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Diamond Jim's News - Detroit

Happy Holidays all you DJB's fans. Got a Christmas card from Mary today. In it, Mary wrote a message: "Watch for breaking news." Hopefully, she'll be back in business soon. I know that a lot of folks miss her.

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  1. BAM! That is stinking *great* news, SonyBob! I'm really, really happy to hear this. Can't wait.

      1. That is fabulous news! My birthday is in a few days and I was thinking that if DJ's was open, that's where I would like to go for my birthday dinner. SonyBob, since you are a close and personal friend, could you have her hurry up and open by the 28th?;-)

        6 Replies
        1. re: Rheta

          If only I could!!! It would make a great birthday present for me, too. Today's my birthday!

            1. re: Rheta

              Aww, shucks. Thank you, Rheta and the same to you. And happy holidays to all of you Detroit hounds. Lets all try to get together when DJB's reopens! Did I mention that I made my first pilgrimage to Dearborn Sausage? Really neat but what intrigued me even more were the little packing plant that, I think, had a retail shop and the little fish market, all on Wyoming, just north of Dearborn Sausage. Anybody been there?

              1. re: SonyBob

                Alcamo's Market and the fish joint that I can't remember the name of. Yep...good stuff.

                Good family oriented business!

                1. re: JanPrimus

                  I don't think Alcamos is on Wyoming...it's on Schaefer in E. Dearborn. Dearborn Sausage isn't by it.

                  1. re: momskitchen

                    Yep I completely read that wrong. My Bad!

        2. Just got a mass email from Mary saying that she's agreed to terms with the same property owners to open up another restaurant in the "Clock Tower" portion of the same mall, whichever that is. It's going to be smaller (a decision she says she's happy with), and the target startup date is late-April/early-May, which I'd assume will more likely turn into late-May/early-June, if her life and times are anything like mine.

          Ah, it's nice to kick off the year with some good news, eh?

          2 Replies
            1. re: boagman

              I got that email. And I am........EXCITED!!!

            2. Thanks SB... I know we'll hear from you on any updates. Belated happy birthday, too!

              1 Reply
              1. I've always heard good things about DJB's, but what is it that makes this place so special to you Chowhounders? Boag has spoke of it often when we hung out, but I've never been.

                4 Replies
                1. re: GrueLurks

                  You know what, Mick? When Mary reopens, I'll take you down there, and if it's still on the menu (and I'm very much hoping it will be, at the same price), I'll get a Steak Diane, and so will you. And you'll understand. ;)

                  It's not that DJB's is absolutely perfect...it's not. There have been dishes I've had that didn't always "wow" me (their shepherd's pie, for example), but that can be said of just about any place that exists. What's really the best draw of the place is the consistency of very good dishes that are available at all times (like Steak Diane and the Filet), the really great specials they offer, the great service by professional waitstaff who *know* the menu and specials, and Mary's ability to bring it all together. Even the bar is well-regarded, though that doesn't apply to me that often...still: I like the drinks I've had there, and I've never felt pressured to drive up the bill that way.

                  Consistently good, and often even great, and relatively affordable. It's a winner on many fronts, and even when one thing might miss, the rest never does. One of my favorites, for reasons just like those.

                  Here's something to think about for the future: if the lines were long to be seated on the weekends in the past, I wonder how much crazier it will be with a *smaller* venue...but I choose to believe that they'll handle it with grace and professionalism, as always.

                  1. re: boagman

                    "There have been dishes I've had that didn't always "wow" me (their shepherd's pie, for example), but that can be said of just about any place that exists"

                    I really need to take you to the Telway on Michigan Ave.:P

                      1. re: JanPrimus

                        Starting on Tuesday October 11 thru Saturday October 16 we will begin our practice/charity dinners. We will take reservations only, for 60 people a night - 5PM-9PM. The goal is to tweak our kitchen, staff and ME, to be open BIG time on Monday October 17. We will be offering the full menu and bar with a portion of proceeds to go local charities. There is no additional cost other than our menu pricing. If you’re interested please e-mail you preferred day and time and include an e-mail and phone number.
                        This is first come, first serve. We will confirm via e-mail.

                2. Today was their opening day (found out via email) and I went in late and was able to get Steak Diane. Price has gone up, but it's still just wonderful. I enjoyed myself tremendously, and I look forward to going back soon.

                  It is just *so stinking good* to have Mary and company back. Next time I go, I'm going to have something I've never had at DJB's before: their burger. It's about time to give that bad boy a go.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: boagman

                    Went today for lunch and it was not open. Called and they said it will be a couple of weeks before they start lunch.

                    Guess I will have to go for dinner. I need that creamy onion soup.

                    Best regards, tony

                    1. re: boagman

                      Went today for lunch and tried the Shrimp Salad BLT sandwich. Very good quantity-wise, but the shrimp salad itself was just sort of "there". At $10, I really wish that it had more "pop" to it, but when I was finished, I wasn't unhappy. I just wouldn't order it again, as I'd put it in the category of "Sounds better than it is." The applewood smoked bacon was good (nothing mindblowing), and the rabbit food was fresh and good, too, as well as the multigrain toast. Come to think of it, the vinegar-based coleslaw I had with it was also decent, though I wish it, too, had been a bit stronger in flavor. Pickle spear was fine.

                      At the end of it, I just wanted the shrimp salad to be more flavorful, and I suppose that it was just more traditional than anything else.

                      Service was okay once it got going...it was oddly dishevled the first few minutes I was there, but it cleared up. I think I tipped at 19%, so it couldn't have been too bad.

                      I look forward to working around the lunch menu a bit more, especially considering that many of the lunch plates are less expensive/smaller versions than the dinner entrees, and I'd rather roll the dice on the Scottish salmon entree for lunch than dinner.

                      All things being equal, I'm still thrilled to have DJBs back. I think this marks my third time there, and I tried the burger with fries on Saturday night, which was quite good. Bonus points for their hand-crafted cocktail (another Girlie Drink Supreme) called Thunderstorm, which I greatly enjoyed once they sweetened it up to my tastes (Captain Morgan spiced rum, pear nectar, ginger syrup, lime juice, orange juice). $8 for it, and it was the right size.

                      1. re: boagman

                        I had dinner at the bar last Wednesday ,or maybe it was Thursday.
                        Ordered the special - Trout with Jalepeno/Cheese Mashed potatoes.
                        The trout was really good. The potatoes were ok, but I didn't love them
                        Service a tthe bar was great.
                        Lots of happy looking customers. but this is an odd space to me. Almost seems too tight to me.

                        1. re: Markcron

                          I have been twice but have eaten enough for four visits.

                          Fig, Goat Cheese Flat Bread is a WINNER!!!!1111!!!!

                          Mussels = Meh...pretty bland

                          Farmer's Board....delicious.....

                          Burger - Above Average but not great.

                          Soup (Lamb Lentil) - Stellar.....

                          Beer - Yum!

                          1. re: JanPrimus

                            I went tonight for the first time. I agree the space is oddly shaped and tiny, but I love the atmosphere. Very festive.

                            No specials tonight, so we ordered off the regular menu.

                            The Olive Tapenade was delicious. The amount of pita chips they served with it was less than generous, but our waitress was happy to bring us extra. Wish I'd have checked the CH board first, I'd have gotten the Flat Bread too!

                            All three of us had the basil crusted and boursin filled chicken breast on Ceasar salad. (Lemmings!) The chicken was wonderful, the salad itself perfect, but the dressing could have used a little more punch. It was kind of bland.

                            I'll definitely be back. Looking forward to reading a reivew of the Guinness float for dessert. Who's daring out there? (Dumb question for people planning a specials night of curried goat and beef hoof.)

                    2. i went to the new djb's for lunch today. the place is very small compared to the old place. at noon, it was ~90% full. we sat in the round, glass walled dining area. all of the tables are along the glass and it was a bit chilly in the room.

                      the food was good, as expected. each of us had the tortilla soup that had a nice mild spiciness and a nice amount of chicken. my guest had the petite filet which was served with fries and asparagus. it looked good but it was rather petite - i would guess it was less than 6 oz. my guest liked it, but all i could think was i might need two pieces if i ordered that. i had the scottish salmon, which was a rather small piece of a filet but was cooked perfectly. it was served with a bit of cranberry jus, asparugus, and a mind blowingly good acorn squash barley risotto.

                      lunch for two = $30 plus tip.

                      service was good. the food was good. i look forward to going back.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: xman887

                        but xman, it was the petite filet! It was lunch!

                      2. Man, I just must be missing something... Dinner this evening was bland and uninspired. The "buttermilk" dressing had no flavor whatsoever and the rest of our choices followed suit. Looking around I couldn't help but notice that the average age of the patrons was well into the 60's or 70's... nothing wrong with that, but it felt like Bill Knapps. The woman at the bar with a 9 inch string of cheese stuck to her chin didn't do much to appetize our group either.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Double Espresso

                          Odd. I haven't seen anything resembling what you're speaking of. While the age of patrons certainly isn't the 30-and-under crowd, I've seen it at its busiest, and at no time have I ever seen the average age anywhere around 65 or more.

                          So, with that being said, what specific dishes did you have, and what about them made them uninspired?

                          1. re: Double Espresso

                            I don't get that 9" string of cheese comment. I guess I'm a duh. And maybe you should go there after 6pm.

                            1. re: Double Espresso

                              Hi Guys!
                              Donna and I celebrated our 50th at Diamond Jim's last Wednesday. We had tried to get in a week ago but they were slammed. No specials, I had the salmon; Donna, the whitefish. Both were excellent. Sharon treated us to a glass of champagne which was appreciated. Yes, it's tiny but I think, very charming. I love the sparkle of the whole place when pulling up to park. The best part was seeing two of the old regular servers, Karen and Pauleen. I missed Mary but plan on going back for lunch so I can get a better look around.
                              I don't understand the above reference to the age of the guests. I observed all ages, including children. Most of the folks at the bar were younger than I and all chins appeared tidy!
                              We left very happy. Sure I miss the old place but nothing's ever the same. Look at Joe Muer's! I'm just glad they're back and that Mary has Sharon to help man the helm.

                              1. re: SonyBob

                                Welcome back! Don't be such a stranger.

                                1. re: rainsux

                                  Awww. shucks. Thanks. It's nice to be missed.

                                2. re: SonyBob

                                  :):) This is so positive! This will probably be my birthday place!

                              2. Had lunch here today with my wife. She really enjoyed her meal, I thought mine was pretty poor. We loved the fig, goat cheese, arugula, prosciuito flat bread. I appreciated that the fig component was a jam - the sweetness was a nice contrast. I've had this combo before elsewhere with whole figs and unless they are the ripest peak of season figs it can be quite flat. Both of our entrees needed salt and the asparagus that accompanied them were untrimmed (tough, woody, fibrous ends) and badly overcooked. My whitefish with a potato crust was soggy, limp, and sitting in a pool of oil. My wifes salmon was cooked perfectly and came with a delicous barley, butternut squash risotto. Nice place, but didn't live up to my expectations from the raves on these boards.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jmax

                                  Hmm. Did you point out the inconsistency of the whitefish to the staff? I can't imagine that they wouldn't have made it right for you. It's not like the place gets everything right every day you go there. I've had a shepherd's pie that I'd never order again (salt lick), and a dining companion of mine once had some fish that was *direly* undercooked...visibly so. I honestly don't know how it left the kitchen.

                                  Overall, though? Consistent, very, very good food, and always (never had the contrary) great service. I appreciate that they try new things without straying too far into "new for the sake of new" territory. I'd recommend that you give it another go, given that you can see the promise evoked in the flat bread and your wife's salmon.

                                  And since when does salmon *ever* need salt?