Month: August 2019

401. Candle Wick Shoppe – March 19, 2019 – Ferndale, MI

March2019CandleWickShoppe1 (2)March2019CandleWickShoppe3 (2)March2019CandleWickShoppe2 (2)After cozy journaling time at Civitas Coffee House in Hazel Park on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-March, I continued on to downtown Ferndale, where I visited a place I’d long been curious about: Candle Wick Shoppe.

The store sells all kinds of high-vibing products: candles, crystals, essential oils, incense, books, jewelry, and other goodies. According to its website, reiki sessions are also offered through the shop.

While at Candle Wick Shoppe, I enjoyed interacting with the friendly sales clerk, who helped me pick out my purchases. I went with a smoothly polished and satisfyingly hefty rose quartz stone, a rainbow-luminescent stone called opalite, and a tall blue candle dedicated to the third-eye chakra.

I love crystals for their different meanings and their beauty, and I’m obsessed with candles (I burn them daily), so I was happy to add to my collection of both – as happy as I was to soak up the calming, positive energy radiated by Candle Wick Shoppe.

175 W. 9 Mile Rd.

Ferndale, MI 48220


400! Civitas Coffee House – March 19, 2019 – Hazel Park, MI

March2019Civitas1 (2)Visit Number 400 is hitting 100 Places in the D!!! Say hello to Civitas Coffee House of Hazel Park.

I adore indie coffee shops with their funky, cozy vibes, sense of community-fostering, and ability to make me feel as if I’m hiding away from the oft-chaotic world for a moment of blissful respite. So I was excited to visit this new-to-me one for some tranquil journaling time (fueled by a caffeine jolt, naturally).

The interior of Civitas Coffee House has a welcoming ambiance, with warm wood paneling, ample natural lighting, and walls painted a denim blue. During my visit in mid-March, tiny vases holding lime-green carnations graced each table.

I visited Civitas Coffee House for about 45 minutes, sipping a cappuccino whilst writing and enjoying the coffee-shop ambiance. The experience provided me with that special feeling of repose that only coffee houses can evoke, so: mission accomplished, Civitas!

Reflecting upon the milestone of this visit five months after it occurred (better late than never, eh?), I’m amazed by the fact that up to this point – and in just over five years – I’d visited 400 new-to-me, locally-owned places in the Metro-Detroit area. FOUR HUNDRED! Here’s to the magic of starting a project and seeing where it takes you.

906 E. 9 Mile Rd.

Hazel Park, MI 48030

(Closed Sundays)

399. Trizest Restaurant – March 15, 2019 – Sterling Heights, MI

March2019Trizest1 (2)March2019Trizest2 (2)Every time I think of Trizest Restaurant, I crave its Gong Bao chicken, which is some of the best I’ve had.

Tender chicken, flavorful veggies, and a delightfully spicy, tasty sauce characterize the Sterling Heights-based Chinese restaurant’s iteration of this classic dish, which is also known as Kung Pao chicken.

I didn’t need to peruse Trizest’s menu during my visit, because Gong Bao chicken is my Chinese go-to; I adore it. But I did notice that its menu is loaded with a plethora of appetizers and entrees, including a vegetarian section featuring plant-based “chicken.”

I dined at Trizest back in March. It was packed when I arrived around 7:30 that Friday night. I soon learned why: its food is fantastic! My visit was five months ago, and I still long for that Gong Bao chicken on the regular. Memorableness is a mark of a good visit, for sure!

Another aspect of dining at Trizest that struck me as memorable was its lighting. It was BRIGHT – like, grocery-store-in-the-middle-of-the-night bright. You are not likely to fall asleep whilst dining at Trizest. And hey – that’s a good thing, because you wouldn’t want to miss a moment of noshing on its delectable cuisine!

33170 Dequindre Rd.

Sterling Heights, MI 48310

(Closed Mondays)

398. Three Cats Café – March 15, 2019 – Clawson, MI

March2019ThreeCatsCafe1 (2)March2019ThreeCatsCafe2 (2)March2019ThreeCatsCafe4 (2)After my visit to the lovely Leon & Lulu on a Friday night in mid-March, I continued on to the Three Cats Café, its sister business just next-door.

I was enchanted with the place. The Clawson-based establishment is more than a café housed in a former movie theater, its glittery marquee intact and its street-facing ticket booth still present, complete with a “talking” vendor mannequin rattling off facts about the place. It’s also an expansive shop selling artwork, mugs, handmade cards, and other perfect-for-gifting goodies, much of which are locally made and/or Michigan-centric.

The café counter of Three Cats Café is in the front of the building, near the entrance, while the shop/seating area is behind it. The nature of my visit (a pre-dinner-date jaunt) didn’t allow me to sample any of the café’s delectable-sounding soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other goodies (though the Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese w/ Cup of Tomato Basil Soup on its current online menu is hitting me pretty hard with the cravings right now!). Instead, I opted for a cappuccino from its menu of coffee and tea drinks.

This cappuccino was steamy, creamy, foam-laden deliciousness that I enjoyed while sitting at a table in the Three Cats shop/seating area. It’s a brightly colored, aesthetically pleasing space, an ideal place to retreat from the outside world and relax. I could feel myself unwinding with every sip.

116 W. 14 Mile Rd.

Clawson, MI 48017

397. Leon & Lulu – March 15, 2019 – Clawson, MI

March2019LeonandLulu2 (2)March2019LeonandLulu3 (2)Leon & Lulu, what a breath of fresh air you were for me!

I’d been wanting to visit the Clawson-based store since I’d learned about it several years prior, and having some time to kill before a nearby dinner date with a friend on a Friday night in mid-March, I decided to check it out.

It’d been a rough couple of weeks for me from an emotional standpoint. I was in need of that giddiness I get from visiting an awesome new place. And I definitely got it when I stepped inside Leon & Lulu.

The place is a cornucopia of brightly colored, aesthetically beautiful delights! Upon stepping inside Leon & Lulu’s large storefront, I immediately felt the relief of the baddie feelings melting away, replaced by a jolt of excitement.

An employee greeted me immediately, and when I told him it was my first time visiting the shop, he welcomed me and explained how the building was a former roller rink (a disco ball from back then is still suspended from the ceiling).

I got to exploring. Leon & Lulu is packed with artwork, furniture, and other home goods; clothing, jewelry, and bags; pottery, candles, and potholders emblazoned with snarky sayings. It also stocks books, toys, funny socks, stationary, handmade greeting cards, Michigan-centric items, and loads more.

Leon & Lulu is one of those places where you can go to get a fabulous, one-of-a-kind item that makes the perfect gift. Many of the products it proffers have a humorous bent, such as a book it recently featured in an Instagram post titled The Best Places to Pee: A Guide to the Funky & Fabulous Bathrooms of Portland.

After about a half hour of browsing, I opted to go the humorous route with my purchase, buying an oven mitt decorated with a drawing of a 1950s-esque woman cooking and the caption “droppin’ a new recipe on your ass.”

The explosion of creativity on display at Leon & Lulu, the beauty and the whimsy of the items sold, and the friendly customer service that I received provided much-needed emotional respite to me that night, and for that, I am exceptionally grateful. My visit there was a reminder of the power of exploring to positively shake up one’s life, to get the good energies going. Whatever mood you’re in, this one is definitely worth a visit!

96 W. 14 Mile Rd.

Clawson, MI 48017

396. The Whiskey Six – March 2, 2019 – Grosse Pointe, MI

March2019WhiskeySix1 (2)A friend and I stumbled across The Whiskey Six on a Saturday night in early March.

When I say we stumbled across The Whiskey Six, I mean that literally: we were walking around and around this little corner of downtown Grosse Pointe, looking for another restaurant that our GPS said was there but that we just. couldn’t. find. But there was The Whiskey Six, its windows glowing warmly at us, and we were like, why not?

We walked inside The Whiskey Six and were greeted to a bustling scene, an establishment that felt both refined and welcoming.

Featured in the front of the restaurant is this impressive wraparound bar with these multi-tiered wooden shelves holding both backlit bottles of spirits and flat-screen TVs. The overall vibe is industrial-chic-meets-rustic, with wrought-iron chandeliers, exposed brick and ductwork, and a shiny antique car displayed on a ceiling-level platform.

As you’d expect, The Whiskey Six serves a “vast selection of fine whiskeys,” as it puts it on the About page of its website. It also offers craft beers (including many local choices), wine, and cocktails.

The restaurant’s food menu features a variety of appetizers (from Fish Tacos to Crispy Rice Balls to Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”); soups and salads; sliders (including lamb and meatball options); pizzas; burgers and sandwiches; and entrées. That latter section features pastas and protein-centric dishes such as Macaroni and Cheese and Char Grilled Salmon.

I emphatically opted-in for the W6 Tenderloin, an eight-ounce filet of beef wrapped in bacon and served with mashed cauliflower and vegetables. I also ordered the Maiden Manhattan as my alcoholic beverage du jour. It was tasty and strong and complemented the tender, savory W6 Tenderloin.

Our server at The Whiskey Six was great, attentive and friendly. Further enhancing the ambiance of the place was a band that struck up lively tunes during our dinner.

So much of modern life is planned – at least, my modern life is. My unplanned visit to The Whiskey Six was a reminder of the power of spontaneity. I’m grateful that my friend and I happened upon it on accident and that the restaurant facilitated our dining experience as divinely as it did.

646 St. Clair Ave.

Grosse Pointe, MI 48230

395. Harry’s Detroit – March 1, 2019 – Detroit, MI

March2019Harry's1 (2)March2019Harry's2 (2)100 Places in the D is marching into March – finally! (Never mind that we’re still five months behind here – progress is progress. :P)

A visit to Harry’s Detroit kicked off the month. The bar was packed during my dinnertime visit, most likely due to the Michael Bublé concert soon taking place at nearby Little Caesars Arena. My mom and I were attending that concert and decided to stop off at Harry’s first.

The bar has a classy yet homey vibe, with lots of glossy dark wood and a blackboard spelling out drink specials in colorful chalk. It also has a covered rooftop patio that looks like a very good time – but alas, I was not able to enjoy it during the frigidity of my late-winter visit.

Harry’s menu showcases an enticing array of bar-food fare: appetizers that scream of high calorie counts and deliciousness (see the Jalapeño Poppers Eggrolls with their deep-fried casings stuffed with bacon, jalapeños, and cheddar, Gouda, and cream cheeses and served with ranch – !), hefty burgers, and stick-to-your-ribs sandwiches. It also offers comfort-food-focused entrées such as baked macaroni and cheese and meatloaf, plus soups and salads.

I was craving a Greek salad (I get on kicks with those suckers sometimes; they’re SO good! Says the woman who didn’t like salads until her late twenties). So I went for Harry’s Detroit Greek Salad, to which I added grilled chicken.

The salad was hearty and flavorful with its mixed greens tossed with roasted beets, spicy pepperoncini, and creamy feta, plus onions, olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes bringing the veggie goodness. Accompanying it were triangles of soft, chewy pita bread. It was the perfect sustenance to energize me for a night of cheering on my favorite Canadian crooner. 🙂

2482 Clifford St.

Detroit, MI 48201