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Apr 19, 2010 12:45 PM

Great Specialty Markets in SE Michigan

You know the places I am talking about....

We all know the Zingerman's and the other great specialty markets...

What are your favorite small places to visit. Where do get you great Charcuterie, Cheese, Fresh Meats, Veggies, Import foods, Beer, Wine, Spices, Mushrooms or what ever.

My Favorites are....

Sparrow Meats in Ann Arbor
Merchants Fine Wine in Dearborn
Plum Markets in West Bloomfield (For Cheese)

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  1. I like Morgan and York for wine in Ann Arbor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chodges1

      I just went to Morgan and York for the first time last weekend. Loved it!! Picked up some great finds to make a picnic lunch on the way to the Metropark!

    2. West-sider tyranny! I say go East---
      * Champane's "cellar warehouse" for wine, at 7007 Chicago Rd in Warren
      * Hassan Bros. for non-piggy meats such as spring lamb (get it while it lasts) and veal, at 2904 E Long Lake Rd in Troy (the girls at the counter are clueless, so ask for the butcher; he is top notch)
      * Kim Nhung Superfoods for Asian groceries (esp. SE Asia), at 30925 Dequindre Rd in
      Madison Heights (Han Mi on Rochester Rd for Korean, but I'm not calling them out with their own line item)
      * Polish Market for smoked meats GALORE and Eastern Euro groceries, at 2938 E. Maple Rd in Troy
      * Royal Oak Farmers Market for veggies (soon), mushrooms and organic spices (cute Spice Girl, not ironically)
      * For cheese, at the risk of sounding partial to these upscale businessmen, I'm going to have to go with Papa Joe's in B'Ham (or Rochester?). Pick your own cheese plate across from the fresh bread, then walk up front to grab a glass of wine and a cut/cleaned fruit plate and snag the adjacent cramped seating (or hit the couple hidden tables upstairs?) ....and enjoy the food in spite of the so-so atmosphere (hey, bring a magazine if you don't like the sites).
      * my wife says there are three notable cake decorating supply stores in the central/East side, if someone wants them called out, but I don't want to do so unless requested, lest JP make light of me.

      19 Replies
      1. re: vtombrown

        PS---Can one of you West-siders write a review of that little smoked fish + gourmet prepared foods store right across Detroit St. from the front of Zingerman's (and facing Kingsley, I think)? Thx

        1. re: vtombrown

          Do you mean Durham's Tracklements? It's a very small shop in Kerrytown and it is right on Kingsley. I have bought many kinds of smoked fish there, and it is the best I have ever had. Salmon's great...T.R. Durham wrote a wonderful cookbook too called the Smoked Seafood cookbook, which you can buy at the store or online or check out of the library. I got it for Christmas last year. He keeps odd hours, check the website before you make a trip out to Ann Arbor to visit:

          Saturday's your best bet....he has product tastings on that day.

          1. re: momskitchen

            momskitchen, Hey, I think that's it! Thanks for the encouragement to get over there. I just might head over to Tracklements this Saturday! Cheers

            1. re: vtombrown

              Okay momskitchen, I went to Durham's Tracklements on Saturday. They are quite generous with the samples. I tried the smoked lamb and smoked duck..not my cup of tea. Then, I moved on to the cold smoked gravlax salmon (quite good), and then settled on the hot smoked (cooked texture) salmon---one that had first been brined (kippered) and one that had just undergone a miso and pepper rub. These were sublime!
              The place was overstaffed and cluttered all to heck, suggesting that the owner is not a business type person, but that's none of my concern as I'm all about the food, and it was stupendous. I really appreciate the tip.
              PS--next, I stepped around the corner to Sparrow Meats, and was eyeing their fresh boar sausage, but I was just too full to consider the purchase. I couldn't help but think, though, that JanPrimus would have given that boar meat a whirl.

              1. re: vtombrown

                Glad you like it...T.R. is a unique character and fun to talk to...and check out his's wonderful


        2. re: vtombrown

          Another eastside wine merchant of note is Bommarito Bakery on Greater Mack in St Clair Shores. Check out their wine porn photos at

          1. re: RedTop

            Thx RedTop-- Bommarito has a pretty intriguing website. Any offer of 3 large pizzas for $12, though, is a bit of a turnoff to me, but maybe I'm a snob. In any event, the other items definitely look worth the drive to check out. Any specific can't miss items?

            1. re: vtombrown

              vtom...the pizza is pedestrian at Bommarito. The bakery's Italian Sub Sandwich is stellar. (take out only)(and a bit of a wait at lunchtime). Cannoli are made to order and very good. And the gelato is a house mix, and good, if not great. We buy dozens of the bakery hard and soft rolls every year. A grilled hamburger, or a spaghetti dinner in our house is not complete without those rolls. (ask for the rolls in paper--not plastic)

              The Wine Guy there, does know his product!

              1. re: RedTop

                Thanks RedTop. Went to Bommarito Sunday, with your rec's. Sub and accompanying Pinot Grigio were solid. Cannoli was fantastic, and the biscotti interesting and worth an enchore. Because I was there at closing time on Sunday, the rolls were picked over, and the gelato machine was being cleaned (but I got a pre-packaged quart I'm saving for tomorrow). This is a fine place and I'm looking forward to going back. Thanks again. :-)

                1. re: vtombrown

                  Glad you had a good experience, vtom. I failed to mention, Bommarito is closed Mondays. So plan your next trip accordingly.

          2. re: vtombrown

            I was wondering how Polish Market is....I grew up in Warren and go back often to visit the parents. They are advertising that place pretty heavy on the radio. My favorite has always been Kopytko in Hamtramck. And do tell about the cake decorating places....I'm game!

            1. re: momskitchen

              Hi momskitchen, I've not been to Kpytko, so I cannot compare. I can just say that I imagine Troy's Polish Market to not be surpassed for size/selection in SE Mich. It is right across the street from the Polish Cultural Center, and on weekends it can get jam packed. In the back, near the raw meats section, there is a mirrored entrance way to the store's annex, which has even more packaged goods (so don't miss that area). The smoked meat selection is the greatest aspect of the store.

              I do wish they did more in-house, rather than just retail wholesale goods. But, I'm sure you will, as do I, keep this place in your shopping arsenal!

              PS-- The places where my wife gets her cake decorating supplies is Heinrich's on 10 Mile near Van Dyke, and Baker's Delight at Dequindre Rd north or 14 Mile. I'm not a fancy baker (she's no pro), and when I need equipment for baking, it usually is something I can find at Restaurant Equippers (retail & wholesale) at Greenfield and 11 Mile. Great place!

              1. re: vtombrown

                I have been to that restaurant supply store - bought some sheet pans. It's a good place! I'm not a great cake decorator but I like to make candy and usually those places have candy supplies. I will be in Warren this weekend and I've have to check out Heinrichs....if it's been there a long time, I think I went there for a Girl Scout field trip in the 1970s.

                1. re: vtombrown

                  Another good restaurant supply place is Gold Star Products, on Coolidge & Northend (btwn 8 & 9 mile). They've been around forever. Only drawback, they're not open evenings or weekends, whereas Equippers is open Sat mornings.


                  1. re: gooddog

                    I have seen the Gold Star website before but it didn't appear inviting for counter retail. Do they do in-store retail and is there a showroom?

                    I agree that equippers has a very good price on sheetpans but I have found the breadth of selection isn't complete.

                    In a similar vein, Williams Restaurant supply in Windsor (1 mile from the bridge Canada side) is a candy store for equipment junkies. Big showroom, friendly. The exchange and taxes are always a question but if you want to touch it before you buy they have some suppliers I have never seen before.

                    1. re: goatgolfer

                      Gold Star has a retail showroom with a pretty good assortment of cookware, dishes, utensils, etc for cash-and-carry customers.

              2. re: vtombrown

                What are the 3 notable cake decorating supply stores? I'm always looking for new ones. I mainly go to Kitchen Creations in Farmington Hills.

                1. re: aeg719

                  I think vtom mentioned in his earlier response Heinrich's Decorating Nook on 10 mile E of Van Dyke, and also Baker's Delight on Dequindre N of 14.

                  I'd second the recommendation of Heinrich's and also add Miles Cake Supply on Gratiot N of Metro Parkway and Sarah's Cake & Candy on John R & Square Lake Rd.


                  1. re: gooddog

                    I went to Heinrich's just the other day...and it is exactly as I remember it from the 70s....I bought some excellent candy molds and some cookie cutters. Great store!

              3. I really like the One World Market on Grand River in Novi. Its a Japanese Grocery (oh, the junk good. Sushi quality fish too. Sushi too, for that matter).

                2 Replies
                1. re: cholderby

                  Good call....I have to go there this weekend!

                  1. re: JanPrimus

                    The sushi there is one of the (three) Noble Fish places. I'm not surprised that it's good.

                    Noble Fish
                    45 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017

                2. I live in Ann Arbor and enjoy many of the (high-end) places that have been posted in this thread. But let's not forget the ethnic, more neighborhood oriented speciality markets.
                  Some of the best shopping is in Dearborn:
                  Alcamo's (on Shaeffer): great Italian place; try the ammoglio sauce, fresh sausages
                  New Yasmeen (on Warren): amazing Lebanese bakery plus delicious prepared dishes, to eat in or take out

                  and in Ann Arbor, I enjoy
                  China Merchandise (Plymouth Rd): a vast collection of Chinese, but also other Asian groceries
                  Manna (Broadway): a smaller, mostly Korean grocery; check out the homemade specialities in the fridge, such as kinds of ban chan and kimchee.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: trapani

                    I have been meaning to get over to Alcamo's but I keep forgetting when I go by. I am a bad food addict.

                      1. re: trapani

                        Tomorrow I am going to dodge rain and thunder to hunt for more Ramps and hope to find some Morels. :)

                      2. re: JanPrimus

                        I know lots of people love Alcamos, but it's just okay, not great. If you were going to make a pilgrimage to Dearborn to visit it, make sure to try some of the other suggestions like New Yasmeen or you might be underwhelmed if you just went there for Alcamos. (I work in Dearborn). One thing I will say about them is that they have the most tasty Jordan almonds (those sugary almonds used in wedding favors). If you were looking for those, I'd send you to Alcamos!

                        1. re: momskitchen

                          It would not be too bad of a pilgrimage for me...Live near Michigan and Merriman. :)

                          1. re: momskitchen

                            I finally got over there....nice little deli counter. I picked up some real provolone (not the crap Subway serves), Mortadella and some hot Capicola. I will be back soon for the sausages and some of the cheeses. They were all out of Ricotta Salata :(

                      3. Western Market in Ferndale got a "Best meat market" from Metrotimes this week. so I went there on Saturday. Very impressive beef selection (angus and locally grown both) and the prices were very competitive.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: goatgolfer

                          How about the pork, goat and lamb?

                          I could give a rats ass about poultry though... except for maybe duck.

                          1. re: JanPrimus

                            The pork was also from a "local" farm. They named it although I don't recall the farm and I don't believe they displayed the pig breed. The lamb was marked only as USA and no goat.

                            For lamb and goat I have been very satisfied with Hassan & Bros on Long Lake @ Dequindre in Troy (2904 E. Long Lake). I was looking for goat neck in Feb. and they had it fresh. Trimmed it and portioned it in the bandsaw without even blinking. Very good selection of packaged curry and behrani mixes with bulk spices as well.

                            1. re: goatgolfer

                              Thanks goatgolfer. I went to Western Market and it had (limited) cuts of some nice looking local organic beef and pork. Also available were some decent looking cuts of grass fed beef in their freezer case. One of the main local providers was C. Roy, Inc., aka Roy's Meat Processing in Yale, MI---a longstanding establishment which generally processes meat just from St. Clair and adjacent counties (and is a sponsor of the Yale Bologna Festival each July). Among other things, I got some Delmonico cut steaks that had INCREDIBLE marbeling. I probably just got lucky(?).

                              By the way, I don't know whether you still are on a county ham kick, and/or whether you noticed, but Western Market had TWO different brands, including the touted Broadbent Kentucky Ham. The meat counter also sells sausage casings.

                              Excellent tip.

                              1. re: vtombrown

                                VTB: I just realized that C.Roy is likely the pork butcher at Eastern market in the white trailier. ?? Any idea on hog breed(s)?

                                Thanks for country ham lead. I will get some on Sunday.

                                1. re: goatgolfer

                                  GG, Sorry, these questions are above my head. I'm not even sure how much control C. Roy exerts over its farmers/ranchers. If you find Berkshire or something, please make a post. (I have to get mine frozen, by the half hog, which is inconvenient.) Thx

                                  1. re: vtombrown

                                    You can get Berkshires and Duroks from Sparrow meats in Ann Arbor. Have yet to find any Tamworths in the area. I also would like to find some Ossabaw's for some charcuterie projects.

                                    1. re: JanPrimus

                                      Hi JP, Not sure whether that question was for me or for GG. Anyway, the only Tamworths I know of are at Chelsea's Back Forty Acres farm. But, they generally don't sell the meat in any smaller portion than a half hog. Maybe this is changing. They sell chickens etc. at the Chelsea Farmer's Market and at the Ann Arbor Produce Station, so maybe they'll start selling pork, too. If you want to split a half hog (i.e., a quarter) let me know---I'm not picky about the make-up of my quarter, so you could get your fav's. There is a bit of a wait, last time I checked. Cheers
                                      PS--thanks for the tip on Sparrow's. I've never tried Durok, but will have to do so. Papa Joe's has Berkshires ($$), and I'll probably just keep buying them there so as to save the drive to AA (unles the Sparrow's source is local).

                                      1. re: vtombrown

                                        The Sparrow's pork is from Sandusky Ohio.

                                        As for that Tamworth...I have one question. I know this is something that will have to be researched....but are they grain fed or pasture fed. I personally don't want any grain fed pigs. I am getting real snobby about my pork lately! :)

                                        1. re: JanPrimus

                                          I understand!
                                          Anyway, the pigs get a mixed diet. Yes, including some grain, especially during the dead of winter. But, they get no antibiotics or other crap, and much of the time, they get to run all around. Back Forty Acres' goats and lambs are pasture grain. (I don't think some grain messes up pigs, in the way it does red meat animals, but I'm not even close to being an expert.)

                                          1. re: vtombrown

                                            Grain finishing is fine. I know I should have clarified... :)

                                            I might get one with you later this year.

                          2. re: goatgolfer

                            Isn't Angus Beef simply a marketing ploy? Like "The Other White Meat".

                            I'm making this comment as a carnivore who has no like for the breeded meat.

                              1. re: RedTop

                                Angus is/are both breed(s) and a brand. In this Buckhead meats video (very interesting about how the decisions are made on which cuts to take from a side) he describes the marbling as the criterion as to whether a side can be in the "angus" program. They don't even know until the rib section is split what the side will be graded.

                                Most ironic for me is the angus burger. It's really a grind of lean/fat from a better marbled animal???

                                My family used to get 1/2 a black angus steer in the fall from the rancher. I don't recall a better steak. The only problem is you have limited number of the better cuts (only 2 porterhouses per side) so this is one example where co-oping (like insurance) spreads the needs of all the users.

                                Growing up in the country and tasting holstein steak (milk producers) and black angus (beef producers) you will clearly become a fan of the Black Angus breed (but perhaps not the brand).