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Looking for Dinner Recommendations in Detroit

A group of 8 of us are going to Comerica Park for a Saturday afternoon game. We’d like to grab an affordable (< $15/person) early dinner after the game, and would appreciate recommendations.
It’s my husband’s birthday, and he typically prefers a sit-down restaurant vs. a walk-up and order place. Needs to have at least something vegetarian-friendly.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Wow. Um, I've gotta tell you, you're picking about *the worst* time to try to have dinner in Detroit: on a Saturday, after a Tigers game, when everyone else will be thinking about staying in the city like you are, *and* everyone else will be coming into the city for dinner. You want a full service place, but there's no way to make a reasonable reservation for you, since there's no way to know when the game will end. Add to that, you want a budget of under $15 per person, and at least a couple of vegetarian options. Again: wow.

    I'm just gonna take the cop-out and go with Slows BBQ. You may wait a good, *long* time for a table, but it fits the bill. There are some not-too-shabby vegetarian options at this BBQ place, believe it or not (their Split Pea and Okra appetizer, The Genius sandwich, various salads, their famous mac-and-cheese...), the price is where you want it, and it's full serve.

    Chances are, though, that the wait for a table for eight will be interminable, though I will say this: they *do* take reservations for tables of six or more. I would call them ahead of time (read: at least a couple of days ahead of time), ask to speak to a manager, and ask them if it's doable (be sure to tell them about the afternoon game, the start time, and the size of your party). If they say yes, make the reservation *right then*, get the manager's name, write it down, and keep them up-to-date on your arrival time on the day of.

    Others are welcome to chime in.

    1. Angelina should do it. Walking distance from the stadium, handles big crowds well, above-average Italian, should be veggie options. It could be more than $15 per, but not if you got pizzas or something. Check the menu.

      Traffic Jam & Snug is another standard place in the area and also routinely handles crowds, moderately priced. You can't walk that one, though (unless you're serious walkers).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jim M

        I didn't want to mention Angelina because of the price structure limitation.

        1. re: Jim M

          I would definitely avoid Traffic Jam. I work right in the area and get dragged in there from time to time. The place is maddeningly inconsistent, but even when they're "on" the price:value just isn't there.

        2. I also thought of Angelina but agree the pricing could be an obstacle. Might could make it work with flatbreads and shared appetizers.

          Heck, you can barely eat at Applebees for $15. Not that you'd want to...

          The other place that comes to mind is Harry's Bar

          1 Reply
          1. re: coney with everything

            I like Harry's too ... your basic sports bar, but food is decent. That place will *definitely* be slammed after a ballgame.

            Greektown? Pizza Papalis?

          2. That's an awfully low price limit for a sit-down restaurant. Even worse, you'd be better off with one that accepts reservations so you don't have to wait along with the rest of the crowd, but cheap eats type places don't accept reservations. (If you decide to make a reservation somewhere, figure 3.5 hours for the game and you should be okay.)

            Slow's is a good choice if you don't mind waiting. www.slowsbarbq.com Maybe Small Plates will work, if you don't eat much...? www.smallplates.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: nsxtasy

              Good advice, nsxtasy. I clicked on your link to Slow's and was taken to a site that is a marketing/sales site that has nothing to do with Slow's. Maybe my browser is malfunctioning though.

            2. Given all your requirements and uncertainties; I will suggest that you escape from the Tiger stadium area and head to one of the mexican restaurants in SW Detroit.

              I suggest that you consider: Taqueria Nuestra Familia

              If mexican fare is unacceptable; perhaps Green Dot Stables, although it'll probably be over-run with hipsters and baseball fans.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rainsux

                "perhaps Green Dot Stables, although it'll probably be over-run with hipsters and baseball fans"

                Even then, I have a hard time believing that under $15 per person is realistically possible. I love GDS, but once you order three sliders and a beverage, you're toast at that price point, and you really need more than that to eat, honestly.

              2. http://www.bybloscafeandgrill.com/Byb...

                You may want to investigate Byblos Midtown which is just barely OUT of walking distance from the stadium. I've had very good food (for the $) catered from there, but I've not eaten in their dining room. I don't think they have a liquor license, but you will be doing plenty of drinking before and after, anyhow.

                1. How about someplace in Greektown? Pegasus is good and would fit your various needs.

                  Vicente's is a Cuban tapas restaurant right near the park that should fit your price range (depending on what you order) and has vegetarian options. I would call and make a reservation though.

                  If you are willing to go someplace that you need to drive to, El Barzon would be a great option.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Elyssa

                    I used to love El Barzon until they got w-a-y too expensive for me. Have you looked at their prices recently? Vicente's is great but sadly their dinner entrees exceed $15/person as well. http://www.vicente.us/dinner_menu.pdf

                    1. re: ak994

                      Are the prices on their website not reflective of what's on the menu on site? I look at the menu and I'm not all that put off by the prices I see there, at least on the Italian side. I'm not saying they're a basement bargain or anything, but for a white tablecloth place, those prices don't really seem out of line, especially one whose reputation for being creative and consistent in the kitchen keeps them kicking.

                      That being said, I don't see it as being within the OP's pricing category for their group, either.

                  2. The link for the Slows website in my previous post has been fixed. (Thanks, Chowhound Team! And thanks for the heads-up, Fowler!)

                    Note that Slows now has a second location. The original is at 2138 Michigan Avenue, which is about 1.8 miles from Comerica Park. They also have a second "Slows To Go" location at 4107 Cass Ave. (in Midtown around Wayne State) for carry-out, which is slightly closer to the ballpark (1.2 miles). So if carry-out works for you, that's another option. That location has its own website, where you'll find the carry-out menu, at www.slowstogo.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      nsxtasy, I think the OP just needs to be a bit more flexible in what really is a "must" for the meal. You can want *lots* of things, and in this case, I think she's got at least one too many qualifications necessary. Ditch any one of them, and many more options open up.

                      I'm not saying it can't be done...I'm just saying that it ain't easy. :)

                    2. Thanks for all the recommendations.

                      I know it's a bit of a challenge trying to figure out somewhere to work for everyone in our group and on a Saturday after a game, so that's why I figured I'd reach out here for some help.

                      Yes, I know the budget seems a little low to many of you, but some friends aren't ok spending more on that for dinner, so trying to be respectful of that, and hopefully have a decent dinner that people will be contented with.

                      Thank you for the help. A lot these options look great.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kellylynn

                        Again not quite walkable (1.4 miles) but I think Midtown Shangri-la would work for you. Open until midnight, tables for 8, reservations, waiter service, full bar, multiple vegetarian choices, easy to order at under $15/person. Fairly easy street parking on a Saturday.

                        The draw here is menu-ordered (as opposed to cart) dim-sum, and I think it's what they do best. I've much enjoyed some of their noodle soups. They also offer typical Ameri-Chinese, sushi, some Thai entrees.

                        I see it as a place you can go, sit together quite comfortably, enjoy each other's company, enjoy some interesting dim-sum dishes rather than as a major chow-ish destination.


                        I love Nuestra Familia and would consider it a similar situation to Midtown Shangri-La, only Mexican. Not so sure about vegetarian there though, as their cooking is very traditional.

                        Over in Dearborn I'd head for Cedarland, except no alcohol there. However anything on W Warren puts you proximate to Shatila and their inexpensive, tasty treats.

                      2. Well, if the game looks to be over in the 6th inning (although given the Tigers' bullpen issues, there are never enough runs!) the OP might consider hightailing it out of the park early.