100 Places in the D’s Top Ten of Year Two

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Two James Spirits (#162)

This list is a few months overdue. Year Two of this little project ranged from February 8, 2015 through February 7 of this year, to be precise. But as a recovering perfectionist with way too many interests and way too little time, in my opinion, to pursue them, I’ve found it best to operate from a “better late than never” philosophy. Much more fun than being rigid and self-punishing! So here, just in time for spring (hopefully! How about that snow this past weekend, my locals?) are my top ten favorite visits from Year Two – listed in no particular order, because ranking them would’ve been way too hard. They are all excellent!

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Brew Detroit (#141)

Brew Detroit (#141, Detroit): I visited some awesome breweries in Year Two, but Brew Detroit was the awesome-est in my book. The fantastic beers (a lavender- and chamomile-infused saison and a blonde flavored with vanilla beans and cacao nibs) I tasted during my visit still pleasingly haunt my memory – especially since I can’t go back and get them! Brew Detroit has a philosophy that once a batch of a particular microbrew it creates is gone, that’s it – they go back to the flavor drawing board and dream up another. Love that spirit of innovation and creativity and that you never know what you’re gonna get when you go there. Also love the chill industrial vibe and the friendly bartenders of its tasting room.

Le Petit Prince (#110, Birmingham): The almond croissant – I can’t. So. F@cking. Good. Le Petit Prince is more than legit; it’s legendary.

CC Plus at the Center (#114, Mount Clemens): Friendly, accessible drop-in fitness center that hosts Zumba, toning/strength-training classes, yoga, boxing, you name it. Affordable prices for a variety of drop-in pass options. Love going there and getting my ass kicked!

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The Meeting House (#122)

The Meeting House (#122, Rochester, MI): Great food, innovative cocktails, and classy environs make this restaurant stand up to it name. The Fat Elvis French toast is very probably the best French toast I will ever have. Brunch is not f@cking around here.

The Nautical Ride (#136, Saint Clair Shores): It was a rocky start: I can’t remember another time I was more terrified on a bike (the loaner I was using was rough!). But once I got into the swing of things, I thoroughly enjoyed this (impressively) organized large-scale group ride around neighborhoods of Saint Clair Shores surrounding the Nautical Mile. Looking forward to heading out on another of its jaunts this summer.

Two James Spirits (#162, Detroit): Nondescript on the outside, gorgeous on the inside, Two James is a lovely, lovely bar and distillery that crafts its cocktails and ambiance with care. The perfect setting for some nice and easy Sunday day-drinking.

The Clean Plate (#104, Shelby Township): Excellent vegetarian/vegan café in an area that is sorely lacking such options. The Clean Plate is doing the good work.

The Heidelburg Project (#129, Detroit): Once I finally made it over to this legendary outdoor art installation on Heidelburg Street in Detroit (my first visit at 30 – how?), I was incredibly moved – by the vastness, the vivacity, the resourcefulness and inventiveness of it. Whether you’re passionate about contemporary/found art as I am – or simply love our great city and this monument to it – I have no doubt that you’ll find witnessing it to be an inspiring, thought-provoking experience.

Luxe Bar and Grill (#160, Birmingham): The standout barbeque burger and craft cocktails make the wait in the cluster of the lobby (beyond tiny!) completely worthwhile.

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Mercury Burger and Bar (#162)

Mercury Burger and Bar (#161, Detroit): Love the cute and cherry vibes of this lovely little Detroit diner/bar. The Southwest Detroit burger – PHENOMENAL. Definitely in my top-ten list of best things I have ever eaten. And poutine tater tots, people!!! How did I ever live without poutine tater tots in my world?  

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