The BEST places to eat in Detroit/suburban area
Been quite a while since I first read this thread... and looked for some of my favorite spots. I see a few but if I may, let me toss my 2 cents into the mix...
Italian - Giovanni's is an all time fave. Like going home. However, Cafe Cortina is also just excellent.
Greek - Pompous Pegasis can keep the attitude. For my buck it's the slow cooked lamb at the Parthenon. Special mention - Try a Tommy Salad at Little Daddys!
Polish - Zoshia's (AKA Polish Village Cafe). Period. End of story.
Sushi - Used to just LOVE Cherry Blossom in Novi but it's become sort of ....lazy. Shiro or Ajishan near Novi or Ronin in Royal Oak are first choices.
Chinese - someone's going to have to try this on blind faith... There is a tiny little place in Wyandotte called Lichee Gardens. If the fried rice there doesn't have crack cocaine in it.... then its something just as addicting. I've had fried rice in ten thousand places and none of them can hold a candle to this place.
BBQ - I like spare ribs more than fall of the bone so Tunnel BBQ takes it over any of the Ginopolis/Slows/Memphis places. Also the outdoor unnamed BBQ pit outside Easter Market is surprisingly good!
Breakfast - Original Pancake House (B'ham, S'field and I think GrPointe) Period. End of discussion. Order the Garden Baby omlette and tell me you've had anything better...ever.
Honorable Mention - Breakfast Club. Original and fresh.
Coney Island - Lafayette... Why? Because... thats why. :)
Pizza - Loui's on Dequindre in Hazel Park. Second award for Loui's is the addictive antipasto salad... what the HELL is in that dressing???
Fish and Chips - Gotta go with Scotty Simpsons on this one... either the original or the spinoff in Brighton. Honorable mention to Claddagh's pub in Livonia
Seafood - yeah, I know it's a chain... and thats not cool.. But I LOVE Bonefish. Sue me :)
Middle East - Used to say Al Ameer in Dearborn - NOW, I'll say a tie with them and LaMarsa. The kibbee nyee and deboned chicken are just... amazing.
Shatilla's for Middle Eastern desserts.
Forest Grill for Upscale trendy fare food, still made with love.
I'll add more later.... I'd love to hear anyones thoughts on these if they go.
43180 W 9 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375
7704 160th St W, Lakeville, MN 55044
222 E Market St Ste 33, Indianapolis, IN 46204
3233 Biddle Ave, Wyandotte, MI 48192
Polish Village Cafe
2990 Yemans St, Hamtramck, MI 48212
Middle East Cafe
801 W Thomas L Pkwy, Lansing, MI 48917
39500 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Forest Grill Restaurant
735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009
The Pancake House
15648 W County Road B, Hayward, WI 54843
re: Double Espresso
re: Double Espresso
I agree with a great deal of your choices, though I'm going to just roll my eyes and shut up when it comes to Original Pancake House.
I'm curious, though: why is Polish Village Cafe called "Zoshia's"? I've never heard that before, and am sort of interested in the history of that spot/name. Couldn't agree more with the recommendation, though!
We're sympatico on Giovanni's, Loui's, Scotty Simpson's, and another place or two. Cafe Cortina has given me the best dessert I've eaten in five years (at least), but I haven't eaten off of their full menu yet, and the soup I had before I ate the dessert didn't impress me (but the bread did!).
I'm surprised that Noble Fish wasn't on your sushi list. Your Al Ameer endorsement makes me even more determined to try that place. Hard to get down to Dearborn for me, but I need to do this.
I'm greatly, *greatly* disappointed with the Forest Grill's menu for Birmingham Restaurant Week, because of the emphasis it places on cheese, which I despise. I had really wanted to try the place during BRW for my initial outing, but now that looks like it won't happen.
Oh, and back to breakfast: have you tried Frittata in Clawson?
Polish Village Cafe
2990 Yemans St, Hamtramck, MI 48212
45 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017
Forest Grill Restaurant
735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009
I stopped at Walt's today ... their "Walt's coney" was a fine example of a Detroit Coney. Their slider had a bit too much bun for the beef; but, was not the typical slider grease-fest. I don't like
my sliders greasy.
Their Ultimate Grilled Cheese (4 cheeses) sounds interesting. I'll sample it on another visit.
But at nearly $5, I am wondering if any grilled cheese is worth $4.75.
as far as my dollar goes.... I don't think I would ever order anything other than a coney at Walts.... in fact I have eaten there over 100 times and have never ordered anything other than the dog.... and fries, sometimes with chili and cheese sometimes without....
If I wanted grilled cheese I would go to traverse city for a grilled cheese fish taco (grilled cheese with tomatoe/bacon/fish). It rocks. That one is 8 bucks and worth it.
If you are in Waterford you have to get a dog at Walts on M-59 at Cass lake road. It is the best chili and the dogs are natural skin on a steamed bun and the fries are crispy wedges... get those with the chili and cheese for a nice bonus!
I have driven 2 hours round trip just for a few dogs from Walts.
Some of my personal favorites.
Burger (slider)- Bate's in Livonia or Farmington. Perfect sliders.
Burger (bar)- Miller's in Dearborn, hands down.
Italian-Antonio's in Dearborn-Really good old-school Italian American food. Awesome marinara and meat sauce, homemade pasta, good pizza., Giulio's in Livonia- amazing chicken/veal picatta. Giovanni's in Detroit-home of the most amazing calamari I've ever had.
Pizza- Supino-Fantastic thin-crust artisan pizza. Try the Bismark with the egg on top!
Lebanese- Chef's Restaurant in Livonia. Everything here is always done perfectly and everything is fresh and/or juicy. I can't say the same for the popular Al-Amir.
Mexican (more authentic)- Senor Lopez in Detroit. The only Mexican restaurant in Detroit with Conchinitta Pibil. (that's the dish that Johnny Depp was killing people over in Once Upon a Time in Mexico).
Mexican (the greasy, cheese-covered, ground beef centric stuff)-Xocimilco's in Detroit. This holds a special place in my heart as it was where I always went at a kid.
Subs- Get an Italian sub from Alcamo's Italian Market in Dearborn. Get the extra meat one, it at LEAST a meal in itself and is almost perfect.
Breakfast-Evie's Tamales in Detroit. YAY! TAMALES FOR BREAKFAST! And plenty of other Mexican breakfast classics and breakfast burritos. For a more American breakfast, Louie's on Mack in Detroit. Diner food done very well.
Thai-I like Bangkok 96 in Dearborn Heights. I don't do a lot of Thai so I can't really say a lot about it other than I like it.
Cuban-Vincente's in Detroit. There isn't a lot of competition in Detroit for Cuban. But I like this place a lot.
Bangkok 96 Restaurant
2450 S Telegraph Rd, Dearborn, MI 48124
You have me interested in the Conchinitta Pibil...will have to hit that up soon.
As for Bangkok96 - Its more of a westernized Thai AKA nothing you would ever get on Thailand. A lot of people like that place....but it is lost on me. I think we have a authentic Thai dinner coming up this weekend.
Just got back from an extended weekend in and around Michigan - full reviews will be posted here on Chowhound but for now I will say that Forest Grill is the first restaurant in Michigan or Ohio that I would truly classify as a "destination" restaurant - IE, a place I'd drive 2+ hours to visit JUST for the experience of the meal (it is a bonus that the Birmingham/Troy area is great, as well)
Forest Grill Restaurant
735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009
I know this thread is a bot old...but I still wanted to throw my opinion into the mix :)
Best Italian: If you are on the north end, I swear by Spositos in Farmington Hills (14 mile and Farmington). If you are south, La Bistecca in Plymouth is incredible as well. (Plymouth, between Haggerty and Newburgh).
Best Chinese: By far is China Cafe in Novi. (10 mile and Novi). Not your typical looking Chinese restaiurant, great atmosphere, great bar, great food and top notch service. The owners treat each guest as close friends/family.
BBQ: Slows in Downtown Detroit. The ribs are excellent, sides are ok...they try to throw in too much spice in my opinion, in dishes like the mac 'n cheese, beans and potato salad.
Pizza: Buddy's. I haven't noticed much difference in lcations other than the nostalgic feel of the original.
Burgers: Millers in Dearborn on Michigan ave. Simple, yet perfect.
Seafood: Still looking for a place that has great Swordfish and Seabass...(the Seabass at Spositos is pretty good, but it isn't a "seafood" place).
Sushi: Shiro in Novi. (9 mile and Novi) Their sushi chefs create some great items not seen at a lot of other sushi places. If you go, sit at the sushi bar...or in the sushi bar area and watch the sushi chefs work!
Thai: Thai Bistro in Canton. (Ford and Lilley)
43180 W 9 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375
45620 Ford Rd, Canton, MI 48187
Hey SixTen. Always happy to see this one opened up. Nice to know about China Cafe. We were going to go there on Christmas day, but they were closed. I've yet to find any good Chinese since we moved here 3 years ago. So will definitely give China Cafe a try when the craving hits. We tried another one on Christmas(can't remember the name, it's on 13 mile Orchard Lake). It was terrible. We had come to the conclusion there are no good Chinese reataurants around here. I must try Spositos too. And I do love Thai Bistro!
45620 Ford Rd, Canton, MI 48187
> We tried another one on Christmas(can't remember the name, it's on
> 13 mile Orchard Lake)
Hong Hua, perhaps? I don't understand the raves that it gets. I prefer Shangri-La
(15 & Orchard Lake); or, Golden Harvest (12 Mile & VanDyke).
My only gripe with Spositos is that they have no concept of "reservation." They
"take" them. But don't truly seem to grasp the concept. In my experience, it's
first-come, first-seated/served. Reservation? For 6PM? Uh, yeah. It's right
here ... but we don't have table. By 7PM, it can be a damn lenghty wait.
I wish they'd decide to operate the business on a reservation basis; or, just
abandon the fig-leaf entirely.
I've scratched them from our dinner-before-a-show rotation because they simply
are not trustworthy in this regard.
That said, the kitchen is very good. Not "great", but very good. The owner is
engadged in the business and seems to care that the customers are happy. His
son? He doens't know how-to really work the front of the house.
6880 E 12 Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48092
27925 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Rheta....Since you get to Canton as least enough for Thai Bistro....try out Best China at Warren and Lilly. When you get inside....ask for the easterners/special/secret/Chinese menu. I so have plans on going back in the next few days. It looks like your average Chinese hole in the wall....but I am slowly falling on love with that menu.
Thanks Jan. I'll keep Best China in mind. Sounds interesting and very interesting you have to ask for the special menu.
Rain, it wasn't Hong Hua(been there and didn't really care for it either). It was something Garden. Or Garden something. I think. Thanks for the info. on Spositos.
Since it's been awhile since I've had the money for upscale, I'll leave that to others.
Fav Burgers - Millers in Dearborn (*best baked beans in the winter!)
Fav Pizza - Dearborn Italian Bakery (only one I ever liked more was Silvio's in Redford, but like someone mentioned, he no longer makes pizza. Heard a rumor his brother might have owned the original D.I.B. (if you're in Detroit at 2-3am, Nikki's Pizza in greektown. You can get lamb as a topping!)
Fav Thai - Bangkok 96 in Dearborn
Fav Italian - Ciao in Dearborn or Papa Vino's in Livonia. Same prices or slighly more than Olive Garden, but so much more quality P.V.'s has fresh bread and roasted garlic at the table for you. yummm!
Fav Cheese Steak - Gabriels Cheese Steak Hoagies in Westland. They do one thing and they do it better than anybody else in town.
Fav Subs - Rick's Sub Shop in Dearborn (warrendale area)
Fav Chinese - Kowloons in Dearborn / N.Y. Style - Dynasty Chinese Food in Dearborn Heights (Peking House in Royal Oak is very good also)
Fav Arabic - Uncle Sam's Village Cafe the 19th Hole if only for their special "Paul Christy" steak, onion, green pepper, tomato served over hummus. Plus a very good american menu too! Has a bar and belly dancing on the weekends sometimes.
I have had several wonderful meals at Modern Food & Spirits in Keego Harbor.
The menu includes a 'taste' of three soups; 3 oz. of each, served with a fresh roll.
The turkey pot pie, quiche and mac & cheese specials were individually prepared. All
were nicely spiced and served from from hot the oven. This approach takes longer
to get the food to the table ... but your meal comes hot from the kitchen, rather than
taken from a large pan that's been sitting under heat lamps.
The delmonico steak was perfectly prepared, nicely spiced and one of the best examples
of the cut that I have enjoyed in many years.
Modern Food & Spirits
1535 Cass Lake Road
Keego Harbor, MI 48320
Actually I found their food to be quite disappointing, well, maybe it was more the service. The food itself wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything that I would drive more then 10 minutes out of way to get. Not to mention while I was there I had to watch a women in a chef's coat berate another employee, it was just a bad experience.
The mostaccioli at Gino's is great, the favorite of 1000 WBHS awards banquets.
Myself, i have really liked what i've ahd at Modern food, the soups are great and the prices are good for what you get, although the service hasn't been spectacular. We were told we could not sit at a particular table because it was set for a regualr, even though there was no sign indicaton as such. I didn't think it was a big deal but my friends were none too pleased.
Lunch - Star Deli in Southfield
Bar - Sandy's By The Beech in Redford (BEST BURGERS FOR REAL!)
Sushi - Sumo in Rochester
Pizza - Alibi in Troy (gotta get the Antipasto and Breadsticks too!!!)
Hot Dogs - Lipuma's in Rochester
Take-Out Chinese - Ping's in Troy
Upscale Dinner - Forte in Birmingham (I like the asparagus & shrimp salad)
Steak - Clawson Steak House in Clawson
BBQ - Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak (great fish & chips too!)
And a side note, for absolutely the best comfort food in Michigan, I go to Murphy's in Redford and get 2 sliders w/everything and chili cheese fries. Greasy delicious heaven on a plate. :)
After reading about the Alibi on numerous CH threads decided to visit it last night since we were in the area.
Not sure if our visit was atypical but I found the pizza unworthy of the hype.
It was soggy in the middle, didnt seem baked through properly, and the sauce/cheese seemed particularly salty.
The atmosphere was very nice, warm and cozy as we were seated in a booth near the fireplace. But was disappointed with the plain cheese and mushroom/pineapple pizzas that we ordered.
The breadsticks were good, but really was just fresh bread with coarse sea salt sprinkled over them.
Can I just say:
Loui's Corned Beef and Ham
Tokyo Sushi(Mound N of M-59)
Fuddruckers(I know its a chain, but c'mon)
It will always be Laffayatte Coney
The Pancake Pantry
Ram's Horn(Late Nights Can't Deny)
Clarkston Cafe(New Fav)
Spago(Not actually Detroit)
re: g rote
"Pizza--Original Buddy's on Conant"
Heh. Looks like I mixed up a couple of posts. See my Buddy's question two posts up, please. ;)
"BBQ--Slows on Mich Ave (new school) or Parks Barbecue on Beaubien just N of Grand Blvd (old school)"
Hmm, Parks sounds interesting/intriguing. Care to define "old school" for me? Slows we definitely agree on. Some of my fellow unattached bachelors are going out tonight for some cue as a sort of anti-Valentine's Day statement, and while I lobbied for Slows, location-wise, it wasn't going to happen tonight. Instead, we'll be at Famous Dave's up by M-59 and Rochester, I think. While I'm somewhat disappointed, I have been wanting to at least *try* Famous Dave's for quite a while (even though it's ::shivers:: a *chain*), so I'll be able to knock that off the list, I suppose. I hear FD's is actually pretty good, so it's not the worst thing in the world. Still, Slow's rocks.
Anybody here ever eat at Sweetwater Tavern on the edge of Greektown near the City Hall parking structure? They have the best chicken wings on earth and the ribs - you have to eat the meat with a fork - it will fall off the bone into your hand or your lap - that's how tender the meat is on those ribs. SWEETWATER TAVERN - downtown Detroit near Greektown - BEST CHICKEN WINGS ON EARTH!!!!
Mr. Brewstirs is a great place to eat for breakfast and lunch, they have large portions during breakfast at a very affordable price. Lunch is great, large sandwiches and huge bowls of soup, the bacon potato is to die for. They are open M-F 5am-2pm and Sat Sun 7am-3pm located at 25077 Ecorse Rd. Taylor MI 48180. Great burgers, coneys, milkshakes and subs. Unbelievable, clean and great service.
Wow. I have some serious disagreements with some of your choices.
First, the best pizza I've ever eaten is at Loui's Pizza on Dequindre just north of 9 Mile in Hazel Park. I *lived* in Chitown for almost four years and never tasted its equal.
Second, your burger choices are foodie heresy. *Ruby Tuesday*? Hie thee to the Redcoat Tavern in Royal Oak, or Miller's Bar in Dearborn for the best local burgers. And when I say "The Best," I mean it.
I'm intrigued by your Thai and sushi recs, though. My Thai rec would be Pi's Thai Cuisine in Hazel Park and Sterling Heights, and my sushi would probably be Noble Fish in Clawson, but I'm willing to try your suggestions.
And where is Lily's, your seafood suggestion?
the alibi and green lantern are both solid places for pizza. their pizza is round, however, whereas louis best is square. personally, i am a bigger fan of cloverleaf (founded by the original buddy's owner) on gratiot in eastpoint/roseville area.
you are spot on for burger places and i like pi's better than orchid. similarly, tokyo is good but i like noble better.
lilly's is in royal oak, on washington between fourth & fifth. it's a pretty good place and they have good micro brew.
"lilly's is in royal oak, on washington between fourth & fifth. it's a pretty good place and they have good micro brew."
Is it, now? I must have driven by it umpteen times without ever seeing it. Strange, that. I'm not one that enjoys beer, so the microbrewery thing won't ring my bell, but I'm always on the lookout for a place that can give seafood its due without overdoing it, if that makes any sense. Always good to find a place to try so close by.
Oh, and for lunch today? Loui's Pizza. I don't think anyone will ever convince me that there's better, although I will admit that when Loui's is closed (for vacation, or whatever), Buddy's is a good "Second Place is the First Loser!" runner-up. ;)
I do have a Buddy's on Conant question, though, as I've never been to the original location, which you're speaking of: is there really a difference in the pizza you'll get there as opposed to one of their franchise/satellite locations? Or is it just sort of the awe, mystery, legend, and lore of the original place that makes it "better"? I don't ask to be a twit, but because every time someone mentions that they like Buddy's, they almost always refer to the *original* location, which I find puzzling.
lily's is between fourth & fifth on the west side of washington. probably been 9 months since i have been there (so i hope it is still there). one of those good places that gets overlooked when we try to decide where to go out for dinner. need to go more frequently. my wife and i have enjoyed several meals there and have taken our kids a time or two. worth a visit.
re buddy's - i have never noticed a difference between stores. conant is a bit more nostalgic, being the original, which may make a little difference.
i had lunch at loui's pizza today. its been a while since i have eaten there. my customer and i split a large w/ cheese, pepperoni, onions, & green pepper. sublime. almost buttery. i think it's the sauce - understated but in a very good way. blows buddies away, whose sauce is a little too sweet in comparison. can't wait to go back.
As someone who practically grew up going to dinner at the "Original" Buddy's, I think the pizza is the same but the atmosphere is just real blue-collar Detroit. The Dearborn location, for example, is nice and I've always had great service but the Original is just The True Thing.
I'll say this, though: My dad started going to Loui's and it is pretty damn cool. The place is SO old school and while I am not prepared to say the pizza is better, it's just as good. But different.
What about Vietnamese food? Any of you guys ever eat at Que Huong just south of 13 Mile and John R.? They've got the best pork sandwich in the world for just $3.00 a pop - delicious baquette bread, a sweet pork with peanuts, really crisp radishes, fresh mint, cilantro, cucumbers, and jalapenos. One of the most delicious things I've ever tasted. Sweet, spicy, and refreshing. Plus they've got great iced coffee, avacado smoothies, and the pho soup is out of this world delicious. Also Ashoka in Troy for Indian food on Rochester Rd. a mile or so north of Big Beaver on the east side of Rochester has delicious fish tikka, palak paneer - the spinach with cheese cubes, great lentil dishes, wonderful tandori chicken, mutter - peas, all the vegetarian dishes are wonderful and DELICIOUS carrot pudding for desert. I've also been to Star of India and Priya. I like all three but absolutely love Ashoka - some of the best food in the metro area - PERIOD.
Star of India
180 W 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220
72 W Maple Rd, Troy, MI 48084
Que Huong Restaurant
30820 John R Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071
I ate at Josephine's Creperie and Bistro in Ferndale last night, very good. They make their own wine, a Cabernet Franc and a Chardonnay. I had the Franc and it was very nice, soft and dry. $7/glass.
I will always love Lepanto in Royal Oak. I know it's not the Lepanto of 15 years ago, but it's still very very good.
Oh how lucky you are! There are, as you can see, so many wonderful places to eat near Birmingham! We moved from there (Troy actually),one year ago, to San Diego and have been so disappointed with the food here. By now you should have been able to try out a lot of great places! But, here are some more for you!
Tops: "Andiamo" for great Italian food -- already mentioned, but there is one nearby you in Royal Oak, and another in Rochester Hills. A 3rd is in Bloomfield/Birmingham on Telegraph Road at 15 Mile/Maple. Their main restaurant is fancier but is the very best: Warren, on 14 Mile Road. (My husband and I made a point of visiting them all!)
"Marias" Italian food in West Bloomfield by Walnut Lake is delicious.
You have some good Thai food right in downtown Birmingham: Si Thai (I can't remember!)
Buddy's for pizza is the best, but we did enjoy The Alibi, already mentioned.
Hunter House on Woodward Ave @ Maple/15 Mile Road for a great diner/greasy spoon burger or two!
And for those classic coney dogs and Greek salads: National Coney Island (located everywhere around you and East) is great. Lafayatte downtown Detroit is tops.
I'll be coming back soon for my first visit since moving, and am planning on visiting all of the above!
My favorites, mostly for dining:
Streetside Seafood (seafood bistro)
Camerons Steakhouse (trendy steakhouse)
Mitchells Fish Market (seafood)
220 Merril Street (lively bar scene, good food)
Rugby Grille (refined, fine dining)
Phoenicia (upscale Lebanese)
Forte (fine dining)
Original Pancake House (great omelettes and pancakes)
Big Rock Chop and Brew (fun steakhouse)
City Cellar (trendy, sushi too)
In Bloomfied (10 minutes):
Northern Lakes Seafood Company (nice seafood)
Shiraz (romantic upscale)
In nearby Beverly Hills (5 minutes):
Beverly Hills Grille (bistro)
In nearby Ferndale (10 minutes):
Assaggi (excellent bistro with Mediterranean flair)
Sakana (trendy great sushi)
In nearby Troy:
Cafe Sushi (great sushi)
Mon Jin Lau (upscale Asian and sushi)
Capital Grille (upscale steakhouse)
The Palm (steakhouse)
Ruth's Chris (steakhouse)
In not too far Southfield:
Bacco (excellent elegant Italian)
Il Posto (same)
Mortons (upscale steakhouse)
In Farmington Hills (20 minutes):
Cafe Cortina (excellent romantic Italian)
Tribute (excellent upscale gourmet fusian)
Hong Hua (gourmet Chinese)
In West Bloomfield (25 minutes):
Zinc Brasserie (French bistro/brasserie)
In Detroit (30 minutes):
Rattlesnake (upscale gourmet)
Coach Insignia (upscale with a view)
Seldom Blues (posh jazz supper club)
Mosaic (Greektown area Mediterranean)
Opus One (upscale)
Oslo (creative sushi with club downstairs)
In Novi (35 minutes):
NoVI (pronounced "number six"; nice steakhouse)
Gadaiko (creative sushi)
Other than the pizza, perhaps not exactly what you're looking for. But hopefully you'll find something that strikes your fancy here.
If you like thin-crust, you simply have to try Tomatoes. The best pizza in town period, if you ask me. 2 locations, previous thread here:
Pi's will make it hotter than anyone else in town if that's what you want. But he'll also make it very authentic for every single customer. I've heard this more than once from folks who have either spent considerable time in and/or lived in Thailand.
The Gang Panang Curry at Siam Spicy in Novi is probably the most delicious single Thai dish that I've ever eaten. At any spice level from mild to "on fire", it is amazingly good.
Pi's Thai Cuisine
24940 John R Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030
Novi Siam Spicy
43436 W Oaks Dr, Novi, MI 48377
Taqueria Lupita in Mexicantown and Taqueria San Jose in Waterford are my favorites for authentic L.A.-style tacos, and also feature good home cooking and daily specials. Both are recommendations of fellow Chowhounds. (Thanks again Hounds!
)Taqueria Lupitas - Al Pastor
313-843-1105 • 3443 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216
Taqueria San Jose - Carne Asada and Carnitas
248-683-9221 • 4550 Elizabeth Lake Rd, Waterford, MI 48328
The Gandy Dancer in Ann Arbor
A few comments on places already mentioned.. Logan in Ann Arbor is indeed good all around but Zingerman's Roadhouse, near their creamery, is also another interesting take on "American" that's quite good.
Pacific Rim is good for upscale "Asian" and the outdoor seating is nice this time of the year. For a different twist on "Asian" though try Kozmo in the Kerrytown market. It's a Korean diner, which Ann Arbor has many of, but it has its own youthful/contemporary American twists. Much cheaper than Pacific Rim too. :) Also around the corner from this (nearby Zingerman's) is Eve, the slow foods place.
Andiamo's also has a location in the RenCen on the Detroit Riverfront. Not sure how it really compares to Noi in Windsor's Via Italia district. Roma Cafe in Eastern Market also.
Sweet Lorraines is also in the Millender Center in Detroit.
Many friends love Thai Bangkok in Hamtramck but I think there are many good Thai restaurants throughout the area, everyone has their favorite, but I think the Sala Thais (one in Eastern Market and a cheaper one in Lafayette Park) stick out. Hamtramck's good for Polish and South Asian too though.
A nice breakfast can be had at the Detroit Breakfast House & Grill and Sunday brunches at a few places... the Majestic Cafe comes to mind.
There's a couple other Oslo-ish sushi joints around town now (where the contemporary atmosphere is as important as the food) but Oslo will always be the one.
Some other upscale options are Mosaic in Greektown and Atlas Global Bistro and the Whitney in Midtown. Has anyone tried the casino's restaurants?
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.
If you get lost and end up in Ann Arbor, try:
The Earle, best wine/drinks list and prices in the state, food's ok but not special. Has another good location, more upscale in The Earle Uptown too.
Zingerman's, best deli around here, and better than Carnegie Deli in NYC, for example, imho.
Pacific Rim, Pan Asian, although it's just now changing ownership.
Shalimar, 2 locations, both good Indian at very good prices.
Logan, American, I haven't eaten there yet but it gets good reviews from friends whose opinions I value.
In Ypsilanti, try La Fiesta Mexicana. Home style Mexican, but no liquor license.
Really low end ideas in Redford:
Grilled sandwiches - Sandy's on the Beach (bar) on Five Mile Road just west of Beech Daly Road. The reuben is outstanding! 50-cent coneys on weekends (not the best, but OK, and you can't beat the price).
Burgers - Michno's Cafe (really a bar) on Five Mile a couple of blocks east of Beech Daly.
Chili cheese fries - Redford Coney Island on the SE corner of Seven Mile and Beech Daly Roads.
Saturday night lake perch dinner special - Dave & Cindy's Family Restaurant on the north side of Grand River Avenue east of Inkster Road. [For NW Indiana chowhounds, it compares favorably to Teibel's in Schererville and is much cheaper.]
Basic breakfast, 24-hours-a-day, with homemade breads and o'brien potatoes - Canterbury Palace on the south side of Grand River Avenue east of Inkster Road and west of Dave & Cindy's.
Vince's & Roma (both in Detroit)
Maxine's (Grosse Pointe Woods)
Sushi (the best I've had... altho never been to Noble. It's impressed friends from Seattle)
Oslo (Woodward & John R)
Thai Bankok (Hamtramck)
The Harlequin Cafe (West Village)
To name a few.
Never been impressed by Tom's Oyster.
A few places that are amongst my favorites...
Pizza - The Alibi in Rochester (cheap)
Casual - The Clarkston Union (great beer selection, mac & cheese and other things...can be a bit salty) Prices are more moderate.
Burger - The Redcoat Tavern (there is no better burger in my mind...people who I have introduced to the Continental style burger have NEVER looked back) cheap
Nicer - BooCoo in Royal Oak. The Euros who work for our company really enjoy it.
Really nice (bring your wallet) - Shiraz in Bingham Farms. Doesn't get a lot of press, but the food is great.
Trying Fiddleheads tonight...we'll see.
High end, expense account:
The Lark (Farmington)
Tribute (Farmington Hills)
Opus One (downtown)
Rattlesnake Club (downtown)
Sweet Georgia Brown (upscale southern)
Rugby Grille (Townsend Hotel, B'ham)
Grill at Ritz-Carlton (Dearborn)
BooCoo (Royal Oak)
Zoup! (soup bar) various locations
Sweet Lorraine's (Southfield)
Bastone (Belgian) (Royal Oak)
Flying Fish (Southfield)
Beverly Hills Grill
LA Bistro (Dearborn)
Inn Season (Royal Oak)
McCormick & Schmick's (Troy)
Charley's Crab (Troy)
Holiday market (seafood selection for cooking at home)
The Breakfast Club (Madison Heights)
That's a start, check out the Midwest boards for more suggestions as well...
Other names for Seafood - Tom's Oyster Bar and Lily's Seafood - both in Royal Oak. I also love Little Tree for sushi (also Royal Oak). Their cooked food is good too.
Also (non-seafood) Just tried Big Rock Chop House in B'ham for the first time (amazing, since I grew up near there - had never been to any incarnation of that place). Anyway the food was great, but the atmosphere was very loud and boisterous - maybe not traditional "steakhouse" atmosphere.
When we lived in the area we liked Ernesto's for italian. It's on Plymouth Road about halfway between Ann Arbor and you. And for pizza, culture and entertainment, Italian-American Museum & Pizzeria
Detroit Pizzamaker, Silvio Barile, has transformed his shop into an Italian-American Cultural Center. The food's incredible and Silvio sings up a storm.
26417 Plymouth Road
Redford, MI (suburb of Detroit)
Open 9am - 6:30pm Monday thru Saturday