Month: August 2016

186. Rochester Brunch House – August 26, 2016 – Rochester, MI

20160826_12130720160826_12122220160826_12372220160826_123737Hello, all! Happy Tuesday!

It’s not too soon to dream of the holiday weekend, is it? If you live in the U.S. and are anything like me, you’re counting down the work days until the sweet, sweet patio-ing, barbecue-ing, bathing-suiting shenanigans. I am not going out of town for the Labor Day holiday, but I don’t mind. I just need a glass of wine, good company, and some golden rays! From what I can see of the weekend forecast so far here in Metro-Detroit, the weather looks like it’s going to comply with that last wish.

Speaking of sunshine, do you know which area establishment has some pretty excellent outdoor seating? The Rochester Brunch House! Last Friday, some coworkers and I lunched there. Located on Walnut Street (one street over from Main Street) in downtown Rochester, the lunch/brunch joint is nestled inside a large, Victorian-esque building that appears to have originally been someone’s home – typical of many of that area’s businesses.

Because the outside of RBH looks so quaintly old-fashioned, I expected its interior to be more granny’s parlor than contemporary. But it is surprisingly, gorgeously modern, all white walls, crystal chandeliers, and vibrant greenery both faux (wooden crates bestooned with fake lichen as artwork) and real (fresh, single-rose centerpieces on each table).

As I believe I’ve explained on this blog before, while I go to brunch with friends quite regularly, I’m admittedly not a big breakfast-foods person – mostly because I find eggs icky. And they are featured prominently in like 90% of restaurant breakfast menu items! Because the Rochester Brunch House has an extensive lunch menu – featuring a multitude of salads, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers – this made me a happy camper indeed! I ordered the Spicy Chicken pita wrap with hearty chicken, grilled jalapeños, creamy tzatziki sauce, and Swiss cheese.

Of course, most people are attracted to RBH for its brunch menu, which is also extensive – and, eggs aside, looks pretty damn phenomenal. I need to go back to try the Monte Cristo French toast; several people around us in the restaurant that day got it. We also spotted a few enticing platters of pancakes, all festooned in thick icing. And my tablemates’ Sammy Benny (Eggs Benedict with salmon), amped-up biscuits and gravy (including fried chicken and scrambled eggs), and chicken and waffles (pictured above) made for pretty displays, as well – and satisfied bellies!

301 Walnut Blvd.

Rochester, MI 48307

www.rochesterbrunchhouse.com

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185. Vivio’s – August 21, 2016 – Detroit, MI

When I went downtown for the Tigers game last Sunday with some friends, Supino Pizzeria was our intended lunchtime destination. But it was closed! WAH WAH. I was surprised, because I’ve been there on a Saturday and know that with Eastern Market open, the pizza joint attracts a mega crowd. So by happy accident, I got to check out nearby Vivio’s instead.

Vivio’s is known for its bomb Bloody Marys. The multiple varieties warrant their own menu. You should see these things (and you can, if you pull up the Bloody Mary menu on Vivio’s website). They are INSANE. Seriously, they resemble floral arrangements more than beverages. Check out this description for the Loaded Bloody Mary shown on the website: “Our Famous Bloody Mary with thick cut, ranch bacon, spicy asparagus spears, prosciutto stuffed olives and provolone. Served with pickle spear, lime and beer chaser.” The cup in the corresponding picture is stuffed to the gills with all of these goodies. And one of the Bloody Marys on the menu at the restaurant featured – among many other things – jerky. Jerky!

Confession: I am not a Bloody Mary person. I felt I should become a Bloody Mary person so as to experience one of these fabulous drinks, but I couldn’t muster up the stomach for it. Of our table of four, no one got one! My one friend there loves Bloody Marys, but I couldn’t get even her to do it. I think we all wanted to focus on our meals. Boringly practical, I know! So if you go to Vivio’s and try one of those bad boys, please report your experience in the Comments field. I’d love to know how it was!

Instead of imbibing a glass o’ charcueterie-infused tomato juice, I chowed down on a burger. I can’t find it on the menu on Vivio’s website (which appears to be somewhat different from the one I ordered off of at the restaurant, as does the Bloody Mary menu). But it had bacon and cheese on it and was ensconced in a pretzel bun. It was delicious. I’m a sucker for pretzel buns!

Some other fun facts about Vivio’s: 1) it opens at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and features a breakfast menu 2) it offers a shuttle to Lions and Tigers games and 3) there is also a Warren location.

2460 Market St.

Detroit, MI 48207

www.viviosdetroit.net

184. DeVries & Co. – August 21, 2016 – Detroit, MI

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Hello, all! Happy Wednesday! I hope you are having  a lovely week and getting some exploring in. I try to remind myself that even weeknights can be special, a chance to discover somewhere new.

This past weekend, I was down in the D for a Tigers game. One of my friends works in the Crain’s office complex, which is amazing, because it means we have its free, gated parking at our disposal. Her work is about a three quarter of a mile’s walk from Comerica Park; it honestly doesn’t feel even that far. I tell her she can never stop working there!

Because of our parking spot’s close proximity to Eastern Market, we decided to meet our other friends who were attending the game with us there. Before pre-game lunch and drinks, we stumbled across a charming market called DeVries and Co. It’s been around since 1887, providing gourmet cheeses, meats, jams, pickles, and other items, many of which are locally made. One more gem in the city!

2468 Market St.

Detroit, MI 48207

183. Mex – August 2, 2016 – Bloomfield Hills, MI

20160802_19072120160802_19084620160802_193114Bloomfield Hills represented on the blog! What what!

Guys, Bloomfield Hills is only about 35 minutes from my house, but it admittedly feels like another world to me. I rarely go out that way, so when I do, I’m always like “Whaaattt? What is this land? What are all these weird roads I’ve never heard of and this hilliness?” I’m an East Sider – I don’t do hills! But OK, I can do hills if it means going to Mex again.

What a beautiful, trippy place to step into! Check out the second photo above, which was a view of the ceiling above where my friend and I sat. It’s a veritable art display! Mex’s website characterizes its style as Alice in Wonderland-inspired.

The restaurant was my friend’s suggestion; we were in the general area and went there for drinks and dinner. Instead of getting entrees, we ended up sharing an appetizer: the Everything Guac. Read the menu description of this bad boy: “fresh corn chips; MEX guacamole, bacon, pepitas, roasted garlic, grilled corn, queso blanco, grilled red onion.” YES! Bacon in guacamole? Absolutely! The smoky flavor of the bacon compliments it quite well, actually. It was glorious. And it was filling! For two people, a bowl of Everything Guac was sufficient. But I would love to come back and sample additional fare.

I’d characterize Mex’s menu as experimental gourmet Tex-Mex. There are specialty tacos with fillings such as marinated pork and pineapple, fried cod, and curried vegetables; a southwestern version of Sloppy Joe’s laced with barbecue sauce and pickled vegetables called Sloppy José Sliders; and a Mexican chocolate cake soaked in three different types of booze (Irish cream, rum, and coffee liquor). WOW to that last one! I NEED to try that.

6675 Telegraph Rd.

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301

www.mexbloomfield.com

182. 24 Seconds Bar & Grill – July 29, 2016 – Berkley, MI

Hola!!! Happy Tuesday, all. I hope you are surviving the work week nicely. Perhaps you are feeling like I was just a few moments ago – a little harried, frazzled, craving an adult beverage and a time out – until I launched into the soothing practice of writing, that is. Something about the process of crafting a well-constructed sentence calms me down. Plus, I love this blog. Recounting my travels around the D makes me so frickin’ happy!

And visiting downtown Berkley makes me happy, too. Have you been down there lately? The Friday night before last, I unexpectedly got the night off from my second job (which I’ve since quit – woo-hoo! More free time!), so I jaunted down to Berkley with one of my BFFs.

We hit the patio of Amici’s first, shortly after a major rain shower had soaked the fabric-covered deck chairs. Within seconds of being seated, our butts were also soaked. We improvised, having the restaurant staff bring us paper plates and napkins to sit on, which helped tremendously. Before we knew it, several other groups of diners that were seated outside after us were following our lead, planting their tushes on disposable dinnerware. Ridiculous – but fun! And yummm to Amici’s bacon-and-sausage pizza and the EXCELLENT Spanish coffee the bar made me.

After our foray onto the rain-soaked but absolutely lovely patio of that venerable pie establishment, we headed over to 24 Seconds, a nearby sports bar with a roof-top patio (check it out in the photos above!). Why would I NOT want to sit on a roof-top patio on a lovely Friday evening sipping a vodka and soda, conversing with a dear friend, and keeping tabs on the Tigers from one of the flat-screens nearby? That’s one top-notch Friday night for me, people.

I didn’t eat any food at 24 Seconds, but the menu looks like the typical bar fare: pizza, sandwiches, plenty of fried appetizers – even a few entree salads thrown in for good measure.

3071 12 Mile Rd.

Berkley, MI 48072