Month: January 2019

382. Bikes and Coffee – December 16, 2018 – Detroit, MI

december2018bikesandcoffee1 (2)december2018bikesandcoffee2 (2)I’m forever enthused to find a new indie coffee shop. So when the recently opened Bikes and Coffee in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit popped up on my radar, you know I was there!

As its name implies, Bikes and Coffee isn’t simply a coffee house. It’s also a full-service bike repair shop that offers cycling-related gear and builds custom bikes by request.

The small shop artfully melds its two business elements, with counter and sofa seating up front for cozy latte sipping, a barista-station island in the center, and bike frames, tires, and other gear concentrated along the rear peripheral.

I’ve been to Bikes and Coffee twice: once on a gorgeously sunny Sunday in mid-December when I enjoyed a white tea latte while sunning at a window-facing counter seat and again two weeks later, when I sipped a rich cappuccino.

The first time I was there, the owner’s kitten was there, too, running and jumping and playing. What an adorable little guy! He pawed playfully at my legs and hopped up onto one patron’s lap.

Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or not, Bikes and Coffee is worth a visit. Bring your bike in for a tune-up and sip on some caffeine-fueled goodness, to boot!

1521 Putnam St.

Detroit, MI 48208

www.bikes-coffee.com

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381. Antihero – December 12, 2018 – Ferndale, MI

December2018AntiHero1 (4)Bringing the color and flavor explosions: that’s Antihero for ya! I visited the recently-opened Japanese restaurant on Nine Mile Road in downtown Ferndale back in mid-December.

Antihero’s restrooms: they’re what’s bringing the color explosion. These are quite possibly the most awesome restrooms I have ever seen, boasting vibrantly-hued, cartoon-esque, panoramic murals that make you happy you had to go pee.

Both times I was in the ladies’ room during my visit, I encountered a fellow patron as she walked in, exclaimed over the murals, and pulled out her phone to take a picture. I should have taken a picture of the ladies’ room myself to include here – but really, the art is worth experiencing yourself!

The dining room of Antihero features more subdued – yet just as beautiful – mural artwork. The space is dimly lit, chic elegance, with starburst chandelier lighting and blond wooden booths and communal tables.

A collection of craft cocktails (with fun names such as Late Night Party Store and Dandy) helms Antihero’s drink menu, which is rounded out by selections of draft and bottled beers.

The food menu consists of small plates, noodle dishes, and a hibachi section with meat, seafood, and veggie selections that you can cook yourself on a hibachi grill brought to the table.

I was intrigued by the hibachi offerings (partially because items from that selection came with the whimsically-monikered Fuck Yea sauce), but I ultimately opted for two small plates for my main course: the Smashed Fingerling Potato and the Smoked Brisket Bun.

The Smashed Fingerling Potato dish was BOMB! HERE is the flavor explosion I was talking about. These potatoes with their creamy kewpie mayo, yakisoba sauce, chopped nori, and scallions were so richly delicious. I’m super impressed whenever I find vegetarian dishes that are as rich and sumptuous – or more so – as meat-based dishes; the Smashed Fingerling Potato fits into this category.

The Smoked Brisket Bun was also tasty with its incredibly tender beef complemented by a zesty chili-hoisin sauce and a pillowy-soft bun.

And then, there was dessert! I couldn’t pass up the Mochi Donut with its orange-oil-and-apple-cider glaze. The donuts were freshly-fried heaven, with an intriguingly chewy texture lent from the mochi rice paste they were made from.

In short, this visit to Antihero was most definitely a win! It’s no wonder the place is great: it’s owned by the same local restaurateurs behind the fantastic Ferndale staples Imperial and Public House.

231 W. Nine Mile Rd.

Ferndale, MI 48220

www.antiheroferndale.com

380. Populace Coffee – December 9, 2018 – Detroit, MI

December2018PopulaceCoffee1 (3)After Sunday-morning brunching at Brass Rail Pizza Bar and checking out the holiday markets at Capitol Park, friends and I decided it was time for piping-hot caffeinated goodness at Populace Coffee.

The downtown-Detroit-based coffee shop is located inside of The Siren Hotel, retro-chic accommodations housed within the previously long-abandoned Wurlitzer Building on Broadway Street near Comerica Park.

You know how some places are so inviting, so otherworldly in their coziness that you don’t want to leave? That was how I found Populace Coffee to be. With its velvet-plush furniture, potted palms, fringe-shaded lamps, and ornately carved bookshelf packed with tomes, it exudes antique glamour and a welcoming, come-rest-with-your-feet-up-and-a-cup-of-tea (or Colombian-roast coffee) vibe. I wanted to spend all Sunday afternoon holed up in that coffee house, sipping my rich cappuccino, chatting with my pals, and perusing the magazines scattered about.

We ended up spending about an hour inside Populace; then it was back out into the real world. It was an hour well spent, as I emerged exhilarated by communion, caffeine, and the crush I’d developed for yet another awesome independent coffee shop in the city.

1509 Broadway St.

Detroit, MI 48226

(with an additional location in Bay City, MI)

www.populace.coffee

379. Brass Rail Pizza Bar – December 9, 2018 – Detroit, MI

December2018BrassRailPizzaBar1 (2)December2018BrassRailPizzaBar2 (3)December2018BrassRailPizzaBar3 (2)Pizza for brunch? YES, please!

On a exuberantly blue-skied Sunday morning in early December, I met friends over drinks and that cheese-bedecked Italian pie at Brass Rail Pizza Bar in downtown Detroit.

The restaurant has a welcoming, decidedly sports-bar-esque vibe with its expansive interior and industrial-chic decor. On that weekend morning, it also had a Bloody Mary bar.

I’m not one for the Bloody Marys (I love tomatoes, but I just can’t get into drinking tomato juice – even when it’s laced with booze), but my friends were down and proceeded to construct some EPIC Bloody Marys, complete with onion rings and skewers laden heavy with various cured meats and cheeses. They nabbed me an onion ring battered with crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, which was awesomeness!

I ordered a Spanish coffee and the small size of the Chip off the Ole Block pizza. It was delicious with its bacon, arugula, onion, and lemon zest nestled on a bed of red sauce and melted cheese and drizzled with balsamic glaze. It was also significantly larger than I’d expected, an excellent value for $11. I took over half of it home.

What an ideal spot for brunch (or lunch, or dinner) this Brass Rail Pizza Bar is! Not only is the pizza delicious and the drink selection on point (there’s a full bar, including a plethora of Michigan craft beers on draft, in addition to the weekend Bloody Mary set-up), there’s also food offerings in addition to the namesake pie: a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and comfort-centric entrĂ©es such as Fish and Chips, Fettuccine Alfredo, and Chicken Parmesan.

Additionally, vegan cheese and gluten-free crust are options available when ordering pizza, as is a gluten-free bun for burgers and sandwiches. Yay to inclusive ingredient options!

Brass Rail Pizza Bar, you had me at Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-battered onion ring. I would love if you hosted me for brunch again soon!

18 W. Adams Ave.

Detroit, MI 48226

www.brassraildetroit.com