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Jun 21, 2011 03:29 PM

Any can't miss Detroit near Cobo Center or People Mover stops?

We are in town for a convention at the Cobo Center--today through Saturday. We have free People Mover passes. Where should we go for lunch or dinner? We like all kinds of food, particularly any kind of ethnic. Liquor not important since it is a dance convention. Thanks Detroit Area Chowhounds.

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  1. A walk from Cobo will lead you to Lafayette and/or American Coney Island. This is iconic Motown food, many feuds about who's better. A coney dog is a must in Detroit. Service is brusque, but the chow is so great. Hope you get there! Of course there's Greektown, which is real authentic food, skip the places with the biggest lines. My suggestion is Laikon. Let us know where you go, glad you're here.

    Laikon Cafe
    569 Monroe St, Detroit, MI 48226

    2 Replies
    1. re: berkleybabe

      Thanks Detroit Chowhounds

      Berkleybabe, we had lunch at both American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney (twice at Lafayette; we had to repeat our taste test to decide on our favorite). For us, Lafayette was the winner--loved the atmosphere, the flavor of the sauce, and overall seemed a little less salty. The Lafayette Coney is a dish I will miss when we get home to Durham. In fact I am already missing it.

      We made two visits to Greek Town. The first time we had lunch at Laikon (braised lamb with rice and tomato sauce was very enjoyable--the lamb was tender, and actually tasted like lamb. And the bread--it reminded me of what I used to get growing up in upstate New York. We have great bakers in Durham, but I have yet to find that type of fluffy white loaf. I ate almost the entire basket before lunch arrived.

      We also stopped by Astoria Pastry shop and picked up a couple of Greek pastries. If we had known how good they were, we would have bought more. They made a great breakfast (if you don’t mind starting the day with a sugar high).

      For dinner we ended up at Pegasus because I wanted to visit the casino. Fun atmosphere (except for the drone of “Smith, party of four,” etc.) I wish all restaurants would invest in those little plastic blinkers. Had the grilled lamb special (I wanted the white fish, but our waiter kept saying, “But that’s not lamb,” so I gave in. Huge mound of lamb, nicly grilled but marred by way too much salt. I wish I could remember to ask for no extra salt. I found the meat almost inedible because of it. Again rice and tomato sauce--didn't taste quite as good to me as the version at Laikon, but that may be because I had just had the same thing for lunch.

      Our last dinner was also the best. We ate at Vincente’s Cuban Cuisine on Library. So many choices, so little time. To start husband and I shared the Camarones Cubita Bella (Shrimps, cream cheese, and a slice of jalapeno pepper wrapped in bacon and deep fried). Really, really good, though not exactly heart-healthy. For our main we split the Tilapia Donna Maria (Pan seared fillet of Tilapia sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mussels, and shrimp. Topped with tomato lobster sauce. Served with white rice and sweet plantains). Also wonderful and plenty to share. The only slight complaint was the rice and plantains didn’t arrive until we were halfway though our fish. For dessert it was the Tres Leches cake. Another winner (of course, I have never met a Tres Leches I didn’t like). Vincente’s would sure be on our rotation list if they ever moved to Durham.

      Regrets--we didn’t make it to Slow’s. We did run into the wife of the chef at Slow’s when we were out walking, so I got to cry on her shoulder at our loss. And, Jack, if I had it to do over, I would have skipped the Casino and gone to Roast for the happy hour. Ah well, that is life in an RV. There are always regrets at places and restaurants that are missed.

      One side note: our first lunch in Michigan was at Sidetrack Grill in Ypsilanti. What a treat to have a hamburger with pink in the middle. In our area the restaurants are required to grill the meat until it resembles a hockey puck.

      Again, thanks to all that replied. Detroit was a great city for the Convention. I hope we can come back for another visit.

      Laikon Cafe
      569 Monroe St, Detroit, MI 48226

      1. re: Panski

        Thanks, Panski, great report!

        Glad you enjoyed your time in the D and tell your friends that it isn't actually the hell on earth it is normally portrayed as :)

    2. Welcome to the D!!! Ask at your hotel about Roast. It's not directly on the People Mover route but certainly not much of a walk. It's great..especially during happy hour. Reasonably priced small plates. Excellent food and cocktails.

      1. And if you go to Greektown, do not go to Fishbones.

        A cab ride will get you to Slow's for BBQ. The People Mover doesn't go that far out.

        1. Well, an iconic meal would be at Lafayette Coney Island, the pride of Detroit. I love Traffic Jam down near Wayne State, eclectic and "locavore" before it became a byword. Hope you have a good time here.

          1. In response to the OP - even though the trip has come and gone. For a truly great after-dinner drink (even for 1) - Cliff Bells is a historic jazz lounge in downtown D - pretty much directly behind the old Fox Theatre. The likes of Sinatra, Sammy Davis and others played there back in the day. The decor still boasts original mahogany cove ceilings and a huge stage that invites jazz 'jams' from great local musicians through the week. Sometimes the cover is steep - but they pour a stiff drink and the atmosphere can't be beat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: toddthebod29

              OK, that does it, Todd..... I have to find a way to come back to Detroit. Maybe when we do our next RV trip to Texas we can take the high road instead of the low road (though I do love the Louisiana .boudin.