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Jan 7, 2012 01:56 PM

Near Detroit airport

I have a 3.5 hour layover in Detroit (between 4:30 and 7:55) and was wondering if there is anywhere fairly good around there not to miss. I'd have to take a cab.

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  1. I'd suggest Miller's if you're in the mood for a burger. A no-frills place, you pay on the honor system and they serve great burgers.

    Alan Richman in GQ named it one of the "20 burgers you must eat before you die".

    2 Replies
    1. re: rcloud

      I still don't get the love for that burger that some people have.

      1. re: JanPrimus

        I do. I thought it was excellent. Succulent, juicy and beefy. This is exactly my favourite type of burger and it was done perfectly.


    2. Here's a recent thread with a couple of nearby suggestions:

      1 Reply
      1. re: gooddog

        Thanks, I saw that thread but did not see much. Beirut might be an option.

      2. No places are super close. Just sort of close. I would not recommend that you get dropped off for eating and then expect to get a timely taxi ride back, afterwards. I would recommend that you take a taxi to get call-ahead takeout Lebanese food on Michigan Ave or on Ford Rd in Dearborn Heights*, while the taxi waits for you. (yes, I like Miller's for me, but I hesitate to highly recommend it for others)

        *e.g., Al-Ameer West 27346 Ford Rd. Dearborn Hts. (313) 565-9600

        ---there also are other Lebanese places just as close. Be sure to specify that you want hot fresh bread. Sometimes takeout orders get bagged, room temp, purchased outside bread.

        2 Replies
        1. re: VTB

          Al-Ameer West is less than 9 miles away. If I had 3.5 hrs I might ask a couple taxis whether they wanted to run me there and back for take out, for a "special discount price." (Might get lucky, but if not, you gotta go back thru security...).
          Nobody knows of any place that, would deliver, do you? That would be nice.

          I do find the mcnamara japanese place to be a nice spot for a drink, as well as the terminal hotel bar.

          1. re: VTB

            18 miles round trip at $2.50 per mile (which isn't a bad fare in any town) is almost $40. I can't think of a restaurant that would be worth that...sorry.

        2. Be aware that the Dearborn recommendations are ~$45 away by taxi, each way.

          13 Replies
          1. re: rainsux

            Reasonable Lebanese 1/4 mile north of airport at 7650 Merriman: Beirut restaurant. Not on the level of some of the others mentioned, but a taste of our area's great specialty without spending big bucks on a taxi. Swordfish is pretty good.

            1. re: rainsux

              Ugh. I had no idea DTW taxis cost that much. Definitely not worth it just for a bite.

              1. re: VTB

                It's not that they cost that much more than anywhere else, it's just that Dearborn is about 14 miles each way to the airport. It's not that close.

                1. re: VTB

                  skip the expensive cab ride. if you like japanese/sushi, sora japanese cuisine and sushi bar is very decent for an airport restaurant. or you could go chill in the restaurant/lounge at the westin, which is in the mcnamera terminal. i have not eaten there, but i have had a beer there and it is a little more peaceful than the terminal.


                  1. re: xman887


                    I spend a lot of time at DTW ... This is precisely how I'd spend the 3.5 hours.

                    1. re: xman887

                      Can you compare the food there to say, places in LA or NY? I guess, living a half mile from the Ocean, I have trepidations about sushi in an airport in Detroit. Any other menu offerings that you'd suggest?

                      Honestly, I'm leaning towards the cab for Middle Eastern fare. If I do, is Al-Ameer the best suggestion.

                      Also, please note, we will only have 2 plus hours. Can I make it to Miller's and back?

                      1. re: MGZ

                        MIller's is absolutely *out*. You will *never* make it back in time. Sorry, but the line would be ridiculous, and if you were, by some miracle, able to make it, you'd be *beyond* stressed out by the time. Just don't.

                        I'd certainly be right there with you on the airport sushi, but the two who've chimed in about Sora are people I trust, and it sounds pretty serene. Haven't been there myself, though.

                        Can't comment on Al-Ameer, as I haven't been there myself. I will say this, though: that cab ride is going to be massively expensive.

                          1. re: rainsux

                            Anything, in particular, special at Sora?

                            I'm actually thinking about changing my flight schedule so I will have a four and a half hour layover. Would that permit me a chance to find something 'hound worthy? Never been to Detroit and actually am inclined to spend the extra time and see (as well as taste) some of it.

                            1. re: MGZ

                              ::exhales heavily::

                              4.5 hours? Yeah, I suppose that's enough time to get somewhere chowish, especially if you're not going any farther than the city. I wouldn't be comfortable with *any* less time than this, though. One thing you should know about Detroit is that, while getting a cab at the airport is probably easy-peasy, getting a cab basically *anywhere* else is going to be a pretty harsh exercise in futility/extreme difficulty. Read: getting there could be a *lot* easier than getting back. It's important that you realize that...and I still wouldn't dawdle if I were you.

                              While there are many things that the area does well, it's not at all an exaggeration to say that the Detroit area does Middle Eastern food better than any other place on Earth outside of the Middle East itself, and some places here probably best some of the places there, and vice-versa. Suffice it to say that, with the highest density of those folks living in Dearborn anywhere outside the Middle East, there's a *lot* of great places for that cuisine. I'm partial to La Pita in Dearborn, but there are several other places (like Al-Ameer) that others swear by.

                              I've become less enamored with Miller's Bar's hamburgers as of late, based on my last several visits. The old, grey mare just ain't what she used to be, IMHO. I know it used to be wonderful, as I distinctly remember having a legendary burger there, but at least the last three times I've been there, the burger's been average. Not worth the price, and *certainly* not worth the wait.

                              Are there any other cuisines that you're interested in or drawn to?

                              1. re: MGZ

                                With 4.5 hrs, rent a car. Will be cheaper and less stress then a cab.
                                And at Sora, nothing is outstanding, but the udon is good. The sushi is good.
                                For an airport, this place is great.

                                1. re: Markcron

                                  > getting a cab basically *anywhere* else is going to be
                                  > a pretty harsh exercise in futility/extreme difficulty

                                  +1 (taxi is a bad idea in SE Michigan)

                                  >> With 4.5 hrs, rent a car. Will be cheaper and less
                                  >> stress then a cab.


                                  >>> breakfast at the Westin recently. It was
                                  >>> expensive but very good.


                                  With 4.5 hours; you could also consider NeeHee's
                                  in Canton. Indian street food - never run across anything
                                  like it in other cities that I frequent. (DC, Baltimore, NoVA
                                  Virginia Beach, Aberdeen, Dayton)

                        1. re: xman887

                          I had breakfast at the Westin recently. It was expensive but very good.