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Jul 31, 2011 07:27 AM

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Recs NEEDED for Detroit/Oakland County This Week!


I am heading back to Detroit for the first time without staying at the in law's and therefore my partner and I will be choosing our meal locations ourselves more often. We need breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions so that we don't end up saying yes to Baker's Square.

We are very open to all great food suggestions - we love and miss Detroit style Lebanese food - its different in New York's Arabic communities; and for that matter we also miss Detroit's soul food - the more authentic the better. Other than 1 person not loving veggies we have no restrictions - she is very flexible and adventurous. We are comfortable at Eleven Madison Park and the authentic Vietnamese dive on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx so please do not hold back on suggestions because the place is a dive or expensive.

(By way of background, we are currently New Yorkers, 1 of us a native, the other a native Detroiter.)

Thank you!

I will be drinking my fill of Vernor's which is not available in NYC while i visit. ; )


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    1. re: Vielka

      Well, to start off, I'll say this: Baker's Square has entirely pulled out of the state of Michigan. Can't buy pie there anymore. Doesn't sound like you'll be crying too hard, though. While I *completely* agree that their actual food was awful, I readily admit that I was a sucker for their French Silk Pie. And that's about it.

      If you're going to be staying in Utica (I'll assume at one of the hotels at the intersection of M-59 and M-53), just a little ways down M-59 is Palm Palace, which is housed in a former La Shish, and apparently has many of the same recipes and food people from before, only without all of that pesky terrorism support, dontchaknow. While I haven't eaten at that particular one, I've eaten at the one in Auburn Hills, and while I'd steer you clear of the lamb ghallaba, I can say that the chicken shawarma sandwich I had passed muster, and the bread was great, too.

      This might be blasphemy, but many New Yorkers are now admitting that the Detroit Jewish delis are putting out far better products than the ones in NY are, especially with regards to the Jewish Rye bread, Sy Ginsberg corned beef, and others. My favorite corned beef sandwich still comes from the Stage (main site in West Bloomfield, but there's a less expensive [and just as good!] "kiosk" in the food court at Somerset Mall North in Troy. You could also do Plaza Deli in Southfield, or the Star Deli in Southfield (carryout only), and I'm told that the Onion Roll Deli in Royal Oak is great, too, though I haven't yet tried it myself. Certainly it's another Detroit food that we do well.

      For soul food, I do like Beans and Cornbread on Northwestern Highway in Southfield. It's not perfect (I still think that their fried chicken needs work), but it's quite good, and they've been around quite some time, now (15 years?). Their tiny little sweet potato muffins make me giggle with glee, they're so good.

      I've got a bunch of other suggestions, but it's hard to reduce the number of places. I'll tack on one more place in Royal Oak for Middle Eastern, and it amounts to only slightly more than carryout, but they do offer stools and a counter: Falaffel King on Woodward Avenue. While their fattoush salad is okay, their chicken shawarma, for my money, is the best I've had. Whether you want it in sandwich form or in entree form (get the lunch's plenty big!), it's just fantastic. Lunch is served atop spiced rice, along with hummous, fattoush, garlic sauce, some pita (generic, not housemade), and I love it. It's under $8, and ask for more garlic sauce, like I do. Their garlic sauce is a bit different than tradition, but I like it a lot. YMMV. The meat, rice, hummous and fattoush, though, are awesome. No lamb available here, though.

      Anything else in particular that you're wanting?

      Plaza Deli
      29145 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034

      Falaffel King
      32748 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48073

      Onion Roll Deli
      27302 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067

      Star Deli
      2318 W Starr St, Peoria, IL 61605

      Palm Palace Restaurant
      2065 N Squirrel Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326

      1. re: boagman

        Thank You !!! This is so helpful. I so miss La Shish on Michigan Avenue.

        We would love suggestions for Polish, Greek, Lake Perch, and any other can't miss within the larger metro Detroit area. We have family and friends throughout the area and will drag them with us. Also, we've not lived in Detroit for many years and I wonder what new ethnicities have made their culinary presence felt.

        1. re: Vielka

          I'd hit downtown for Slow's (bbq, alleged 4 hour wait occasionally) and maybe Supino's (for pizza, although you probably are able to round up a decent pie at home). I might even do breakfast at eastern market downtown. I think even though there are decent to great places all around, I'd just find myself heading downtown for a lot of stuff if I were visiting the area, instead of living here. Although you should go out to the lake for perch, Hamtramck for Polish and Greektown for Greek, obvs

          2457 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207

          1. re: Vielka

            Actually, La Shish just reopened on Michigan Ave. in Dearborn with new owners, and early word is quite good, though I haven't been myself. And I won't be. For some strange reason (having *nothing* to do with the whole Chahine fiasco), I *hated* the food at La Shish, and it turned me off to Middle Eastern cuisine for a long, long time. It's only within the last five years or so that I've come to understand how wonderful a cuisine it is, especially around this area.

            For Polish: hie thee to Hamtramck for Polish Village Cafe on Yemans, which seems to be (and IMHO, is) the most highly regarded Polish place around. I *love* this place, and its charms are more than just its great food at "How can they do it for this?" prices. Many of the employees are from eastern Europe, and you can enjoy their accents and personalities. Don't miss the dill pickle soup, and their pork dishes are stinking great. I always get their pork chops and take one home, but the Hungarian Pancake is terrific, too. It's the only way outside of ordering a plate of potato pancakes (recommended!) to get one, and the goulash is nice and spicy. You just will not *believe* how inexpensive and charming the place is. Have some good Polish beer, too. Perhaps a bit hard-to-find (down the steps on a one-way street), but worth the looking. Do *not* go to Polonia, right across the parking lot. Polonia isn't even half as good.

            I'll leave it to others to suggest the Greek and Lake Perch options.

            1. re: boagman

              I've eaten a couple times at the Palm Palace on Hall Rd (M-59) and thought the food was only average, with service below average. In that area, I think La Saj (near Lakeside Mall) or Lebanese Grill (N side of Hall Rd, near Costco) are much better choices for Middle Eastern; if you want to go a little farther, there's La Marsa, in yet another old La Shish location on Rochester Rd in Troy.


              Breakfast: there are a number of diner/coney island type places up and down Van Dyke, but I don't know if any really stand out. The Orange Peel (22 Mile and Schoenherr) is very popular - they have enormous omelettes - but it's not very big and there can be a wait at peak times. I also like the Downtown Cafe in Rochester (606 N Main St).

              Oh, and speaking of pie, there's a chain around here called Achatz Pies if you're in the mood for a slice. I think I've tried nearly all their varieties but my favorite is their 4-berry. There's one on Hall Rd next to Starbucks (just W of Costco).

              Orange Peel Restaurant
              13522 22 Mile Rd, Shelby Township, MI 48315

              La Saj
              13776 Southcove Dr, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

              1. re: gooddog

                > breakfast

                NOT convenient to Utica: Fly Trap in Ferndale
                Less inconvenient: Recipes in Troy

                > Since I cannot spell Hamtramck; I'll just write Poletown

                Polish Village Cafe

                > Achatz Pies

                Closed on Saturday. If you must buy on Saturday, call the nearest Plum Market to see if
                the pies are in-stock.

                > four berry


                I also like their pecan pie. Not the super-duper sweet syrup type.

                Fly Trap Restaurant
                22950 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220

                1. re: rainsux

                  >Fly Trap
                  Best huevos rancheros ever.

                  1. re: rainsux

                    >Closed on Saturday. If you must buy on Saturday, call the nearest Plum Market to see if the pies are in-stock.

                    Lots of other stores carry their pie too - Nino Salvaggio, Vince and Joe's, Whole Foods, some Krogers, etc but the Achatz locations will have slices in addition to whole pies.

              2. re: Vielka

                Oh! Thinking about your location: since you'll be basically at 20 MIle (M-59) and Van Dyke Road, you can just hop on up to Metropolitan Cafe at Van Dyke and 26 Mile (I's either 26 or 25 Mile, right at the intersection), and I've enjoyed that place, too. Think Modern American cuisine. Not low end, but not high end, either. Entrees hover around the $20 mark, I'd say. I *know* they do seafood well, and I like the atmosphere, too.

                So there's one more.

                Van Dyke's Restaurant
                335 N Main St, Scandinavia, WI 54977

                1. re: boagman

                  Metropolitan Cafe is at 24 Mile & Van Dyke, SW corner.


              3. These are helpful. Thanks. I was trying to remember the name of the soul food takeout place on 2nd avenue in Detroit. When we lived in Michigan we thought it was great. It may not exist any more. What place in Hamtramck for Polish; What Greek place? We are so out of touch and yes, I agree re: the pies at Baker's Square but nothing else.

                Baker's Square Restaurant
                131 N Annie Glidden Rd, Dekalb, IL 60115

                1. Probably a weird one, but Ceaser's Casino Windsor has an excellent buffet with lots of seasonal fish, it's worth crossing the border, plus, well, it's a Ceasar's casino, there's always something going on.

                  1. I'll ditto rainsux for Fly Trap for breakfast; the former Kingsley Inn in Bloomfield Hills (Long Lake and Woodward) now the Kingsley Raddison has an awesome coffee shop -- best corned beef and turkey hash I've ever had out. Deli sandwiches are great, too. Don't miss a breakfast there. Re: perch, Giovanni's way down I-75 is a family owned Italian restaurant - I think most of the Detroit chowhounds would agree it's maybe the best in the area- their perch is amazing. Cooked in a piccata style, small fillets sauteed with lemon, capers, wine; one of the best things I've eaten in the last couple years. You can get your Vietnamese jones filled along 13 mile/John R and 13/Dequindre -- has turned into a little Vietnam. Faves are Thang Long, Thuy Trang and Viet Pho (corner of 13 and Dequindre.) La Comina (The Honeybee) restaurant on Bagley in Mexican town is a treasure trove of great chow, the guacamole is better than you'll ever make at home and the take out tamales are really good. For sit down, I love Evie's tamales, can't be their tamales or the lard-fried refried beans.

                    Thuy Trang Restaurant
                    30491 John R Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071

                    Fly Trap Restaurant
                    22950 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI 48220

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: berkleybabe

                      Thank you all! we hada great tiem with family and friends and visited LaSaj, The Pantry, Buca Beppo, National Coney Island, and several other of your suggestions. We did miss our Greek fix however ... so another visit is required.