I’m on a Royal Oak kick lately. What can I say, it’s a lovely town! Even after all of these years, there are still a bunch of places there that I haven’t visited – partially due to businesses closing all of the time there lately and new ones opening up in their places (what’s the deal with that, Royal Oak?). I’m not sure how long Saffron has existed in this storefront, but when I stumbled upon it as I was strolling around one leisurely Sunday afternoon, I was immediately excited. This shop is my jam! This shop is like the best part of my brain threw up in it and the throw-up materialized into clothes! Ok, that’s sort of a gross analogy, but it feels true to me. What I’m saying is, the delightfully hippie, free-spirit clothing and accessories Saffron offers quite resonate with my heart.
308 W. 4th St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Woody’s? Are you in there?
Crossing the train tracks on a cold and blustery post-work (TGIF!) Friday night in Royal Oak to meet my mom and stepdad at Onyx Steakhouse, I caught eyes on the structure it was housed in and was like, “Woody’s?” Yep, Onyx Steakhouse is housed in the building that used to be Wild Woody’s – or that still is, on the second floor, from what I understand? – which I may or may not have made a few late-night, stumbling-across-the-train-tracks pilgrimages to in my youth, as I assume some of you also may have done. Good times! Well, while the outside of the structure is still decidedly Woody-esque in my mind – you can’t erase the bones! – and while I find it to be quite a large building for a steakhouse, the inside of the main floor has been totally renovated to look impressively classy. There’s a lovely dim ambiance, a long, inviting bar rail beckoning a crowd of a more refined variety, and a space for live music. When we were there, there was a band playing some very pleasant jazz tunes, the perfect background music for grilling a juicy filet to the perfect temperature on a sizzling hot stone tableside. Because yes, Onyx is one of those places where you cook your own steak.
Admittedly, I’m sort of ambivalent about that feature in a restaurant – it’s unique, but do I really want to exert effort on cooking when I go out? And I’m someone who likes to cook! But hey, if you find you also aren’t sure you want to cook a steak on a hot stone, I’m sure they’d cook it for you in the back, or you can order something else off of the extensive menu, which includes other entrees dishes such as mac and cheese and salmon; burgers; sandwiches; and an extensive starter menu, the latter of which I ordered from. I got the 10-ounce portion of the Cajun Beef Tips appetizer and a side of green beans, and that was enough to be a meal for me. The tender beef tips were complemented well by the rich cajun cream sauce and crispy toast points that came with them. And I didn’t have to cook them myself!
208 W. Fifth St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
The company I work for is large enough and awesome enough to put on cool events regularly, such as having a posse of food trucks pull up to headquarters every few weeks during the warm-weather months. The last time of the season that this wonderful event occurred, a rainy, quite miserable day in mid-October, my heart was warmed up by an deliciously fat-and-greased-laced, juicy and melt-in-your mouth AMAZING burger called the Rodeo burger, served by a food truck called, quite appropriately, The Rolling Stoves. I’m telling you, this burger, with its rich barbecue sauce and its crispy yet delightfully oil-saturated onion ring, served with wonderfully savory, thin and crispy fries festooned with fresh minced garlic, was like heaven! (Admittedly, it wouldn’t be heaven for your body if you ate a meal like this every day – it would clog your arteries chock-full of baddie stuff and quite possibly send you prematurely to heaven! And we wouldn’t want that. So savor in moderation. Anywho. . ..) The Rolling Stoves regularly posts its schedule via its Facebook and Twitter accounts and can also be viewed on its Roaming Hunger (a site where you can find and follow food trucks) page. It is likely to be revving down for the season – especially with the first legit snowfall for the area occurring as I type! – but its schedule does show that it has still been out truckin’ periodically, mostly in Detroit or West-Side areas such as Farmington Hills, Livonia, and Novi.
Address Like a Rollin’ Stone – Ain’t Got One
(though seems to frequent Detroit, Downriver, and the southwestern part of Oakland County)
ROAK opened its doors in Royal Oak this July. Another Michigan craft brewery! Is anyone going to complain? I don’t know about you guys, but I’m loving the craft beer explosion, and I’m not even the biggest beer drinker. But I’m slowly becoming more and more of one from tasting all of the unique and delicious local craft beer offerings. So if you’re like me, you’re going to want to add ROAK to your list. It’s somewhat off the beaten path of downtown Royal Oak, in a large, what looks to be former warehouse building on Lincoln St. The beer menu is currently small but mighty – six mainstay beers and two seasonal ones in all of the core varieties you are looking for: dark ale, IPA, Belgian witbier, etc. And it’s not all about the beer – pizza, salad, appetizers, and paninis are also served. But my favorite part of ROAK is that it is committed to giving to local charitable organizations. Proceeds of its Devil Dog oatmeal stout (named after World War II soldier dogs) are given to Detroit’s veterans’ hospital, and it has been regularly partnering with other area charities such as The Michigan Humane Society, as well. Yay to growlers, grub, and goodwill!
330 E Lincoln Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067
The first weekend in October was my birthday weekend, and on that cold, blustery, rainy Saturday night, I celebrated with friends during a lowkey night out in Royal Oak. Iron Horse was the perfect place to grab a drink and some excellent street-style tacos. The menu offers a mix of Mexican offerings – the tacos, fajitas, tamales – and more traditional bar fare, including pizzas and sandwiches. A thoughtful cocktail selection beckons, and local draft beer offerings are on tap. Plus it serves brunch on the weekends! It’s a solid upgrade from some of the more congested, run-of-the-mill bar offerings on nearby Main Street.
316 W. 4th St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Photo of Urge Juice’s offerings from its website, http://www.urgejuice.com. Honestly, my juice was so delicious that I gulped it down before I even remembered to take a photo of it!
I’m massively behind on this blog, to a shameful proportion. Confession: I used to do much of this writing during the downtime at my previous two office jobs, which had a lot of lulls to take advantage of. This July, I got a new job, working for a company I respect and with a huge workload attached to my role – but not much time for slacking aka gloriously writing of my exploits around the Tri-County area. So until my other blog, A Cookable Feast, takes off – or possibly this one? – and my dreams of being a food blogger-entrepreneur are realized (still a far-off pursuit, but someday!), my creative pursuits need to be smushed into my life wherever they can. I just need to get better at the smushing. Anywho, I’m going to stuff my sorries in a sack (Seinfeld reference!) and carry on with the task at hand: writing about the gloriously delicious offerings of Urge Juice. The company has a location in downtown Northville, which I visited on a gorgeously warm Sunday earlier this fall. There is also a Berkley location, and, I found out from visiting their website, they also sell their juices at both the Royal Oak and Birmingham farmers’ markets.
The juice is $10, so at first you’re kind of like, “Whatttttt? Ten dollars for juice? DubTF? But then you learn, it’s cold-pressed raw organic juice chock-full of amazing vitamins, and it’s in this huge glass bottle, and it’s tasty as all get-out. The one I tried, Let the Beet Drop, was incredible, and it was simply a mixture of juice from beets, carrots, apples, and lemons. Who knew that beet juice could be so tantalizing?
137 E. Main St.
Northville, MI 48167
(also a Berkley location)