has introduced a lot of hard surfaces. There is also a TV (or was it music?) adding to the cacophony. As other dinner guests arrived, the noise level increased noticeably. Having a conversation at a 2-top became increasingly difficult. When the screaming two year-old arrived ... we left.

The qty of tables and chairs is appropriate for the space. Plenty of room for guests to move about and servers to do their jobs. The chairs' back brace, squeezes the butt. Uncomfortably so.

The chili. I'm from the school of, "anybody that knows beans about chili, knows that there are no beans in chili." It was not intended as a criticism, but the server mistakenly took it as criticism. I think I was able to convince her that it was simply another regional difference. Not bad. Just different. Pleasantly so.

YB's chili has a few unanticipated ingredients. The recipe uses pinto(?) beans. Nicely firm, not the typical soft/mush chili bean. +1. Sweet corn in chili? Yup. I've only seen this done once before. It works for me. +1. The meats include chuck, brisket & ground beef. +2. The base? Thin and nicely seasoned. Not the typical thick tomato-y base common to SE Michigan. +1. The bowl was appropriately sized and only $4. For another $1, YB will add salsa, jack cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapenos. No. Thank you. The chili was a pleasant surprise and does not require accoutrements.

I chose their sampler for my entree - $17. Pulled pork, sausage & brisket. I loved the pulled pork. Smokey, tasty and not over-salted - hurray. The sausage was a miss. A bit over-cooked(?) and dry. I'm not a brisket guy, but this was good brisket. Good flavor profiles. Not over-salted. Moist.

The sauce; the best sauce was the one that we both expected to underwhelm: Harbor Heat, made with beer, vinegar and chili. Thin, spicy and sour. I think it also includes minced garlic. Loved it. I forgot to ask about buying a bottle to take home.

The entrees include two sides. I chose cornbread and mac & cheese. The cornbread portion was a wee bit skimpy. Otherwise; it did not disappoint, nor did it wow. The mac & cheese? The recipe is not what I prefer. I like my mac & cheese the way that Beans & Cornbread does mac & cheese. I will not order again.

The portion sizes were appropriate, not over-sized.

The BBQ was served on butcher paper, directly on the tray. Both simple and low-cost. Not keen about this touch. Not even a little bit.

The server was prompt, knowledgeable and attentive.

WiFi? They have it. I could not get it to work using the WPA key they provided, "JeremyRes".

The business seems CCW friendly and the food:liquor mix does not seem to disqualify CCW. But KHPD's interpretation and routine behavior is (very) unpredictable. How unpredicatable? In KH, wearing a ballcap backwards will get you a VERY stern lecture about violating the (non-existent) Gang-Wear Ordinance. You've been warned.

Website: www.yardbird.cool

- Not a typo: it's a dot-cool site
- Works fine in IE.
- Works fine in Chrome.
- Does not work in my Firefox v31 installation.

Will I return? Yes. Primarily because it is near(er
)to home than LazyBones, Slows or CAYA. Next trip? Ribs.


What say you?

about 23 hours ago
rainsux in Great Lakes

Keego Harbor Specialty Sausage & Charcuterie Co. [DTW]

I am not surprised. Why? Two reasons ...

1. Location. That curve has drivers focusing on

- The curve
- The traffic light
- On-coming traffic
- They were there for four [4] months before I noticed that the site was no longer a plant/landscaping shop.

2. Inconsistency. My two gripes:

- The roll. Wonderbread one day, artisan bakery roll the next week.
- Not getting what I ordered. I like spicy italian sausages, not sweet. Yet they could not consistently deliver what I ordered. Yes, they would fix the mistake. But, really, it was < 10 secs from order to prep and they got it wrong too many times.

about 23 hours ago
rainsux in Great Lakes

Vince's Ristorante Italiano since 1960 Hand Crafted Pasta n Pizza Detroit Mi

Vince's does have Veal Tosca on the menu, which is too seldom the case. In my experience, this is indeed a +1.

My hunch? If you ask for Veal Marsala, they will serve Veal Marsala. Why not call them and ask?

Sep 15, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

So *this time*, Andiamo's is *really* going to be *GREAT*!!!!! [Detroit area]

Freep> the company converted some of its premier locations into
Freep> Andiamo Italian Steakhouses. “We thought we needed to
Freep> do something different,”

Dear Joe,

Metro Detroit already enjoyed a surplus of blue collar,
family and suit & tie steakhouses when you joined the
parade. Steakhouses were not "different."

The End.

Boagman> Magdaleno is stratospherically lower.

That's a really mixed metaphor! <g>

I wonder who will survive our latest "BBQ" fad?

Sep 11, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

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

> was it just us or is that "Detroit Pita",
> and is that the way they always serve it?

Chalk it up to their maddening inconsistency. Head to Dearborn for better Middle Eastern eats.

Sep 08, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Vince's Bakery & Party Store [DTW]

I saw the MT review. Any 'hounds familiar with how their bread and sandwiches compare to the alternative favorites?

Sep 08, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

7 Bar & Grill; Southfield [DTW]

Yes. BTDT, twice. Willing to try a third visit, but only if I have a coupon that gets the cost down.

Sep 07, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes


I had a business lunch at Stage Deli recently. It has been a long time since my last visit. For me, Stage Deili has always been an operation that almost achieves, then manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Perhaps it should be renamed Lions Deli! Pardon/excuse my digression ...

I arrived in the middle of a downpour, at noon-sharp. I was seated promptly, inspite of arriving before my guests. The space looks to have been recently renovated - very contemporary. I like! The waiter was prompt, knowledgeable and attentive.

I love a good Monte Cristo sandwich ... and the few metro Detroit restaurants that offer this item, typically disappoint.

This Monte Cristo was yet another disappointment. Quality ingredients. Fine presentation. The delivery may not have been very prompt as the french toast was barely warm.

The crime? The ham and cheese was room temperature ... think very high quality cold cuts. They had never visited the grill or salamander. No warm, gooey goodness. Baaah.

Everybody was served. We were have a good business discussion. I did not wish to disrupt the tenor and progress by sending my lunch back.

My three guests were pleased with their respective salad, soup and pastrami.

- Cold food, cold.
- Hot food, not.
- No WiFi.
- CCW permitted.

Sep 07, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Duluth must haves

Two Harbors is a short drive up the shoreline to ... Betty's Pie's.

Sep 07, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

7 Bar & Grill; Southfield [DTW]

I screwed-up. I bought a $13 Groupon for 7 Bar & Grill, thinking it was for the (olde) '7' steakhouse on the SW corner of Maple & Orchard Lake which is now Prime 29. Doh! The Groupon offered a burger, fries & beer for two for $13. It's a reasonable deal, not a great deal.

7 Bar & Grill is located on the NW corner of 12 Mile & Telegraph, in the same strip mall as Five Guys and Pot Belly. It is a sports bar. Later in the evening they add a DJ and karaoke. Think: Smaller version of Buffalo Wild Wings. The reviews on Y(awn) seem to be high or low. The Low reviews tend to relate to slow/inattentive service.

We arrived ~6:10PM on a Saturday. It was almost full. It's a seat yourself operation. We took a 4-top near the door. My first impression? NOISY! Polished cement floors, hard walls ... no attempts to dull the cacophony. A DJ arrives later. No, thank you.

I began to worry after ~7 mins; nobody had stopped by. No welcome. No waters. No menus. Four people working behind the bar, but only three(?) waitresses working the floor? As I was getting ready to intercept and detain a waitress, she appeared, but with only menus. I made it clear we were ready to order and gave her the Groupon. She was familiar with it. She asked the appropriate questions re: choice of cheeses, toppings, preparation and choice of beers.

The beers & waters arrived promptly. The burgers arrived in a timely enough manner. It was a pre-made beef patty (GFS? Sysco?) and served with a toasted bakery bun - Hurray! The lettuce was fresh. The tomatoes were typical GFS/Sysco thin-sliced, tasteless pink things.

We both ordered our burgers medium. Both arrived well done. Mine was a tad too salty, just a bit, but I don't like salt. My bride did not think hers was over-salted. It's just a burger, not worth a redux. The fries were correctly prepared and not the typical salt-lick.

- Parking looks to be very constrained for all the restaurants in the strip mall.

- WiFi is seriously mis-configured. AVOID. Do NOT use. You've been warned.

- Based on the food:liquor mix I observed; I am guessing it does not qualify for CCW.

Will I return? Probably not. When I want a burger, beer and crunchy, I'll probably keep visiting Red Coat Tavern. Marginally more expensive, but a better burger, reliable prep, nicer space, better service and without the cacophony of seven TV's and music. The burger & beer competition in area is stiff: Mr. Joes, Balloon Saloon, Freak'n Unbelievable, McVee's is a short drive.

Sep 07, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Detroit Slider review revisited

Once the surrounding businesses close, the area becomes a "stroll," KnowWhatIMeanVern? How do I know this? I once attempted to visit after sunset. NOT gonna make that mistake again.

Sep 04, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Detroit Slider review revisited

I see that Motz (SW Detroit) and Torch Bar & Grill (Flint) made Thrillist's list of best burgers ...


Sep 03, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Northern Lakes & Seafood; Relocated to Troy, MI

Me? Snowden? Pffft.

Now; I'm not saying that I'm Batman, but we have never been seen together!

Sep 01, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Shatila expands to WB & SH [DTW]

Shatila has opened stores on 15 Mile/Maple:

Sterling Heights: North-side of 15 Mile, just west of Ryan Road.

West Bloomfield: South-side of Maple/15, just west of Orchard Lake.

This is going to be really, really bad news for my weight loss program!

Sep 01, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Lunch between Detroit and Frankenmuth, Michigan

More suggestions:

Fenton: The Laundry restaurant. The menu is varied and the food is terrific. The service staff is knowledgeable and attentive. The downsides? It is VERY popular. VERY busy. Small-ish. Noisy.

Keego Harbor (northern 'burb of Detroit): Ellen's Bakery & Cafe. Soups, salads, sandwiches and sweets.

Sep 01, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Lunch between Detroit and Frankenmuth, Michigan

Ruggero's is west of I-75. That area is fine.

If you are using a GPS, punch in the street address, do not rely on the GPS' own database of restaurants for the location. Why? Ruggero's has relocated in the past year: 5311 West Corruna Road.

Sep 01, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

A look back, what restaurant or bar do you wish was still around? [Detroit area]

I will add:

Le Chef
Clare's Okay Cafe

Aug 31, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Lunch between Detroit and Frankenmuth, Michigan

My favorite lasagna is the Deluxe Lasagna at Ruggero's, the west side of Flint.

Aug 31, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Michigan Food Tour Musts?

Vodka, made in Detroit:


Aug 29, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

A look back, what restaurant or bar do you wish was still around? [Detroit area]

Huh? The former Jeremy's will be Yardbird.

Aug 23, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

A look back, what restaurant or bar do you wish was still around? [Detroit area]

> Ed's


> Four V's


> Emily's


I'll add, Modern Food & Spirits in Keego

Aug 22, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Looking to buy Michigan made pop in Detroit

This should get your started:


Aug 21, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Sonny's Hamburgers [DTW]

Sonny's does a darned good slider. I see that another review on Y(awn) says, "better than Motz or Bates" I concur. They had a small but steady stream of loyal(!) customers at noon on Saturday.

Mike and Darrell were working the grill and counter. They insisted that their ground beef was fresh, not frozen. I'm inclined to believe them.

Sonny's sliders are a tad larger than the usual slider. The bun is nothing special - think grocery store, white bread.

The downsides:

- Schoolcraft & Evergreen (Brightmoor) ... is not exactly a trendy neighborhood.

- No exhaust hood - the onions on the grill were eye-watering, literally. I forgot to ask Mike & Darrell how long it took them to adapt. Customers wandered outside rather than wait indoors and endure the tears.

Will I return? Yes.

No WiFi. CCW friendly.

Aug 17, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Pars Restaurant is coming back to Farmington Hills, MI


Are 'hounds that are not named Aaron/Aron/Erin allowed to join this event?

Aug 15, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

French bread loafs in DTW

I see that Crispelli's is coming to West Bloomfield. Planning to open in Sept @ 6690 Orchard Lake; the same plaza as Pickles & Rye.

Aug 11, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Fifty Years - DTW

How should we handle the reinvented New Hellas and Uptown Parthenon?

Aug 10, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

driving from nyc to st louis

Dayton, Ohio; Not too far off your I-70 path:

Ru Dumaine; https://www.ruedumainerestaurant.com
El Meson; http://www.elmeson.net
Olive; http://www.olivedive.com/

Springfield, Ohio; Ditto ...

Young's Dairy (Farm); http://youngsdairy.com

St. Louis; Ditto ...

Lotta Watta Creek; http://www.lotawata.com

Aug 09, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes


The "Acapulco" food truck in SW Detroit (Vernor) did a pretty good cerviche last summer.

Aug 08, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

Tried Magdaleno Italian Restaurant in Lincoln Park, MI tonight...

We dined at Magdalena tonite. Our first visit since they relocated from Lincoln Park. Much nicer digs!

I called ahead to inquire if reservations were required. Whoever was answering the phone, didn't know how-to use their phone system. It took three calls to learn: Resv are not required, but are highly recommended. Shorts are okay in the dining room. I did not make a reservation.

We arrived at 6:10PM. There were only 14 patrons in the dining room. We bumped the total to sixteen. Renee was our server - excellent worker. Knowledgeable and attentive, without being pushy.

The only downside: No liquor. More on this later.

The calamari appetizer was expertly prepared and served very hot. The simple green salads were spot-on. Guess I would have preferred a cucumber slice, or pine nuts or something in addition to the cherry tomato halves. We enjoyed our entrees - no disappointments. Cioppino for me, veal marsala for my bride.

The negatives:

- The bread & butter. Boagman nailed it.
- No liquor (again).

But I worry. How the heck can they survive with only 16 guests in the dining room at 6:30PM? The space easily sits 130 people in the two dining rooms. We departed at 7:20PM, and there were only 13 left in the dining room.

It seems that their financial partner has left, taking the bank account, liquor license, business name and POS. Interim investors have been found ...

I hope they can survive this setback. But I do worry that perhaps they have moved a tad too upscale for their neighborhood.

A shared appetizer, two salads and two entrees totaled $47.50 before tip.

Good WiFi. CCW friendly.

Aug 08, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes

anything north of port Huron?

Aug 06, 2014
rainsux in Great Lakes