Month: June 2015

127. Third Street Bar / Dangerously Delicious Pies – June 20, 2015 – Detroit, MI




After hitting Traffic Jam and Jolly Pumpkin on my recent Detroit Day and browsing the very lovely nearby shop, City Bird (which I won’t be writing a post about since I’ve been there before, but please go check it out – it’s full of wonderful handcrafted items made by local artisans), my friend and I mused, what next? The answer was: pie. Pie, of course! We’d already spent the better part of the afternoon stuffing ourselves full of food and drink – what was a little shared piece of pie on top of that? I’d been wanting to go to Third Street Bar and get some Dangerously Delicious Pie for forever. Third Street Bar is where this charming little handmade-pie outfit sets up shop. We set off on foot there from Midtown – it was only about a six-minute walk.

The bar, on the outside, is not much to look at. It came up on us all of a sudden, because it honestly kind of blends in with its surroundings, looking like just another abandoned building. We had no idea initially how to enter; we tried opening two uninviting metal doors – one at the front (which I assume is probably open some of the time, at least in the winter) and another on the side. Nope – both locked. Puzzled, we kept going around the perimeter of the building until we finally hit a cute, rustic little patio. Ok, we were in business! I must say our inability to figure out how to enter the place made it a little more exciting once we finally got in, like we were entering this secret little place no one beside the true locals really knows about.

The inside of the bar was a lot more charming than I expected. I got the impression from Yelp that the place was a bit of a dive – and I guess it kind of is, but in the best way possible (I LOVE a good dive bar). Plus, they have Skee-Ball machines! How many places do you see anymore with Skee-Ball machines? That’s an automatic check-plus in my book.

Dangerously Delicious Pies has its own counter inside the bar, where you can order whole pies or pies by the slice, either of the sweet or the savory variety. The savory pies sounded phenomenal; I would love to come back and have lunch. But we went for a sweet offering – the Baltimore Bomb, a custard pie with chocolate folded in, shown above. It came out to us at our picnic-table seat on the patio all delightfully warm – yum!

So Third Street Bar was definitely a worthwhile visit. I just heart supporting local vendors – that is, of course, one of the major reasons I started this blog. But I really, really, really do love it! And I love that Detroit has more and more of these little micro-enterprises – bakers and jam makers and other foodies taking over a corner of a kitchen of another establishment and creating their wares there – local artisans supporting other local artisans. It’s inspiring! I’m excited that I get to witness it and play a tiny little part in it.

4626 Third St.

Detroit, MI 48201

126. Jolly Pumpkin – June 20, 2015 – Detroit, MI


I struggled, as I did when I visited Ashley’s in Westland back in November, with whether I should include Detroit’s Jolly Pumpkin as a new place on my blog, because I have already been multiple times to the Ann Arbor location. But as with Ashley’s, I ultimately decided to see the recently opened Detroit location of JP as its own entity. Yes, it’s got the same name and brand and is owned by the same people, but it has its own distinct look and setup, and the food menu also looks to be more extensive (I NEED to go back and eat there – the pizzas look amazing!). That’s the wonderful thing about most local chains – I wouldn’t even call most of them chains, just brands with several locations – they are not cookie-cutter. They adapt the aura of their surroundings, and the Detroit Jolly Pumpkin is decidedly Midtown. It’s a gorgeous facility, with this great rustic-slash-urban-industrial, renewed-Detroit feel to it (locals, you know the vibe I’m talking about – it’s lovely and refreshing!). Spending time in the city extensively Saturday, enjoying it and watching other people enjoy it, felt so uplifting. A rebirth is totally happening down there, for real! I feel grateful to live in the proximity of this unique, diverse place and to get to witness its transformation. I can’t wait to do down to there again for the Tigers game this Sunday and to enjoy it some more.

So, total confession: I was sacrilegious and didn’t get one of Jolly Pumpkin’s renowned sour beers. But that’s ok, because they’ve got some signature cocktails, too, and I discovered they are pretty amazing! Admittedly, I am one of those people who likes to get a cocktail just because it is unusual-sounding: the weirder, the better. I’ll run the risk of a drink tasting horrible just to drink something different. At JP, I ordered the Rita Hayworth, which contains chipotle cherry agave tequila. It had quite a smoky flavor that took some getting used to, but the more I drank it, the more it grew on me (it didn’t hurt that it was pretty strong!). Sitting there at the picnic tables, people-watching and enjoying the company of my friend as I sipped a craft cocktail on a Saturday afternoon, it was like, this is it. This is summer in Michigan. This is what being alive is all about!

441 W. Canfield

Detroit, MI 48201

125. Traffic Jam and Snug – June 20, 2015 – Detroit, MI




Frida and Diego sidewalk portraits recently added outside the restaurant entrance

I had a Detroit Day today! And it was amazing. Five new places were visited! The first stop: Traffic Jam and Snug, which I’ve wanted to visit forever. Man, is it old-school looking in there! I didn’t expect it. Bedecked with antique knick-knacks, the windy wood-and-brick interior reminds you – like so many other places in the city – how grandly old Detroit is. But where the inside of the restaurant is old-fashioned-looking, the menu certainly isn’t. Cheers to eclectic offerings such as coconut curry risotto and an amazingly delicious barbecue braised beef brisket panini (try it – you won’t be sorry!) being served rather than the usual rote restaurant fare. The popular Midtown establishment is also a brewery – I had no idea!

511 W. Canfield

Detroit, MI 48201

124. QQ Café and Bakery – June 12, 2015 – Madison Heights, MI



One of my coworkers had raved about QQ Café and Bakery to me, so I hit it up last Friday on my way over to dinner with a friend at my favorite Thai restaurant ever, Orchid Café in Troy (on Rochester Road north of Big Beaver – and serving the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had – check it out!). It was delightful! The young guy who waited on me was very friendly and helpful when I told him it was my first visit there; he helped me to pick out a few things. One pleasant discovery: the offerings are super-cheap! One dollar gets you great value at this Asian bakery; that’s all the red bean bun, with its sweetish red-bean paste, and the pork bun (shown above), stuffed with savory barbecued pork and still warm, each cost me. I also got a wedge of cake with a delicious mocha frosting that only cost me $2.25. One thing worth noting: QQ, like the lovely Le Petit Prince, only takes cash. So scrounge around your car for all that loose change and head on over!

30941 Dequindre Rd.

Madison Heights, MI 48071

123. The Golden Fleece – June 6, 2015 – Detroit, MI



I made it down to the D this weekend! And it felt fantastic to be there. It made me really excited for summer and some upcoming plans I have scheduled down there (Tigers, glad to see you’ve started to win again – keep it up, please! I’ve got tickets for a few weeks from now!).

My mom and I journeyed down to Greektown Saturday for a mother-daughter day. For lunch, we chose one of the classic Greek establishments, The Golden Fleece. I loved its old-school vibe, the walls with their brightly colored painted murals, and their flavorful hummus and awesomely tender, juicy lamb chops. Stop over here and bolster your strength pre-casino run!

525 Monroe St.

Detroit, MI 48226

122. The Meeting House – May 31, 2015 – Rochester, MI



The Fat Elvis french toast!

What a gorgeous place The Meeting House is! I was very enamored by it. I knew my instinct to brave the never-never-never-ending weekend rain and cold would play out ok, despite my initial resistance to swimming back out into it after just driving to and from Clarkston. (Preparing to ring in June in a rain trench, tall boots, jeans, and a knit hat? Not cool, Mother Nature, not cool.) I met a group of women there for a Sunday brunch. Not all brunches are created equal, and this one was happily in the pretty-damn-great category. Of course, there were brightly-colored, cutely-named drinks involved; any brunch place can produce those, but these were a little more striking. The one I ordered contained grapefruit juice and pepper-infused Valentine’s vodka – definitely a novel combo! There was also a luxe ambiance and, most importantly, amazing food offerings – check out the peanut-butter french toast dish, The Fat Elvis, that I ordered. It was awesome!

301 S. Main St.

Rochester, MI 48307

121. Trini and Carmen’s – May 30, 2015 – Waterford, MI



Saturday night I braved the pouring rain to voyage from my east-side abode to a friend’s house in Clarkston. We’d decided to go to dinner, and I leapt at her suggestion of Mexican, because Mexican food is pretty much my favorite ethnic food in the world (how could I not adore it with all the cheese and glorious fried stuff it entails???). And I was glad to see that our stop was Trini and Carmen’s in Waterford, since I’d never been there before.

Three reasons to love this restaurant: 1) Its tortilla chips – a crucial component of the Mexican-cuisine dining experience, of course! – are delicious, all crispy and just the right amount of greasy – yum! 2) More importantly, the delicious-factor extends to the rest of its menu (I got the build-your-own combination plate where you can pick three items). This is legit, authentic Mexican food! 3) They serve an excellent Spanish coffee (my favorite drink that I always forget is my favorite drink until I see it on the menu and HAVE to have it). You pretty much can’t go wrong here.

1715 N. Telegraph Rd.

Waterford, MI 48328