Month: July 2016

181. Eldorado General Store – July 17, 2016 – Detroit, MI


Hello, all! I hope you had a fabulous weekend and braved the heat wave OK if you are here in the D. I was surprised to discover that there was a nice breeze blowing at the outdoor bridal shower I went to Saturday and that the 90-something-degree weather was pleasantly bearable. I’m all for soaking up as much of this summer clime as I possibly can.

After brunching at the fantastic Bobcat Bonnie’s the Sunday before last, I got to cross off another local establishment from my 100 Places bucket list with a stroll just down Michigan Ave. to Eldorado General Store, a charming little shop that sells vintage wares and handmade goods, many of them locally made.

Detroit Candle Company sells its wares here! Its lavender candles, the wax sprinkled with actual whole lavender petals, as well as a pipe tobacco-scented variety were available on my visit. And one of the popular local shaving companies, Detroit Grooming Co., peddles its goods at Eldorado, as well.

Adding interest to the vintage items for sale are tags saying where they were found; the shop owner has a penchant for picking up beautiful vintage clothing, leather handbags, and other items on her travels.

I was excited to be in this store. I had wanted to visit Eldorado for a very long time, and I convinced my not-as-enthusiastic friends to pop in with me. It did not disappoint me. I purchased the birthday card, black tourmaline stone (touted as warding off negative energies – yes, please!), and the handmade teakwood-and-tobacco-scented candle from P.F. Candle Co. shown in the photo above. I was bummed to later discover that duh, it says right on that candle that it was made in California rather than Michigan, but in my eager state at purchase, I hadn’t noticed. I would’ve loved to support a local candle purveyor, but this one smells AMAZING, so I’m happy to aid P.F. Candle Co. instead.

1700 Michigan Ave.

Detroit, MI 48216

180. Bobcat Bonnie’s – July 17, 2016 – Detroit, MI

20160717_12465520160717_14091520160717_133437Hi, all! It’s that time again – THE WEEKEND!!!!! Woo-hoo! It’s looking pretty gorgeous out there so far here in the Metro-D – albeit meltingly hot and muggy (I’ll take that any day over freezing). So if you head out and about this weekend, be sure to hydrate! Fortunately, if you’re in the mood to pound some fluids (which sounds horribly dirty – sorry), Bobcat Bonnie’s in Corktown, which I visited last Sunday for brunch with friends, is a fabulous choice. Check out that Bloody Mary/mimosa bar in the photo above. You’ll be able to stay hydrated at an affordable price. And while you are drinking, you’ve gotta keep that stomach full, right? I had the biscuits and gravy and a side of fruit during my visit – because I had to temper all of that deliciously rich saturated sausage fat with some plant-based nutrients. One friend had an open-faced sandwich with goat cheese, candy-bright heirloom tomatoes, and basil, a perfect choice to capitalize on the freshness of midsummer produce.

I totally dug not only the food and watermelon whiskey drink I had at Bobcat Bonnie’s, but it’s overall aura. It’s another one of those gorgeous old brick buildings down in the D where you sit and soak in the character and speculate: what was this originally built to be? Was it always a pub?  Or a bank, perhaps? What kind of people originally congregated here? What kind of crazy shit has gone down here? It’s fascinating to me, the concept of the history of these buildings: the thought of what they were and how they died and reincarnated into these vibrant new things. I love the current manifestation of this one, its inviting industrial/fun-basement vibe, the fact that it has a couple of arcade games in the back.

Bobcat Bonnie’s serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offers lunch and dinner menus as well (it’s open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday).

1800 Michigan Ave.

Detroit, MI 48216

179. Eos Café – July 10, 2016 – Saint Clair Shores, MI

20160710_162540 (1)My friend had become somewhat of a VIP at this new coffee shop in her neighborhood, Eos Café. She’d been coming in frequently and joked that the table by the window that she always sat at should be designated for her, so they put a sticker with her name on it on the side of it. I think it was on there for about a week, but Sunday when I visited the place and told the owner I met that I was her friend, we discovered that the sticker had been ripped off. VIP status denied!

No, not really. My friend is too charming to have anyone deny her the privilege of being denoted a favored regular. And this owner of Eos is too friendly for me to see him ever treating any customer as more than top-tier. On my visit, he took some time to chat with me and gave me a free iced tea. He was very welcoming, as was the overall vibe of the coffee house. It’s a beautiful space, very soothing to be in, and I found myself wishing it was on my side of town so I could regularly visit and get some writing done. Maybe I’ll need to find an excuse to come to Saint Clair Shores more often.

Eos is not just a beautifully ambient shop peddling the usual coffee and tea drinks; it also offers smoothies, breakfast items, salads, and a variety of sandwiches and paninis. (Ok, it’s not even 9:30 in the morning as I’m writing this, and I’m starving. I need a chicken pesto panini!)

30625 Jefferson Ave.
St. Clair Shores, MI 48082

178. Joe Suds – June 19, 2016 – Warren, MI

Joe Suds is a dive bar. It’s nothing too special to look at on the inside. But the burgers! I had one of the best bacon cheeseburgers there, perched at the bar, celebrating Father’s Day with my dad and also with one of my aunts who was in town from Denver. It wasn’t exactly the place I expected to spend Father’s Day (actually it wasn’t too far off; I expected to be eating Sunday dollar burgers at my dad’s favorite bar, Freddy’s), but the location worked for everyone involved, and hey, it was a new place to visit. I enjoyed it!

And what a cheap date! It was about $37 for three burgers, a side of onion rings, a side of fries, and four drinks. Plus, the service was good; there was one bartender hustling around, serving a rail full of people and possibly even cooking our burgers in the back, we think. And if (unlike me) you’re motivated enough to engage in recreation when you drink, Joe Suds has a bunch of classic basement games scattered around, such as pool and foosball.

13791 E. 13 Mile Rd.

Warren, MI 48088

177. Center Street Grille – June 12, 2016 – Northville, MI

20160612_14131720160612_140654Happy Fourth, all! For those of you in the U.S., whether you’re kicking it in the backyard or out on the road exploring, I hope you’re having a relaxing and enjoyable holiday weekend. Me, I’ve stayed pretty close to home. I’ll be attending my third barbeque in a row tonight, this one at my dad’s house.

I’m soooo appreciating having three days off in a row to recharge and enjoy this excellent weather we’ve been having! Still, I am itching to explore. Next week, there will be some of that on the docket, for sure. I’ve been so busy working two jobs lately that I haven’t gotten out as much as I’d like. Wah wah. But several weekends ago, I did trek out to Northville to meet some friends.

If you haven’t been to downtown Northville yet, please go! It’s the perfect summer weekend destination, a delightful little city center filled with interesting, explore-worthy establishments. There’s artsy shops and a juice bar and Next Chapter Bookstore, the rare indie book peddler. And of course, restaurants. This time we ate at Center Street Grille, a sleek new sports bar.

I appreciate a good sports bar. Sure, I enjoy dining at fancy restaurants, but I realized recently that I prefer eating at a solid watering hole to a snooty-snooty, here’s-your-dollop-of-artfully-arranged-food-you’ll-pay-$40-for-and-leave-hungry type of place. Belies my blue-collar roots, I guess. At Center Street, I had the Mediterranean sandwich, a delicious chicken wrap studded with flavorful feta and smothered in hummus. My friends’ meals included the goat cheese appetizer and pizza; they enjoyed both. The service was attentive, the ambiance polished, subdued, down-to-earth.

135 North Center St.
Northville, MI 48167