DETROIT FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS
Heading to Detroit for a couple of days and looking for some recommendations. We will be heading to Slow's for lunch on one of the days. Will have a car, so can travel to some of the more distant locations, i.e. if there is a place in Ann Arbor or Windsor worth checking out. Not looking for uber expensive, but something unique to Detroit. Any interesting ethnic food is appreciated. I'm curious whether there are any good places in Hamtrack(sp?). Thanks.
Lots of things can be said...I'll try to keep it brief.
In Hamtramck, go to Polish Village Cafe on Yemans Street. Old school, inexpensive, nice Polish food. They've been there forever, it's quite popular, and with good reason. Do try the dill pickle soup, it's great. Only menu caveat about the place is that if you want potato pancakes (which are very nice, here) you *must* order a side of them by themselves. There's no having one or two instead of potatoes on your dinner plate. This place is an institution for a reason.
Slows BBQ is a great choice, just temper your service expectations. It can often be lousy service with great food. It does seem as though they've been making solid improvements to their service over the last year or so, so that might be a lesser factor now. I'm a big fan, but you can often wait a *long* time for a table or seat at the bar.
In Ann Arbor, Zingerman's is an obscenely priced deli that earns their money. I'm not kidding: I'm a bona fide cheapskate, and Zingerman's is ridiculously expensive, but their food and service level makes that acceptable to me. Do sample things in the store, it's half the fun, and *do* make sure that you get some of their Jewish rye for a sandwich. It's the stuff my dreams are made of.
Interesting ethnic food *is* Dearborn, MI. It's the largest population of Middle Eastern people outside of the Middle East itself, and there are myriad choices for great ME food. I'll leave it to others to vouch for their favorites. I like La Pita, myself.
You've got some great ideas of your own, and some great choices to make. Enjoy!
Yes, Boagman is a cheapskate, but he's our cheapskate. He'll pay for good food and good
service. I prefer to think of him as thrifty, with high expectations. <g>
While in Dearborn, checkout a bakery. I prefer Shatila - because their homemade fruit ice creams rock. Try a few samples before committing. Others prefer New Yasmeen. If you want a fine
dining or patio dining, consider Le Chef in Farmington Hills.
Greektown (downtown) still has a few, um, Greek restaurants. I haven't been to Pegasus in
years, but I'd go there, before Parthenon. Uptown Parthenon in West Bloomfield is my go-to
place for Greek food.
Coney dogs are almost religion here. The classic rivalry is American vs. Lafayette. Both are
downtown. I prefer Hippo's in Troy.
Like goat; or other Indo/Pak dishes? Consider Zayeqa in Farmington Hills. Set expectations
to "Low" re: ambiance. Correction: Reset expectations to "Very Low" re: ambiance.
For breakfast; I really like the flavors at Fly Trap in Ferndale. If you cannot get past that name;
then consider Cafe Muse in Royal Oak. Another good option is Frittata in Clawson; but it's ~2x
the price of the others, with marginally better (layered) flavors ... and patio dining.
I agree w/Boagman re: Zingermann's Deli. I am not a fan of Zingermann's Roadhouse.
Ever eaten Indian street food? It's unlike the foods served in every other Indian restaurant I've
ever visited. Checkout: NeeHee's in Canton. It's vegan, but from the flavors and textures, you'll
never know it. Really.
I like the Reuben sandwich at Hygrade Deli. It hasn't been remodeled since the 1950's. Nasty
end of Michigan Ave. But a good Reuben.
Another olde reliable for bistro fare is Diamond Jim Brady's, in Novi. Ditto for Sweet Lorraine's,
Detroit also likes its sliders. It's an unsettled debate. Okay, we argue. I think we all agree that
White Castle is crap and Hunter House is over-rated. Me? I like both Motz (SW Detroit) and
Telway (Hazel Park). Other well intentioned, but misguided souls, will yammer-on about Brays,
Green's, Bates' or Green Dot Stables. They mean well; but they are nuts. Or; maybe it's the
Agent Orange side effects. But to keep the peace, whenever someone else is paying, I'll eat any
of them. That's not true. I won't eat White Castle.
Totally cop to being thrifty. It's true that I'm cost-conscious, but that doesn't mean that I also don't subscribe to the theory "Costs a little more, but it's worth it." Everything has to be looked at individually to see whether things are worth what's being charged.
Totally agree with the Neehee's and DJB's recommendations. I'm really rather taken with Neehee's and cannot stinking *wait* for them to open up another location already. It's a solid 45 minute drive from my house in Waterford, and knowing that I'm willing to make said drive for *vegetarian fare* should speak volumes. I'm no hippie-dippie vegetarian. I loves me mah meats. However, great flavor is great flavor, and as JanPrimus says, "I don't miss the meat when I'm there." To me, it's about as brand new a concept as you're going to find in quick-casual dining, and worth it in spades.
DJB's in Novi is small, but very, very good where it counts: in the kitchen and at the bar. Their service is top shelf because, to the person, I honestly believe that they enjoy their jobs, for the most part (I'm sure that everyone has an off day or two here and there). Satisfying menu, but if I can warn you off of the Shepherd's Pie (if they're offering it...they don't always), I will. That dish just doesn't work. Other than that? Have at the menu.