313. Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine – March 10, 2018 – Detroit, MI

March2018Vicentes1 (2)March2018Vicentes2 (3)If you visit Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine in downtown Detroit, try the Ropa Vieja – a.k.a. the Old Clothes.

OK, I know what you’re thinking: how good can a dish be that’s named after worn-out apparel?

AMAZINGLY GOOD, it turns out. The shredded beef cooked in a red wine tomato sauce with diced bell peppers and green olives was amazingly tender and flavorful during my visit a few weeks ago.

This is a smile for your stomach! This is comfort food at its finest! I seriously believe I could eat this dish accompanied by rice, black beans, and sweet fried plantains (SO yum in themselves!) every day, and I would be happy.

Of course, I also wouldn’t mind if the mint-studded mojitos I imbibed and the tres leches cake I ordered for dessert made more frequent appearances in my life – maybe not daily, but surely weekly (I am totally a chocolate person, but tres leches cake is LIIIIIFE).

Vicente’s struck me as the perfect special-occasion venue – and not only because of my table’s consensus on the food being of a high caliber of deliciousness. The dining room is sleek and contemporary, ideal for sophisticated soirees, and there is salsa dancing on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:30 p.m. onwards, including free lessons for beginners. Live jazz music is played every Wednesday and Thursday, too.

Of course, I’d also argue that Vicente’s is the perfect place to dine whether it’s a special-occasion day or not a special-occasion day, because I’m a major advocate for everyday life being more magical (here’s to packing as much magic and whimsy and straight-up FUN into adulting as we can!). I know if I continue to frequent Vicente’s, savoring vibrant dishes such as the Ropa Vieja, Cuban Style Paella, and Medallones de Cerdo (pork medallions) to the rhythm of rollicking jazz tunes, I’ll get into the fun-zone of life a little more frequently.

1250 Library St.

Detroit, MI 48226



312. Anthology Coffee – March 3, 2018 – Detroit, MI

March2018Anthology2 (2)March2018Anthology3 (2)New-coffee-shop time!!!!

I’m always excited to visit an amazing, new-to-me independent coffee shop, because I LOVE independent coffee shops with singular vibes. And Anthology Coffee in Detroit is most certainly a coffee shop with a singular vibe, in the best of ways.

Plus, it has its own parking lot.

As you may know from reading previous posts on this blog, I am, yes, obsessed with establishments in Detroit that have their own parking lots, because the act of formal parallel street parking is essentially a phobia for me – I will park blocks away simply to avoid having to wedge my car within the confines of two painted lines narrowly abutting other cars at the curb of a busy street (not my idea of a good time).

So when I pulled up to Anthology Coffee, this java shop located within the Ponyride building in an industrial-looking part of town that feels isolated and deserted (but that in reality is very close to the Corktown-neighborhood drag of Michigan Avenue) and saw the ample number of parking spaces in the adjacent lot, I was like “Heck yes, Win #1 of the day!” (No victory is too small in my book – baby-stepping through life is my M.O., people.)

The exterior entrance to Anthology was a bit hard to identify on this Ponyride building (which, according to its website, rents out office and coworking spaces to various local businesses – how awesome is that?). I spied a set of unmarked doors sandwiched between two vibrant graffiti-art murals and confirmed with people departing from them that they indeed led into the shop.

Once inside, I was immediately taken with the clean, modern look of Anthology’s space: walls white here, paneling in blonde wood there; the pop of the turquoise coffee counter and the vibrant nature-themed mural painted in one corner; the concrete floors and the sunlight streaming in through the windows.

The friendly barista working behind the counter greeted me and helped me choose which of the various bean varieties I wanted in my iced coffee. When I assented that I preferred a bolder flavor over a fruity one, he suggested a variety from Myanmar.

I found a seat at one of the smaller tables, and he delivered my iced brew in its tall glass to me when it was ready (now there’s a touch I always appreciate at a coffee shop, the barista bringing the coffee to my table so I don’t have to stand at the counter and wait for it). It was delicious: bold, but very drinkable.

I appreciated not only the flavor profile of that coffee but the profile of Anthology’s overall vibe on that afternoon of my visit. It was humming with activity, with other visitors chatting and/or working and even a few kids running around, but it wasn’t overwhelming or distracting; it was pleasant. It radiated a sense of fostered community rather than a sense of being overrun by people. It felt amiable and also low-key, relaxed. The music played at an ideal volume level, enjoyable ambiance rather than a blaring distraction.

As I paid for my drink at the end of my visit, I commented to the barista on how much I’d enjoyed the coffee and the overall experience. I’d found a space I could envision as my own personal coworking space in a future where I worked for myself amongst other local entrepreneurs – where each of us, in our respective caffeine-induced flow states, teased out ideas on how we could best contribute our gifts to this wonderful city.

1401 Vermont St.

Detroit, MI 48216


311. Golden Donuts – March 3, 2018 – Clinton Township, MI

March2018GoldenDonuts1 (2)March2018GoldenDonuts2 (2)Donuts, glorious donuts! How I adore those little glazed nuggets of goodness and having an excuse to purchase them – and to try a new bakery for this blog, of course.

Visiting a dear friend on a Saturday morning is as good an excuse as any to purchase a half-dozen donuts from a new-to-the-blog bakery. Thusly, my visit to Golden Donuts on Harper Avenue in Clinton Township commenced a few weeks ago.

Stepping into the tiny storefront located inside a strip mall, I was reminded of another local donut shop I’d visited in the last year: Donut Factory of Warren – mainly because both had an old-fashioned vibe and elderly gentlemen hanging out in them at the time of my visit. I got the impression that the two elderly gentlemen hanging out in counter seats at Golden Donuts were regulars, that they were familiar to the woman working behind the counter, that they were killing time in the companiable way that a certain type of retiree is wont to do.

The presence of these older dudes, it was oddly comforting to me. Maybe because I aspire to one day be able to pass time that way, in the practice of sitting and doing nothing much, really; maybe it’s because elderly people remind me of my beloved grandmother who passed away last summer. Regardless of the reason why, I saw Golden Donuts being the kind of place where elderly gents like to hang out as a plus-sign, as random as that sounds.

Of course, the most critical component of a donut shop is not its perceived desirability as a hangout spot by senior citizens but whether its donuts are any good. I set out to determine this out by ordering a half-dozen of Golden Donuts’ namesake wares: a white-cream-filled donut, a custard-filled, a red-velvet glazed, a honey-glazed chocolate, a chocolate-and-sprinkle-topped glazed, and a vanilla-and-chocolate-drizzled variety that looked to be jelly-filled and that was called a Napoleon.

While the donuts I tried that day – the red velvet, the honey-glazed chocolate, the white-cream-filled – were tasty, the true star of the show was the Napoleon, the one I randomly threw into the mix because I thought my friend or her husband might like it but which I didn’t expect to try. When it ended up left in the donut box and back at home with me, I decided to give it a whirl, not really expecting it to be my thing (I’m not really a jelly-donut girl) but not wanting to waste it.

This Napoleon turned out to be not just any jelly donut: it was quite possibly the best jelly donut EVER MADE. Certainly, it was the best jelly donut I can remember eating.

First of all, this Napoleon donut wasn’t a regular donut in terms of the dough used to make it: it was more of a flaky, puff-pastry kind of consistency. And it wasn’t simply filled with strawberry jelly; half of it was, but the other half was filled with CUSTARD. This was a half-jelly-filled, half-custard-filled, puff-pastry-esque, vanilla-AND-chocolate drizzled donut! It was AMAZING!

Based off of that glorious Napoleon donut alone, I would say that Golden Donuts passes the good-donut test. If the Napoleon sounds at all intriguing to you, I encourage you to give it a try! Or if you want to check out Golden Donuts’ other wares, such as its pasties and other baked goods – or to simply sit and hang at the counter with the old dudes – that is of course cool, too.

34155 Harper Ave.

Clinton Township, MI 48035

310. Pupusería y Restaurante Salvadoreño – February 25, 2017 – Detroit, MI

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PUPUSAS!!!! HOW had I gone so long in my life without consuming you, you glorious little pancake-esque tortillas loaded with savory, meaty, cheesy fillings!

My first encounter with pupusas was back in 2014 at El Guanaco in Troy. I was immediately taken by the Salvadorean delights: what was not to like about piping-hot grilled corn tortillas stuffed with meat and cheese? I mean, that is kind of my JAM right there.

Yet somehow I went all this time without consuming another pupusa. I’ve never returned to El Guanaco – certainly not because I don’t want to (I gaze upon it fondly whenever I drive past it) but rather because a consequence of running a blog that’s all about trying new places is that repeat visits are not especially common for me – even when I really, really love a place and intend to go back. And sadly, Salvadorean restaurants are not especially prevalent around Metro Detroit.

But as I discovered a few weeks ago, there is at least one other Salvadorean restaurant in this area:  Pupusería y Restaurante Salvadoreño in Southwest Detroit. Continuing my quest to visit 50 new places in Detroit in Blog Year 5, I set out for the restaurant on Livernois Avenue one Sunday in late February.

Right away, the place won my heart because it had its own parking lot (a category of criteria I especially appreciate in the city), which was packed with other cars for the midday lunch rush. I entered the colorful restaurant bedecked with flags and vibrant artwork and put in a carryout order for one of the combination plates, which contained two pupusas, rice, beans, curtido (a cole slaw-esque, spicy cabbage relish), and a drink. I can’t recall exactly how much the combo cost me, but I believe it was around $8.

The order came out relatively quickly, and I excitedly made the jaunt back home, sucking down the horchata I’d ordered as my drink choice and savoring its creamy, cinnamon-laced goodness. Soon I’d also be savoring those pupusas nestled in my carryout bag!

The glorious moment arrived: I got back home and sat down to devour the pupusas in all of their fresh-grilled, meat-and-cheese-studded glory.

They were of course AMAZING. I’d gotten a ground pork pupusa and a cheese pupusa, and both were wonderfully fresh and flavorful and filling-stuffed. If I had to pick which one I liked better, I’d go with the cheese one (cheesy goodness being pretty hard to beat in its glorious simplicity), but the ground pork one was deliciously savory, too. Paired with the curtido, these bad boys were utterly KILLER. How come more food isn’t accompanied by a spicy cabbage slaw??? That needs to change.

If you have never tried a pupusa and are intrigued, can we agree that that needs to change, too? Give Pupusería y Restaurante Salvadoreño a try – and while you’re at it, try El Guanaco, too! There’s enough love to go around for both of them.

3149 Livernois Ave.

Detroit, MI 48210

309. Ike’s Restaurant – February 17, 2018 – Sterling Heights, MI

February2018Ikes1 (3)February2018Ikes2 (4)I’m always looking for an excuse to celebrate – especially in February, when there’s not inherently a lot to celebrate in Michigan (Another snowfall? The umpteenth gray day of the year? Not slipping and falling on an ice patch? Actually, that last one is totally worth celebrating).

So when the sister-in-law/best friend of one of my oldest pals reached out letting me know they were planning a surprise birthday party for her, I was like, “Heck yes, I will be there!” Heck yes to having this celebration as a bright spot to look forward to after wayyyyy too much snow-wrangling the weekend prior!

(Snow, we over you here in Metro-Detroit, for reals. Please be a dear and take the hint.)

When I found out this surprise birthday dinner was going to be at Ike’s Restaurant in Sterling Heights, a Mediterranean restaurant I had never been to, I was heck-yes-ing times a million. New-place time! GARLIC-SAUCE TIME!

Mediterranean cuisine is one of my favorite types of cuisines, and garlic sauce is its pinnacle. I mean, what’s not to like: it’s creamy, it’s garlicky . . . that’s really it, but do you need anything else in a sauce? No sirree, in my humble opinion.

When the night rolled around and the whole surprise-thing was pulled off without a hitch (my friend was truly surprised – how often does that happen?), I realized that Ike’s menu contains more than Mediterranean food.

It contains a lot more: bar-and-grille-esque fare such as steaks and lamb chops and ribs and chicken and fish dishes; Italian favorites such as veal marsala and chicken parmesan; a whole section of vegetarian options – some Mediterranean, some Italian, some Greek.

The variety impressed me; the ribs and steak piqued my interest because both ribs and steak are kind of my jam. Ultimately, I knew I had to stick with the Lebanese section because visions of me inhaling Mediterranean food had basically haunted my psyche since I’d received this invitation.

I’m admittedly really boring when ordering Mediterranean food: I get crushed lentil soup and lemon-oregano chicken OR a chicken shawarma pita – accented by, of course, loads and loads of pita bread slathered in garlic sauce. I don’t believe my order has ever wavered from those choices – probably because those choices are so AMAZING that why would I bother to vary them? Still, this is a departure for me in a lot of ways, me of the loving-to-try-new-places-and-dishes-and-the-weirdest-sounding-cocktail-you-can-throw-at-me variety.

So when pondering Ike’s menu, my eyes went to laser in on the lemon-oregano chicken – and didn’t see it. It was not on Ike’s menu – wah wah.

Not to worry – I asked our server if the kitchen would be able to make the prized lemon-oregano chicken, and she said it would, though she claimed it probably wouldn’t taste as lemony as I was accustomed to. I didn’t mind; I was sure it’d still be good.

It was: my lemon-oregano chicken was glorious. Yes, it wasn’t as lemony as usual, but it was still wonderfully tender and flavorful and delicious – and generous in portion size.

That’s a definite plus about Ike’s: the amount of food it serves you. Portions are hefty – and who doesn’t like that? Additionally, both soup and salad came with my entrée (ol’-faithful crushed lentil was naturally my soup choice).

And the garlic sauce? Well, garlic sauce and pita bread isn’t a complimentary appetizer at Ike’s as it is at a lot of Mediterranean restaurants, but it’s available for order; our table ordered a platter of it to share. It goes without saying that it was GLORIOUS.

Given the high-quality food, generous portions sizes, elegant ambiance, and excellent service our table received, I can confidently vet Ike’s as an top-notch venue for celebrating any kind of occasion, from birthdays to I-didn’t-slip-on-ice-and-fall-flat-on-my-face kinds of days.

38550 Van Dyke Ave.

Sterling Heights, MI 48312


308. Lady of the House – February 16, 2018 – Detroit, MI

February2018LadyoftheHouse1 (2)February2018LadyoftheHouse3 (2)February2018LadyoftheHouse5 (3)February2018LadyoftheHouse4 (2)Great minds truly think alike – at least, they did one week in mid-February when my friend Jaclyn and I were trying to figure out which place in Detroit we should try next.

I was scrolling through Yelp when I found an intriguing prospect I’d not yet come across before, Lady of the House. I made a mental note to propose the place to Jaclyn.

A few days passed. The night before we were supposed to meet, she sent me a text: “Hey! Found this new place in Corktown!” that included a link to – where else? – Lady of the House’s website.

Of course we had to go there. The Universe had conspired to bring us to Lady of the House. And it was in Corktown, my favorite Detroit neighborhood? Oh, heck yes!

This was not a miss of a choice punted to us from the Universe, my friends. It was a resounding hit – one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. I already know Lady of the House is going to be on my Blog Year Five top-ten list!

The food was excellent, the ambiance was awesome, the service was exceptional – and most importantly, there was a chair in the ladies’ room embossed with Ryan Gosling’s face.

YES. You can enter the women’s restroom of Lady of the House and SIT ON RYAN GOSLING’S FACE! Not literally, of course, but symbolically (sitting on Ryan Gosling’s actual face without permission would be bad indeed). You can see photos of this Gosling-face-chair on Lady of the House’s Yelp profile.

Kidding aside, the actual most important aspect about Lady of the House has nothing to do with Gosling-emblazoned upholstery: it has to do, naturally, with the food. It is excellent, expertly prepared and infused with intriguing ingredient mash-ups that pair perfectly.

For our dinner, we chose from the menu of shared plates (which appears to change regularly) the Farm Greens, Cracked Potato, Cauliflower, and Parisian Ham.

The Farm Greens are, as you’d expect, a salad. But they are not any old salad: they are a delectable combination of fresh greens, apples, shaved cheese, pistachios, and creamy tarragon dressing. I know these ingredients all sound pretty ordinary, but let me tell you, under the care of Lady of the House’s kitchen crew, these components combined together to make a damn near magical salad. These greens were GOOD.

The Cracked Potato with tobiko*, basil butter, and capers and the Cauliflower dish accented with fennel, parmesan, and olives were sumptuous vegetable dishes. I think more people would heart vegetables if they were eating ones as carefully and flavorfully prepared as these were.

(*OK, wow, by just now Googling tobiko, which I was previously clueless about, I learned that it’s “flying fish roe” – a.k.a. the eggs of a fish called a flying fish. So I ate fish eggs for the first time and didn’t know it! I achieved a milestone in my culinary journey that I was totally oblivious of at the time.)

The pièce de résistance, however, was the Parisian Ham.

Our server explained to us when we ordered it that it simply came accompanied by butter – not just any old butter, but a butter made with Dijon mustard and fermented honey. She said that bread was not served with the honey and butter because it was thought to get in the way; the intention was to spread the butter directly onto the ham.

It sounds weird. But it was EPIC.

This thinly-sliced ham cured in house was SO GOOD: tender, flavorful, full-out deliciousness. The butter was wonderfully addictive, infused with the rich flavors of the Dijon mustard and the fermented honey.

(Who even thinks to ferment honey? A culinary wizard does – that’s who.)

I could eat that Parisian Ham doused in butter every day of my life. It’s probably better that I don’t from a cholesterol perspective. But from a pleasure perspective, it would be an obvious win if I did.

You know what else resided in the win category at Lady of the House? The dessert menu. We only tried one item from the dessert menu, but it was very much a victory of a choice: the Potato Donuts.

I know a confectionary delight crafted from a potato doesn’t sound so delightful. But let me tell you, it was. These potato donut holes were perfectly fried on the outside and decadently soft on the inside. The chamomile-infused glaze they rested in and the dried yogurt flakes and sugared, crispy stalks of thyme that garnished them were – again, weird-sounding but epically amazing accompaniments.

The drinks were just as good. I had two of the craft cocktails: the Vanquish and the Winter Fashion. The Vanquish with its scotch, Montenegro and Cardamaro liquers, and lemon and blood orange juices was my favorite. I also had a sip of the Lady Gin + Tonic, which with its pickle brine and black pepper was surprisingly refreshing and wonderful.

You know what else was refreshing and wonderful at Lady of the House? The service. Everyone we encountered while there: the host who brought us to our table, our server, the servers and/or food runners who brought out our dishes was friendly, polite, and downright wonderful. Friendly, respectful service can be in scarcity at trendy, elevated restaurants  – or at any old unelevated restaurant, for that manner.

That was not the case at Lady of the House. All of the dishes that were brought out to us were explained to us in detail. Everyone was pleasant and accessible and not at all snotty. I so appreciated it, as I’d experienced a string of not-so-warm dining experiences over the previous few months, and it was starting to make me feel sad. Thank you, Lady of the House, for helping to buoy my belief in the inherent goodness of humanity! You are AWESOME!

1426 Bagley St.

Detroit, MI 48216


307. Thai Street Kitchen – February 14, 2018 – Bloomfield Hills, MI

February2018ThaiStKitchen2 (2)February2018ThaiStKitchen4 (2)Today’s post recounts a visit made on Valentine’s Day, which was already almost two weeks ago.

Valentine’s Day was two weeks ago? We are at the end of February already? Where has the year gone????

2018 is melting away faster than snow melting in a thaw. And yet, I can’t say I’m sad about it.

To say winter is my least favorite season is an understatement. But it also realistically makes up a third of our year here in Michigan, so I work with being in the moment every day and loving where we’re at seasonally. And also, I am thrilled that it’s almost March. We’re GONNA make it, people!

Delightful times like this most recent Valentine’s Day make it so much easier for me to love where we’re at in the throes of almost-gone-but-still-here winter. On that day, I got to see my dear friend from Mt. Pleasant and have dinner with her at Thai Street Kitchen in Bloomfield Hills when she was down here dropping her husband off at the airport. We got to be Galentines!

In case you ever need a Metro-Detroit meeting point that is right off I-75, may I suggest Thai Street Kitchen? It’s conveniently located near the expressway, on Woodward Avenue near Square Lake Road and the I-75 Square Lake exit (and a few minutes from the M-59 I-75 exit). More importantly, its food is tasty.

During my visit, I enjoyed an order of beef curry noodles that was deliciously creamy and perfectly spiced – actually hot like I ordered it. So many Thai restaurants seem to not believe me when I say I like it HOT! (or have a more watered-down definition of hot than I do). Not so with Thai Street Kitchen; they brought the heat perfectly, and the server even left a spice tray on the table in case I wanted to add more (which wasn’t necessary given that the dish was perfect as-is).

Despite it being Valentine’s Day, Thai Street kitchen’s small, pleasant dining room was not especially busy. I expect the place gets more carryout business than dining-in patrons, but the orange-hued interior with ornate designs painted on the walls is elegant and cozy.

The restaurant’s menu contains iconic Thai dishes such as the Curry Noodles, Drunken Noodle, and everybody’s favorite, Pad Thai, plus soups like the classic Hot and Sour and appetizers such as Chicken Satay and Spring Rolls. A selection of organic teas are also offered.

Service was prompt and attentive. When my friend commented to our waiter at the end of the meal that her dish wasn’t quite what she expected, the chef came out and offered to cook her a new plate of whatever she wanted for free. I was quite impressed by that. It’s basic customer service, but not every restaurant will insist on cooking a new dish free of charge for a guest at the end of a meal.

Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or any other day of the year: Thai Street Kitchen, you are a keeper in my book!

42805 Woodward Ave.

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304


100 Places in the D’s Top 10 Places Visited in Blog Year 4!

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The Keep (Visit #273)

It’s time for one of my favorite posts: a top-ten post!

Today I’ll be highlighting my absolute fave visits completed during the recently ended Blog Year 4, which ran from February 8, 2017 through February 7, 2017. There are some goodies!

Seven of the top ten happen to be places located in Detroit, which may reflect my bias toward the city – but in my defense, Detroit does house a boat-load of magical places. And frankly, I’m happy to favor the D whenever I can, because it deserves some love!

So here they are, listed in no particular order [DRUM ROLL . . .]


Stache International (#294, Detroit): Those Firecracker Bites! That Turkey Mondulo sandwich! The kitchen crew at this Eastern Market sandwich joint/watering hole are culinary wizards.

The Keep (#273, Detroit): If I brought a stack of books to this dimly-lit, cozy basement bar with a friendly vibe and delicious craft cocktails, I would most decidedly never leave. The Keep is a KEEPER!


Narrow Way Café and Shop (Visit #271)

–Narrow Way Café and Shop (#271, Detroit): What a delight this place is! From the beautifully mod, soothing ambiance to the wonderfully friendly staff to the delicious coffee drinks and pastries, I kinda-sorta-most-definitely fell in love with this Avenue of Fashion-based coffee shop.

Taqueria Alma (#240, Center Line): Mexican food is LIFE to me. Taqueria Alma crafts Mexican food of the ultimate life-affirming variety (try the steak tacos – SOOOO good).

–Apparatus Room (#274, Detroit): Housed in a former fire station and the current Detroit Foundation Hotel, this chic restaurant is about more than its stunning ambiance: the food is mouthwateringly good (heck yes, Crispy Confit Chicken Sandwich!).

–Axle Brewing (#258, Ferndale): Heaven is . . . a summertime evening spent gorging on some of the best food of your life with friends at a super-sweet brewery (whose beers are pretty damn good, too).

–Wright & Co. (#251, Detroit): If I was stuck repeating a day from my past in a

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The Fresh Potato Chips from Wright & Co. (Visit #251)

continuous loop à la Groundhog Day, I would not be disappointed if the one that repeated was the day I visited Wright & Co. To be trapped in a scenario where I visit a gorgeously classy establishment with KILLER food and drink again and again and again – yes, please!

–KouZina (#250, Royal Oak): Once I finally visited KouZina, I was like “How have I never been here before?” Building my own signature Greek bowl loaded with fresh meat, rice, and veggies was a legit highlight of my summer. That spicy feta sauce is STELLAR!

–Treat Dreams (#283, Detroit): I’m admittedly not a big ice cream person – unless the ice cream is next-level good like Treat Dreams’ is. The dark chocolate variety with sea salt and olive oil that I had on my birthday there was a revelation. Now THAT is ice cream!

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The life-changing tacos of Taqueria el Rey (Visit #286)

–Taqueria el Rey (#286, Detroit): The carnitas tacos I got from this unassuming Mexicantown restaurant were unequivocally the best tacos of my life thus far. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing they were, so fresh and juicy and flavorful, with that creamy jalapeño sauce . . .. They are the MIC DROP of tacos! They are a shining example of the wondrousness that can be found when venturing outside of the familiar and into the unknown – and why I adore working on this blog so much!

306. Peppy’s Pizza – February 13, 2018 – Troy, MI

February2018Peppys2 (2)February2018Peppys3 (3)February2018Peppys4 (3)You know that place in your neighborhood that you’ve passed by for years and always meant to visit but still haven’t? That was Peppy’s for me – until I went there for the first time last Tuesday.

Peppy’s is not in my neighborhood, per say, but it’s close to where my mom and stepdad live, so I’ve driven by it a lot over the years – so much so that it feels like it’s in my neighborhood. My mom had told me that the little carryout joint made good pasties and other foods such as pizza, subs, and baked goods, and I’d long been curious to check it out.

Fast-forward to last week when, in the throes of a ravenous attack of hunger, I finally made a pit stop at the place after spontaneously deciding to pull into Peppy’s parking lot on the way to my mom’s house. New-place time!

Peppy’s neat, tiny storefront interior was dominated by glass display cases of pasties and other baked goodies, plus large overhead menus including chicken, ribs, pierogies, salads, fish ‘n’ chips, appetizer side dishes, and desserts such as seven-layer cake and baklava – in addition to an extensive selection of pizza, pasties, and grinders.

I’ve never met a piece of baklava that I didn’t like, so I knew I had to add two pieces of the pistachio variety to my order. I also picked up two of the pasties, one beef and one spinach-and-feta.

The pasties were large; cutting them in half produced two solid pie-like slices. Both were delicious! The spinach-and-feta one was especially amazing with its rich, savory filling, and the beef pasty was warming and hearty with its ground meat, cubed potatoes, diced carrot, and onion. The crust used for both was addictively good.

And the baklava! It was soooo on point, with its butter- and honey-saturated, nut-studded layers of phyllo dough (DELECTABLE!). I think I need to add “eat more baklava” to my list of 2018 resolutions – for real!

If adding more baklava to your life sounds like a fine goal to you, too, go check out Peppy’s! And while you’re at it, pick up some dinner from that extensive carryout menu (unless the baklava IS dinner, which does sound like a very fine dinner, indeed!).

5965 Livernois Rd.

Troy, Mi 48098

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100 Places in the D’s YEAR FOUR REVIEW!

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#256, Red Crown of Grosse Pointe Park, a Blog Year Four visit

Hey, guys – happy Friday! I’m so excited to bring you today’s post: 100 Places in the D’s YEAR FOUR REVIEW!

I love doing these reviews of recently ended blogging years because they give me an opportunity to geek out over stats about the kinds of places I’ve visited for 100 Places in the D over the last year, which I find so, so fun. So I’ll dive right in and chat about Blog Year Four, which ran from February 8, 2017 to February 7, 2018 (I base the blogging years around the anniversary of the date of my first visit for 100 Places in the D, which was February 8, 2014).

I’ve gotten into the habit of creating goals for myself for each blogging year, and my goals for Blog Year Four were as follows:

Visit 71 new places, so I can hit 300 overall visits since the blog’s inception.

Have at least 12 of those visits be to establishments located in new-to-the-blog cities (cities in the tri-county Metro-Detroit area that have not yet been represented on 100 Places in the D).

Visit at least 20 places in the city of Detroit itself (because I heart going down to Detroit, and this blog is after all named 100 Places in the D, so I want it to be the city I represent the most).

I’m happy to report that I achieved all three of these goals! I visited 76 total new places in Blog Year Four, hitting 305 total visits for the blog. Twenty-five of those visits were within the city of Detroit. And I visited these 12 new-to-the-blog cities:

-Beverly Hills

-Center Line


-Farmington Hills

-Grosse Pointe Park

-Grosse Pointe Woods



-Keego Harbor

-Lake Orion



I was especially excited to achieve the 12 new-to-the-blog cities milestone because I attempted it in Blog Year Three and fell short (I only visited six new-to-the-blog cities that year – wah wah). I want to continue to expand the list of cities I’ve covered on the blog, so I aim to keep that in mind during Blog Year Five.

That being said, I only have one official goal for Blog Year Five – but it’s a big one, and I’m very excited about it. In Blog Year Five, I plan to [DRUM ROLL. . .]: Visit 50 new places in the city of Detroit!!!!

Yes, 50 new places visited in Detroit alone from February 8, 2018 through February 7, 2019! It’s a HUGE endeavor – an average of about one visit per week to Detroit – but I’m psyched for the challenge.

I LOVE Detroit; I love visiting it, and while driving around its streets with their oft-confusing mash-ups of one-ways and circuitous routings periodically throws me into near-panic-attack mode (driving is SO not my fave thing in the world), I believe that with intention and planning, I can totally achieve this goal.

I considered making the goal to actually visit one new place in Detroit every week of the blogging year, but that quickly felt too restrictive. I realized that I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I felt like I must go downtown every single week, even when it didn’t make sense: to feel compelled to sit in rush hour for over an hour post-work on a Tuesday to drive 30 miles downtown, pay $10 for parking, and spend half an hour eating a sandwich bought somewhere convenient before again entering the thick traffic on my pilgrimage back home just so I could get a visit in for the week (as I found myself attempting to do this Tuesday before opting for the blessedly more flexible goal). I never want going downtown to feel like a chore; I want it to feel like the magical foray that it is.

So that’s my big ol’ goal for Blog Year Five! In case you’re interested in a geographical breakdown of where the 76 new-to-me restaurants, bars, shops, venues, parks, and the like I visited in Blog Year Four were located, the following stats provide further illumination (I love nerding out to this stuff!):

Number of places visited in Blog Year Four: 76

Number of cities visited: 27

Breakdown by county: Macomb: 16; Oakland: 30; Wayne: 30

Breakdown by city:

Detroit: 25 (nearly one-third of all the visits!)

Ferndale: 6

Rochester: 5

Saint Clair Shores: 5

Grosse Pointe Woods: 3

Royal Oak: 3

Troy: 3

Beverly Hills: 2

Clarkston: 2

Harrison Township: 2

Pontiac: 2

Rochester Hills: 2

Romeo: 2

Center Line: 1

Chesterfield: 1

Clawson: 1

Clinton Township: 1

Farmington Hills: 1

Grosse Pointe Park: 1

Hamtramck: 1

Highland: 1

Keego Harbor: 1

Lake Orion: 1

Macomb: 1

Mount Clemens: 1

Utica: 1

Warren: 1

Look out for a related Blog Year Four post to drop next week showcasing my top-ten fave visits of the 76 achieved over the last year (always a fun round-up!).