Month: July 2014

39. Da Francesco’s – July 25, 2014 – Shelby Township, MI


Image courtesy of

One of my cousins got married this weekend (delightful wedding, with an outdoor ceremony/cocktail hour afterwards – and a chocolate fountain!), and her rehearsal dinner on Friday night was here at Da Francesco’s. The whole family was invited to it, which was really nice of them to do, and so besides bonding with the fam, I also got to try another new place.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture. This is the second time I’ve forgotten to take a picture of a restaurant at a family event, so the photo above is courtesy of Da Francesco’s website.

The food was awesome. We had minestrone soup, chicken parmesan, mixed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and this delicious spumoni for dessert. I assume the rest of the menu is just as good.

49624 Van Dyke Rd.
Shelby Twp., MI 48317

38. El Guanaco – July 23, 2014 – Troy, MI



The pupusa combo lunch!

After taking all this time to prepare a delicious lunch, I forgot to bring it to work on this day. I was so bummed. But then I decided I should reframe this as a golden opportunity to try a new restaurant in the area. I checked out Yelp, which has quickly become one of my favorite sites since starting this 100 Places project, and stumbled upon El Guanaco, which serves Mexican and Salvadorian dishes.

I don’t believe I’d ever before considered Salvadorian food, and I love trying different ethnic cuisines, so this intrigued me – especially when I saw all these Yelp users raving about the pupusas, which I gathered were made out of corn flour and had stuffing in the middle. I decided to get a lunch special that had two pupusas, rice and beans, and a spicy slaw for $5.99, as well as a chicken Salvadorian tamale. The whole meal ended up costing a little over eight dollars, and it was a lot more food than I had expected.

The pupusas were especially amazing. You can get two fillings in them here, and I chose ground pork and cheese. They were these piping hot, corn-pancake-type things with this delicious meaty-cheesy filling in the middle. They were awesome! I was really glad that I had forgotten my lunch – and discovered Salvadorian food – after eating this delicious feast from El Guanaco.

1710 Livernois Rd.
Troy, MI 48083

37. Town Tavern – July 18, 2014 – Royal Oak, MI


I had a really hard time deciding what to get here, as so many things looked amazing . . .. My friend and I both decided on the short-rib grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup combo, which was awesome. I can’t wait to come back and try the black bean hummus and the caprese macaroni and cheese.

116 W. Fourth St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067

36. George George Memorial Park – July 17, 2014 – Clinton Township, MI




What a gorgeous park. It’s funny, because it’s located in a busy area, but once you get inside, the traffic noises are muffled by the tranquil sounds of water fountains and nature. I could just feel myself decompressing after only a few minutes of being here.

There’s a path that runs through the park and beyond it a ways that is great for jogging (goes over several bridges – very pretty) and an awesome playground area for the kiddies.

40500 Moravian Dr.
Clinton Twp., MI 48036

35. Local Kitchen and Bar – July 14, 2014 – Ferndale, MI


The patio at Local Kitchen and Bar


Delicious chicken-fried chicken dish with chopped tomato and arugula salad

I’ve been really loving exploring Ferndale. It’s just full of delightfully charming bars and restaurants! Take Local Kitchen and Bar, with it’s Monday half-off-bottles-of-wine-deal that had one friend declaring it “Champs Monday.”

And poutine! Who doesn’t love good poutine?

Plus, Local has a really adorable patio.

344 W. 9 Mile Rd.
 Ferndale, MI 48220

34. John K. King Books North – July 10, 2014 – Ferndale, MI


I’m honestly not a used-bookstore person; I’m a major frequenter of my local library, and if I buy books I like for them to be brand-new. But I had to check out this place. I’ve never been to the famous John K. King store downtown and have always wanted to see what it’s about, and being in Ferndale on this day, this location was the next best thing.

Wow, what an impressive place! I’ve never seen such a neatly organized used bookstore. There are tons of categories here and major selection. It was really fun to stroll around and check out the shelves.

22524 Woodward Ave.
Ferndale, MI 48220

33. The Red Hook / Pinwheel Bakery – July 10, 2014 – Ferndale, MI



Apparently this shop is two businesses in one! Or something like that. I think this storefront used to be Pinwheel Bakery and is now The Red Hook coffee shop and is featuring Pinwheel baked goods . . . if the information I read on Yelp is correct. Anywho, the macarons here are really delicious, and I hope to come back for a cappuccino soon, as this is exactly the kind of independently-owned, charmingly cozy little coffee shop I’ve been looking for.

220 W. Nine Mile Rd.
Ferndale, MI 48220

32. Sugar House – June 27, 2014 – Detroit, MI



This place struck me as an ideal place to grab a drink on Fancy Date Night. Its menu is impressively extensive: pages and pages of craft cocktails and fine scotches, bourbons, and other liquors. It will take you forever to decide!

2130 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216


30. Freddy’s Bar – June 16, 2014 – Clinton Township, MI


My brother and I celebrated Father’s Day with our dad at Freddy’s (he’s a regular there and suggested it). This is yet another place that is super close to where I live but that I had never been to before.

I like bars like this, with relaxed vibes and big televisions to watch the games. The food was good, and the prices were reasonable. It didn’t hurt that the bartender gave us a huge discount on our bill because our food took about 45 minutes or so (due to a minor kitchen fire!). I didn’t mind the wait – more drinking and bonding time – and the discount was worth it. I guess Dad’s VIP cred came in handy here!

40000 Garfield Rd.
Clinton Twp., MI 48038