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Jul 22, 2013 10:32 AM

Detroit report

Just back from Detroit - here's my food report:
Thursday lunch @ Eagle Tavern in Greenfield Village. Surprisingly good trout, lovely side dishes and rolls (including pickles and things set on the table while waiting for the meal), fun cocktail made with sasaparillla. Afterwards enjoyed a great frozen custard at the ice cream stand. Kitschy but fun.
Thursday dinner @ Al Ameer in Dearborn. I'm sure I was the only non-Arabic speaking person in the place, and I was quite OK with that. I ordered a combo plate, so I could taste as much as possible (fattoush, humus, kafta, schwarma, etc.) Everything was wonderful, and the server was very sweet, albeit a bit rushed (Ramadan crowd, I suppose).
Friday morning: Leon's Family Restaurant for a good ol' American breakfast (blueberry pancakes, eggs, ham). Very good and cheap.
Friday late lunch: Green Dot Stables. Absolutely outstanding sliders: gyro, bacon/BBQ, Korean and Cuban. And the kale salad and orzo side were also great. Nice beer selection, and fantastic service.
Friday liquid dinner (still full from lunch): One drink at Coach Insignia. Great view, but surprisingly clueless bartender - didn't know how to make a Negroni! Then 2 creative, wonderful drinks at Sugar House, and fun conversation with 20-something hipsters (whose pride in their city gave me hope for Detroit's future).
Saturday breakfast: Russel St. deli. No problem getting in at 8am. Quiche was very good, and the biscuit with house made cranberry preserves was outstanding. Hash browns were very good too. The latte next door at Germaks was one of the best I ever had.
Saturday lunch: My first ever coney island hot dog at American. Tasty, but not the best thing to have before a 2-hour walking tour on a hot day!
Saturday dinner: Torino in Ferndale. All they serve is a 5-course tasting menu for $52, and another $25 for wine pairings. Highly creative and positively outstanding food. Good quantities, and the pairings were first rate. The servers took great care in describing each course and pairing - it was truly a great culinary experience!
Sunday lunch: Lupita's in Mexicantown. Enchiladas verdes. Pretty genuine stuff (and I spend a bit of time in Mexico). Cheap and good!

Thanks for all the advice. I loved Detroit, and wish you all the best with the challenges that lie ahead.

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  1. Thanks for the great report. I actually didn't know (or had forgotten that) Germack's served espresso drinks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: VTB

      They actually have 2 separate stores in the same block. One that sells nuts and one that sells coffee, tea and spices, and also has serve espresso drinks. My only regret on this trip is that I forgot to go back to the nut store and buy some nuts after I had my coffee!!

    2. I've never been to Leon's despite working in Dearborn for three decades. I will put it on my list. I have to admire any restaurant that can survive within yards of Miller's Bar.

      1. Great selections. Great report CR.

        1. It's quite possible that my girlfriend Donna and I were enjoying Green Dot Stables on Friday night at the same time that you were! I had originally intended on going to Magdaleno Italian with Donna, but when presented with four different options, she went with GDS. I wasn't crazy about their Mystery Meat slider this time, but that's okay. Most everything else was as good as it always is. Service was *much* better than it has been in previous trips, and it was never very bad to begin with.

          One of my favorite sliders, the catfish, was actually rather disappointing this time. The first one I had was ordered when I sat down along with a cup of soup (wanted to take the edge off...we waited half an hour for a table, and I was starving already), and while the soup was quite good, the catfish was *very* small (far smaller than it has been before), and just *slathered* with the tartar sauce. Still edible, and not bad, but hardly as good as it's been before. I tried ordering another one, and had the exact same result.

          Everything else was great, though (minus that Mystery Meat slider, which was simply okay), and the Summer Soda cocktail is still *great* for $3!

          Glad you enjoyed your trip here! It certainly sounds like you ate pretty darned well. We like to do that, here. You've gotta die of might as well die happy! ;)

          2 Replies
          1. re: boagman

            Die happy, indeed!!! I loved my visit to Detroit. I arrived at Green Dot Stables at about 3pm, so it was half empty, and service was just excellent. The server even took time to write out suggestions for the rest of my trip.

            1. re: ClevelandRandy

              Ah, then we definitely missed you. We were there around 8PM or after (very late dinner for me, and for Donna), so there's no way we crossed paths. Glad your trip was worthwhile...sounds like you ran into a pretty good ambassador, too!

          2. Great selections, with a ton of variety. Not sure I could've designed a better first tour through Detroit.

            Glad you enjoyed Torino. Fantastic change of pace from the great selection of cheaper fare that comprises most of the Metro Detroit food scene. Out of interest, how did you find out about it? I've been trying to get the word out, but few people I know have heard about the tasting menu.

            Anyway, thanks for the great report...

            1 Reply
            1. re: phamburg

              I knew I wanted to check out Ferndale (thinking it would have somewhat of a LGBT nightlife, which turned out not to be the case). I did a search on Open Table, and only 2 places came up. Torino sounded good, so I gave it a shot. Glad I did!