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Jul 8, 2010 07:52 AM

Bostonians coming to Detroit for the weekend

We are going to be in Detroit for a weekend in August and will be spending Friday in the Midtown -New Center area at the museums. Any suggestions for lunch?

We will be staying in Birmingham and spending a little time in the Southfield area. Any suggestions for breakfast and lunch type places in the area?

On Sunday, we're planning to drive to New Buffalo to spend time with friends, and I think that we should stop at Zingerman's Roadhouse for breakfast/brunch. Any other suggestions?

What type of food do we like? We like to eat almost anything, in particular food that is local to the area and something we may not be able to get in Boston/New England.

Zingerman's Roadhouse
2501 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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  1. If you staying in Birmingham I would like to recommend "The Forest Grill".

    Forest Grill Restaurant
    735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009

    4 Replies
    1. re: JanPrimus

      Perhaps my experience was an anomaly, but we just weren't thrilled with lunch at Forest Grill on our recent visit to Detroit. DH ordered the mussels and fries, and the mussels were clearly past their prime, and completely covered with gloppy lemon aioli. I ordered a lobster taco which was mostly dry flour tortilla. It took about an hour to get our lunch entrees, and they truly weren't worth the wait. The cocktail we sipped prior to lunch was nice, though, as was the bread. YMMV.

      Forest Grill Restaurant
      735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009

      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        Sounds like it...I would give them another try. Everyone I know that has been has had a great dinner. Speaking of that...I don't know anyone that has been there for lunch. Would hate to think that there would be that much of a difference but I have seen stranger things. Plus knowing a few of the people involved over there....that level of quality would not stand for long. They would have someones head for sending out a bad dish.

        1. re: JanPrimus

          Was just there for lunch..."stimulus package" $15/three course lunch was just wonderful as was the service. I'd say it's a don't miss coming to the city.

        2. re: Niki in Dayton

          It certainly sounds sub-par, but then again I went at dinner and ordered locally sourced items (by and large) as opposed to import mussels and lobster.

          I still consider it one of the best meals of 2010.

      2. You won't be spending much time in the New Center Area, other than to visit the museums...

        Boston is a pretty eccelectic place, so there isn't a whole lot here that you don't have there. We have an edge in Lebanese* food, definitely, and in blue collar Polish** food places, probably. Additionally, coney dogs are an institution here. Loui's and/or Buddy's represent "our style" of pizza. (others will say that you'll get better pizza here, if you go with a non-Detroit style)

        *e.g., New Yasmeen Bakery (hot "deli" too), Al-Ameer, LaPita, Shatila (dessert)
        **e.g., Polish Village Cafe

        If you go to the Forrest Grill, just head straight up Woodward from the museums. The drive is nice. Along the way, take a right on 11 Mile Rd and head east for a few blocks, and stop for a drink in downtown Royal Oak (or, just stop in Ferndale, right on Woodward).

        Polish Village Cafe
        2990 Yemans St, Hamtramck, MI 48212

        1. When we lived in Boston, in the mid 90's, the Mexican food was next to non-existent. While your downtown possibly check out the Mexican Village area. I'm sorry that I can't recommend anywhere to go, but hopefully someone will help me out on this. Although I think Evie's Tamales got a nod from the Detroit Free Press this past weekend as one of the 50 places to hit in the area.

          Also a great place for breakfast near Birmingham is called, The Fly Trap, in Ferndale. It has been featured on Diners, Dives and Drive-in's.

          Evie's Tamales
          3454 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216

          Fly Trap Restaurant
          22950 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220

          4 Replies
          1. re: grouper

            Evie's Tamales is fine, as is the little Taquería Lupita across the street. Avoid the bigger places on that block, but El Comal on Vernor, with Salvadoran and Guatemalan food is pretty good. Also consider El Barzón on Junction near Michigan Ave. I know that El Barzón has liquor, and El Comal might, but Evie's and Taquería Lupita don't.

            El Comal Restaurant
            3456 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48216

            Evie's Tamales
            3454 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216

            1. re: Jim M

              I agree on avoiding El Comal and other Large Mexican places in Southeast Detroit. If the dining room floor is more than 1000 sq. feet.....avoid it. You can have the same meal at home out of your microwave. The smaller places like Taqueria Lupitas are where the good stuff is.

              If you are flying in and getting a Rental car you will be near a stellar tiny Taqueria over in Westland. Taqueria Alameda is the best I have had in town and I am a serious hound for REAL Mexican food.


              Taqueria Lupitas
              3443 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216

              1. re: JanPrimus

                Agreed on Taquería Alameda from a former California resident. However, just not to further confuse our guests in a city that's already hard to find your way around, the Mexican neighborhood is in southwest Detroit, not southeast. It begins roughly at the hulk of the old train station that you will be seeing and marveling at, and runs west for several miles. Keep going out Dix Avenue from there, and you'll be in a neighborhood in Dearborn that looks like it could be in Syria.

                1. re: Jim M

                  Wow...I know better than that....I must have been drinking :) Just kidding...I hope I was not drinking at 9:00am.

                  Jim is is SOUTHWEST!

          2. My Midtown suggestions would be:

            Union Street Station on Woodward

            Traffic Jam & Snug

            If you do want to venture to Hamtramck for Polish food, my favorite is Polonia

            Saturday mornings are the best time to see Eastern Market, but if you have time visit it on Friday when you're in the area.

            For breakfast and lunch in Birmingham, I highly recommend Beverly Hills Grill:



            Polonia Restaurant
            2934 Yemans St, Hamtramck, MI 48212

            Traffic Jam & Snug Restaurant
            511 W Canfield St, Detroit, MI 48201

            Beverly Hills Grill
            31471 Southfield Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025

            3 Replies
            1. re: chowchowbrowncow

              Also for breakfast, Toast in Ferndale -- might be a bit of a wait, but worth it. Restaurants at Eastern Market offer great hearty breakfasts so you could do both! Best corned beef hash in the city is at the Radisson Kingley, just north of Bham in Bloomfield Hills, on Woodward, just south of Long Lake.

              1. re: chowchowbrowncow

                Farmer's Market restaurant has, according to my friend Kim, "sausage that's as addicting as crack." High praise, indeed for breakfast! Worth a trip down there just for those!

                1. re: chowchowbrowncow

                  I know a lot of people are fond of Union Street, but every time I've been the food has been mediocre at best. For great local beer, pizza and fantastic salad made from greens grown in the city check out Motor City Brewing Works which is right near the museum and across the street from the Traffic Jam. Walking distance from the museum are Good Girls Go to Paris, a creperie, and Wasabi, a little Korean/sushi place Both are on Woodward literally north of the DIA.

                  Union Street Restaurant
                  4145 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

                2. Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. What a hospitable community of Chowhounds!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: veggielover

                    The beautiful Detroit Institute of Arts has a wonderful dining room which is dellicious and fun. Don't miss the big cookies! Cuisine, located behind the Fisher building, is a wonderful place for cocktails and hearty appetizers. The Original Pancake House, on Woodward, in Birmingham is not to be missed for a satisfying breakfast. You will love New Buffalo and be sure to stop by some of the wineries on the way west. Tabor Hill Restaurant & Winery (www.taborhill) is a fantastic place to relax!

                    The Pancake House
                    15648 W County Road B, Hayward, WI 54843

                    1. re: Oakland Gal

                      Gotta love (or really wonder about) Chowhound's permalink ability. I like that Original Pancake House, but, boy, do they get packed.