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Best Cocktails between Muskegon & S. Haven?

Looking for a top-notch bar to visit with my wife in this area. Barkeep needs to take pride in his/her mixed drinks. No meat markets or dance clubs, please.

Oct 14, 2010
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Best restaurants in Saugatuck/Douglas-S. Haven, MI?

My wife and I are staying in South Haven for our anniversary in a couple of weeks. Looking for a really special dinner experience in the area. My wife does not eat red meat or pork but fish/seafood and dairy are fine. Romantic setting (i.e. lake view) would be a plus, however food quality is obviously Priority #1. We love a great value but for this occasion might be willing to say "price-no-option" for somewhere really, truly unique and superior (a la Tapawingo, for those who have had the privilege). Appreciate any help!

Oct 06, 2010
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Dayton Area - Seeking Affordable Non-chain Restaurants

Hopefully it's still in business, but when we lived in Dayton back in the '90s, our favorite Asian restaurant was Little Saigon, on Woodman as I recall. We moved away about 10 years ago but did eat there on a visit maybe '05 or so. Family-run establishment with prices in your range. Would love to know if it's still around in case I visit again.

Jan 25, 2010
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Finding Peychaud's bitters in SE Mich?

A&L is my go-to shop in A2 and the first place I checked. Owner usually carries it but is sold out. Oddly enough, reason is that he currently can only get the big ($30 retail) bottle of Angostura bitters and since lots of people don't want to drop that for a bottle of bitters (plus that size would last at least one lifetime unless you do a lot of entertaining), they bought up all his Peychaud's in the smaller bottle. As has been fully discussed in these forums, sad fact is the two are not interchangeable.

Jan 21, 2010
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Finding Peychaud's bitters in SE Mich?

Trying to make a sazerac cocktail but having no luck finding Peychaud's bitters. Several recipes I've found stress that they are a very different product than the more commonly-available Angostura. Suggestions? West side/Ann Arbor preferred, or also downtown Detroit/Eastern Market would work.

Jan 21, 2010
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Great perch dinner in the Detroit area?

Caucus Club, downtown. Probably a little pricier than most places, but awesome perch, plus you get the "this is where Barbra Streisand was discovered" stories. Haven't been there myself, but have also heard from what I would consider to be reliable sources that Ivanhoe's perch is outstanding. Ivanhoe is also frequently called the Polish Yacht Club by locals.

Jan 21, 2010
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Aromatic Bitters

Given the gentian, would this recipe more closely resemble Peychaud's bitters vs. the orange-based Angostura?

Jan 21, 2010
Ignatz in Recipes

Best bakery buns in metro Detroit?

...I was afraid somebody was gonna say that. As much as I love that place, my wallet seems to lose a lot of weight every time I visit.... Z's is a culinary crackhouse.

Jul 01, 2009
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

Best bakery buns in metro Detroit?

I'm bringing the pulled pork for sandwiches this weekend for a neighborhood party. Where can I pick up some simple, high-quality bakery buns? Don't need kaiser rolls, seeds, or anything fancy--we're talking barbeque here. West side/Ann Arbor would be perfect.

Jul 01, 2009
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

Help! Need Detroit area Mother's Day brunch suggestion

My wife told me about a month ago that she wanted to go to the Gandy Dancer for Mother's Day brunch. No sweat--I made a reservation. We've been there for a couple of brunches and even though I personally think the ambiance beats the food by a factor of about 3X, it's mama's day to be happy so we were all set. Two nights ago she does a 180, says G.D. has "been done" and asks me if I can find somewhere else (west side required--we live near A2) that's known for brunch. Can anybody help? Short notice I know so I've probably got no shot at anywhere good, but miracles happen.... Thanks!

May 01, 2009
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

Detroit-- best corned beef or pastrami sandwich?

Also not yet mentioned--to my amazement--is the Vineyard on Northwestern between 13 and 14 mile. Better than Star, IMO and only a tiny bit short of Zingerman's quality. Prices are 75% of the latter's for about the same sized sandwich.
For reubens, the city's hidden gem is Hy Grade Deli, 3640 Michigan Ave. (just a few blocks west of Tiger Stadium. A bit of a sketchy neighborhood but I've never had a problem there. Don't bother looking at the menu: come for the reuben. Order the reuben. Return a different day for another reuben. Drink plenty of red wine in between to have a prayer of handling the cholesterol.

Feb 28, 2008
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Rosewood Restaurant--Rosemont

I'm sure this red meat haven has been mentioned before but am too lazy to delve into the Chicago Board archives.... In any case, I had a fabulous meal here earlier this week and wanted to give the place a recommendation. Our party of six tried various steaks (prime) and lamb dishes, all garnering raves. The wine list is pretty impressive as well, in particular containing few rarely-seen small production California labels. I must qualify by saying that I don't travel frequently to Chicago and have not tried any of the other renowned steakhouses there in the last five years. Compared to several other well-known/"hot" steakhouses I've visited recently elsewhere (most recently Red in Cleveland and Jeff Ruby's in Louisville), Rosemont more than holds its own.

Feb 28, 2008
Ignatz in Chicago Area

Anyone eaten at Kathmandu Chullo?

Any advice on this Royal Oak Nepali place would be appreciated. Its mother restaurant, Everest Express in Farmington, apparently did not survive. Thanks.

May 15, 2007
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

The BEST places to eat in Detroit/suburban area

Much as I love the original deli, I have to chime is as having been underwhelmed by my three visits to the Roadhouse. The food quality is good, but everything's overprices. $17 mac 'n cheese? Yeah, it beats the crap out of Kraft (although kids wouldn't agree...), but c'mon. Also, they make a big deal out of their authentic bbq, but I can't tell if they know how to smoke pork or brisket since it comes literally drowing in sauce. I know, I know, I'm on record as being willing to pay $12 for a sandwich in DepotTown, but for some reason, I've always left the Roadhouse feeling ripped off.

Apr 27, 2007
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

Frog legs....I did notice them on the menu and will definitely try them in a month or so when they're in season. I'm sure Harry has a good local source and does them up right.

Given his penchant for deep, spot-on analysis of potential talent, I now expect Millen to draft your nephew in the first round tomorrow, assuming he saw your comment!

Apr 27, 2007
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

Since my earlier comments caught your eye, I want to make sure you take them completely in context. SS's smelt was good, but just didn't (imho)compare to the shining stars of the SS menu, the fish and chips and the perch, both of which I consider to be worth a drive from just about anywhere in the 313, 248, 734, 586, etc. Don't let that scare you away from a SS's smelt feast--for $6, you still can't go wrong. While we're on the topic, you mentioned "not much" smelt available locally. Do you have any local favorites?

Apr 27, 2007
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Ann Arbor Restaurants

What we should all take from this great thread, packed with personal opinions, is that A2 is a great little place to grab a fork (or chopsticks, or in the case of The Blue Nile, no utensils at all). And on the subject of personal opinions, mine are:
1) OK, Zingerman's prices are preposterous and it's a tourist destination, but find me a better Price-No-Object deli sandwich outside of NY and I'll crawl there bare-kneed over a trail of coarse sea salt just to catch a waft of whatever's cooking in their kitchen. Did I mention the prices? Since the subject of heading into greater Detroit suburbs has been broached, another great deli is the Vineyard on NW Hwy., just south of 14 mile.
2) I know the original request was for the higher end, but I'm blown away that nobody has noted the legendary Fleetwood Diner. Hippy Hash must be experienced at least once. To be clear--this place is a dive.
3) We love Casey's for great, consistent quality food in a cool pub atmosphere. But it's much better than your basic bar food. Oops--much like Knight's, I'm "outing" a bit of a local secret.
4) Blue Nile. Ethiopian excellence.
5) I agree with an earlier post that the Common Grille is pretty common.
6) Great sushi at Godiako.

Apr 25, 2007
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

Brunch in Ann Arbor?

I agree on the Gandy--you're paying for atmosphere only as the food is SO unremarkable. Have heard Weber's is a better bet for a "fancier, traditional" brunch, although still no raves. Shame there are no better options.

Apr 25, 2007
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

Smithwicks beer on tap in SF/Marin/Sonoma?

I assume that if you're dedicated enough to seek it out on a Chowhound board, you know and insist on using the correct pronunciation: "Smit-ick's"?

Beer snobs forever!

Apr 25, 2007
Ignatz in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

momskitchen: I'm a recent (totally sold) convert to Scotty's, but also a recently relocated Dexter resident. Our family hit the Dex KofC fish fry last month and while a great gathering for our humble little community, the fish--while good-- didn't hold a candle to Scotty's. If you haven't ventured down to 5 Mile, run, don't walk. Only your cardiologist could keep you away after trying it once!

Apr 25, 2007
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

Hey Boagman-- I believe I have found the one piece of fried fish in Detroit that outshines SS's cod: SS's perch! Why was I not surprised? As previously promised, I tried it yesterday, on my fourth trip to SS's since discovering your ringing endorsement about two months ago. The perch is pricier, but from now on, I'll be faced with the complicating temptation to throw down the extra couple bucks and upgrade. BTW, Bev has been my waitress each time and I agree with you--she's wonderful, in keeping with the overall SS theme.

I have to believe that there are three big reasons, in order, that what ends up on the plate at SS's is so superior : 1) the love and experience of the crew, 2) freshness of the fish and 3) half beef fat in the fryer, not just plain ol' oil! Hard to believe Harry eats much of what he cooks, since he looks like he could play strong safety for the Lions!

Suffice it to say that, despite being only 1/8th Scots and 1/8th Irish, I'm hooked.

Apr 25, 2007
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

As promised, on a recent visit to SS's, I ventured away from the famous cod and tried the fried smelt. While a relative value, the smelt did little other than satisfy a curiosity--it was pretty good, but not worth passing up the tried and true fish & chips. Being the stubborn sort, I'll try the perch next time.

Apr 03, 2007
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

boagman: Man-o-man were you right about Scotty Simpson's! The only debate is how much we want to publicize this little diamond--I selfishly don't want the whole world to know about it, but also want to make sure they have enough business to thrive. The waitress was talking about how unprepared they were for the Lenten rush they got, a double-whammy because of the recent article in the paper (Freep? News?). I'll be back. You've been a great ambassador for them, but if everybody knew about this place, it would be a mob scene at 11:45, every day. Anyway, THANKS for your 100%-accurate endorsement. I'm trying the smelt next time; I've been looking for a good smelt dive since I left Dayton, OH, and my favorite, the Shuckin' Shack.

Mar 02, 2007
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Dinner in Dayton

Mash: I moved from Dayton six years ago but return regularly for business/family reasons. While I love the town, it has historically been an adventuresome eater's worst nightmare. My opinions:
1) I know this borders on blasphemy, but while the Pine Club may be the best steak in Dayton, it is hardly "legendary". They do not even use USDA Prime beef. The quality doesn't even approach the truly surreal steakhouses, like St. Elmo's in Indy. I'm not slamming it, but you have to like dark, clubby places and not expect the world-class steaks some will claim you'll find. The Oakwood Club, about three miles south, has a comparable atmosphere and similar quality beef but their menu has far more variety than the PC, and it's all excellent.
2) LVManager--you nailed it. I'd pick the Winds in Yellow Springs. It's the most unique cuisine in the area. The chef can occasionally get a bit too creative, in my opinion, but mostly it's just super. Cool atmosphere, too.
3) Haven't been there in several years, but El Meson in W. Carrollton was a very reliable place for tapas with a fun atmosphere. The family runs the place with passion. I'm not a tapas expert, but have rarely ordered anything there (10+ visits) that was disappointing. It's ideal if you're going with a group.
Good luck, and please follow up and let us know where you went and how you liked it.

Jan 31, 2007
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

Best Fish and Chips in Detroit ?

Boagman--since you brought it up, what are some "good" thai spots? I moved away from the area in 1991, and with only a few choices at that time, my fave was Bangkok Cuisine @ 16 Mi. & John R. Upon moving back in 2000, I bee-lined up there to find that sadly, they were no more, but was also amazed at how common Motown-area Thai had become. You're right--it's waaay worse six years later. Any suggestions would be appreciated. There's a decent one on Monroe downtown, in the retail strip under the Compuware parking garage (don't know if Karmanos eats there, though...). If this at all interests you, and/or if you're downtown for lunch ever, Sizzlin' Spice is a surprisingly passable choice for Indian, despite the ridiculous name. I keep telling the owner he needs to change it. He passes my acid test, though--about 60% of the lunch patrons are of Indian descent on any given day.

Dec 29, 2006
Ignatz in Great Lakes

Apple pie filling: to prebake or not

I'm a huge fan of Cortlands, although they're in scarce supply around here in general and are also an early-season apple.

Dec 29, 2006
Ignatz in Home Cooking

Temptation's Indian Restaurant in Ypsilanti

The best Indian in Metro Detroit, per a co-worker of mine who is of Indian descent, will require a drive for Ann Arborites--it's called Ashoka, located in Troy (maybe Rochester Hills?) It's just north of Big Beaver on Dequindre, I believe. They are listed in the phone book and have a website. I'm by no means an authority on what's truly authentic Indian, but have eaten at Shalimar and Raja Rani, as well a half-dozen others in Greater Detroit. I have to agree that for my palate, Ashoka absolutely blows them all away. Service is good, too. As far as A2, I hear good things about Khana Kazana (excuse the spelling) but have not eaten there personally.

Dec 29, 2006
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

SE Mich. pastry flour source?

Will give it a try. Love the co-op. Thanks.

Dec 26, 2006
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

SE Mich. pastry flour source?

gooddog: As will most of us here, I'm more than willing to drive ridiculous distances for the right ingredients. Thanks for the tip.

Dec 19, 2006
Ignatz in General Midwest Archive

best "spike" for eggnog...

I found a spiced rum yesterday, previously unfamiliar to me, called Sailor Jerry. Reputed by a source I trust to be a bit smoother than Captain Morgan, at the same price. Also, if you're trying to get Ginger toasted, the Sailor's 92 proof also outranks the Captain....

Dec 19, 2006
Ignatz in Home Cooking