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Jun 11, 2009 07:09 AM

Chow worthy eats in and around Canton, MI

I'll be visiting the last weekend in July. Recommendations? I'm looking for nice, local restaurants that aren't too hole-in-the-wallish. Although, I'm not above a hole in the wall if the food's good.

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  1. Two unusual places, one Spanish and one Japanese, are reviewed here. I like them both, but Matsuchan might be considered a hole in the wall. It's an honest-to-goodness Japanese noodle shop in the middle of Midwestern suburbia.

    Other good places: Thai Bistro (above average for Thai in this part of the country), Irie (Jamaican, not quite a hole in the wall, really good).

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jim M

      All of the places Jim mentioned are pretty damn good. A few extra places I like are

      1. Izkakaya Sanpei (My favorite Sushi in Canton)
      2. Aji Ten - I love the Bento Box

      I do have to say I have one slight complaint for Thai Bistro. I used to live and work and Canton and this was my number one place to go for lunch back then. I think Matsuchan would be now. Anyways...the peppers Thai Bistro uses are on the mild end of Thai cuisine. I am one of those dip $h!t$ that tells his wait staff to call the cook a sissy and give it to me really really hot. Thai Bistro failed almost every time at this. I realize I am in a
      vast minority in this but I needed to get that off my chest.

      Little Bangkok in Plymouth is my safety when I need the pain. They may have served me the hottest meal of my life....a few times.

      Yes...I have been to Pi's Thai in Hazel Park and no it was not as hot.

      1. re: JanPrimus

        "Yes...I have been to Pi's Thai in Hazel Park and no it was not as hot."

        Wow! This shocks the living *crap* out of me, Jan! If I might ask, what'd you order, and what temperature did you order it at? They do go "off the chart" if you ask them to, but I must fully admit: you are way, way, *way* out of my comfort territory when you're ordering that hot!

        1. re: boagman

          I actually worked just up the road for a bit at 12 Mile so I visited on a few occasions (so I ordered around the menu). Only complaint about the place is the non-acceptance of credit cards.

          Now Pi's is in the same ballpark. Be aware it all may be a issue of tolerance too. After you get to a certain point its not that big of a are just trying to survive the dish. I do always ask for Thai person hot if I know they know what that means....other wise I plead for them to try and hurt me. 95% of the time they can't put a hurt on me like Little Bangkok or Pi's. Why do I do it? I think it has something to do with the adrenaline certainly is not for the next day antics.

        2. re: JanPrimus

          Aji Ten is my current favorite... haven't tried your #1, but Aji has been perfectly consistent, love the soft shell crab sushi and duck soup with udon. Plus I just noticed they have a signed picture of George Takei (Mr. Sulu) on the wall!

          Tasca de Plata is closed - tried it twice, found it OK but not great.

          Avenue Diner is also closed - too bad, don't like Vinny's Sub that replaced it as much.

          1. re: chadnibal

            If you like Aji must try Ajishin in Novi. They also have soft shells crab Sushi. Yum!

            42270 Grand River Avenue Novi, MI 48375

            42270 Grand River Ave, Novi, MI 48375

        3. re: Jim M

          Fascinating, I really need to try that Tapas Bar! They have coupons on their website, and some of the pictures of the food are really tempting.

          There's a new restaurant on Michigan Avenue between Haggerty and Lilley called the Avenue Diner, looks like a tiny little hole in the wall as you drive by, but it is a nice clean little diner with '50's kitch decorations inside, and everything we've tried there (turkey reuben, entree salad with chicken, inside out burger stuffed with jalepenos and cheese) has been really good, I might even say fantastic. Better than I'd expect for diner fare.

          1. re: chadnibal

            Avenue Dinner is closed on Sundays. I tried :)

            I did stop at some place called Tim and (Somebodies Name) Awsome eats.
            I had some Corn Fritters served with Apple Butter and a Spicy Sausage/ cheesy sauce hot dog concoction that was not too bad even though it was not what i ordered. They have the "Hot Tim" which is the hot dog and a "Spicy Tim" which is a hamburger...since I had the 2 and 6 year old with me I didn't want to wait any longer for the burger to be cooked so I stayed quiet and shovelled on. Both were pretty good and my 6 year old liked the place too. It's rare for her to find a place that is not a chain that she likes.

          2. re: Jim M

            Matsuchan for lunch today. Great ambiance and the ramen "set" of soup and a plate of fried rice was excellent. I was the only non-japanese speaker in the place. Even the little kids are better than me!

          3. Most of the local places are actually in Plymouth right next to Canton. Consider:
            Compari's on Main
            Fiamma Grill next to Compari's
            LaBistecca Italian Grill (actually known for steaks)
            Bode's - best corn beef; hole in the wall
            Karl's Cabin - a little different but I like it
            Rusty Nail - bar with really good cheeseburgers and patti melts
            Farmer's market Saturday morning and across Kellogg Park to the Box bar for lunch (okay but not like back in the day). Stroll around Plymouth.
            Grape Expectations on Forest
            Hope you enjoy my little neck of the woods.

            1. I live in Canton and it is very much suburbia and full of "family restaurants". There are a few gems here though...

              Matsuchan - small, intimate very fresh Japanese noodle bar. Cheap too.
              Irie - jamaican restaurant. More expensive, but good and homemade tasting
              Schzwan - very high quality Chinese.

              People rave about Rose's Restaurant, but I think it's bland tasting garbage.

              Apparently there is a Philippino caferteria style place at Michigan and Canton Center. Anyone tried?

              1 Reply
              1. re: hateApplebees

                I'll be the first to admit that Rose's isn't a 4 star restaurant but it's popularity isn't because of the exceptional quality of it's food. I don't think it's any better than most family Italian places and yes, the food is rather bland. So why does it have so many regulars and such a devoted following? It's kinda the Cheers of restaurants - "where everybody knows your name." The Costentino family has been a wonderful supporter of Canton township police and firemen. They will make your food any way you want it, more spicy or whatever. The bar serves generous drinks and the waitstaff is friendly and attentive. Their pizza is to die for. People often walk in and leave with just the bread, it's so good. If Chris is in the kitchen you can tell your waiter exactly what you would like and Chris will make it.
                It's just a good place to be. I would hate for someone to avoid visiting Rose's based upon the comment " bland tasting garbage."
                Irie food is tasty but I'm bothered by the fact that it's all, and I mean all, pre-prepared and microwaved, even the fish! The owner sat at our table and verified that fact. Even so, I wouldn't refer to it as garbage.

              2. There is a new slider/diner going in out at Beck and Michigan Ave. from the owner of Vinny's subs. I talked to the guys over at the Sub place near I-94 on Middlebelt about it and they said they would be bringing sliders and they also mentioned 2-3 day water blanched french fries.

                The facade of the diner is a original 1950's Kullmam Diner. I look forward to seeing if they have a seasoned grill going in or will we have to wait a few years for the grill to grow some character.

                Thjis looks to be the old diner it was taken from.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JanPrimus

                  Does anyone know the name of this place? If it ever opened, is still open, is any good?

                  1. re: tdmort

                    It has not opened yet....I think it will be called Vizzy's Burgers. I have also heard they will have two day water soaked fries.

                  2. I hit a new place up on Ford Road called Neehee's and I am very happy. The specialize in what they call Indian vegetarian Street food. The spice levels get up to where I like, and the service (for a walk up and order) is very good. I have been ordering from different places on the menu but have yet to find anything I do not enjoy. They also have some more exotic ice cream flavors that I have yet to touch.


                    Extremely affordable and yummy. Th emost expensive thing on the menu is $12 bucks and that is a Platter of Uttappam's that will be tonight's dinner.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: JanPrimus


                      It's exclusively vegetarian? That's too bad...while I like some veggie fare, I like having the carnivore option as well. Nuts. I'll probably go to Matsuchan well before I end up going here.

                      1. re: boagman

                        While I am a steady carnivore myself that dreams all day of meat...I hardly notice here. There is enough flavor and textures on most dishes that I don't end up missing the meat.

                        1. re: JanPrimus

                          Huh. Well, when I get out that way (kind of rare), I'll have to check it out, then.

                          1. re: JanPrimus

                            I've been hearing good things about this place--will check it out. I agree, I'm mostly a carnivore, but somehow the Indian vegetarian dishes are different. There's such long tradition of vegetable cookery in that country that they seem complete in themselves.

                            1. re: Jim M

                              Hey all, I am also inn Canton and wanted to add a couple of comments. Neehees is great,, glad to have it here. Try the fried stuffed pepper dish. (I can't remember what it's called) Matsuchan, of course, always awesome. Spicy, great Thai try the Thai Cafe in plymouth on Main just south of Church. She will make it spicy for you and everything is good. Try the "special eggplant", drunken noodles (myfavorite, or the lard nar. Ginger, on lilly just south of joy is a little gem. The waitstaff is clueless about the food ad the menu lacks description but the food is excellent. Even the spring rolls tasted like they were just made in the kitchen, not frozen like most places. Try the yellow curry. Stacks, the party store at Ecorse and Belleville road has the best italian sandwich I have ever had. made on a pizza dough with high quality meats and cheeses. For 5.50$ the best value in the area. Dallat on Michigan ave in Ypsi is really good vietnamese, try the crab asparagus soup. Lastly, the little bakery next to the Halal grocery store in the little strip mall on Canton Center, just south of Hanford, has awesome Shwarma sandwiches and they are only like 3.50$.
                              One more thing, Mangos market on the corner of warren and canton center has great prices on meats and cheeses as well as some meat counter items and an olive bar but the real steal here is they always have red and yellow bell peppers for .50 cents a piece. Compare that to 3.99 lb at the grocery stores. If you go through them like I do, and don't like those bitter bland green things, it's worth stopping by just for the peppers.

                              1. re: saddleproductions

                                I agree, Canton Center Bakery is great for carryout - Zaatar Bread with cheese, falafel & chicken shawarma sandwiches, and lentil soup are all good. Not quite up to New Yasmeen in selection, bread is different and a bit doughy, but not bad... maybe not actually from lebanon but some neighboring place. Better than La Sharm, maybe not quite as good as New Yas or Al Ameer.

                                Haven't tried enough of the menu at Neeha's or gone with Indian friends, but they do have a huge selection. Honestly liked the samosas at the Indian grocery on Cherry Hill better.

                        2. re: JanPrimus

                          Has anyone tried the new Indian Street food place in Ann Arbor, Curry Up?

                          1. re: JanPrimus

                            Gobi Manchurian is very good here. The Samosas however, were not and were very heavy in fennel seed. I know holy thread revival.