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Detroit and Michigan traditions?

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New England has clam chowder. Philadelphia has steak & cheese. Cincinnati has chile over spaghetti. Memphis has ribs. What do we have here in Detroit? Besides Paczkis. And where do I get it?

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  1. Besides packis, we have Coney Island hot dogs, made from pork with casing, all meat, high fat chili, diced yellow onion and yellow mustard. The best, IMHO, is at Lafayette Coney Island
    118 W. Lafayette.

    1. City Chicken!

      15 Replies
      1. re: Cathy

        What is City Chicken? Where do I get it?

        1. re: dearborn barkis

          City chicken is breaded pork and veal on a stick that you make like fried chicken. You can make it yourself, or buy it ready to cook at a grocery store. Occasionally, I have seen it on the menu at Polish restaurants. Try Steve's Three Brothers Steve's Three Brothers Restaurant (17820 W. Warren Avenue - (313) 271-1227)

          1. re: momskitchen

            I work near Threes Brothers. My co-workers tell me it's great, but I've never been. They say it's the best Polish restaurant in the area.

            1. re: dearborn barkis

              Try the Polish Cafe in Hamtrack, on Yemans. By far the best and it doesn't get more real than Hamtrack. We took the kids last week and they said it was the best City Chicken they EVER had, and Grandma was with us (hers is the benchmark). She was in Poland this summer and from what we can figure, city chicken is a DETROIT Polish food.

              1. re: jjdarnell

                Just trying to help out: the place you're referring to is the Polish Village Cafe, not just Polish Cafe (which could be confusing to someone asking directions).

                But yes: it's darned good, *dirt* cheap, and I happen to love their fried pork chops. Good stuff, Maynard! The only thing I'd say as a caveat is to not expect much from their potatoes and veggies, but the meat and especially the appetizers in the form of soups, cucumbers in sour cream, potato pancakes, and what not, are great!

                1. re: jjdarnell

                  I don't know about that. My Slovak grandmother in Cleveland could make some mean city chicken.

                  This ( http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodmeats... ) website claims to have traced the origin to western Pennsylvania.

                  Here's ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/307239 ) a thread from the Home Cooking board.

                2. re: dearborn barkis

                  Bad news - I think ....

                  I saw a realtors sign on Steve's 3 Brothers. Has it closed?

                  Mom
                  motherskitchen.blogspot.com

                  1. re: momskitchen

                    yes it has and that's a shame. It was the best Polish food in the Detroit and surrounding area.

                  2. re: dearborn barkis

                    you missed it ! it's closed ! and yes it was the best bar none.

                    1. re: Rick Durocher

                      Before Three Brothers closed, I tried its pierogi and kielbasa a few times. Yes, it is--or was--good.

                      You may want to try Sabina's on Oakwood in Melvindale for good Polish food. And they have city chicken too. Friday when Summerfield & I went for the second time in the week, I had an excellent flaky fish w/ mac&cheese, a dish which seemed to be popular on a lenten friday.

                      1. re: dearborn barkis

                        oh sad sad day to hear about this.....

                        I loved everything I tried there; the chicken noodle soup, stuffed cabbage, pierogis, and kielbasa......and that fantastic home-made sauerkraut of theirs....they will be sorely missed.

                3. re: dearborn barkis

                  I just found this site & had to respond to your "city chicken" question.
                  At the turn of the century chicken became very expensive with veal & pork being the cheapest of meats. People couldn't afford the chicken so they put the veal & pork on sticks, battered & fried them like a chicken leg & named it "city chicken". My husband has tried it with pork & london broil (since I don't like veal) which is also very good. It has nothing to do with the polish heritage.
                  I visit Westland 3-4 times a year & haul back corned beef from Wigleys. Since the airlines are going to start charging $25 for a 2nd suitcase plus extra over a certain weight, I figured it would be less hassle to find my corned beef on line & have it shipped. Can't find anywhere. Does anyone know where I can buy it?
                  By the way, you might want to try the corned beef sandwiches at "MotorCity" casino..Outstanding!

                  1. re: kim_in_florida

                    Hi kim. Thanks for the info. Perhaps this is just a coincidence, but Hamtramck was the epicenter of meat strikes in 1935. Polish housewives picketed local butcher shops and eventually rallied women in Detroit and other states to do the same. City chicken is available at every Polish grocery and restaurant in Hamtramck.

                  2. re: dearborn barkis

                    Ready-to-pan-fry city chicken on skewers is available at all the Westborn Markets (Dearborn, Livonia, Berkeley and who knows where else). Just like Grandma used to make.

                  3. re: Cathy

                    Best city chicken this OLD Polish boy has ever had I found at Kopytko Meat Market. no tables, to-go only, AND the best smoked kielbasa, (they do their own smoking). 8609 Jos. Campau in Hamtramck, 313-873-421 THE BEST!

                  4. Are you kidding me? The best we can do is a hot dog named after a second-rate amusement park in New York? They do have a great roller coaster, however. But how can Detroit possibly hold its head high trying to capitalize on a NY establishment? Surely we must have our own regional specialty.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: dearborn barkis

                      Starting a food fight, eh, Barkis? To paraphrase Hercule Poirot, Detroit does not have the cuisine, it has only the food.

                      I don't think I've seen corndogs anywhere but around here. Maybe that's the tradition. Gotta find a place where you can get a pasty and a corndog and wash it down with Vernor's. Mmmmm. You can do this while reading Ferlinghetti's "A Coney Island Of The Mind". There's a place on Michigan Av. in Saline that I hear has pretty good pasties. Anyway, I vote for pasties.

                      1. re: dearborn barkis

                        Well in Plattsburgh, NY which is a small city just south on Montreal and on Lake Champlain we have "Michigan" hotdogs. The are served on a split top New England style roll and the chili sauce is different, it is a very dense almost crumbly dry topping. Then topped with chopped onions and and yellow mustard. If you want to have the onions in the bottom of the bun (neater to eat that way) you order "one buried" .

                        Jane and Michael Stern wrote about them last summer in their Road Food column for Gourmet

                      2. If you don't like Lafayette Coney Island, try American Coney Island on the corner of Layefette and Michigan. It's just as good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: beverly hills 48025

                          oddly enough they are owned by the same people

                        2. But why do we have to play second fiddle to New York? They have the Yankees. We have the Tigers. What regional specialty do WE have? And where do I get it?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: dearborn barkis

                            Coney dogs are great! If you go to any New York greasy spoon and ask for a coney dog, they'll think you're a blinking idiot. Coney dogs are a Detroit specialty.

                            1. re: beverly hills 48025

                              I haven't been to Lafeyette, but I have been to American. "Greasy spoon" says it all.

                              1. re: beverly hills 48025

                                They are uniqely detroit.... We put our (cow) Hearts into it!! I have had the cinnci chili and the packos chili and they are not anywhere close to being good.... they taste nasty to me. If you want to get the taste you can go to most krogers and get a jar .... try it at your own risk!!

                            2. Michigan traditions - how about pasties?

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: momskitchen

                                What is a pastie? Where do I get it?

                                1. re: dearborn barkis

                                  Pasties are little meat pies in a pie crust. My Gramma, who was born and raised in Missouriand relocated to Flint, MI, made the BEST pasties and made them until she died at 94 yrs! She used burger, potatoes, either rutabaga or carrots, onions, salt and pepper and homemade pie crust, using lard as the fat. DELISCIOUS!

                                  1. re: dearborn barkis

                                    Where to get pasties - a great yooper tradition. I lived in the U.P. for many years, and I love them. Make sure you pronounce them right: PAH-stie. If you say "pastey", it means something entirely different.

                                    Genuine pasties are half moon shaped meat pies made with round steak cut up small(not burger), potatoes, carrots, onion and rutabaga (this is a mandatory ingredient; they won't taste right if you don't add it) Here is where I like to get them:

                                    Anywhere along US-2 north of the Mackinaw bridge
                                    Suomi Bakery in Houghton, MI. The benchmark pasty, for me!
                                    I make my own using a genuine Yooper recipe
                                    You can also order them frozen at www.pasty.com where they are made daily at the Still Waters Retirement Home in Calumet, MI.

                                    Now granted, none of these are local. Locally, I've had these pasties and they are quite good from:

                                    Pasty Shop
                                    13255 Northline Rd
                                    Southgate, MI 48195

                                    (734) 281-4664

                                    Happy pasty eating!

                                    1. re: dearborn barkis

                                      I just got a pasty at Pasties & in Saline. It was a veggie one with chicken gravy and it was quite good.

                                      Also, Buddy's pizza is totally unique to Detroit. It's not New York style, it's not Chicago style. I'm changing my vote from pasties to Buddy's pizza as the unique Detroit food.

                                      1. re: Summerfield

                                        Loui's pizza in my opinion is far superior to buddy's. They also have the best antipasto salad ive ever had...

                                  2. Vernors and cream.

                                    People who don't know about it think it sounds awful, but when they taste it, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: Atlantis

                                      I've had Vernor's. Kinda like ginger ale. What's the cream in Vernors and cream? And where do I get it?

                                      1. re: dearborn barkis

                                        "...Kinda like ginger ale"??? Honey, Vernors DEFINES ginger ale. Don't be fooled by that insipid Canada Dry stuff people try to pass off as ginger ale. Vernors is the real deal. Loaded with ginger, boy, it's so good.

                                        I get it in any market here in Northern Virginia, but you could check out their website and find out where your local distributor might be.

                                        http://www.vernors.com/

                                        As for the traditional Vernons and Cream, it's just how it sounds. Like Kahlua and cream. Vernonrs on the rock, pour in as much heavy cream as you like, usually just a layer on the top, stir, and enjoy. It's phenomenal.

                                        You're up for a great treat.

                                        1. re: dearborn barkis

                                          "Kinda like ginger ale" -- now THAT'S funny. For anyone from Michigan or nearby areas Vernor's IS ginger ale. That other stuff is "Canada Dry" and is mostly used to mix drinks.

                                          The cream in Vernor's and cream is, well, cream. And, yeah, it is quite good. As is Vernor's and vanilla ice cream (the "Boston Cooler" refernced below), and in the wintertime hot Vernor's. Still miss getting a hot Vernor's after ice skating.

                                          Wish you could still get the original recipie stuff though, which was even more gingery and could make you sneeze or cough when you opened the bottle. Wonder if they could still even make it?

                                          1. re: Woodside Al

                                            I don't disagree that Vernor's is ginger ale BUT ... why don't they put "ginger ale" on the can?

                                            1. re: jlawrence01

                                              They used to. But when they were bought out by a big corporation (7-Up?) a couple of decades ago, and went for wider distribution outside of the Detroit area, they took it off the cans and bottles so as not to confuse people who were more used to a Canada Dry type product.

                                              1. re: Woodside Al

                                                I worked for a hospital in Southern VA a few years back and we would buy 100 cases of ginger ale a week. The low bidder provided us Vernors and the purchasing people were going to return the product as it was "out of spec" as the can did not say "ginger ale."

                                                Fortunately, I was familiar with the product and approved it.

                                            2. re: Woodside Al

                                              "For anyone from Michigan or nearby areas Vernor's IS ginger ale."
                                              Not quite. I was born and raised in Detroit ('52 - '74) and there was a distinction: "golden ginger ale" was Vernor's and its knockoffs and "pale dry ginger ale" was Canada Dry and its knockoffs. Both were considered ginger ales, just different types that tasted nothing like each other. And I've lived in NYC since 1974--there's nothing here that's equivalent to a Detroit Coney Island hot dog. Despite their name, they're uniquely Detroit.

                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                I think the point is the mere existence of Canada Dry ginger ale does not mean it deserves acknowledgement.

                                          2. re: Atlantis

                                            Can't think of anything more Detroit than a Vernor's float.........except maybe a Sander's Hot Fudge Ice Cream Puff. (Is puff the right word? It's been so long I can't remember)

                                            Other than that, Detroit cuisine to me means Middle Eastern food. Best place in the world to get it outside of the Middle East.

                                          3. Vernors is REAL ginger ale...has GINGER flavor, strong and deep. Make it as an ice cream float- a scoop of vanilla and then fill the glass with Vernors.

                                            Coneys don't taste the same anywhere else as they do in Detroit. The Coney Island restaurants used to be filled all the way down Michigan Avenue after a Tiger game wnsws...back when it was called Briggs Stadium. Remember a Coney Island place serves hot dogs and loose hamburgers, with chili, mustard and onions on top. Cheese is wrong. I've seen loose hamburgers (served coney style) in Chicago also, but nowhere else.

                                            17 Replies
                                            1. re: Cathy

                                              The whole coney definition issue is interesting. There's a dividing line between Chelsea and Jackson, west of which the dog has spiced hamburger on top, not chili. Some of the places in Jackson are very old, and they all (or all I've tried) do it this way. In far upstate New York, Detroit-style coneys are called Michigan hot dogs. On the other hand, some on this board have claimed that coneys originated in Cincinnati, not Detroit. I don't buy it, but it's interesting that chili, which was not a common food in the early twentieth century outside of the southwest, was getting started down there at the same time coneys were. To make things still more complicated, I once ate in a restaurant in Scranton, PA, which obviously hadn't changed since it opened in 1923; they called the coney a Texas dog. All this coincides with large-scale Eastern European immigration; the people who started these places were South Slavs and the like. The Greek (and now, in Detroit, Chaldean) ownership was more recent. My guess is that similar foods sprang up in a variety of places, cooked up by people who were looking to create a big American food craze.

                                              The pastie is mostly a Yooper food, said to be Cornish specifically, that would stay hot for a few hours if you took it down into a mine. People have tried to get pastie places started in metro Detroit, but they never seem to fly. One of those foods that seems to taste better if you're on vacation, I guess. I agree a good homemade one is a treat.

                                              Give me two coneys with everything and a Vernors!

                                              1. re: Jim M

                                                I'll have one of each heavy chili please, and a chocolate cream ale.

                                                1. re: Linnster

                                                  "two wishout!"

                                                2. re: Jim M

                                                  you dont have to buy it but sorry the chili topped coney dog was a cinci invention. they invented that style of chili and they named it after cinci's coney island amusement park (not the brooklyn park). all you have to do is have some cinci chili and you will see immediately where the coney dog topping comes from. it was obviously brought up to detroit. coney island diners still exist or existed in almost all ohio towns too ya know.

                                                  for detroit originals stick with pasties, although wait a sec thats a yooper item. ok, so vernors it is then.

                                                  1. re: Jim M

                                                    I don't agree with you about the coney "dividing line", Jim. I have had many a coney with what is called "loose burger" in the Detroit area. Try one at Parthenon on Ford Rd. in Dearborn! Where are you trying them in Jackson? I'd like to check them out. I have had them at the Jaxon Pizza Factory (I think) and they were pretty good.

                                                    What I think is interesting is that many good coney places are owned by Greek immigrants. I wonder why?

                                                    1. re: Jim M

                                                      JimM says: "I once ate in a restaurant in Scranton, PA, which obviously hadn't changed since it opened in 1923;they called the coney a Texas dog"

                                                      Something rather similar to a Coney Island (although not nearly as good) is served as a "texas weiner" in New Jersey and nearby parts of Pennsylvania. The Hot Grill in Paterson NJ is often held up as the exemplar of this style. But I've been to both several times and Lafayette is definitely better. The "chili" used on the Hot Grill's texas weiner is darker, greasier, and considerably sweeter than that used on a really good Coney.

                                                      And there just ain't no loose burgers in Jersey. In fact, even more than the Coney dog, I'd say that the Coney loose hamburger is truly a Michigan specialty. I've never had the like anywhere else.

                                                      Re: the "dividing line" argument: You can always get a coney with loose burger on it in Detroit. Just order a "combo" at either downtown coney island and that's what you'll get.

                                                      1. re: Jim M

                                                        O.k. I live in S/W Ohio and admittedly have never had a Detroit Coney. I have had the Cincy style and Red Hot Texas wieners in N/E NJ (centered in the Patterson, NJ area). All three were started by Greek and or Lebanese imigrants. There are differences in ths 'chili' sauce, but they all share similar types of seasoning owing more to Greece than the American S/W. They probably called it 'chili' to make it recognizable to Americans, but it is probably more like Greek style pasta (sic) sauce.

                                                        1. re: Jim M

                                                          I'm thinking that the Coney Dog originated.... um, on Coney Island?

                                                          Anyway, put me down dor the loose burger as a contentder for MI tradition.

                                                          http://www.grumpyonion.com/blog/bid/4...

                                                          1. re: Matthew Wainwright

                                                            The Coney Island Dog was invented by George Todoroff in Jackson, Michigan, when he opened his restaurant, Todoroff's Original Coney Island, in 1914.

                                                            1. re: JanPrimus

                                                              Well I'll be!

                                                              Thanks for setting me straight!

                                                              1. re: Matthew Wainwright

                                                                Despite the name, the "Coney Island" preparation style has little direct association with Coney Island, New York itself, beyond a recognition of the birthplace of the original hot dog. In some areas of New York, the term "Coney Island dog" is also used in connection with the "white hot", a stronger and more spicy variety of the traditional pork hot dog.

                                                                Anyways....let the Original Gangsters speak about it themselves.
                                                                http://www.todoroffs.com/toci/Our_His...

                                                                1. re: JanPrimus

                                                                  Very interesting. It's probably easier to call them Coneys or Coney Dogs. There is also a Coney Island in Cincinnati. But there they eat chili on top of spaghetti!

                                                                  1. re: JanPrimus

                                                                    Thanks again! I grew up in both regions, (NJ and MI) so when I got to MI, I always thought they were talking about the same thing that my Grandparents back east were talking about.

                                                                    The internet is a great place to learn that you are wrong before you say something IRL!

                                                                    And Jan, if you'd like me to link to or post something on my blog about this, I'm happy to!

                                                                    1. re: Matthew Wainwright

                                                                      In fact, in parts of New York and Quebec, these dogs are called Michigan Hot Dogs.

                                                                      http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/n...

                                                                      Some claim that the coney island designation came from the Coney Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati. My theory: Todoroff, the early coney proprietors, and the chili purveyors in Cincinnati were all Eastern European immigrants who knew each other and were looking for the next big fast-food score.

                                                                      1. re: Jim M

                                                                        Yes, I have seen the "Michigan Hot Dogs" in upstate New York, and while I didn't have a chance to taste one, I thought they looked like what I would call a "coney".

                                                                        1. re: momskitchen

                                                                          Few are really very good, but they're the same deal.

                                                          2. re: Cathy

                                                            A Vernor's float is also known as a Boston Cooler. It is named after Boston Blvd. not Boston, Mass. It was a specialty of the Detroit soda fountain pioneer and icon, Fred Sanders. Many people also credit Sanders with the invention of the Ice Cream soda, although Denver also claims to be the birthplace of that beverage.

                                                          3. Pickerel/Walleye fish are native only to the Detroit area also.

                                                            There are more potato chips in the world eaten in Wayne County. (This was in a flyer handout I got at Metro Airport; I also heard it on Food TV).

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Cathy

                                                              bzzzt. nope.

                                                              port clinton in ohio is aka "walleye capital of the world"

                                                              http://www.walleyemadness.com/

                                                              1. re: Cathy

                                                                Don't mean to be a snob, but walleye and pickerel are not the same fish and they are found throughout the US. In fact the largest pickeral so far was caught in Georgia! Pickerel are related to pike and muskies and the walleye is a member of the perch family. The only similarity is teeth. If you pick one up by placing a thumb or finger in their mouth, you're going to regret it. They are both good eating. Walleye however are much easier to clean.
                                                                Bob

                                                              2. I'll submit Better Made potato chips, made in the city of Detroit. They're available at just about any grocery store you can think of, and they're certainly my preferred brand.

                                                                Also, I would say that the Maurice salad (which has its origins from the J. L. Hudson company) which is available in the restaurant of the Department Store Which Has Undergone Two Name Changes In The Last Decade Or So, which we lovingly refer to in my family as "Hudson's."

                                                                About Vernors: I still like it a great deal, especially when I've got a fever (it's very good when sick), but Vernors is a shadow of its former self. I have to strongly disagree with the previous poster about the strength of its ginger taste anymore...it's not nearly as strong as it used to be, when it was locally manufactured using better ingredients. In fact, the total "cough-inducing" strength of the stuff has been greatly reduced overall. It used to be that I couldn't open *any* container of the stuff and pour it into a glass without having to resort to coughing from the vapors it would exude (and while that may sound bad, it was actually one of the greatest things about it). These days, it barely even registers. I still think it's a Detroit institution, but its days of being what truly defined it are certainly long over. Or at least, they are for now, until property right change or something.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: boagman

                                                                  I love the Better Made HOT BBQ potato chips. They are the best! I also liked the maurice salad at Hudson's too. I still call it Hudsons....How about Sanders "bumpy cake"?

                                                                  1. re: momskitchen

                                                                    ahh...Colonial Buttercream...yep

                                                                    1. re: momskitchen

                                                                      Ah, bumpy cake. Sanders, actually, as a whole, would probably qualify as a Detroit institution, or at the very least, a Sanders Hot Fudge cream puff, or whatever those decadent desserts are. I never have them, but the Sanders quality is certainly not to be messed around with. I think that those who've had the Sanders name have done a surprisingly good job of keeping the high quality, at least in terms of the cakes and ice cream toppings.

                                                                      I just had a Maurice salad at Hudson's last night. Good stuff, Maynard!

                                                                      So, you're one of those freaks who likes *flavored* potato chips, eh? ;)

                                                                      1. re: boagman

                                                                        Apparently I should have read down further before I posted. It was called a "puff"!

                                                                        I forgot about the Maurice. If you get one at Briarwood in Ann Arbor you can get a vegetarian Maurice or one made with just turkey instead of turkey and ham. I'd say they're more "heart friendly" it's except the super high fat/calories dressing negates the effort.Doesn't matter, all versions are delicious!

                                                                      2. re: momskitchen

                                                                        "How about Sanders 'bumpy cake'?"
                                                                        I brought a Caramel Spice cake home from my last visit and I have to say it's a big disappointment. This seems to be what replaced the old yellow cakes with caramel frosting and while the cake is good, the frosting has a weird chemical taste with a greasy mouthfeel (not to mention "bumps," which I really don't mind). I'm thrilled that so many parlors reopened (I visited the one in the Village in Grosse Pointe) but I think I'll just stick with a cream puff next time. I also visited The Chocolate Bar on Mack Ave. in Grosse Pointe Woods so that I could sample some Alinosi ice cream after MANY years. Good stuff--not as rich as Häagen Dazs but nice butterfat content, not too much overrun, and very bright flavors.

                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                          When I was a kid I always used to ask for a Sanders caramel cake for my birthday. After their bankruptcy/reorganization problems in the 90s the caramel frosting texture just wasn't the same. I didn't realize they'd stopped making it altogether. I've tried several other caramel cakes,even tried making it myself, but still haven't come close to the one I remember.

                                                                          1. re: gooddog

                                                                            It really WAS good, wasn't it? I always liked it more than the devil's food cake (which I seem to recall wasn't called "bumpy" back then).

                                                                      3. re: boagman

                                                                        The old Vernors was so effervescent it used to make me sneeze when I opened a bottle or poured it into a glass. Vernor's floats were a common dessert growing up.

                                                                      4. I will agree with the Lafayette coney crew. They aren't the same, or as good, anywhere else. In fact, in Quebec, these are known as "Hot dogs Michigan", which would seem to imply that they are a Midwest specialty, regardless of the moniker that we know them by.
                                                                        But don't order one in Quebec. They are a pale imitation. In fact, I once bought a gallon of coney sauce from the Lafayette to get us through those cold, northern winters.

                                                                        1. I have never found any out-of-state Coney dogs like ours, although I can see how the Cinci chili dog is similar but I'd bet that Greek immigrants came to Detroit to work in the Auto industry before they went to Cinci! But I'm suprised that no one has mentioned Michigan Pizza. The Buddy's, Shields,and Louis' style is quite unique and is one that I grew up on. It is just too bad that the Food Police caused them to eliminate the bacon greese on the pizza pans before baking, you should have tasted them back then!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: jjaross

                                                                            well you would lose that bet. the cinci greek arrival and the coney island amusement park there (1887) predates the auto industry --- so the admittedly rather wacky local cinci greek chili specialty and the coney dog history is well established there.

                                                                            as far as never finding any coney dogs elsewhere, well you dont have to travel too far for that, you can still get coney dogs in the little local greek diners that are scattered around the older nabes of ohio cities, although those are a dying breed that are falling away to the fast food giants. for example, there are several oldies on lorain rd west side of cleveland, a coney joint who's schtick is tiny sized hotdogs on the westside of columbus & of course all the cinci chili parlor chains sell them.

                                                                          2. How about Sliders from Bates...cheap, simple, and yummy!

                                                                            Bates Hamburgers
                                                                            Farmington and 5 Mile
                                                                            Livonia, MI

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: trinyc

                                                                              Just went there for lunch right before Christmas , damn good all right . However , another best slider discussion could be dangerous . I prefer The Telway , at 11 mile and John R . But I really think you like the sliders you grew up with . Bates burgers are awfully good , and so are the old school fries in the greasy wax bag . Mmm ...

                                                                            2. Better Made Chips
                                                                              Shatilla Pastries
                                                                              Lafayette Coneys (only after 2am)
                                                                              Sanders' Bumpy Cake
                                                                              The OG Buddy's Pizza on 6 Mile...that crust is better than sex.
                                                                              Coney Island Greek Salads with Butter Grilled Pita

                                                                              1. Frog legs (roadhouse style), panfried lake perch, and that great downriver oddity: muskrat suppers.

                                                                                Honeybaked hams. They've gone national now, but they started out right there on the west side on Fenkell and were a centerpiece of our football parties for ages.

                                                                                Nice to see someone mention city chicken. It was a staple of my east side childhood, but is something that always leaves New Yorkers wide eyed in shock when I describe it to them. Damn good stuff, maybe I'll take some back with me this New Years.

                                                                                1. I lived in greater Detroit for 28 years, and have lived in Minneapolis for 6 years. I don't ever recall discussion of the fish when living in Detroit, but here it is widely regarded as the official state food. Just for the record, I googled "Minnesota Walleye" and "Michigan Walleye"...MN got 701,000 results and MI got 647,000 results.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: g rote

                                                                                    Walleye is often called pickerel in Michigan, as it is in neighboring Ontario.

                                                                                  2. That explains it...I have definitely heard discussion of pickerel & seen it on menus. Folks up here treat it with a quasi-religious level of respect.

                                                                                    1. Thanks chowhounds for your thoughtful replies. There are many great nominations here for best Detroit specialty. I'm going to try city chicken at Three Brothers soon. And Bates sliders are the best.

                                                                                      As my good friend Summerfield knows, I'm a military brat and I've lived all over the country, including New York and Las Vegas. Coney dogs remind me too much of New York, and pasties, which I've never sampled, remind me too much of Las Vegas, where they are a non-culinary treat. Stroh's (the aroma!) is my favorite Detroit specialty, or at least is was until they closed their brewery in town. I'm switching to O'doul's, or perhaps Vernor's, lest I start another food fight.

                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: dearborn barkis

                                                                                        >And Bates sliders are the best.

                                                                                        LIES! UNTRUTHS! OTHER WORDS THAT HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS THE PREVIOUS TWO!

                                                                                        Green's Hamburgers have the best sliders in the Detroit area, period. Bates, from what I understand, isn't consistent from location to location, and my experience with them is sort of eye-rolling. Never have understood the draw of that particular place, myself.

                                                                                        But Green's (10 Mile and Orchard Lake in Farmington Hills) has the best sliders I've ever had bar none. Is there a specific Bates location that needs to be measured by?

                                                                                        1. re: boagman

                                                                                          Best sliders ever were at Mott's Hamburgers, Fort & Green across from the 4th Precinct on the southwest side.

                                                                                          1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                            Were the Best? They stilll ARE the best. Freshest meat, cleanest place..YUM to th 9th.

                                                                                          2. re: boagman

                                                                                            I my not know much about pasties, coney dogs, walleye, and city chicken, but when it comes to sliders I’m a connoisseur, as my cholesterol count attests. When I lived in Farmington Hills and had late night cheeseburger cravings I hopped in the car and drove past Greenes to Bates, slider Mecca, at 5-mile in Livonia, despite the extra 15 minutes of driving. Some days, if the car was low on gas, I settled for the offerings at Greenes. Greenes cheeseburgers are indeed impressive. But they aren’t Bates burgers.

                                                                                            1. re: boagman

                                                                                              Could not agree more regarding Greene's Hamburgers.
                                                                                              Words cannot describe how good these things are. These things are off the hook.
                                                                                              I get my double cheeseburgers with onions/mustard/ketchup/pickles.
                                                                                              Plus, the fries are a PERFECT comlement to the burgers...crisp and rippled on the outside but soft inside.

                                                                                              That said, Bates on 5 mile is no slouch. A solid, tasty burger...an 8.75/10.

                                                                                              It is amazing to me how bad are the burgers at Hunter House in birmingham. The only reason anyone mentions HH in a positive light is because they've never had Greenes or Bates. I find them almost inedible, and definitely unsatisfying. Horrible sliders.

                                                                                              +

                                                                                              1. re: AppleSpam

                                                                                                Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who doesn't like Hunter House's offerings. I mean, sure, I can spot the nostalgic draw of the place being that it was a part of the old guard of Woodward cruising spots, almost all of which are gone now. Fine. There's a certain "sacredness" with the place.

                                                                                                But the food, specifically the sliders, are just plain bad. And not the "good" kind of bad. The "gross" kind of bad. Green's are sublime. HH's are basically built on nostalgia and the prime location in Birmingham. I guess there's no accounting for bad taste.

                                                                                                That being said, I want to again stress the difference between sliders and a "real" hamburger, which can best be experienced at the Redcoat Tavern, just down Woodward in Royal Oak. Mmmmmm. *So* satisfying, indeed. But when I'm hungry for a slider, it won't fit the bill, and when I'm hungry for a real hamburger, Green's won't do.

                                                                                                It's nice to have choices. :)

                                                                                                1. re: boagman

                                                                                                  Hey dont forget ORIGINAL MARCUS HAMBURGERS on McNichols. They used to be open 24 hours a day years ago and was a great hang out place. The burgers are long and served in hot dog buns. Load them up with your favorite toppings.... A detroit classic cooked and left to swim in the natural juices till ordered up.....

                                                                                                  1. re: Biglew

                                                                                                    There is also a Marcus Hamburger in sterling heights at 14 and ryan. They are the same style in a hot dog bun. Do they taste the same?

                                                                                                    1. re: dave98svt

                                                                                                      they are the same and they are good.

                                                                                                      you can also get a marcus on 11 mile, about half way between main & i-75

                                                                                                  2. re: boagman

                                                                                                    Wow, I couldn't disagree more on Hunter House. I moved to the area in 1988 and have no nostalgia for any of the slider places. In my book, Hunter House is the best. You can really pick up the fact that they grind the meat every day. The only complaint I've ever had is that they can undercook the onions on a busy day. Greene's makes a very good slider, but they overcook the beef. The whole flavor profile is on the charred side, but it makes for a tasty change of pace. I think Bates is a very, very distant third in the slider category.

                                                                                                2. re: boagman

                                                                                                  I'm very pleased to see the posts on Bate's. I'm pretty sure the only locations are the ones in Livonia. The one in Novi at the corner of Grand River and Novi road was owned by Gary Bates and his brother owned the others. The Novi location was sold and razed; Gary retired. I can tell you that the place was immaculately clean, there was virtually no turnover of help and he made the best chili I've ever experienced outside of my own kitchen. Most that knew Gary from the grill didn't know that he is a concert pianist and is a genius at restoring antique pianos. He's also one of the most generous guys I've ever known.

                                                                                                  1. re: boagman

                                                                                                    i stopped at green's today for a bite while on the road. first time. they did not disappoint. an excellent slider.

                                                                                                    1. re: xman887

                                                                                                      Glad you liked it! I really like that joint.

                                                                                                      A local friend of mine went there and didn't enjoy it *at all*, saying that it was pretty dirty, and that his wife even had something floating in her drink glass! I've never, *ever* seen the place dirty, but when someone's *that* emphatic, there's nothing that can be said to coax them to try it again.

                                                                                                      I think they were just being a bit hard-to-please, myself, but hey...at least they tried it. I still think Green's sliders are unmatched. I'm willing to be challenged on that, but they're the best ones *I've* eaten.

                                                                                                3. Bill Bonds & Coleman Young fighting over a coney @ American...

                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCmgjA...

                                                                                                  1. I agree with boagman about Vernor's gingerale. The taste is only a shadow of its former self. They had a long strike and when they started manufacturing again, it was never the same. It was sweeter and had more flavor. The "Boston Cooler" was vernors pop plus approximately 2 scoops of Ice cream mixed together to the consistency of a shake. Nothing like the "malty-textured" thing you get at Big Boy's nowadays. People used to Drive miles to our first big boy's on E 8 mile for the Boston Coolers. I would imagine the best way to get a good idea of the original taste of the cooler, you would have to have access to the vernors fountain syrup plus vernors in a bottle... play around with combinations and add your Ice cream.... not cream! If you take today's bottled vernors (compared to yesteryear) and add ice cream, you get "tasteless". That's how much flavor they took out after the strike. (you know the same thing has kind of happenend with root beer and the "black cow".)

                                                                                                    1. Ah, they ahd "Boston Coolers" at Blazo's on Michigan Ave just where it turns into Dearborn (near Wyoming?)when I was growing up...

                                                                                                      1. Back in the day the Vernor's label used to pronounce that it was "Aged in wood for 4 years" then just "aged in wood" now no mention of aging at all. The aging refered to the ginger syrup that was used origanaly as a "medicine" with carbonated water. As in Wine & Bourbon the aging in a wood barrel added character and smoothness, the water evaporation over time increases the flavor concentration. Not sure how factual it is but supposedly this wood aging process applies to the vinegar and cayenne pepper mixture used Tabasco sauce too. The 4 year time period was a result of the barrels being left as the Civil War was fought by both inventors.

                                                                                                        1. Anyone have a recipe for Maurice salad dressing? My mom used to take me to Hudson's to have one as a special Christmas treat when I was a little girl. I thought it was so elegant.

                                                                                                          I send my out-of-state family Sanders hot fudge sauce and stuff from Kowalski sausage...especially the kielbasa and kishka.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: houndgirl

                                                                                                            I don't have the recipe, no, but they do sell the stuff by the bottle at Hudson's, you know.

                                                                                                            1. re: houndgirl

                                                                                                              www.askyourneighbor.com has the entire recipe-I use it all the time

                                                                                                            2. A posting of the recipe has been moved to the Home Cooking board, here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/355925

                                                                                                              1. Certainly not Detroit, but important to Michigan tastes and economy are cherries. See cherries in Traverse City or one of my favorite spots, Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor. A west Michigan favorite, though maybe not exclusively, is dried smoked smelt. I remember eating at the White Towers in Detroit in the '50s. Great stuff, if not native to the area.

                                                                                                                1. Though I've mentioned it quite a bit in other posts, I do feel that Scotty Simpson's Fish and Chips deserves a mention here as well. Best, and I do mean *the best*, fish and chips I've ever eaten, anywhere. Couple that with handmade cole slaw and tartar sauce (yes, that's handmade too), and you have one of the best Detroit traditions available over the last 60 years. Throw in an outstanding roll from the local Dimaggio's Bakery a few miles away, along with some Stewarts ginger beer, and you're in food heaven.

                                                                                                                  Scotty's is at 22200 Fenkell Road in Detroit, 2 blocks west of Lahser Road. I cannot stress enough that it's worth the trip.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: boagman

                                                                                                                    Yes indeed. Scotty Simpson's is fantastic. Now if they only served walleye...

                                                                                                                  2. Maybe someone already did and I can't find it, but PLEASE tell us, again, where exactly Scotty Simpson's is?? I live about 70 miles north of DETROIT but would most likely drive there for really good Fish n' Chips. Thanks!!!

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: SajaStacy

                                                                                                                      "I live about 70 miles north of DETROIT but would most likely drive there for really good Fish n' Chips."

                                                                                                                      Three little words for you, SajaStacy: "Worth the trip." :)

                                                                                                                    2. OOPS!!! I FOUND THE ADRESS ABOVE AFTER I POSTED MY REQUEST. ANOTHER "OLD FART BRAIN FART!!"" I HAVE THOSE MORE AND MORE OFTEN.....

                                                                                                                      1. I would also mention olive burgers. I haven't seen them anywhere but southern Michigan and others have told me that they are something of an area specialty. Standard thin bar burger (i.e., nothing to write home about) topped with a "relish" of chopped greeb olives, with pimento, thinned (with juice from the olive bottle?), and the slightest touch of sugar (I think I was told about 1 tsp per gallon). My favorite place for ab olive burger (with a bottle of Dog and Suds root beer) is The Peanut Barrel in downtown East Lansing across Grand River from Berkey Hall.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Timowitz

                                                                                                                          Oh yeah, as an MSU grad I sure remember these. But you won't find olive burgers in Detroit, they are pretty much a specialty of the Flint area that has leaked across to Lansing/E. Lansing.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                            My husband went to Ferris St. and claims that "Ferd's Olive Burger" is direct from Ferris. There's a bar in Utica, Art & Jakes who's owner was a Ferris grad or fan and served a pretty good one. I think he sold to a new owner, though.

                                                                                                                        2. I lived in Detroit after graduating from U-M & used to LOVE Tom's Oyster Bar (Grosse Pointe/Royal Oak). I still crave everything about the joint, even though I live in San Francisco now. I highly recommend it to any chowhound!

                                                                                                                          1. I lived on Center St. in RO about 3 blocks from Tom's Oyster Bar from '93-'96 and a group of us ate there every Tue night for 3 years. Whenever we visit my folks in A2, we make a pilgrimage there for chowder, oysters and pints.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: g rote

                                                                                                                              I recommend the original Grosse Pointe Park location. There you can observe a bizarre aquatic species, the native Grosse Pointer, in its natural habitat.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jim M

                                                                                                                                GP always did seem like it was a foreign body...perhaps a slice Rhode Island that had been misplaced and wound up along Jefferson Ave. It's so close to Detroit, yet so far away.

                                                                                                                                1. re: g rote

                                                                                                                                  Newport RI, not Providence.

                                                                                                                                  Funny thing is, for all the money in G.P. good restaurants have really struggled to gain a foothold there over the years. Tom's is an exception, but most haven't lasted very long. Tastes tend to be very very old fashioned there.

                                                                                                                            2. Agree with Coney Islands (Chili Cheese fries especially) and Vernors....yet would like to add Chipatis from Ann Arbor to the list. Anyone who went to school at University of Michigan in the last 20 years knows about these babies....HUGE salads in a bread bowl. Looks like a giant pita with great, spicy Chapati sauce. Check em out at Pizza House in A2. http://www.pizzahouse.com/

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: madigank

                                                                                                                                I never ate a Pizza Bobs Chipati sober, but what I remember of them was good.

                                                                                                                                1. re: g rote

                                                                                                                                  I knew Pizza Bob and loved the subs and whole wheat pizza growing up as a kid. They used to make a burger on the other side..(the garbage pit) It had so much on it you needed a bowl!! The memories...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Biglew

                                                                                                                                    oh, christ. I ate SO much Pizza Bob's back in the 70s. and those chapatis, even though they weren't really my favorite at the time, were pretty great.

                                                                                                                                    although, were I to find myself transported to Pizza Bob's right now (I'm in Los Angeles), I'd probably walk out, cut through Campus Corner to grab a sixpack and head to Krazy Jim's down the street for a triple Blimpy burger with egg and swiss on an onion roll.

                                                                                                                                    I think I just spontaneously orgasmed. :)~

                                                                                                                                    1. re: annagranfors

                                                                                                                                      Hey, whatever does it for you. They're all still here, except for Campus Corner, and there are plenty of other places to get the six-pack.

                                                                                                                              2. I see alot of discussion about city chicken, Rudy's in Clarkston has city chickens you can buy and bake on your own, and they are out of this world!

                                                                                                                                1. I have heard that zip sauce is a Detroit specialty. Does anyone know anything about it or its history?

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: dearborn barkis

                                                                                                                                    I think that came from the old Lelli's restaurant on Woodward. It was served with their steaks. Never had it anyplace else. Does anyplace now serve this?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                      Andiamo puts it on steak. It's a version of the old "guy recipe" (at least that's how I think of it, because it's part of my limited cooking repertoire) where you put a mustard-butter sauce on steak; the zip sauce has some other herbs.

                                                                                                                                      http://allrecipes.com/recipe/zip-sauc...

                                                                                                                                  2. Sure, you can still get zip sauce at a lot of places. I usually get some with my burger at Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak.

                                                                                                                                    *drool*

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: heavy liquid

                                                                                                                                      Hatcheys in Utica Great zipsauce. They use it on the steak bits

                                                                                                                                    2. Sorry Michiganders...but I believe the Maurice Salad, even though it was SOLD in Detroit was invented in my hometown of Pittsburgh.

                                                                                                                                      Here's a link...and the story I've always heard about the orgination...and a great recipe.

                                                                                                                                      http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06201/...

                                                                                                                                      1. genevas on harper will always have the best sliders in detroit... no one else competes!!!

                                                                                                                                        1. Oh and I know everyone keeps saying vernors and that is great, but what about faygo cola? born and bred in the D!!!

                                                                                                                                          1. ...and other, more individual, Faygo flavors, like redpop, frosh, rock & rye, etc.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                              Faygo is definitely my favorite brand of pop/soda... but they have weakened its flavor over the years. My favorites over the years have been orange, red pop (strawberry) and fruit punch. The orange and fruit punch are definitely less flavorful.

                                                                                                                                              Speaking of less flavored drinks, Hawaiian Punch should be taken off of the market. I venture to say its only about 25% as flavorful as it was when I was a kid.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: MsMel608

                                                                                                                                                That's the difference between cane sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup you are tasting...

                                                                                                                                            2. I've been traveling back and forth here for work for 6months. Now I understand why I am just not happy with the food. A person can only eat/drink so many coneys, fish & chips, ginger-ale and Middle-Eastern food before screaming "NO, PLEASE STOP!" The best food that I have tried is Beans & Cornbread on Northwestern, the Astoria Pastry shop in downtown Detroit, and The French Laundry. The rest of the food has been uneventful and nothing to write home about. I'm getting a hotel that has a kitchen so that I can cook my own food (which will be a variety for sure).

                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: thinfine

                                                                                                                                                I live in New York and there is no such thing as a Coney hot dog. I've looked. I lived in Michigan for a couple of years and would regularly eat at Sparty's in Lansing (where I worked) and I loved their dogs (the Detroit of the Flint). I even discovered this old man in Jackson who would make his own Coneys and sell them outside his house- some of the best food I ever had. There was some other Coney place outside of Jackson I'd go to also but I can't remember the name.

                                                                                                                                                The closest thing to a real Coney here in NYC is Nathan's (which ironically originated on Coney Island which, from reading the above posts has nothing to do with the Coney name to just add to the confusion). I don't like them. It's like everywhere here on the East Coast when they put chili on a dog it's with beans and onions and basically like what you'd get at a Wendy's. There are some small places that serve just hot dogs (Crif Dogs in the Village, F&B, Grey's Papaya, etc.) but none of them know the magic of a true Coney. I wish I could send them to Detroit so they could learn. Anyone know any good recipes for a good chili that I could make at home?

                                                                                                                                                PS: I wish I'd had a good pastie. I never knew they existed until I went to London...man those were great!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pastoralia

                                                                                                                                                  "Real Coney Island" hot dogs are in Jackson and everything else is an interesting and sometimes adequate imitation including Lafayette, American and The Varsity in Atlanta (where I now satisfy my cravings).

                                                                                                                                                  Jackson coneys have a substance owing to the ground meat and spice that is not found anywhere else. Onion in Jackson is chopped so fine that it resembles snow on the top of the hot dog. The dog is also much smaller allowing the chili to take center stage. The smaller dog provides just the right combination of flavors unique to Jackson. A Lafayatte looseburger tries, but comes up short because of the huge weiner. As a kid working in a Jackson coney restaurant, the owner used to say that a Detroit coney was more like a baloney sandwich - good - but not a real coney.

                                                                                                                                                  Jackson coney restaurants have their beginning in Macedonian immigrants - Todoroff, Lazaroff and Christoff. The second and third generations are still working the restaurants and guarding the secret recipes.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: thinfine

                                                                                                                                                  Three suggestions - 1. O'Mara's ( Berkley ) Irish-american . Go for lunch or dinner , avoid the cheap weekend brunch , look for special brunch ( Mother's Day) . Simple food ( Whitefish )prepared very well . Not so pricey . 2. Thuy Trang ( Madison Heights ) Vietnamese .Oh the chance to sing out about this place ! My favorite place ever . Order , um , anything . You won't be disappointed . Cheap . ( Decor and all ) But damn good , better than Honolulu . 3 . The Dakota Inn Rathskellar ( Detroit ) Real deal old school German beer hall . As old as it looks . Authentic German food , authentic German beer . You sit at communal tables . Decor- Pre-Nazi Bavarian mural sing along . Sounds weird , but trust me . You're gonna have to sing eventually . Food - Midwestern food and German food are closely related , but there is actually a decent degree of variety on the menu . Price - Good German beer does not come cheap in this country , but I would venture to guess that most of the raw material produce and such is local .So , moderately cheap is the food . But the experience is what you are paying for , oh Duschene scniletchelbank , ja des ist ein schwiisgeveher , and all that German .

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GoalieJeff

                                                                                                                                                    GJ,
                                                                                                                                                    I've been to Thang Long, which I like a LOT; and I think I've been to Thuy Trang...is it just kind of spartan, with tables and chairs, no booths? Is it on John R? If you'll share the address, I can confirm to myself I've been there...thanks

                                                                                                                                                3. Boston Cooler. Vernor's (the REAL Gingery Ale) and vanilla ice cream, mixed like a malted. Yummy. I found an ice cream parlor in a suburb of Boston in 1972. Thought I'd have the real thing. Asked for a "Boston Cooler". Blank stare in response. I told the counter person what it was in it. Another blank stare.
                                                                                                                                                  But then I grew up 50 miles west of the Vernor's source. What did I know about the east coast? Obviously Nothing. Culture shock. Silly me. I still crave the taste of a proper Boston Cooler occasionally.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Opinions will differ on whether Detroit really has a distinctive pizza style, but the pies at the Green Lantern in Madison Heights (12 Mile and John R) sure are good.

                                                                                                                                                    Does "football loaf" exist anywhere else? Best lunch meat ever -- we used to get it at Farmer Jack.

                                                                                                                                                    I didn't realize city chicken was a Detroit or Michigan thing, but Mom sure made a lot of it in the '60s and '70s when I lived in Madison Heights.

                                                                                                                                                    I associate Detroit with White Castle because I haven't lived in a White Castle-equipped city since I left -- the chain exists elsewhere, of course, but with Telway and Bray's and others you probably have more age-old Castle knock-offs than most places.

                                                                                                                                                    Sanders, of course (please don't call it "Saunders"!). And in addition to Faygo and Vernor's, does anyone else remember Towne Club? Big pop wherehouse where you filled wooden crates with returnable glass bottles of countless flavors -- pineapple-orange, sarsaparilla, etc., etc. There was a cola and a kola -- one had a red cap and tasted like Coke, and the other had a blue cap and tasted like Pepsi.

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                                                                                                                                                      Towne Club! I grew up on the west side on a very tight-knit block with an island in the center. We had block parties every summer and Towne Club was my favorite highlight: I remember going to the ACTUAL Towne Club store to get cases with my dad, and then filling a metal garbage can with ice and all the sodas. Now that's old-school.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: amandaqtpie

                                                                                                                                                        We actually sold Towne Club at our store back in the late 90's , it made a but of a comeback . Apparently , someone bought the name and began bottling it again . It was hard to find , but we did . Same wooden cases and everything . We sold quite a bit of it . After the store fizzled out , I think Towne Club did too , they had it at Holiday Market for a while after , but I havn't seen it anywhere in a long time . Man , that was fun to go to the actual store with my grandmother and get to pick out a WHOLE case of pop for our Sunday BBQs .

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                                                                                                                                                        i remember the best part about towne club was going to the towne club store grabbing the wooden crate and making up your own case with whatever flavors you wanted.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                                                                                                                                                          a few weeks ago, a local sports talk radio show, the sports inferno on 1270, had an on-air taste off to determine the best sliders in metro detroit. five guys graded on taste (up to 15 points), texture (up to 10 points), and presentation (up to 5 points). the results were as follows:

                                                                                                                                                          1) telway - madison heights (127 points)
                                                                                                                                                          2) hunter house - birmingham (118)
                                                                                                                                                          3) little brothers - (115)
                                                                                                                                                          4) green's - famington (110.5)
                                                                                                                                                          5) bray's - hazel park (110)
                                                                                                                                                          6) travis burger - roseville (109.5)
                                                                                                                                                          7) bates burger - livonia (108)
                                                                                                                                                          8) comet burger - royal oak (101.5)
                                                                                                                                                          9) white castle - all over (101)
                                                                                                                                                          10) mott's - downtown detroit (86.5)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: xman887

                                                                                                                                                            Well, now I have to expedite my next Detroit trip. I lived in Madison Heights for 15 years and never set foot in the Telway!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                                                                                                                                                              Don't get too excited, IMHO. I've only ever been to the Telway once, but that was more than enough. I thought that their sliders were downright bad-tasting, *especially* considering that I grew up on Green's. Then again, I think that the Hunter House is pretty lousy, too, so maybe I'm just a slider snob or something.

                                                                                                                                                              Still, they should have made my burgers fresh at the Telway, and they did not. Major error, that. I say avoid, but hey: they're cheap enough that you can go, try them, make your own decision, and if you decide they're lousy like I did, it's only a few dollars out of your wallet.

                                                                                                                                                              Green's in Farmington Hills rules, though.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: boagman

                                                                                                                                                                Oh the humanity ! Why must the slider war continue to simmer ?! My official , local tried them all , ( I think ) Green's are great , Hunter House has the best atmosphere and some decent sliders , not as good as Green's , Bray's , well , I just thought the meat was suspect ( overdone , not dog ) ok , but not quite there . I've tried then all at most of the locations and I must agree , The Telway gets my vote , Boagman maybe you stopped by on an off night that I have personally never seen , I don't doubt your taste , but I myself wonder how much localism is permeating this thing . It's sad we can't be happy that they're all pretty darn good . If we lived in Orlando we would all have to eat In-n-Out or McBarfys . Celebrate our slider wars !

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boagman

                                                                                                                                                                  I have been to Telway too many times to count, and they have NEVER not made my burgers fresh.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I grew up just north of Detroit (SCS), and now live outside MI while attending grad school, and everytime I get back home I crave a few D favorites......National Coney Island, El Charro (SCS and Fraser) soft tacos, almond bonless chicken, and of course, Vernor's. May not be the healthiest diet while at home, but some things are worth it (and I try to exercise even more).

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephg03

                                                                                                                                                              YES!! Almond Boneless Chicken!! When I was growing up I would always get the Almond Boneless Chicken from a little Chinese place at Six Mile and the Southfield Service Drive (What was the name of that place...). I have lived in several places since growing up in the 313 and wherever I go I alway check out the Chinese take out places looking for ABC and have never found it ANYWHERE!!! Someday I'll find out how to make it and order "off the menu" from our local place.

                                                                                                                                                              All these repsonses and only one that mentions Stroh's!! Granted it's been some time since they closed the brewery in town, but it is still purely Detroit!

                                                                                                                                                              I also fondly remember the Corned Beef lunch meat we used to get from Farmer Jack. It's not unlike the Corned beef you could get in a can, but in a slice. I've only found it one other place in my life and that was a grocery store in Pittsburgh. They called it pressed corned beef.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: IndyBeaner

                                                                                                                                                                The Chinese place at 6 and Southfield was called Cheng's Garden for a very long time (still is? Not sure it's still there); but, not knowing your age, it may have been something before that? That's the neighborhood I grew up in and we started going there in the mid-eighties, after Sun-Ya (at Grand River and Southfield) turned a little...scary.
                                                                                                                                                                Did you ever go to Sun-Ya or China Clipper (Lahser and Grand River)? And, since you grew up around there, I must ask if you ever ate at Biff's?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: amandaqtpie

                                                                                                                                                                  We did go to The China Clipper a couple of times. I always liked their sign. One thing I will never forget about the neighborhood is the rotating Little Ceasar at the Warwick and Grand River. There was an arrow that stuck out of him for at least a year!!

                                                                                                                                                                  Biffs does not sound familiar. What was it? And did you ever have a cheesecake from Kathy's Cheesecakes on 6 Mile?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: IndyBeaner

                                                                                                                                                                    I lived on Warwick, right down from Little Caesar's. Remember how huge it was inside when it was an actual sit-down place?

                                                                                                                                                                    Biff's was where Omega Coney Island currently stands (another favorite of mine). I think Biff's was just a diner; it closed when I was still pretty young.
                                                                                                                                                                    And how about Creager's (Outer Drive and Grand River)? We went there for breakfast every weekend.
                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure I don't need to mention the original Maria's. Or the Red Devil.

                                                                                                                                                                    I ate many a Kathy's cheesecake. I miss it.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Blue Moon ice cream. As far as I'm concerned, it's pineapple ice cream made at Mooney's in Saginaw. Melody Farms sells a version that has the same flavor, but is less creamy.

                                                                                                                                                              1. I can't believe that no one has mentioned the INCREDIBLE Lebanese food to be found in the MDA.....I now live in NJ, but i've lived all over this freeaking country and I've never found such amazing Lebanese food again...my cousins, who live in NY and San Fran, lament their own issues with crappy local lebanese.....whatever they do in Detroit, they do right.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Sorry, folks, but I had city chicken in Conn. (made by my Polish mother who was a PA native) and in Pennsylvania many decades ago. Detroit didn't invent it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mogul

                                                                                                                                                                    Didn't say we invented it...Can you buy City Chicken in a restaurant or meat store Connecticut today?

                                                                                                                                                                    That's what makes it a "Detroit tradition"

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Surprised no one mentioned that the real coney border is between Detroit and Flint. Not Detroit and Jackson.

                                                                                                                                                                    Good call on the lebanese food, haven't found the good stuff in NY, LA, SF, or Chi. Detroit is THE place west of Beirut for the real deal.

                                                                                                                                                                    Also, not really a local cuisine, but definitely one of a kind Detroit for fine dining is The Whitney

                                                                                                                                                                    www.thewhitney.com

                                                                                                                                                                    Good food, lots of history, and reasonable prices for FD near downtown.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. As a native Detroiter now marooned in Boston, I sometimes long for the tastes of my youth. I agree about Vernors being a shadow of its real self (remember Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham basted with hot Vernors?). Growing up I was mad for Sanders Cream Puff Hot Fudge, Stroh's ice cream, Buddy's pizza (in Hamtramk) and Maurice Salad. But the dish that really floated my boat was the Hudson's chicken pie, now just a memory. I've never had one like it. What they did, I think, was to put the chicken filling in a rich pie crust, bake it, then INVERT the single serving pie onto a plate with the pastry landing on the top. Then they coated the pastry with more gravy and finished it with a slight sprinkling of parsley. Nothing quite lives up to that, and I cannot find the recipe! Marshall Fields prides itself on its own chicken pie, but really, could it be any better than Hudsons?

                                                                                                                                                                      Anybody remember New Era potato chips with the woman's silhouette on the big yellow can? Im pretty sure they were made locally.

                                                                                                                                                                      This is OT, but I'm still in mourning for the now-destroyed Mercury Theater on 7 mile with its beautifully painted interior murals. (Not to mention the post-show takeout from Mercury Fish & Chips next door.)

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SSqwerty

                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry to be so late to contribute to this.

                                                                                                                                                                        Not only do I remember New Era Potato Chips, I have a big old yellow can in my kitchen! Right now, it's being used to hold packages of cat treats. Is it an antique? (Or just old?)
                                                                                                                                                                        The label reads: "Science Says... The alkaline side is the healthy side" and "feast without fear". it touts the "highly concentrated energy producing" nature of potato chips. The woman's silhouette was apparently used to show how slender you can be eating potato chips!
                                                                                                                                                                        They were made by the Frito-Nicolay, Dancey Co., Detroit and Wooster Ohio.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SSqwerty

                                                                                                                                                                          Those chicken pies were to DIE for and you captured their presentation just right. The recipes online that purport to be authentic are anything but--Hudson's Chicken Pies (they accurately omitted "Pot") contained only white meat chicken--no veggies AT ALL, and the meal would be kicked off with a nice bread basket that included those little hard rolls and mini-muffins of various flavors (like vanilla--so radical!). Coneys and those pies are two things I've missed since going vegetarian in '87. It saddens me that there are generations that won't experience the perfection of those pies. :`(

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I spent a few years in Southern Michigan in the early 90s and the pasties, Vernors and the awesome Olive Burgers were the items that I thought distinguished Detroit/S. Michigan from the other states in which I had lived. In fact, I found this website by searching for a recipe for that awesome Olive Burger I got in Lansing!

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mlredo

                                                                                                                                                                            Did you ever find the recipe? And would you be willing to share it?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mlredo

                                                                                                                                                                              Kewpees is the restraunt of the original olive burger, Lansing MI. You can find them all over Michigan. Probably my favorite burger if it's done right!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chillout Foreal

                                                                                                                                                                                Olive burgers all over Michigan or Kewpee?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Lotta slider fans on here. Me too. lol. Seems like the Telway on Michigan and Livernois is better than the one in Madison Heights. Greenes, Bates, Hunter House, Telway, Brays. I eat them all. hehe. But my favorites are Whiteway. That's on 8 Mile just east of Van Dyke on the Warren side.
                                                                                                                                                                              oh, and theres much talk of city chicken. mmmm. remember the cheap little prepackaged ones mom got at grocery store. wow i would like to have one of them now just for the memory. I bet it would be awful though. Can't beat PolishVillage. but theres a little place on 11 Mile between Main and Campbell where i tried city chicken a couple weeks ago. it was fantastic. Don't know the name of the place but its across from hungry howie's. My guess is everything there is just as good.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alfie1a

                                                                                                                                                                                whiteway is very, very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                remember the top hat chain? my grandparents used to live five houses away from the one on 8 mile and ryan. we walked down there many times when i was a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. How in the world did every one miss slab fudge? Is there a state with more fudge shops than MI? While Fudge wasn't invented here I've never seen shops with slab fudge like Mackinaw and Mackinaw Island any place else.
                                                                                                                                                                                Mucky Duck mustard, American spoon foods and Zingermanns all qualify as Mi traditions at least in our house.
                                                                                                                                                                                The polish sausage Co on 15 mile and dequindre. Nothing like some fresh sausage and Pierogis.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I know the coney debate has been beat to death, but I would say that what makes coney islands such a uniquely detroit thing isn't the specifics of the chili dog, but the strange union of greek foods (gyros, etc) with chili dogs, chili fries, etc. I don't know if these places were all originally owned by greeks, but at almost any coney island you go to, you will certainly be able to order a gyros, chicken gryos, greek salad, sometimes even lamb chops or lamp shanks, rice with red sauce etc. I have always been puzzled and pleased by this strange and seemingly random union.

                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: keslacye

                                                                                                                                                                                    It seems like many of the coneys are now owned by Lebanese people. I like to go to lunch and get a gyro, chili fries and baklava and wash it down with a Vernors.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: willygreen

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm noticing that a lot of the coneys/"family" restos are now owned by Albanians.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                        The triple-A languages of the Detroit coney--Albanian, Arabic, and Aramaic, otherwise known as Chaldean. The last of these was Jesus Christ's native tongue. I guess if he came to Detroit and wanted to say a few words without going into a second language, they'd be something like "two on one, heavy onions, orange soda."

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim M

                                                                                                                                                                                          Layfayette is not owned by the same family anymore. Strangely enough that family DNA is still in American Coney Island next door. American uses ground beef in the Chili. Many people prefer chilis that use textured soy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jerro

                                                                                                                                                                                            most coney chili actually uses heart..... its still beef

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Todoroff's coney island in jackson MI opened in 1914
                                                                                                                                                                                    American Coney Island in Detroit, MI opened in 1917
                                                                                                                                                                                    Empress Chili in Cincinnati, OH opened in 1922

                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry Cinci but Both Jackson and Detroit scooped you. The Coney dog is a true Michigan tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                                    However, Michigan has one tradition that hasn't been mentioned. A food tradition that has spread worldwide with alarming speed. Michigan is the largest purveyor of crappy pizza in the world. Home to both Domino's and Little Ceasars the 2nd and 4th largest pizza chains in the world. Not only are the national headquarters in MI, but both businesses were started in Michigan AND both owners were born in MI. You can't get any more michigan than that!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Slogun

                                                                                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Slogun

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bah...even so, we're also home to the *best* pizza in the world in Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park. Good substitutes for Loui's would include Buddy's, or even Shield's. And yes: those are all Michigan places.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd agree with you on Little Ceasar's, as that stuff is what I've deemed the Lowest Common Denominator of "pizza" (if you can call it that). It's pretty darned sad when you can't even make your pizza look good *in your own stinking television commercials*.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Domino's, however, has never bothered me the way it's bothered other people. I'm not defending it as anything good, but to me, it's far more edible than Little Ceasars. Still, lots of other fast food-types of pizza that I'd prefer to Domino's: Papa Romano's (though their quality has slipped over the last 10 years or so), Jet's (impressive for a throwaway chain), and others.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: boagman

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hungry Howie's is another low-quality chain that originated in MI. Weird--especially since the independents tend to run pretty good around here. I agree that Jet's is a cut (slice?) above the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim M

                                                                                                                                                                                          Time to start a new thread on this, I think. My computer groaned when I hit reply...let's not forget Mancino's...another Michigan pizza chain that's not very good. I like Jet's the best, but Little Ceasars is better than Dominos, which is the worst possible chain pizza that exists.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                            MK: I'm curious to know whether or not you've tried Domino's since they completely changed their pizza. I'll admit that I haven't, but I don't have a Domino's anywhere near me, and I never hated their previous product. Any change in your opinion since then?

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Slogun

                                                                                                                                                                                        "Michigan is the largest purveyor of crappy pizza in the world."
                                                                                                                                                                                        AMEN. I remember when my dad brought home our first pizza in the early '60s. It was from a little place on 8 Mile, not too far west of Kelly Rd. and even it wasn't very good. I can't bring myself to eat Michigan pizza. And I grew up in an Italian/Sicilian neighborhood...how could this have happened?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                          Whoa, you interpreted that post incorrectly. The reference was to the large Pizza chains that serve "crappy pizza" seeing as how so many originated here.

                                                                                                                                                                                          There is plenty of great pizza here in Michigan... If you can't bring yourself to eat Michigan pizza then you are missing out on lots of delicious pizzas... I can't imagine a life devoid of Detroit style pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rcloud

                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't encounter it once in the 20 years I lived there (although I kept trying) and from what my folks ordered in a restaurant (Cloverleaf?) on Gratiot in the former East Detroit when I was there last month, I don't think I'm likely to. I noticed that there's a Buddy's in Grosse Pointe Woods; if they sell plain slices, I'll give them a try next time I visit. Sorry, but once I had NYC pizza, I never looked back. I was never able to buy into the greasy, pepperoni-laden stuff that was the norm in Detroit with its globs of über-browned, toughened cheese and not enough sauce. I like a plain pie with a more balanced cheese (preferably fresh mozz)-to-sauce ratio, and I still haven't any evidence that such a pie is to be found in the Detroit area. Now, if you want to tell me that The Original Pancake House on Mack Ave. might possibly be the only location in that rather small chain that properly prepares a German pancake/Dutch Baby, we'd have a point of agreement. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                              MacGuffin, I must agree -though I do find myself occasionally craving a Detroit style pizza, generally I prefer NYC style slices. The sauce/cheese/topping ratios here in Michigan are often a mess. Have you tried Supino near Eastern Market? It's worth the drive from the Pointes.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tokyo

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll make an effort to give it a try. Trips to Motown of late are necessitated by parents' poor health so it's kind of hard to forage for sustenance. :((

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                                To be honest, I'm not very familiar with the area you mention and there are no doubt lots of below par pizzerias in Michigan (but I have found this to be the case everywhere I've lived). However, there are lots of places like Supino's, Fresco, Biga, etc. that serve excellent pizza and are definitely worth checking out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rcloud

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll try to check out Supino when I'm next in town. I'd love to be proven wrong but my experience has been that Detroit's take on pizza (especially its lack of emphasis on sauce that doesn't taste much of tomatoes) just doesn't click with me. I suspect I wouldn't like Chicago pizza either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you enjoy a clean tomato sauce you will probably be pleasantly surprised when you return as the Neapolitan pizza craze that has been sweeping through the nation has definitely hit Michigan in the past couple years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rcloud

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Can one find evidence of this craze on the east side?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ...y'know, I have to add that I found pizza satisfaction just a few minutes from my folks' house in GPS. I fell head over heels in love with Bommarito's Sicilian Sfinguini, which I was able to buy (sans anchovies) by the slice: http://bommaritobakery.com/pizzas.html . I'm not one for heavy cheese on pizza and this really hit the spot. In fact, Joe at Pizza Suprema here in NYC once told me that he was going to have his Sicilian aunt teach him how to make it for eventual sale at his place (it hasn't happened yet). For those not familiar with it, Bommarito's is a stone's throw from the GPW border in St. Clair Shores. A top-notch bakery and I'm glad that they're continuing to flourish.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. The Detroit tradition that I miss the most is the Woo Dip Harr on the menu of most Chinese restaurants. Here in Minnesota's Twin Cities they are totally baffled when I ask for it in Chinese restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The first Twin Cities restaurant to put Woo Dip Harr on their menu will have my lifetime loyalty!

                                                                                                                                                                                          M.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Read all of this about coney's, olive burger, Vernor's and Faygo but read nothing about Knapp'a Chocolate cake. It was so good to go there on your birthday and get your free meal when you were a kid and to get a free small chocolate cake. Awrey's makes the cake but it is a pale version of the original cake with it's lusious fudge frosting. Does anyone have that recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: moonstone1940

                                                                                                                                                                                              Can that be considered a Michigan tradition? I know Knapp's was based out of Michigan, but they did that everywhere. For adults, too, thankfully. I can still taste that cake.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Does Awrey's count as a Michigan tradition?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: moonstone1940

                                                                                                                                                                                                Someone is making the Knapp's chocolate cake again. They have been selling it at Nino Salvaggio's, along with nutty and glazed doughnuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Although I live in the Dc area now, I still call Hamtramck/Detroit my hometown and this is what I miss or like to have when I return:
                                                                                                                                                                                                coney island hotdogs (we used to always go to Genie Weenies when I was a kid)

                                                                                                                                                                                                deep dish square pizza like Buddy's or Shields (they often will sell square pizza other places but its not the same kind with the cheese in corners all melted and crispy!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                any kind of Polish food (I have to make my own now, but my husband doesn't seem to mind! Alas, I don't make fresh kielbasa so that is something the DC area is lacking)

                                                                                                                                                                                                good and reasonably priced Greek and Lebanese food. I've also never found Saganaki cheese anywhere that they will light up and call out Ompa! or is it Opa! like they do in Detroit (remember in the big hair days how we always thought our hair would catch fire sometimes as waiters would get a wee too close for comfort)

                                                                                                                                                                                                Cherry butter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                Cider mills - Michigan is cider is the best and I can't find a place that actually sells cider and donuts around here like they do in Michigan

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sanders - hot fudge, there chocolate bumpy cake and I still dream about that butterscotch carmel cake we used to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Faygo Pop - rock and rye --- its funny but I can buy the yello inca cola in Latin stores here and it tastes just like it. We didn't buy Towne Club as a kid, but envied my friends who had it-- loved the pineapple orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                Vernors-- fan of Boston cooler with this too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                I also loved the subs at Green Lantern pub with ham and cabbage on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                and when were we travelling up north, Mackinaw island fudge, pasties, piconny cheese, and smoked whitefish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                Christine

                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: worldgrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great list Christine, now I'm hungry!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: worldgrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    my grandparents lived at 8 mile and ryan. for family gatherings, we would often make a late night carry out run to hamtramck for coney's, loose hamburgers, and fies from genie's weenies. they were fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    last year, geenie's opened a place in fraser on groesbeck at 14 mile. not sure if it is a second place or if they outright moved from hamtramck to the burbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: xman887

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They moved.The Hamtramck location is a hookah shop now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: worldgrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ahhhhh Christine....Green Lantern sandwiches with their "coleslaw".....and their killer, pepperonis floating in a sea of grease pizzas.........too bad I live in the U.P. and only get there every few years.................... :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: worldgrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OH MAN, SMOKED WHITEFISH! Now you're talkin'. We used to live off that stuff when camping in the UP. It's so chunky and meaty and delicious. I was really thrown the first time that I had "smoked salmon" and it came out as slimy, raw-looking thin-slices. I had the U.P. smoked whitefish style in mind! It seems like I read somewhere that it's a completely different style of smoking than what's used in other parts of the country. (?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. i used to love city chicken growing up. we always got it from b&g meats on woodward drive in rochester, michigan

                                                                                                                                                                                                        another classic "tradition" is the lipuma's coney island on rochester road in rochester. they've been an institution for 40 years and are the best of the detroit style coney's imho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. > Detroit & Michigan Traditions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A lousy NFL owner/franchise? <g>

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Muskrat is a delicacy served in some
                                                                                                                                                                                                          establishments in the Down River
                                                                                                                                                                                                          communities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rye bread - even honest New Yorker's
                                                                                                                                                                                                          admit that our rye is better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rainsux

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kola's Food Factory in Riverview has Muskrat on the menu....anyone up for a small road trip?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rainsux

                                                                                                                                                                                                              > Detroit & Michigan Traditions?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              >> A lousy NFL owner/franchise?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ha! Not this year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Origin of Coney Island's and why Michigan gets the credit, not OH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              From Michigan to Coney Island NY back to the midwest!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chillout Foreal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looks like mrnyc was wrong! Neener neener neener.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. There's a bunch of famous local products. BetterMaid Potato Chips, Faygo Pop (its not called soda haha), Vernors Ginger Ale, Sander's products (including their hot fudge), Mackinac Island Fudge, things with fresh cherries (Michigan 4-berry pie from Achatz Pies won nation's best pie contest on Food Network).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                We have our own style of Pizza, usually called Detroit-Style which is square deep dish pizza with burnt, cheesy, and crispy crust. Buddy's, Loui's, and Shield's are the most famous pizza stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Of course Coney Islands were invented in Detroit! Specfic dogs (snap casing), chili, onions, and mustard on a bun. Coney Islands were invented by the Greeks after going to Nathan's in NYC, thus we also have a lot of greek food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Slider's are a Michigan (and more broadly a mid-western) tradition. Telway's, White Castle, Hunter House.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dearborn offers some of the best middle-eastern food in the country. Mexican-town in Detroit has awesome mexican. Greek Town, Italian downriver, Polish in Hamtramck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coolmanwc4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyone know the Scottish bakery near/in I think Redford Township? My mom used to go there and get great Scottish meat pies and gorgeous almond flavored tarts, like Bakewells. My brother picked some up two years ago so they were still there then. I miss Vernors although if the recipe has changed then maybe not. Vernors floats were yum. Used to go to the local Sanders in Birminghamm after high school with a friend and have a creampuff with vanilla icecream and chocolate sauce. Found it very difficult to eat dinner later, much to my mother's disgust. I remember the Hudson's chicken pies too. Really miss the Coney restaurants too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ackroyd's Scotch Bakery, 5 mile & Beech Daly, still there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.ackroydbakery.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ackroyds is still there and they still make the Fern Cakes (the almond tarts with a dab of raspberry in the bottom). B'ham still has a Sanders. I had a cream puff last week!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. There is a Three Brothers Restaurant in Plymouth, on Joy between Lilly & Haggerty. Great Polish food. I believe it's related to the other one mentioned here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Try the Dill Pickle Soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ken H

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is related but I think it is still a shadow of the past Three Brothers. Good....but not great IMHO. I live close to this place but I still rather drive to PVC in Hammytown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. > Michigan 4-berry pie from Achatz Pies won nation's best pie contest on Food Network ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Had our first Achatz pies on 12/25, pecan & four-berry, wow! Excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;s...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I'm not a Detroiter, but a lifelong Michigander who recently moved south. The thing that I most miss, foodwise, from Michigan is the Lebanese and Syrian food, so I've gotta cast my vote with everyone who's mentioned Middle Eastern fare. Wouldn't it be fair to call that an unusual and specific michigan tradition, since the state has had a fairly large arabic population for much longer than most other locations in the US? (since the turn of the last century, I think...I may be mistaken) You can find variants out of state, but it ain't the same. Who knew you could miss simple hummous and fattoush so damned much?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dingey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I feel your pain, dingey. And yes, I would consider Middle Eatern food a Michigan tradition, essential for anyone visiting Detroit, especially. I live in northern Michigan, nowhere near the south Michigan Lebanese establishments, and I can't believe how much I crave 'simple hummous and fattoush'. I've had Middle Eastern food at some highly recommended places in NYC and it isn't the same. So, I agree, Detroit-style Middle Eastern fare is pretty special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dingey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Second that. You can't touch Lebanese food from other area's. I'm not muslim but I got excited about the end of Ramadan just to go to Masri bakery for their special items. Other places cannot compare to the quality of arabic food. Nice post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mm23red

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me three. I had some great Lebanese food with our Iraqi broker at a place I assume is in Farmington Hills near the Wells Fargo office there. Being a native Detroiter and having lived in NYC for close to 40 years, I still prefer my hometown's Middle Eastern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Fresh Lake Perch, to die for!