Washington is represented on the blog – with a visit to Brown Iron Brewhouse!
I visited the local brewery in May, yearning to sit on its pretty patio. A rainy day – alas! – made that impossible. But I did get to experience Brown Iron’s convivial beer hall interior. There I feasted on its beefy bacon cheeseburger (the Brown Iron Burger) and sipped one of its raspberry saisons.
Brown Iron features a wide selection of beers and hard ciders on tap – both its own and those of other breweries. The Washington location’s tap list is currently 69 items strong! Wine and cocktails are also available.
And the food! A feature of Brown Iron’s food menu is its barbecued meats. It has a smoker – and that’s reflected in menu offerings such as Slow Smoked BBQ Pork, Texas Beef Brisket, and St. Louis Spareribs. Sandwiches, salads, and pub-friendly appetizers (here’s looking at you, Crispy Cheese Curds and Beer Hall Nachos!) are also available.
Frame, making an everyday night an absolute experience!
What a special place this Hazel Park-based business is. Frame is not simply a restaurant or bar – though its FRAMEbar does function as one. No, Frame is a crafter of experiences – experiences like the cocktail-making class I took this May.
The class, titled, “Vintage Spirits & Forgotten 19th-Century Cocktails,” was part of a series called Frame Summer School. Workshops are a large part of what Frame does. It offers classes on food and cocktail making, on subjects ranging from cake decorating to beer-making to Ethiopian cooking.
If you prefer to be served an experience rather than trying your hand at crafting it yourself, Frame’s got you, too! Another of Frame’s primary offerings is its Frame Dinners. Locally-based chefs and those from farther afield come to Frame to cook multi-course, reservation-only themed dinners. I’ve not yet attended one of these meals, but judging by the descriptions on Frame’s website, they are special. I want to experience them all: the Traditional Mexican Dinner Party by Eddie Vargas, the Liberian Dinner Party by Ameneh Marhaba (both local chefs).
While tickets must be purchased in advance for the Frame Dinners experiences, walk-in meals are possible at Frame via its FRAMEbar concept. FRAMEbar hosts chefs – such as current chef-in-residence Shinya Hirakawa of Obi Sushi – for month-long residencies.
I would love to revisit Frame, to attend one of its Frame Dinners or sample fare by a chef in residency or take another class. That workshop I attended, on vintage spirits and forgotten cocktails? It was an absolute blast! It was taught by Paul Seif, a Pittsburgh-based bartender. We made three cocktails with ties to the Detroit area: The Last Word, The 12th Mile Limit, and The Cohaset Punch. All were delightfully boozy and utterly delicious, but my favorite was The Cohaset Punch. With its 12 ingredients (including two kinds of rum, spiced brandy, blackstrap molasses, and bourbon-soaked peaches), the drink is more aspirational than everyday for me. But I want to make it part of my everyday. It’s flavor-packed, booze-forward, and the ideal amount of sweet-but-not-too-sweet.
Paul was a great instructor: approachable, funny, and willing to answer the questions lobbed at him by our full class. He shared stories about each cocktail’s origin and his particular takes on them. As we mixed our drinks, I chatted with the woman next to me, a Frame workshop regular who raved about the place. Now here I am, a fellow raving fan of Frame and its ultra-special experiences!