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The Great Eateries of Novi, MI


Naftal
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Thank you all for the recommendations.  We're staying at the Inn on Ferry Street and will have a car.  Of course, one of our free nights is Monday, and it seems many fine dining places are closed, but I'm perusing the linked thread and I'm sure we'll come up with something.  Thanks especially for the Slows recommendation.  My husband is a big BBQ fan.

I'll report back.

Thanks again all!!

Hey, you'll be at my old stomping grounds at Wayne State University. If you have the time, by all means don't miss visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts, just a block or two from the Inn. The Whitney is very close to you, but as you've already noted, it's closed on Mondays. However, Atlas Global Bistro, a very short ride down Woodward Ave., is open. It's not world-class, but it is very good.

The exceptional Detroit Institute of Arts is, unfortunately, closed for an extensive remodeling until November of 07.

Oops. Thanks for catching that, ruthie. I should have remembered, though -- Rodin's The Thinker, normally at the DIA's main entrance, IIRC, is on loan to Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park here in Grand Rapids during the remodeling.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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So,am I really the only person who thinks the TriCounty's eateries are underrated?

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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So I would like to change yesyes yes to"& points East", but I don't know if that is possible.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I think you might like this :huh:

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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  • 5 months later...

Disclaimer:I have never been to Ireland, and have never been in a real Irish Pub. :shock:

That being said, I went to Gus O'Connor's in Novi and had a really wonderful time :biggrin: I had a large salad contining Michigan cherries and walnuts :biggrin::biggrin: (along with the usual suspects!) It comes with fresh scones :cool: . My dinner companions had the burger (amazing) and the fish sandwitch and chips. This last dish came with an incredible amount of fish and is a good bargin at the price ( retired folks often order it). The building itself was built in Ireland by an actual pub architect-yes they have such things!-and then it was shipped to Novi and reconstructed on the site.Obviously they claim to serve real Irish pub food. I don't pretend to know if they are correct in that assertion. Has anyone familiar with this style of cooking gone there?All I know is that the food is wonderful and they show soccer,and other sports, on their multi-screen T.V.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I'm pretty sure there's a Gus O'Conners in Rochester as well. I've never been to either, but I am a huge fan of the Redcoat Tavern on Woodward in Royal Oak. Obviously it's british food rather than Irish, but it is one of the few Detroit restaurants I would feel comfortable ordering pretty much anything on the menu with confidence that it will be good... And they have the best burger in the city. In fact I think I will go there tonight.......

Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

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  • 3 weeks later...

So the Basic Asian Mart at 25750 Novi Road is really a market. They have a kitchen on-site and my Taiwanese friend assured me that they serve real chinese food. So I bought a bag of frozen dumplings and after cooking them just like the lady at the store instructed proceeded to enjoy this amazing and oh so tasty treat.

They have a small menu available for in house dining.

Happy Year of the Rat:huh:

Edited by Naftal (log)

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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An excellent Japanese restaurant in Novi deserving of mention is Aji Shin (probably not spelled correctly) located on Grand River about a 1/2 mile east of Novi Rd on the north side (in a strip mall across from car dealership)

People start arriving 10-15 minutes before they open, and form a line. When the doors open, there are enough people lined up to fill the place. The vast majority of patrons are Japanese.

They have noodle dishes and terrific sushi - very fresh and the best value in town - balancing quality, portion size and price.

An earlier inquiry about Shiro's location - they are on 9 Mile Rd approx 1/2 mile east of Novi Rd.

I very much miss :sad: Ny's Thai as well - and replaced by a Pasta place?!? :angry: !?! I'll have to check out China Cafe in the same area.

Another good middle-eastern place in Novi is Pita Cafe. It is in the mall near Steve & Rocky's. (southeast corner)

I have not been to some of the newer places in Novi, like the Fondue, Carribineri's (sp??) or Gus O'Conners. There are also some interesting places tucked in the new "Main Street" complex near Gus O'Conners (the building that houses the Mongolian BBQ). One that I plan to go to sometime is a Bi-Bim-Bop type place (I forget the exact name)

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I very much miss :sad:  Ny's Thai as well - and replaced by a Pasta place?!? :angry: !?!  I'll have to check out China Cafe in the same area.

Wow...the former Ny's storefront is now a pasta place? Or are you referring to the place that was/is next door to the former Ny's? Either way, the damage of losing Pany to Switzerland was already done, unfortunately. Whatever the space is now, it'll never be what it once was.

On a *very* pleasant note about a Novi eatery, Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro (www.djbistro.com) near Steve and Rocky's is *far* superior to Steve and Rocky's in just about every conceivable way. DJB's is probably my favorite place to eat in Novi, hands-down. Mary Brady is an absolute talent, and the things she does with food at the prices she charges will make you feel like you're robbing the place. Wonderful stuff.

I have *never* had a bad meal there, period. Try the specials. Really.

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  • 7 months later...
If you are looking for a more casual experience for a day in Detroit, I would not be able to sleep at night if I didn't recommend Slows, just down the street from old Tiger Stadium on Michigan Ave. It sounds strange to come to Detroit for BBQ, but Slows is hands down some of the best bbq I have ever tasted outside of Texas.

The photo gallery from the Detroit Free Press is from last month, I think, but I just discovered this photo of the Yardbird sandwich from Slows Bar BQ. Oh, oh, oh.

The Yardbird sandwich at Slows Bar BQ in Detroit features applewood smoked pulled chicken, mushrooms, cheddar and bacon with Slows Mustard Sauce.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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An excellent Japanese restaurant in Novi deserving of mention is Aji Shin (probably not spelled correctly) located on Grand River about a 1/2 mile east of Novi Rd on the north side (in a strip mall across from car dealership)

People start arriving 10-15 minutes before they open, and form a line.  When the doors open, there are enough people lined up to fill the place.  The vast majority of patrons are Japanese.

They have noodle dishes and terrific sushi - very fresh and the best value in town - balancing quality, portion size and price.

An earlier inquiry about Shiro's location - they are on 9 Mile Rd approx 1/2 mile east of Novi Rd.

I very much miss :sad:  Ny's Thai as well - and replaced by a Pasta place?!? :angry: !?!  I'll have to check out China Cafe in the same area. 

Another good middle-eastern place in Novi is Pita Cafe.  It is in the mall near Steve & Rocky's. (southeast corner)

I have not been to some of the newer places in Novi, like the Fondue,  Carribineri's (sp??) or Gus O'Conners.  There are also some interesting places tucked in the new "Main Street" complex near Gus O'Conners (the building that houses the Mongolian BBQ).  One that I plan to go to sometime is a Bi-Bim-Bop type place (I forget the exact name)

Hello-I was just wondering: Have you had a chance to get to China Cafe? In a more general vein: I don't know how I could have forgotten it, but I would like to add my hearty,if belated, praise of Diamond Jim Brady's :wub:

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I very much miss :sad:  Ny's Thai as well - and replaced by a Pasta place?!? :angry: !?!  I'll have to check out China Cafe in the same area. 

Another good middle-eastern place in Novi is Pita Cafe.  It is in the mall near Steve & Rocky's. (southeast corner)

I have not been to some of the newer places in Novi, like the Fondue,  Carribineri's (sp??) or Gus O'Conners.  There are also some interesting places tucked in the new "Main Street" complex near Gus O'Conners (the building that houses the Mongolian BBQ).  One that I plan to go to sometime is a Bi-Bim-Bop type place (I forget the exact name)

Hello-I was just wondering: Have you had a chance to get to China Cafe? In a more general vein: I don't know how I could have forgotten it, but I would like to add my hearty,if belated, praise of Diamond Jim Brady's :wub:

Naftal, could you elaborate on your praise of DJB? Back in January, boagman opined that DJB was far superior to Steve and Rocky's. Boagman, if you're reading this, could you expand on that? Thanks.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Hello-I was just wondering: Have you had a chance to get to China Cafe? In a more general vein: I don't know how I could have forgotten it, but I would like to add my hearty,if belated, praise  of Diamond Jim Brady's :wub:

I have not. It's strange...I think I've only actually driven by that particular place once in all the time since we've discussed China Cafe on this thread. It's still on my culinary radar, but it's not a pressing thing at the moment.

Glad you think that DJB's is praise-worthy. I find it to be abundantly good in so many ways.

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Naftal, could you elaborate on your praise of DJB? Back in January, boagman opined that DJB was far superior to Steve and Rocky's. Boagman, if you're reading this, could you expand on that? Thanks.

I absolutely can, Alex.

First, the ability of Chef Mary Brady far surpasses that of the person who comes up with the dishes at Steve & Rocky's. Mary just knows how to put food together that not only sounds good, but goes together very, very well. Her specials are normally what I go for, not because the regular menu isn't great, but because I enjoy when *good* chefs have the ability to put things together on a far-reaching scale: she's exceptional with fish and all things underwater, but I've also had wonderful pork, sides, etc. To this day, I don't think I've ever had beef at DJB's...I find beef and sometimes chicken to be somewhat of a safety/fallback position at any given restaurant. I find that when I go to DJB's, I always want to take a chance on her abilities, and I'm never disappointed.

Second, there's the staff. You simply won't find any empty-headed college students working there. I'll be the first to say that the staff skews a bit older, but in the best ways possible. These folks *know* the menu, can accurately describe the food, and yes: they *eat* the food there, every day. Every staff member tries the week's specials so that they can honestly tell people what they're like, whether they enjoy them themselves, etc. They're attentive without being overbearing, they can make a recommendation that is pretty trustworthy (so long as you're being fair...don't order fish if your heart's set on a ribeye), and they're never too far away. I regularly tip around 25% of the pre-tax amount. They earn it. I'm always amazed when a 21-year-old at S&R's (or any place like that), when I ask them how the fill-in-the-blank fish is, tells me "Sorry...I don't eat here/fish." It's unacceptable for an entree when it's $20.

Third, the pricing structure when compared to Steve and Rocky's is almost head-shaking. The price-per-head is probably relatively equal at either place, but the food at DJB's is two-to-three steps better in terms of quality of fare and preparation of such. At DJB's you're automatically started with some nice bread, and the salad that's included with the price of an entree isn't iceberg, tomatoes, and a slice of cucumber...it's higher-quality mixed greens with certain fresh available veggies with dried cherries and a fantastic housemade grapefruit vinaigrette that I find tantalizing. If I'm going to have the choice between the fare they serve at S&R's for basically the same price as that of DJB's, DJB's wins every time.

Fourth, and this is perhaps a bit over the top, but I've never heard a bad report about DJB's, and I've heard some pretty horrible tales about S&R experiences. I haven't been to S&R's since I stumbled onto DJB's some years ago, but I'm not prone to go back and give them another chance based on the experiences I've heard from others I trust. In fact, one of them told me that they were genuinely wincing knowing that DJB's was just a walk across the parking lot...but being that they were with a group, and the S&R staff just *could not* get her order out (a steak! How hard is that?), she ended up leaving hungry. It was a comedy of errors, but it's not funny when everyone else is eating, you're not, and when it's brought up to the manager, the response is basically, "So what am *I* supposed to do about it?"

There are other things, too. Suffice it to say that DJB's is about the best thing in Novi, IMHO. I've eaten at a lot of places around there, and some are decent (which is where I'd place S&R's based on my experience), but precious few are great. DJB's is great, especially at the price point they're charging.

Oh, and don't forget Mary's desserts. When I have room left, you're darned tootin' that I'm ordering, though I fully admit: I wish that the dessert list would be a bit more adventurous/larger. It's always a plus when the dessert special of the week appeals to me as well. Oh, and the bartenders do know their craft.

Hope that at least provides a glimpse into my sick mind, Alex. ;)

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I very much miss :sad:  Ny's Thai as well - and replaced by a Pasta place?!? :angry: !?!  I'll have to check out China Cafe in the same area. 

Another good middle-eastern place in Novi is Pita Cafe.  It is in the mall near Steve & Rocky's. (southeast corner)

I have not been to some of the newer places in Novi, like the Fondue,  Carribineri's (sp??) or Gus O'Conners.  There are also some interesting places tucked in the new "Main Street" complex near Gus O'Conners (the building that houses the Mongolian BBQ).  One that I plan to go to sometime is a Bi-Bim-Bop type place (I forget the exact name)

Hello-I was just wondering: Have you had a chance to get to China Cafe? In a more general vein: I don't know how I could have forgotten it, but I would like to add my hearty,if belated, praise of Diamond Jim Brady's :wub:

Naftal, could you elaborate on your praise of DJB? Back in January, boagman opined that DJB was far superior to Steve and Rocky's. Boagman, if you're reading this, could you expand on that? Thanks.

Hello- I just got in...Yes, I love DJB. And, yes, I love (devotedly) Steve and Rocky's. I do not think that one is better than the other . I have never had a bad experience at either place. When I go to Steve and Rocky's, I always get an order of oysters to accompany my meal, I love them. I also love their duck. Whenever I go to DJB, I always have dessert (usually, as a rule, I avoid dessert)So, on this Boagman and I agree. Also, DJB is th only place I know that carries splits of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante on their wine list :cool::wub::cool::cool:

Edited by Naftal (log)

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I must agree with all the raves about DJB. It is a gem. Please don't let the rather "dated" interior fool you. Mary Brady is indeed a Detroit Culinary Treasure who has been around since before being a Chef was cool.

The fish and chips are fantastic.

The help is refreshing in their knowledge.

Expat Russ

Three Passions:

Food

Travel<=click to go to my travel website...

BBQ and BQ<=click to go to my blog about trying to balance great food and qualifying for the Boston Marathon

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  • 1 month later...

update-The current special at the China Cafe is an amazing Cantonese-style surf and turf. The lobster tails and the steak are cooked in wonderful oriental sauces. It comes with rice and their amazing house salad, not bad for $20+tax.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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Update- in the Oct. 23-29 issue of the Detroit Jewish News they mentioned:" such perennial favorites as the casual and comfortable-and completely non-smoking-Diamond Jim Brady's...or the slighly more sophisticated but no less friendly in terms of atmosphere Steve & Rocky's".

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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  • 4 months later...

Update-The China Cafe has a new menu. They are one of the few restaurants in this area that go beyond traditional Chinese-American fare.

Edited by Naftal (log)

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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