Posted 09 March 2005 - 07:21 AM
I'm new, but i've been a food hound in the are for a long time. I'd thought i'd vent a little since many of you need some good tips. Obviously the area does have a shortage of mid to high range restaurants. This is painfully obvious coming back from trips to San Francisco and NYC. But, in my 10 years here I have found some little gems that stack up to some pretty good eats.
BTW, Crave is a great place if your pretending to be in South Beach and drinking martini's.
For japanese food, i'd go to where the Japanese go. Nobel fish (and it's sister store in Novi: One World Market) is my favorite sushi in the area. It happens to be very very affordable too. Just remember it's a sushi bar in a ethnic grocery store. Ajinshin, in Novi is great for Udon noodles and Japanese curry. (There's a fun japanese pastry store next door.) Izkakaya Sanpei Restaurant in Canton (near ann arbor) has a great mix of classic japanese, if you can decifer the menu. Matsuchan, also in Canton, is a cute little ramen noodle house.
In Dearborn there is are several interesting food finds. On Michigan there is the unique, but pretty solid LA Bistro. Best part is, you can bring in your own bottle of wine for free. The shrimp burger there is one of my favorite lunch treats.
Also on Michigan, near telegraph is the Millers bar. If you can stand the smokey windowless interior, you will be treated to one of the best burgers in the area. There's a reason why you have to leave for lunch at 10:45am to avoid a 30 minute line.
Also down Michigan near Shaffer is Liles. This wonderful spot from the 50s has 5 items on the menu. I like their corn beef, but their triumph is an amazing bowl of split pea soup. Rich, savory with fresh hunks of roasted ham floating in the mix. I take mine with a lot of pepper and hot sause. I've been addicted to their solid bowl of chili.
Further down Michigan, on Shaffer is a great italian market/deli that has great sandwiches that are 1/3 the price of Zingermans. (Gasp, blasphemy) For 15 dollars, you can get a bag of italain rolls, 1/2 pound of italain prosciutto, 1/2 pound of capicola, 1/2 pound of mortedella, 1 pound of provolone cheese, a large container of homemade sweet olives and calmatta olives. Go and build your own picknic for you and all your friends.
Where Outer and Southfield meet there is a average coney island/greek place that happens to have an amazing, steamy, tangy made from scratch bowl of lemon chicken rice soup. My greek friends tell me it's as close to grandma as you can get. Watch your eyebrows for the continual opa's and flaming cheese.
Finally, workers at the rouge plant have long known about the Dearborn Sausage factory. Hard to get to, but worth the trip. You can get fresh sausage, very excellent spicy hotdogs, and addictive hunters sausage. Get some polish keibasa, soak in beer, and toss on the grill. Your mouth will be very happy, happy!
In Ypsi, (again on Michigan) there is Gabriel's philly cheese steak. A couple of transplanted Airforce guys from Philly decided to start this place in the 40s when they couldn't find a decent cheese steak house in the area. Get double cheese!
Oh, and here's a bonus. Up in Troy on John R between 12-14 mile road is Thung Thang, a vietmenese place that is as close as you can get with out going to the west coast. Get the Pho' (With everything if your brave) which is a huge bowl of steamy broth packed full of noodles and rare beef. To this you add fresh basil and mint, jalepenos, brown sause and sirachi. AMAZING. Oh, and their spring rolls wrapped in lettuce are good too!