Month: November 2014

83. The Bird and the Bread – November 14, 2014 – Birmingham, MI



Winter is rough – but there will always be the comfort of Spanish coffees!

A friend and I both had the day off work, so we thought, why not hit up downtown Birmingham and be ladies who lunch? The Bird and the Bread was a super-charming choice. I got the burger, which was amazing with its fontina cheese, cherry aioli, bacon jam, and delicious brioche bun. There’s a large craft beer selection for all of you beer lovers, and I can attest to the fact that this place makes a mean Spanish coffee (perfect for these blustery, chill-bitten days of late November).

210 S. Old Woodward

Birmingham, MI 48009

82. Socra Tea – November 8, 2014 – Detroit, MI




I loved Socra Tea. It is exactly the kind of cozy, ambient place where you can relax and chat with a friend or get your focus on. The tea is delicious, but I think what I liked best about the place is that there are so many offerings by local artisans for sale here, from pottery and hand-crafted notecards to silk-flower barrettes and quirky stuffed animals with plastic doll faces. The display of local creativity is very heartening. Check out the website below – you can buy some of these wares online, too.

71 Garfield St., Suite 50

Detroit, MI 48201

81. Seva – November 8, 2014 – Detroit, MI




The delicious General Tso’s Cauliflower

I pushed through my fear of driving downtown yesterday for a lovely lunch at Seva in Midtown (not difficult to get to at all – just remember that Woodward construction and take the Make Ave. exit on I-75). Seva serves vegan and vegetarian dishes; even though I’m neither, I love good food, and the food is good here. In fact, the General Tso’s Cauliflower is amazing – a must-get!

66 E. Forest Ave.

Detroit, MI 48201

80. Townhouse – November 1, 2014 – Birmingham, MI

I really loved my visit to Birmingham this weekend. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been there before this, and it’s really not that far from me. It’s full of so many cute restaurants and shops. I know it’s kind of geared toward the filthy-rich, but if you go there for lunch, it’s really not that bad. My friend and I hit up Townhouse for their deliciously juicy aged-steak burger. We had a hard time deciding what to get because the menu had several intriguing-sounding items, such as a BLT with an avocado aioli and the Power Salad, described on the menu as a “blend of quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, chickpeas, toasted pumpkin seeds, mixed greens, avocado, jicama and honey-lime cilantro vinaigrette.” Yum! But probably far too healthy for a Saturday.

I forgot to take pictures here, so the above photo is courtesy of the Townhouse’s website (showing the happier time of summer. RIP summer!).

180 Pierce St.
Birmingham, MI 48009

79. Mad Hatter Bistro – November 1, 2014 – Birmingham, MI




My friend and I stopped here for tea on a very blustery day that completely felt like the beginning of winter (I can’t believe it’s November already! How is that possible?). The place was incredibly charming inside, and I enjoyed the whimsical tea settings used.

Mad Hatter isn’t just about tea – it’s a restaurant and bar, too. But I would love to get a group together and come back for the traditional English tea, which features finger sandwiches and scones and clotted tea and everything (and is by reservation only).

185 N Old Woodward Ave.
Birmingham, MI 48009

78. Ashley’s Beer & Grill – October 30, 2014 – Westland, MI


I debated if I should count this place as a new place, since I think I have been to the Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, and I don’t want to count locations of the same local chain as new unless they have some distinguishing characteristic. But honestly, if I’ve been to Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, it was probably just to drink a beer or two once or twice when I was visiting a friend who lived there a lot like four years ago . . . I remember nothing about it. And I thought this visit deserved a mention!

The Westland location is right near Westland Mall. The food was really good (had the cheddar ale dip and the Margherita pizza), and it had a good beer selection, too.

7525 Wayne Rd.
Westland, MI 48185

76. M-Brew – October 24, 2014 – Ferndale, MI


The beer selection at M-Brew


When was the last time I’d played pinball before this? Age 10?


Um, I am IN LOVE. M-Brew offers delicious local beers AND vintage arcade games. I didn’t think I’d be as excited about it when I first heard about it. But if there’s anything I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, it’s that nostalgia is a very smart sell. The place had pinball – and Ms. Pac Man and Pac Man – and BurgerTime! Do you remember BurgerTime? It’s f’ing sweet. It’s just this little dude running around different levels trying to make layers of hamburger fall down to make a burger, while avoiding evil pickles and eggs and whatnot. But since I used to play it all the time when I was super-little (on my dad’s Intellivision, which pretty much no one remembers as the competitor to Atari), of course I love it. And I can’t remember the last time I saw a BurgerTime arcade game!

I have plans to come back here in a few weeks – and I’m warning everyone I go with then to bring rolls of quarters – because stepping into this time-warp of a game room is highly addictive.

177 Vester St.

Ferndale, MI 48220

75. Vinsetta Garage – October 24, 2014 – Berkley, MI


This place is awesome-looking inside and out! I love restaurants with ambience. A huge part of why I started out on this challenge is because of my disdain for bland national-chain restaurants, especially those whose only defining characteristic is that they are vaguely American (I can’t stand cheap chain-diner-type places . . . I’d rather just eat Taco Bell. The food has more character!). If those places exude American in a sad, beat-down kind of way, Vinsetta Garage, in comparison, is like Bruce Springsteen – grittily, proudly, strongly American.

Ok, I’m getting way too poetic about this. This restaurant looks sweet and the food is really good, too.

27799 Woodward Ave.
Berkley, MI 48072