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Michigan Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


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And, there are at least three solid actual butcher shops in the city. (Did you know that Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan?)

what are the three?  when I go back to Michigan to visit dear ol mom, we normally go to Franks market on Fulton.  Which ones am I missing?

Van Ball's?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Well, I'm checking in after my weekend in Michigan.

We didn't get to check out too many places, but we did have a couple of good meals.

First we went to La Bistecca in Plymouth for a big steak feast. The owner suggested the filet mignon but I always feel disappointed with a skinny steak (give me the marbling!) so I went with the rib-eye and was extremely pleased. It was a damn good steak. Good service, good food....we enjoyed our dinner.

Next up was a Korean diner in Ann Arbor (used to be Steve's, but I can't remember the new name). Good bi bim bop and decent ramen. A nice change of pace from the usual offerings we saw around town.

That night we went to Atlas Global Bistro on Woodward. It was very good, though not exactly great. I had the lamb shank which was fine but should've been more succulent...it was a bit dry and served over dry, semi-cold mashers. I did, however, love the radicchio, blue cheese, pecan salad. Excellent.

Oh, and we did go to Avalon Bakery on Willis Street. The baguettes and molasses-ginger cookies were good, not great, but we LOVED the vibe here and it smelled amazing. So nice to see a neighborhood bakery in that neighborhood.

Edited by aaustin (log)
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I'm going to Jeremy (in Keego Harbor, a Detroit sub) next weekend - anyone have anything good or bad to report, or am I the front line?

Here's the mini-review from the Freeps Top Tables 2005:

JEREMY | Keego Harbor

With its eclectic décor, bare black tabletops and savvy young waitstaff,

chef Jeremy Grandon's eponymous little place in Keego Harbor catches

first-time visitors by surprise with its cool, contemporary feel and modern,

innovative approach to food. Grandon prefers the fresh notes of

vinaigrettes, herb oils and broths to the heaviness of traditional stocks

and cream-based sauces, creating dishes that sparkle with clean, bold,

distinctive flavor. From the winter menu, don't miss the fabulous butternut

squash and apple risotto with leeks, chestnuts, pancetta and pumpkin sauce.

Equally delicious is the pan-roasted Maple Leaf Farms duck breast, above,

with creamed Swiss chard, roasted root vegetables and a grainy mustard

sauce. Though the menu is brief -- four or five salads and soups, four

appetizers and a half-dozen entrees -- it is well balanced, offering

outstanding fresh fish and vegetarian choices in addition to beef and other

red meat. The wine list offers more than 150 choices. Jeremy was the Detroit

Free Press Restaurant of the Year in 2004.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I'm going to Jeremy (in Keego Harbor, a Detroit sub) next weekend - anyone have anything good or bad to report, or am I the front line?

Nothing from me, unfortunately. Umpteen years ago I briefly lived within spitting distance of Keego Harbor, but when I visit the metro area now I stay with a friend in the east burbs and we're usually not inclined to drive to Keego for dinner. Still, I'm looking forward to reading your always well informed report.

"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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I'm going to Jeremy (in Keego Harbor, a Detroit sub) next weekend - anyone have anything good or bad to report, or am I the front line?

Ate there last year. Menu is fairly limited, though what's there is good. It's not Tribute, the Lark, or Emily's, certainly - but it's a darned solid effort. I did think some of the plates were a little "busy". The blue cheese-cake starter was nice, though much too big for me - I wound up having half of it packed up to take home.

Be warned, though - the tables are small, packed pretty tightly, and the room can get a little noisy. That's something I think they'll have to address to get to the level I think they're shooting for.

Edited by Devilkitty (log)

Charlie

Walled Lake, Michigan

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Thanks Devilkitty. I've read the critique about the tables before. My hope is that since they've just started being open on Sunday nights, it won't be quite as busy as it might have been otherwise.

Unfortunately, Tribute, Emily's and the Lark are all closed on Sunday. I was lucky to be able to find anything interesting that was open!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm going to Jeremy (in Keego Harbor, a Detroit sub) next weekend - anyone have anything good or bad to report, or am I the front line?

Well, How was it?

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I'm going to Jeremy (in Keego Harbor, a Detroit sub) next weekend - anyone have anything good or bad to report, or am I the front line?

Well, How was it?

Still don't know. We weren't up to making the 45 minute drive in freezing rain (would have been twice that long anyway), so we bailed. I can report that Dema, the restaurant in the airport Westin at the new McNamara Terminal is decidedly mediocre, though.

On that note - a question - is there anything interesting with 20 minutes or so of the airport? Anything worth eating in Romulus? Not that we would have ventured out in that weather anyway, but it's likely to become relevant to me again.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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There are a couple of places in downtown Dearborn that are good if you get stuck with a delayed flight or have to kill time around the airport for some reason. Annam is upscale Vietnamese; La Shish is mediterranean. There's also Andiamo, but that can be quite slow and isn't as noteworthy.

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There are a couple of places in downtown Dearborn that are good if you get stuck with a delayed flight or have to kill time around the airport for some reason.  Annam is upscale Vietnamese; La Shish is mediterranean.  There's also Andiamo, but that can be quite slow and isn't as noteworthy.

There's also Crave the new Pan-Asian fusion/sushi/martini bar. I haven't been in yet but need to hurry, the Freep said its geared to the 20s/30s crowd and I only have a couple of months left. I should say I haven't eaten there yet. I did stick my head in one evening but not before the dancing began.

La Pita (Lebanese) just reopened in a new building and the food, which was very good before, is now much better. Before I gush too long, Millers Bar which for some reason has a reputation for the best burgers, doesn't.

Bode

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There's also Crave the new Pan-Asian fusion/sushi/martini bar.  I haven't been in yet but need to hurry, the Freep said its geared to the 20s/30s crowd and I only have a couple of months left.  I should say I haven't eaten there yet.  I did stick my head in one evening but not before the dancing began. 

Thanks - after annarborfoodie mentioned Dearborn I was looking around at the Metrotimes reviews and saw Crave. Sounds interesting, although also like I might get sneered at for not being hip enough. Has anyone been?

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 2 weeks later...

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!

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I'm staying at the Michigan League Inn tonight, and will need to grab a quick dinner (preferably takeout) around 8:30. Any good places nearby? Sushi?

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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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.

I've lived in Dearborn during college and also for the last few years but have never found Millers to be as good as their reputation. Although I do like the honor system (no checks) and occasional surly attitude.

The Italian market is called Alcomos. It is great. They were the only store I found in the Detroit area, including the Eastern Market, that carried veal bones for stock. They've also got a good selection of olive oils and pastas and cured meats.

Right next door to Alcomos is the Fish Market which gets some surprisingly good fish but in limited selection. I hear they're expanding into a restaurant which may improve their selection.

It sound's like you may not have been to Annam which is a nice little Vietnamese place.

Bode

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Annam is fine. The food is decent, but i don't really get excited by it.

Sushi near the michigan league is tough. Stay away from sushi.com, no matter how many college students you see in there. I had a halfway decent bite down state street at totoro sushi. It's near the michigan theater.

Other options. Zanzibar and Red Hawk can be good across the street can be good.

Ti Ki Wo down Libierty has edible chinese food too. Decent bubble tea.

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I'm staying at the Michigan League Inn tonight, and will need to grab a quick dinner (preferably takeout) around 8:30.  Any good places nearby? Sushi?

I'm guessing it's about a ¾-mile walk to Zingerman's, open 'til 10. It'll probably be snowing, but what the heck.

"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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Hmmm..makes me wonder if I should have my driver stop somewhere to pickup dinner between airport and Inn...?

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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You can get something good at seoul garden in ann arbor on the way from the airport. They even have the sushi. Try the Kai Bei Jim. It's a sweet stew like beef short rib thing which is excellent. Their spicy tofu seafood soup is good too (Soon Doh Boo). They even have sushi. Best part, you get 6-7 different kind of treats at the beginning for free. FYI, it's spicy stuff!

The owner of Miki's opened a new sushi place called Yotsuba's on carpenter north of Washtnaw road.

A pretty good Thai place on Washtenaw too called Tup tim near Ypsi.

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Hmmm..makes me wonder if I should have my driver stop somewhere to pickup dinner between airport and Inn...?

Zingerman's Roadhouse is on the way to the Inn...

"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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  • 6 years later...

i hope it's ok to bump this thread.

my gf and i are working at interlochen this summer, and we're curious about restaurants in the area.

i don't think we'd ever be able to leave for a place overnight, so we're looking for things that are day-trippable.

it seems like amical is a place to check out. i looked up tapawingo as well but it doesn't seem to exist anymore...

any other must-sees? i heard there are a ton of wineries but sadly, i'm highly intolerant to alcohol.

we're there for 6-7 weeks, so that should be ample time to explore all the area has to offer.

thanks!

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Alas, Tapawingo is no more.

I haven't been to anyplace in that area for at least a couple years, so I don't have up-to-date info, but here's where I'd be hitting:

The Rowe Inn, also in Ellsworth, is very good. We used to go down for weekends and have dinner at Tapawingo one night, Rowe Inn the second. Rowe Inn is more casual, but food is excellent.

Chandler's in Petoskey also was very good.

Don't worry about the wineries - they're fun to visit, but in general, the wine is nothing to write home about.

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Traverse City: Yes, Amical is very good. The Cook's House, also on Front, is a great little place. This wouldn't affect you, but I think their tacit BYOW policy has been rescinded. (Don't get me started on stupid Michigan wine laws.) I think that the excellent Patisserie Amie, which also serves dinner, is now called something else. Trattoria Stella, in a development housed in a former state psychiatric hospital, has a good rep, but I haven't been there recently. Ditto Red Ginger.

In Maple City, by your side of Glen Lake, is La Becasse, a restaurant modeled after a French country inn (and with an actual French chef!). I'd be perfectly content with their duck & pistachio pate, French gravlax w/a shot of Aquavit, and profiteroles ($28 total). Oh, and a bottle of M. Lawrence Brut from Larry Mawby's nearby winery (also $28).

I agree with abadoozy that Rowe Inn is very good -- not the equal of what was Tapawingo, but then, it wasn't meant to be. It's in Ellsworth, so obviously it's a longer drive than TC. Petoskey is an even longer drive. I haven't been to Petoskey in a while except to quickly pass through, so I can't speak to the restaurants there. Except for American Spoon Foods, which has a store there with free samples, a small restaurant, and gelato.

Michigan wines aren't world-class, but there are indeed some very good ones. Old Mission Peninsula is just beautiful, and Two Lads Winery sits on one of the most beautiful parts of the peninsula. Not to mention their outrageous new building and that their wines are quite good.

Other stuff to do: I'm sure you'll get lots of advice from your fellow workers. You're right by the spectacular Sleeping Bear Dunes. The Dennos Museum Center,, on the campus of North Central Michigan College in TC, shouldn't be missed.

"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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  • 1 month later...

If you're driving north on 127 and happen to stop in Mount Pleasant, I can heartily recommend two places:

1) The Brass Cafe The website appears to be down at the moment, so I've linked to the FB page.

2) Risk Restaurant - no website, cash only, 10 tables. Located on Mission Street between Wisconsin and Locust in a green house. Here's an article from the local paper...

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