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Dearborn MI (not Middle Eastern)

I have worked in Dearborn for almost 20 years, and I am in a rut. While I love Middle Eastern food, I am looking for your suggestions for anything else. Your thoughts?

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  1. Haven't been there for awhile but Kiernan's used to be very good with a great atmosphere. Any thoughts?

    1 Reply
    1. M&M Cafe on the north side of Michigan Ave just west of Schaefer.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Summerfield

        I liked it better when it was more dumpy on the south side of Michigan. I tried it once when they moved across the road and didn't like it as much. Might try it again, though.

        1. re: momskitchen

          One nice thing about the old site was the presence of a counter and tiny booths. I never felt awkward dining alone there--even if there was a line waiting to be seated. And I didn't feel like I was paying for decor. The food hasn't changed much though, fortunately.

      2. Millers bar for a burger, Annam for Vietnamese (haven't been but heard good things and want to try), Peacock for Indian.

        Are you at the Glass House? Do you have a limited time for lunch? I'd even venture to Mexicantown or Slows, or Baile Corcaigh

        I would NOT recommend Chelis.

        4 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything

          Wow, I can't disagree with anything here, and I *especially* second your dislike of Cheli's. Great hockey player and community guy...who just so happens to own a couple of restaurants with absolutely forgettable-to-just-plain-bad food. Avoid Cheli's.

          1. re: coney with everything

            Miller's is overrated, in my book. I love Annam! I might try some extended lunch at Baile Corcaigh (where is it?) or Slows. I agree - Cheli's isn't good.

            1. re: momskitchen

              Baile Corcaigh is in Corktown, can't remember which street but not far from Michigan Avenue. Beautiful restaurant, not Irish kitschy.

              1. re: coney with everything

                Well if you don't mind a little drive to the city how about Slow's BBQ? YUM!

          2. I second the recommendation of M&M's Cafe. I've never had anything but wonderful food there--I've been going for over twenty years. Their crab cakes, brownies, and tomato-basil soup are superb.

            South Mexican specialist Mi Tierra Taqueria II on Warren just west of Southfield Fwy is good but inexpensive, very casual atmosphere. Steve's Three Brothers, also on Warren, is a favorite of my Polish coworkers, although a few prefer the pierogi and kielbasa at Jim's Place on Michigan. Ricky's Sub Shop on Greenfield north of Ford Rd makes a great Philly steak&cheese (what this Pittsburgh transplant would call a cheesesteak) . Lile's Ham Sandwiches on Michigan in East Dearborn has only 5 or 6 items on its menu--but they've been able to stay in business for over 40 years, thanks to the excellent quality and value--2 bucks for a bowl of ham&bean soup that's just as good as Zoups. Avoid Zoup. In fact, just avoid glitzy, trendy west Dearborn--east Dearborn has all the good food. And it won't cost you for parking.

            And as Yogi Berra might say about Miller's Bar: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." Good burger, though.

            12 Replies
            1. re: dearborn barkis

              Zoup in Dearborn is gone, isn't it? Unless they moved to a new location and I don't know it...There's a new Thai place, Bangkok Grille, in the space that Zoup used to occupy.

              1. re: amandaqtpie

                Hadn't even noticed it was gone. I'll have to try the Bangkok Grille.

                1. re: dearborn barkis

                  Let me know how it is after you've tried it :) My fiance loves Thai (we usually do Bangkok 96), and we're always looking for a new one.

                  1. re: amandaqtpie

                    Summerfield & I had lunch at Bangkok Grille today, having found our original destination Juicy Red Hots unexpectedly closed. Good chow. I'll return there, but next time I'll request less spicy seasoning. When Bangkok Grille say "Hot" they really mean it.

                    1. re: dearborn barkis

                      And I want to know what's up with Juicy Red Hots! We have tried to go a few times, this past Monday being the most recent, and it just looks, well, closed forever. Is that what you meant in your post, that they're closed-closed? I'd been wanting to try it.
                      (BTW, Barkis, you may appreciate this: I gave my husband three options after finding that Red Hots was closed: La Pita, Thai (anywhere), or Leon's. We ended up at Leon's :)

                    1. re: momskitchen

                      It's in west Dearborn, in a little shopping plaza just to the west of the one that has Michael's (the craft store) and across from the one with the new Kroger and Party City.

                2. re: dearborn barkis

                  Mati's Deli on Monroe used to be great. I haven't been there in a while, but I would recommend it if you haven't already.

                  1. re: rweater

                    I was just there a few weeks ago. Still very good, consistent. A soup and half-sandwich combo will run you about $8.

                    1. re: amandaqtpie

                      Yes, Mati's is good. I prefer Mati's to La Penguina on Greenfield, and either over Noah's on Michigan. (In this case west Dearborn beats east Dearborn.) I especially like Mati's sinful cream cheese brownies. Their soup/half sandwich combos are what I get too. Jewish-style sandwiches (corned beef, pastrami) are better, however, in Southfield. Good Russian dressing is an art that is difficult to learn or copy.

                  2. re: dearborn barkis

                    Thanks, Barkis! I have been to Liles and Steve's, but haven't tried the rest. I will!

                    1. re: dearborn barkis

                      YES!!! The Taqueria is so good you'll want to cry, eating it AND leaving it. Amazing chow in the shadow of an industrial neighborhood. It's the real deal.

                      Also agree with M&M. If you want to venture into Wayne, the Low Tide II is great (if it's still there). Terrific New Orleands Cajun chow in a diner atmospher...named after the owner's aunt's place in NO. Truly a find. Check out other reviews in Chowhound archives.

                      I've also loved LA Express, right on Michigan avenue next the record store, West Dearborn. Their philly-bella is a play in a philly steak with with portabella and marinated grilled veggies. They've changed owners in the last couple of years, but the sandwiches are still good, side of rice/salad not as good as oriinal, but a good value and good chow.

                    2. Try Bangkok Grille... it's a new Thai place in W. Dearborn next to Metro PCS. I've tried it myself and all I can say is the food is great! Perhaps better than Bangkok 96 in my opinion.

                      1. I had lunch at L.A. Express the other day and it was very good. I had a portobello appetizer and the lemon rice soup and enjoyed them both.



                        1. Have you tried Noah's Deli on Michigan near Shaffer. I love that place

                          1. I'm ashamed that I didn't remember this until now: The Pool Restaurant at Henry Ford Estate is a favorite lunchtime destination for me. I can say that it isn't as good as it used to be, but it's still good, and I'm very, very partial to the surroundings year-round. There's something very relaxing about being in the pool room, with all of the marble and antique decorations wherever you look. The food is pretty good, but nothing that'll set your heart on fire. Service varies.

                            It's still a big draw for me after all these years, though. You should know that it's *only* open for lunch, however. But, being that it's just on the other side of Greenfield from Fairlane Mall, it's the perfect spot for lunch if you're on a shopping excursion, or meeting your significant other for lunch if they work at Ford, or whatever. I really like it, in spite of its somewhat minor faults.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: boagman

                              Gosh, it looks great! Never knew it was there. I'm a sucker for those fancy settings, and I have a sort of high-powered lady friend who relies on me to show her around to unusual lunch settings. Boy, does she have a surprise coming!

                              Do you need reservations as a rule?

                              1. re: Jim M

                                Jim, no, I don't think they even take them. I've never, ever had a problem getting a seat there. I'm sure if you were going to show up with a decent-sized group they'd appreciate a heads-up, but for a normal size party, I've never run into a problem.

                                It really is nice year-round, too. In the winter, you just gaze around at the decor, enjoying the skylights and sunshine, imagining the people who used to use this place as the nicest darned pool you've ever seen. In the summer, you can enjoy its air-conditioned comfort, *or* go outside and be seated by the flower garden, enjoying your meal in the wonderful aroma of the flowers.

                                And yes: it is a "wouldn't know it was there unless I'd been told" kind of place. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it's lunch-only. I really hope you and your HPLF enjoy it.

                                1. re: boagman

                                  It's just the other side of Evergreen, not Greenfield.

                                  1. re: amandaqtpie

                                    Ah! Only too right, amandaqtpie. Thanks for the correction. Those major mile roads with "green" in them only two miles away from each other still, after 35 years of living in the Detroit area, can catch me off guard. Good catch, there.

                              2. re: boagman

                                Boag, I was at the Pool right before the holidays for lunch and it was outstanding. I can't remember the last time I was there, but I am willing to bet it was the late 80s. Lately, I have found myself at the Fair Lane Estate often. In the summer, I love to walk the grounds at lunch, too. I definitely recommend giving it a shot, Jim. It is in the part of the estate that used to be Henry Ford's pool. It is really nice...

                                1. re: momskitchen

                                  So you can see why I'm ashamed that I'd forgotten to mention this until now. It's really something to experience for yourself. It also has the feel of a place that's a hidden, out-of-the-way gem that not everyone knows about. I really enjoy going there. It's the place that, when I was a kid in grade school, on the rare occasion that my mom and I would go down and meet dad for lunch, we'd go and really enjoy ourselves. Even back then, I was very taken with the place's surroundings, and *especially* with their cream of broccoli soup, which was always served on Wednesday.

                                  It's a shame that they don't serve that soup consistently on Wednesdays anymore (if at all?), as it was a major, major draw. We always loved it. I still enjoy The Pool very much.

                              3. Al-Ajami has mostly non-Arab food.