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Lake Orion, Michigan, & Environs

My partner & I are moving to Lake Orion and are wondering where we should eat and if there are any cool grocery stores or other food things we should know about. We are fairly mobile, so a reasonable drive from Lake Orion is fine. We currently live in Columbus, Ohio, and are close to all kinds of good food. I am a tad nervous about what may be available there.

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  1. it has been a number of years since I have been, but my friends rave about sagebrush cantina http://www.mysagebrushcantina.com/

    also have heard good things about this newer brewpub http://51northbrewing.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: xman887

      51 North is a great little find. We liked Sagebrush, but the crowds are somewhat off-putting when there are other good Mexican places nearby (like Casa Real).

      1. re: lunabliss

        While I can't give you a first-hand account, I have it on good authority that, were you to go to Sagebrush, getting the fish tacos is a very good idea. One of these days I'm going to take that person's advice, but like you, I'm not willing to put up with massive waits for a table.

        And you're right: you *do* wish that Carnival Market had been open. Pro-Tip: order some carnitas en salsa verde tacos, and top them with some pico de gallo (my choice) from the salsa bar (or, if you choose, you can go with something hotter). I like to have them take my carnitas from the "drier" portion, or have them squeeze out a bit of the juice before they add it to my corn tortillas for a couple of reasons:

        1. By the time you have add the carnitas, some pico de gallo (I'm generous with it), and some lime juice (ABSOLUTELY), it can be a pretty runny mess. Allowing for less liquid from the start makes for a more edible experience without resorting to fork and knife.
        2. If, by the time they've "drained" the spoon, it looks pretty smallish, you can ask them to be a bit more generous with the scoop. It makes a difference.

        One more thing: next to the counter is a cooler filled with various bottles and cans of beverages which are all around 12 ounces. I like to have a Jarritos or two with mine (Pineapple or Grapefruit, thanks), but I don't get it from the cooler. Instead, head to the back of the store on the wall with the cooler and buy yourself a .5 liter of Jarritos there, in a plastic bottle as opposed to the glass 12.5 ounce. It's still cold, it's $.50 cheaper than the ones from the cooler, I believe, and it's a bigger serving size. I do that every time.

        Can you tell I've been to Carnival Market a time or three (dozen)? ;)

    2. A little but not a lot nearby. With a little drive there is lots.
      Here's one close place--
      http://www.blueoxbbqrestaurant.com/

      2 Replies
      1. re: VTB

        Blue Ox BBQ has closed. A Chinese restaurant is slated to open in its place - Panda House (?). Lake Orion itself is kind of boring. You will need to drive to find more interesting grocery stores, specialty markets, and restaurants.

        I would eat at Casa Real in Oxford for sit-down Mexican instead of Sagebrush. I would also second coney with everything's Carnival Market rec for take-out Mexican. Their food is tasty and cheap!

        I would suggest Papa Joe's in Rochester Hills and Nino Salvaggio's in Troy as the closest upscale grocers outside of what's already been mentioned.

        How far are you willing to drive? What kind of specific restaurants/cuisine are you looking for so we can make additional suggestions?

        1. re: mi2ca2mi

          I think my wife is up for anything within 40 minutes & we like just about everything but Korean food. Thanks for the Casa Real recommendation. We really enjoyed it there! I want to go back when there is dancing. Haven't yet made it to either of the grocers.

      2. Ditto to Sagebrush rec but I don't know what else to recommend in Lake Orion itself.

        You're not far from Auburn Hills/Rochester Hills/Rochester which have Whole Foods, TJs, Buschs (local small chain with good meat and overall nice shopping) and decent restaurants.

        Carnival Market for Mexican (authentic prepared foods as well as groceries) in Pontiac. Good Indian at Rangoli in Auburn Hills (small Indian grocery next door).

        What kind of food are you looking for?

        Columbus Ohio? Erk. GO BLUE

        2 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything

          and I should add, all in good fun :)

          Welcome to the neighborhood. You'll find the DTW contingent on this board is pretty active, and you'll find lots of interesting stuff here. The thing about Metro Detroit, though, is that it's very spread out so you could be driving an hour or so to go to a place you read about on the boards.

          also check out eat it detroit on facebook or on their blog
          http://eatitdetroit.com/

          1. re: coney with everything

            Really helps to have the Eat It Detroit info. Haven't gotten to Rangoli yet---and just passed Carnival Market last night, wishing it was open.

        2. I liked the beer at 51 North.
          You're not far from Clarkston. Drive over and try the Clarkston Union and Union Woodshop.
          If you get that far, the Root in White Lake is only 10-15 more minutes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Markcron

            Cool, thanks. Somehow I missed this before. I'm planning a birthday dinner, so perhaps one of these.

          2. Victoria's Delights is a great little rest. in Oxford. Great food reasonable price. Brunch, dinner, & specials- find her on facebook.
            Big Wave Sushi on Baldwin-also find on Facebook.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MMMBRANDY

              Thanks for the endorsement of Victoria's! Someone here just told me about it, so we're eager to check it out!

            2. Thanks for all the great recs! We have also discovered The Laundry in Fenton, which is wonderful! They have some really nice hand-crafted cocktails, superb French onion soup, and a fabulous bakery a few streets over called Crust.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lunabliss

                Crust has fantastic breads and pastries...glad you discovered it!