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Secret Santa - Detroit Area

The family had it's traditional Thanksgiving dinner which culminates with the Secret Santa drawing for adult kids, grandparents (I and Donna), etc. Anyway, I got my son-in-law who's request was "food I've never had before". He's weird. He and my daughter have experienced all the usual ethnic places, Indian, Thai, etc. but I need a really off the wall place to which I can send them (gift cert). Something like Ethiopian, Ukranian, - you get the picture. The more bizzare, the better. Please help.
Thanks - Bob

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  1. In Ann Arbor, there's the Blue Nile...it's Ethiopian food. My kids like it because you can eat it with your hands. It's not spicy enough for my taste, though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: momskitchen

      Blue Nile is also in Ferndale.

      Everest Express is Nepali food, I read that the Farmington location is closed but I think there's one in Royal Oak.

      The Fiddler on Orchard Lake is Russian.

    2. I just mentioned this place in another post but it seems to fit here as well. Unless it's an urban legend and doesn't exist see if you can procure a gift certificate to Kola's Food Factory in Riverview. It seems to be a Downriver "wild game" restaurant. That means muskrat is on the menu. This gift would be quite the topic of conversation around the holiday table! I have never been to Kola's so I cannot vouch for anything here. But here's a description:


      1. El Comal (sp?) is non-Mexican in Mexican town...very good reviews. I think it's maybe Colombian?

        And at 15 and Main is Priya, a South Indian restaurant, beautiful dosas. It's accessible but still exotic.

        Then there's always a fie selection of head cheese...

        4 Replies
        1. re: berkleybabe

          I think Priya is the best Indian in the area...good idea.

          1. re: momskitchen

            Priya isn't good any more. I used to love the place. What I tasted today broke my heart, and I took people there today, too. What's the world coming to? Another sign of the bad economy?

            1. re: bapu_d_light

              I don't know if that's a recent development--my Indian coworkers at my old job never had anything good to say about Priya, and that was a couple of years ago. They much preferred Ashoka and Rangoli.

              1. re: bapu_d_light

                I don't know but I'm far more inclined to take the advice of other CH's that have been around VS a new member with only two posts both digging up old threads to say some thing negative.
                Why not just post an actual review of Priya instead of saying it's no good? At least tell us why you don't think it was good.

          2. Bob,

            Took one of my toughest food critics from Chicago to a place called El Barzon. Norberto is the former chef at Il Posto and has opened a simply wonderful restaurant/

            It is half Puebla Mexivan and half Italian. He does both with complete expertise. Many of the dishes you will remember from Il Posto.

            I cannot say enough about this place. Located at Michigan & Junction in Detroit or just Gooogle it.


            1. This is all great stuff! Keep 'em comming. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

              1 Reply
              1. re: SonyBob

                What about Sangria in Royal Oak? It's a tapas restaurant. Kathmandu also in Royal Oak was the most unusual place I had dined, but I have heard they might not be open anymore.

              2. Hi,

                A Chef's Cuisine in Waterford is really wonderful. The theme is wild game and there are all kinds of odd things on the menu. What I've eaten there has been exquisite.


                5 Replies
                1. re: mctoft

                  Hi Mctoft
                  I've looked everywhere but can't fine any info on Chef's Cuisine. Do you know of a website or a link that would give me more info?

                  1. re: SonyBob


                    Here's the website for Chef's Cuisine

                    I went there once and found the food to be solid but the atmosphere and kitchen are...well..er...pretty darn fusty for my tastes. The menu now posted on the web suggests that the chef is trying to bring the preparations into the late 20th century so maybe that's a good sign.

                    Happy hunting!
                    mr food

                    1. re: mrfood1965

                      Hmm. That's a bit too bad. I've just moved up to the Waterford area from Ferndale, and while I know that Waterford is a basic foodie wasteland, this was a place that I was looking forward to trying, even going so far as to stop by one day, check the place out visually, grab a menu, and ask some pertinent questions (Is the fish fresh caught or farmed? etc.).

                      I'll probably still try it out eventually, but I'll keep your caveat in mind. Care to expound on what you found "fusty," and what exactly you mean by that word?

                      1. re: boagman

                        Fusty - fussy in an old-fashoined, grandmotherly sort of way. Unfortunately the menu seemed to follow that format as well. The menu when I was there - admittedly a few years ago that's why I wanted to mention the menu update - was loaded with the beef and veal dishes that harkened back to what haute cuisine was in the 1950s.

                        Definitely, try it out and tell me what how you find the menu now. I admit that the Waterford area has few options so I'm hoping that your report warrants a second look from me.

                        Also, I didn't get a sense that there was a wild game focus even though the on-line menu boasts of wild game specials I didn't see any listed.

                        1. re: mrfood1965

                          Hmm. When I stopped by to check out the menu a few weeks back, I didn't notice any game on the menu, either, but then again, maybe the specials are just nightly things which aren't listed on the menu. I'm not much into game, so it probably wouldn't really pop up on my radar unless I was really looking out for it.

                          I'll check it out again.

                2. Taking "off the wall" at face value, I suggest the Old Dixie Inn in Birch Run (east of I-75, not in the outlet mall).

                  http://www.blogsmonroe.com/food/?p=409 (this is not my blog)

                  A Chowhounder reviewed it moderately favorably here (deep fried pickles, anyone?



                  I haven't been for a few years, but the last thing I had there was a lionburger. With fries on the side. It was a little tough. But "bizarre" was certainly an applicable word.

                  1. Hi Guys
                    Thank you for all the great suggestions. I finally decided to just give him a gift card for Morgan and York in Ann Arbor. He's a "cork dork" anyway and they have a fine selection of cheezes. I'll let him decide for himself where he wants to eat! I really want to thank you all for your suggestions; they are appreciated. Happy Holidays, oh Hell, screw political correctness. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SonyBob


                      A Morgan & York gift card. Awwww you must really like your weird son-in-law after all!