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May 15, 2007 09:34 AM

Eastern Market Detroit Michigan

I will be going down to Eastern Market for the first time Sunday for the Flower day. Any tips on restaurants, special buys, parking, unique shops?

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  1. Russell Street Deli is certainly better-than-competent when I've been there, but it can be quite crowded indeed. There should be free parking in several lots around Eastern Market, including right across the street from the RSD.

    Hope that helps!

    1 Reply
    1. re: boagman

      Flat Planet Pizza is a simple place for a very tasty (and unusually flat) slice, and Rafal Spice Company is an awe-inspiring place with coffee and tea as well as spices from all over the world--hope they are open for Flower Sunday.

    2. It's gonna be a zoo down there , be ready . Don't plan on parking very close unless you are real patient or have true Detroit driving skills , it can get hairy in the lots by the stalls . I would suggest you look to park to the north and east ,off Mack , or if you are crafty ( like me ) , the service drive on the east side of I-75 is two way traffic from the street south of Mack all the way down to the freeway bridge to Gratiot Central market . For that matter , you might want to avoid the Mack I-75 south exit altogether and come up with another approach . The exit backs up with piles of suburbanites who don't have aforementioned driving skills , it can be frustrating . As fro restaurants , well , they are all pretty good , but will all be packed Sunday . May I humbly suggest extending your downtown foray to include Mexican Village ? Take Mack west to 14th street , head south on 14th to Bagley , hang a right , there you are . My fave is the all you can eat sunday brunch at Los Galanes . It's on the other side of the Lodge , but it's real easy to get to . Back to the Market . Rafal rocks . Rocky Peanut is a fun place . Be sure to check out R. Hirt if you can stand the crowds , great prices on cheese and salume and all manner of treats , they also carry bread from Avalon Bakery , my personal pick as the best true bakery in the city . It's a great time of year to hunt the market for ramps , morels , and maybe asparagus from local farms and foragers . Be sure to check out the mushroom man at the south end of the market .Bert's has some of the best smelling ( and tasting BBQ ribs around . ( not Slows good , but good ) Sadly , the pork people are gone for the summer , they won't be back with fresh pork until after Thanksgiving . ( I can wait ) Many of the wholesale meat markets , ( giant walk in refridgerators , really ) offer great prices on any and all kinds of meat , and really , when was the last time you saw two dozen skinned dressed goats hanging on huge shiny hooks ? Oh , and lastly , acres and acres of flowers , herbs , and decorative plants , usually concentrated at the north end . Have fun , and let us know what you thought of the place .

      8 Replies
      1. re: GoalieJeff

        Jeff, we are planning on getting there very eary 6:30 or 7:00am....will this help with the parking..or does everyone have that same idea?

        1. re: thatgirl153

          Might help some , you should be able to park closer , but it will fill up fast . Actually , the more I think about it , it's not so much the parking , there are plenty of spaces if you don't mind a little walking ( and it is Eastern Market so you will be walking anyway ) it's getting through the drivers that seem paralyzed by city streets . They can be frustrating . But then I tend to be a little impatient , so there you go . Lets hope for sunshine .

          1. re: GoalieJeff

            Well, we went to the Eastern Market on Sunday. As planned we got there at 7:00 am. No problems navagating through traffic, though we were surprised that there were already a good number of people there. We parked in the parking structure and got a good spot on the lower level near the door, perfect for making drop-offs of our purchases. We got some good deals on flowers and produce. We walked across I-75 to a meat place...can't think of the name of it....but it had many vendors in the building. I bought a t-bone steak and some country ribs to make for dinner. We ate an excellent breakfast at the Butchers Inn. All and all it was a good day. I now feel comfortable with the area and plan on making many more trips. thanks for the info!

            1. re: thatgirl153

              I can attest that that meat you bought is pretty darned fresh! It's not uncommon to see folks loading cows into the buildings in that area...they're not there for a tour, I'll tell you that!

              Where's Butchers Inn, and what did you have?

              1. re: boagman

                Butchers Inn was on Winder street. Just a few steps off the beaten path. The other restaurants were crazy busy, but this was hidden enough to only be about a 15 minute wait. I had the Butcher’s Favorite: French Toast in Grand Marnier Batter and Michigan Maple Syrup, bacon or sausage and breakfast potatoes. Delicious!

                1. re: thatgirl153

                  I ate at Butchers Inn a few months ago. I ordered a BleuCheese burger. The Burger was outstanding, so much so that i commented to the chef how great the meat in the burger tasted, he told me that the meat was probably "walking around" the day before, as He buys his ground beef fresh every morning at one of the area butchers.

                  1. re: bigcab

                    I used to play on a city league baseball team called the Cass (Corridor) Angels, and one of the guys on the team managed the Butcher's Inn so it was a frequent spot for post-game beers. This was about 15 years ago, and the place maintained some of its old, um, "charm" from when it was a brothel.

                    If the partying went late enough we would stop by the Farmer's Restaurant for the huge, hearty & cheap 4am breakfasts, followed by sunrise Bloody Marys (which are the BEST BLOODIES ANYWHERE ) @ Vivio's Restaurant.

              2. re: thatgirl153

                Yeah , I should have mentioned the Butchers Inn , I heard a rumor the place had been sold , and I hadn't been in a while . It's good to know that it still rocks . The place across the freeway was almost surely Gratiot Central Market . It too was a historic old warehouse style inside market , burned down quite a few years back , and they rebuilt it pretty much from the ground up . I like the vendors there too . Now you gotta come down on Saturday mornings . It's the perfect time of year to get to know the place , it's ins and outs , all the little special seasonal vendors and such . We pretty much are year round regulars . Guess I gotta go this weekend now , I still haven't put any tomato or basil plants in the ground . Enjoy , and maybe by this winter we'll be going in halfsies on a hog .

        2. In addition to Eastern Market, there are a number of markets in Windsor, ON which also are quite a blast to shop at. The largest of these is Windsor Market Square. They have several butchers with excellent meat.

          Windsor Market Square
          Tuesday to Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
          Saturday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
          Sunday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

          Contact Information

          2109 Ottawa Street
          Windsor, Ontario, N8Y 1R8

          2 Replies
          1. re: jlawrence01

            What's the policy for bringing fresh veggies and/or meat across the border?

            1. re: thatgirl153

              I used to bring over a lot of Austalian lamb, Canadian beef and a variety of produce on a weekly basis when I lived in Dearborn.

              In general, it is permissible. However, you need to review the regulations at the US Customs website and check out the most recent regulations.

              ALWAYS declare everything that you bring back (including auto repairs) and you should be fine.