Month: February 2015

104. The Clean Plate – February 14, 2015 – Shelby Township, MI



I had been wanting to try this place for a while now, and I finally made it over for a lovely little Valentine’s Day lunch. You know me and my curiosity toward vegan and vegetarian food! I just enjoy food that is healthy and fresh but flavorful, too. Life is too short to eat bland, boring food! The Clean Plate seems to get that. It’s owned by the same people who own Cacao Tree Café in Royal Oak (which I visited last April). That place is totally vegan, but The Clean Plate is more vegetarian – offering the option of both dairy cheese and vegan cheese, for instance. The vegetarian chili on cornbread with dairy cheese that I had was hearty and delicious. It had butternut squash in it instead of the fake tofu meat of which I am so not a fan – though there are some items offered with tofu and tempeh in them if you’re into it, and The Clean Plate does also offer the option of the delicious ground-nut meat that Cacao Tree Café has and of which I’m a fan. The staff was very attentive and friendly, too. It’s great to have an organic vegetarian place on this side of town, specifically one that is so high-quality.

45629 Hayes Rd.

Shelby Twp., MI 48315

103. Red Velvet Cakes and Pastries – February 14, 2015 – Clinton Township, MI


I’m rather delayed in getting this one and the next post out. And I really haven’t done much visiting of new places lately, as you can see. I miss it. But it’s February, and the truth is that I just don’t feel like venturing out after work or going very far afield. And I spent so much time hassling family and friends about trying new places last year that I’m trying to ease up on that – for now. So. This is where I’m at right now.

It makes me feel better that when I started my blog last February, I had a really slow start. February is not really a ripping-and-running type of month. It’s a let’s-endure-this type of month in my mind. Valentine’s Day is a small bright spot.

I am not the kind of person who likes to take a crap on Valentine’s Day because it is a commercial holiday. I enjoy it. I think any day that encourages us to show love toward those who are special to us (and that includes ourselves!) is a more than worthwhile one. And I’ll welcome any excuse to indulge in chocolate and delicious baked goods in these dreary, negative-wind-chill times.

Red Velvet Cakes and Pastries is in my neighborhood, and I’d driven by it many times and thought about how I needed to check it out pretty much every time I’d done so. I finally did on Valentine’s Day and got some of their delicious cupcakes, all plump with frosting and decadence. There are bumpy-cake cupcakes and salted caramel cupcakes and German chocolate cupcakes and white-chocolate bumpy-cake cupcakes . . . so much cupcake-y goodness! It was a worthwhile visit, indeed.

42948 Hayes Rd.

Clinton Twp., MI 48038

102. Indulgence – January 31, 2015 – Royal Oak, MI


Class-ing it up at the event with friend Jaclyn

Winter is a good time for indulgence. It’s cold and it’s gray and there’s all that nasty white stuff about. You need to ease the misery sometimes and have a reason to get out of your jammies – and a little alcohol and sugar can definitely do the trick!

Indulgence, the annual event held this Saturday in the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market’s indoor facility, allowed guests to sample various wines and mixed drinks featuring specialty whiskeys, vodkas, and tequilas as well as delicious desserts made by local vendors (including cake-pop bites, mini sundaes, freshly-friend donuts, and mini maple-frosted cupcakes topped with bacon – definitely my favorite choice). A DJ spun out modern and ’90s-era tunes, and a photo-booth let you document your ridiculousness after 10 samples of shamrock shakes and spicy tequila hot-chocolate. But the best part was that the event benefitted local charities – so you could feel good about stuffing your mouth with chocolate-dipped strawberries and destroying the giant Jenga tower in your tipsy ineptitude (every time I was gonna go over and try my hand at it, another person had knocked it over!).

As fun as it was, I did definitely get a little sugar-overloaded from the whole shenanigans, which was a great reminder that overindulgence on a daily basis can be a very bad thing. All in moderation!

Held annually at the Royal Oak Farmers Market at:

211 S. Williams St.

Royal Oak, MI 48067

101. Ardmore Café – January 30, 2015 – St. Clair Shores, MI



Stepping into the Ardmore is a trip. The Victorian house is a historical landmark with a colorful past (including a stint as a combination speakeasy/gambling house/whore house during the Prohibition era) but the quaint, fussy décor of a refined great-aunt. The dining room of the Ardmore Café is spread out over several rooms of the house, including one in which a piano player plinks out so many cinematically-featured tunes on Friday and Saturday nights (Titanic‘s “My Heart will Go on”; the theme from Legends of the Fall). The dinner fare is on the fancier side, with exquisite cocktails such as the chocolate-cake martini and meals such as roasted beef tenderloin. Dinner is offered Thursday through Saturday; lunch is Monday through Saturday.

The Ardmore also hosts a salon, some doctor’s offices, and a really cute shop called the Urban Attic. It’s definitely an eclectic place!

26717 Little Mack Ave.

St Clair Shores, MI 48081