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Fishbone's in Detroit

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itryalot Aug 29, 2007 05:12 AM

Anyone been? People told me they went years ago and it was great value and portions for N'awlins food; loud and fun atmostphere?
Recs?

  1. x
    xman887 Aug 29, 2007 06:53 AM

    not a big fan and would say don't waste your time. we don't have much in the way of cajun/creole cuisine in detroit so we take what we can get. personally, i prefer howe's bayou in ferndale. and there is a good take out place just north of eastern market on gratiot. sadly, it looks like andre's on m-59 just west of pontiac has closed.

    as for fishbones, the greektown location (they have one at 9 & jefferson in st clair shores and they may still have one on northwestern in southfield) is big, raucous, and loud, almost touristy. it's a huge lunch draw for the ubiquitous "secretary's day/going away/just got promoted" lunch with the local office crowd because they can easily accommodate big parties and have a broad and basic menu that some might consider exotic.

    their menu is very broad with lots of deep fried everything plus some louisiana basics like etouffee, shrimp creole, jambalaya, pasta orleans, red beans & rice, etc., + fish + chicken + steaks + sandwiches + salads. they are kind of known for "alligator voodoo" appetizer - you guessed it, deep fried alligator (tastes like chicken?!?). portion to price to quality ratio is low in my opinion and service is mediocre at best.

    a few years ago they added a good sized sushi bar. not sure how sushi ties in with cajun/creole, but they did. ithey bill themselves as the best sushi in the city, but i have never tried it nor do i know anyone who has tried it either.

    go across the street to mosaic. you will have a much better meal.

    6 Replies
    1. re: xman887
      i
      itryalot Aug 29, 2007 08:22 AM

      Wow! Thanks for such an in-depth posting. Just the kind I like. Any other recs for that area of Michigan as far northeast as Sterling Heights. Greek or other Mediterranean? Fish? I love the chain of Chuck Muer restaurants and frequent them often.

      1. re: xman887
        b
        boagman Aug 29, 2007 05:56 PM

        I'm...pretty much in agreement here, though I haven't been there for quite a while. Fishbone's just flat out doesn't do food very well, in my opinion, and they don't know a *thing* about how to pair up different foods with each other in order to make for a pleasant dining experience. Example: I ordered a (pretty blah/bad) portion of jambalaya one time, and instead of pairing it with some kind of juicy fruit or vegetable, they paired it with...nothing! No, wait: I take that back. They *did* give me a piece of cornbread, which doesn't help *at all*, since they're both quite dry, and make one's mouth mealy very quickly.

        I wasn't impressed at all, and in fact, haven't been back since then. There are lots of other places I'd rather go. I'm not saying that it's heaven on earth or anything, but I'd second the suggestion for Howe's Bayou in Ferndale, since I've enjoyed that almost every time I've been there (though I'd shy away from their Hurricane cocktail...overrated).

        Detroit, unfortunately, isn't exactly a destination for creole or cajun cuisine.

        1. re: boagman
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          AmyIM Aug 30, 2007 07:39 AM

          How 'bout Howe's Bayou in Ferndale? I have found the food much better than Fishbone's, and the service better too (not that that is a high bar to clear). Fishbone's used to be my family's "birthday-anniversary-nice-ish" dinner spot when I was growing up, but I have had extra bad experiences there under the new ownership.

        2. re: xman887
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          xman887 Aug 30, 2007 01:39 PM

          i just saw that andre's is going to be hawking food at arts/beats/eats this weekend. perhaps they are still in business at a different location. they make a great jambalaya and very good red beans and rice.

          1. re: xman887
            j
            jcbroder Aug 30, 2007 03:16 PM

            Andre's Po' Boys are top notch - off the hook! As of a couple of weeks ago, they had not found a new location to replace the one in Pontiac that closed.

            1. re: jcbroder
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              xman887 Sep 3, 2007 09:02 AM

              went to arts/beats/eats on friday (which is going downhill in terms of food quality, price, kids rides, etc). sure enough, there was an andre's booth at the north end of saginaw. we had a bowl of jambalaya and a bowl of red beans & rice - both were great. i asked andre about his store. he said that he is trying to open two new locations, one in detroit and one in southfield. too preliminary for any details but he assured me that there would be lots of advertising when they are ready to go. i hope he can pull it off.

        3. j
          Jeff from Michigan Aug 30, 2007 04:42 PM

          I have to concur with the other posters who have said this place is very, VERY bad. Dreadful or horrible are far better words to describe what was, bar none, the worst food that I've ever eaten in downtown Detroit (regardless of cuisine). I only wish I had read the reviews here before I made the mistake of giving them any of my money for that inedible gooey slop that they tried to pass off as crawfish etouffee. The fact that this place can stay in business at all is nothing short of amazing. Do yourselves a favor and run like hell from this disaster.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jeff from Michigan
            b
            boagman Aug 30, 2007 06:13 PM

            "The fact that this place can stay in business at all is nothing short of amazing."

            Perhaps you've never heard of a relatively obscure, yet quite profitable strategy known as "serving alcohol." ;)

            I think that perhaps at one time Fishbone's (is the apostrophe necessary?) was a destination for actually good creole/cajun food. By "at one time," I mean "a minimum of 15 years ago." However, those days are long since gone, and the place literally survives on those memories and its Greektown-esque location...and the fact that you can drink there.

            This area is honestly starved for good creole/cajun food, and I would *think* that a quality joint would do a bang-up business if they could pull off the food. People will always drink...but finding a place that satiates a creole/cajun craving is not an easy thing to do.

            1. re: boagman
              j
              Jim M Aug 30, 2007 07:54 PM

              if you all are out Washtenaw way, try Mac's Acadian Seafood in Saline. I won't claim it's like N.O., but the blackened fish dishes are pretty good, and they occasionally have Southern oddities like alligator fritters. I haven't tried Howe's and will definitely do so soon. Their oysters are also good, which is always a plus.

          2. x
            xman887 Aug 31, 2007 11:06 AM

            this thread got me jonesing for some good cajun/creole food. yesterday, i had lunch at mitchell's fish market in b'ham and had a dissapointing bowl of gumbo - drab and bland and somewhat odd with chuncks of salmon in it.

            so today, i took a short drive up to eastern market and went to louisianna creole gumbo, a carryout place on gratiot and st. aubin. at 12:30 there ware 10 people in line including two of detroit's finest (so it has to be good if cops eat there...). through the thick bulletproof glass, i ordered a regular size gumbo supreme for $6.50. a little lighter roux than i prefer but full of flavor and chock full of good sized shrimp and chuncks of andouille. plus two small cornbread muffins (savory not sweet) to boot. a nice fix.

            they have several types of gumbo including shrimp, oyster, and chicken; red beans six different ways from vegetarian to steak; shrimp creole; several dinner platters; sides; and fried fish. worth checking out.

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