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Flint Michigan, good eats?

cab Jul 5, 2012 12:52 PM

I have to be in Flint over a weekend in July for work. Any good places to eat, preferably near the Flint Arts center? Any kind of food/price range OK, I am just trying to find out what my options will be. I will probably have time for one breakfast, a lunch, and an early dinner. In particular, I would love to fidn a great spot for a delicious breakfast. Are there any good farmer's markets worth checking out? I will have a car. Thanks for your advice!

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  1. rainsux RE: cab Jul 5, 2012 02:39 PM

    You mention an early dinner ... which suggests to me that you may be cramped for time and
    unable to venture 15 miles south to Fenton. In which case ... I really like the lasagna at Ruggero's.
    Their "Deluxe" version made with italian sausage and mozzarella. NOT their cheaper
    "Regular" version made with ground beef and cottage cheese.


    French Laundry @ Fenton is good for lunch or dinner, if you've got the time to make the trip
    15 miles south. Caution: lots of hard surfaces = noisy.


    Another option for dinner (only); about 15.5 miles SSE; the Holly Hotel. An olde hotel that is now
    just a restaurant. It is fine(r) dining; not fine dining.


    For lunch; there is a local hamburger chain named, Halo Burger. This is fast food. I prefer it
    to Wendy's:


    1. g
      goatgolfer RE: cab Jul 5, 2012 04:05 PM

      It seems that the discourse between Rainsux and the Goat about Ruggeros have been lost into the ethernet... As we are both matriculated from "the" Flint University you will not go wrong with the new Ruggeros as a dinner location or a lunch with leftovers. The lasgna deluxe has been terrific for over 30 years (we're dating ourselves).

      1. g
        grouper RE: cab Jul 6, 2012 04:04 AM

        The Flint Farmer's Market is something they are proud of...it's open Tues, Thurs and Saturday's and about five minutes from the cultural center. There are some new restaurants that have opened downtown that people are talking about one called Blackstone's. The Halo Burger suggestion is good for a quick burger...their cheeseburger deluxe with olives is the highlight of the selection....along with a creme ale, a local favorite of ginger ale and creme...sounds bad but has to be tasted.
        Where are you staying...that may help on breakfast suggestions. Actually, there's a restaurant at the Farmers Market that I've heard has a good breakfast, but I'm not sure what you're looking for.

        1. TraderJoe RE: cab Jul 6, 2012 04:54 AM

          In Flint? Any place you can eat and leave with out being robbed by a crack head. Flint is truly the armpit of the state.

          The French Laundry sells a lot of Zingermans products and neither Fenton or Holly are very close to the Arts Center.

          Halo burger for a fast food fix is very good. Ok I really like Halo burger FF's and the olive burger is good as well.

          Still not in Flint but much closer than Holly or Fenton is Oliver T's Market in Grand Blanc.

          Did I mention Flint is a blown out pit?

          Grouper is spot on with the farmers market but MI has a ton of killer markets. Ann Arbor and the Eastern Market and worthy of dedicated visits.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TraderJoe
            mi2ca2mi RE: TraderJoe Jul 6, 2012 07:24 AM

            The Laundry no longer sells Zingermans products. They now feature products from Crust, their own bakery in Fenton.

          2. t
            trapani RE: cab Jul 6, 2012 07:40 AM

            Rabbits: pets or meat. (My bad)

            4 Replies
            1. re: trapani
              rainsux RE: trapani Jul 6, 2012 02:42 PM

              Only places I know of for rabbit:

              Giuliano's in Livonia
              Due Venti in Clawson.

              1. re: rainsux
                Jim M RE: rainsux Jul 7, 2012 03:17 PM

                The Heidelberg in Ann Arbor has it sometimes, and it's pretty good. Call to see if it's on the menu.

                1. re: Jim M
                  TraderJoe RE: Jim M Jul 12, 2012 09:14 AM

                  Any one making the trek to Ann Arbor has to visit Zingerman's, even if the selection is not as good as it was before the down turn in the economy.

              2. re: trapani
                Michigan Mishuganer RE: trapani Jul 12, 2012 09:20 AM

                another Ann Arbor area choice for rabbit -
                Emerald City (Ypbor Yan) on Washtenaw has
                spicy skewer rabbit

              3. k
                KD1111 RE: cab Jul 6, 2012 07:47 AM

                Badawest on Corunna rd has great Lebanese food - and good prices.
                They make a good felafel and their chicken is flavorful in their main dishes.
                I'm not sure how far from downtown - 10 minutes maybe?
                From downtown either take Court St West to Corunna rd. Or hop on 69 west to 1-75 n to corunna rd and left on Corunna from the exit.
                Also any Big John's steak and onion - fast food - but good.
                Flint's downtown is trying for a renaissance. There are new places downtown and they have Friday night art walks the first Friday of each month and Jazz Thursdays. I've been to several and it's been safe and fun. I haven't yet combined it with dinner. There are several restaurants downtown that seem worth trying. I've heard the 501 grill is good - but would appreciate hearing from people who have tried these.

                5 Replies
                1. re: KD1111
                  grouper RE: KD1111 Jul 6, 2012 10:37 AM

                  I forgot about Badawest, good suggestion! Was at dinner with a friend from Jordon on the 4th and got talking about good hummus he said, other than his own, Badawest was the best in the county.

                  1. re: grouper
                    cab RE: grouper Jul 12, 2012 07:39 AM

                    Thanks to everyone! I know Flint is not the safest place in the nation, but I must go for work, so hopefully some good chow will make the trip more fun. If anyone else can weigh in on whether the French Laundry is worth the drive to Fenton, I would appreciate it. I am willing to make the trip for something really special, but I do live in NYC so unless it is pretty fantastic I might skip it since I will be on my own and not really psyched about the drive.

                    1. re: cab
                      tokyo RE: cab Jul 12, 2012 07:54 AM

                      If you're from NYC, based on food alone, I'd say skip it. If you decide you'd like to see a quaint small town district while you're here, check it out, along with the Laundry's new bakery Crust.

                      1. re: tokyo
                        rainsux RE: tokyo Jul 12, 2012 03:20 PM


                      2. re: cab
                        TraderJoe RE: cab Jul 12, 2012 09:16 AM

                        If anyone else can weigh in on whether the French Laundry is worth the drive

                        Not really worth the drive IMO especially if you are coming from NYC.

                  2. g
                    GrueLurks RE: cab Jul 12, 2012 10:10 PM

                    Whitey's Restaurant in Davison, MI is a few minutes east of Flint, but has some of the best fish and chips around. Great service too.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: GrueLurks
                      coney with everything RE: GrueLurks Jul 18, 2012 05:52 AM

                      I'm so glad you posted this, GrueLurks. We have driven by that place a hundred times and wondered if they were as good as they advertise.

                      1. re: coney with everything
                        GrueLurks RE: coney with everything Jul 20, 2012 09:32 PM

                        It's been a year since I've last eaten there but if they have maintained themselves per my last visit, it is worth a trip. The server who waited on us had worked there 15+ years and I tipped her very generously. She was on the ball all night long.

                    2. r
                      roadside RE: cab Jul 17, 2012 06:03 PM

                      Red Rooster is one of the nicest places in flint, I guess most of you chowhounds have ever tried eating in flint, please don't call this city the arm pit of Michigan--trader joe--, Flint was the birthplace of General Motors, has many nice restaurants,

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: roadside
                        tokyo RE: roadside Jul 17, 2012 07:05 PM

                        Roadside, your input is appreciated. Actually, many of us chowhounds have tried eating in Flint, but without the guidance of locals like yourself, we often do not find what we are looking for. I will definitely put Red Rooster on my list, thanks!

                        1. re: roadside
                          grouper RE: roadside Oct 2, 2012 04:36 AM

                          Sad to report the Red Rooster has closed.

                        2. c
                          cab RE: cab Jul 22, 2012 05:42 AM

                          Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I thought I would report back. I had some brisket at Charlie's Smokin' Bar-B-que, a stand at the Flint farmers market. The meat was a little dry but the sauce was tangy and there were tons of locals there. Dinner at the 501 grill was not very good--the servers were very nice though. Made the trip to French Laundry in Fenton. It's a cute place and it was packed at 7pm, but I easily got a seat to eat at the bar. I had a pork loin sandwich that was quite tasty and a good local amber beer. I agree that compared to NYC food there wasn't much to write home about, but it was a nice side trip. Thanks chowhounds for making my trip interesting!

                          1. l
                            leahfitz RE: cab Jul 22, 2012 11:25 AM

                            From New York City? You live in the food capital of the *world* so nothing in the area will impress you and I wouldn't waste my time driving any where (you'd just be disappointed). Grab an olive burger with the works from local burger chain Halo Burger, which has a location right on Saginaw Street. And grab a "Flint-style" coney dog from Starlite or Angelo's, which are both a mile or two from downtown.

                            1. IndyGirl RE: cab Aug 11, 2012 12:42 PM

                              We stopped at French Laundry in Fennville and found it quite lovely. The town itself is charming (apparently there was something called "Taste of Fennville" going on today, so downtown was filled to the brim), and the food in the restaurant was great, especially if you're on the road looking for some lunch. Thanks for the rec!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: IndyGirl
                                tokyo RE: IndyGirl Aug 11, 2012 01:50 PM

                                I'm thinking you mean Fenton, near Flint? Not Fennville, near Saugatuck.

                                1. re: tokyo
                                  IndyGirl RE: tokyo Aug 11, 2012 01:51 PM

                                  Oh geez, yes! Thank you! I've been traveling around the state and my brain is clearly not in the right place. FENTON, not Fenville. Anyway, a lovely little town I'm glad to have gotten to know a bit.

                              2. a
                                avaz09 RE: cab Oct 2, 2012 11:08 AM

                                Angelo's Original Coney Island on Davison Rd. If you're coming to Flint, you really must go there. The burgers and coneys are truly delicious. Another good burger can be found at the Torch Bar downtown. If you're up for something different, Caribbean Link Up on Flushing Rd is excellent. Guadalajara Grill on S Dort serves amazing, real-deal Mexican food. 501 Bar and Grill downtown would be a good choice for an early dinner. The Lunch Studio downtown is good for breakfast, and Good Beans on Grand Traverse has excellent coffee. You would also be safe getting breakfast at one of the coney islands (Starlite, Angelo's, Atlas...).

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: avaz09
                                  tokyo RE: avaz09 Oct 3, 2012 04:41 PM

                                  Thank you avaz09, this is very helpful. I particularly appreciate knowing about the Caribbean place.

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