Oakland County

360. TreeRunner Adventure Park – September 13, 2018 – West Bloomfield, MI

September2018TreeRunner1 (2)September2018TreeRunner3 (4)A workday spent frolicking above the forest canopy? Sign me up!

Last week, I got to fulfill a several-years-held dream of visiting TreeRunner Adventure Park in West Bloomfield – on my employer’s dime! My department at my day job was required to attend a six-hour retreat at the park. We spent half of the day on land, completing various team-building exercises, and the other half up in the air, navigating ropes courses and zip lines.

According to its website, “over 165 exciting obstacles and zip lines, five difficulty levels, and 10 different courses” constitute TreeRunner Adventure Park. Adding to the experience is the fact that the zip lining and obstacle maneuvering occurs in a wooded area, making one feel as if she is flitting among the treetops like a human-sized squirrel.

The ground-oriented team-building exercises (working a multi-person set of wooden skis in unison; figuring out how to get from one platform to another so as to avoid imaginary lava; etc.) were fun. But I was all about the aerial obstacles, which I performed during the second half of the day.

I completed a ropes course for the first time during a vacation in Ecuador earlier this year and LOVED it. I got the same rush from it that I did as an eight-year-old climbing the pine trees in my backyard. And I’d experienced the exhilaration of zip lining during a trip to Costa Rica a decade ago, soaring along routes strung over lush expanses of rainforest.

TreeRunner Adventure Park’s obstacles don’t reside in the mountains of South America, nor a tropical rainforest. They’re in a wooded area behind a Jewish community center in the Metro-D. But the intricate networks of platforms and ropes and pulleys hung at varying height levels among the leafy green canopy are fascinating to behold – and to navigate.

The navigating was especially interesting blindfolded.

The guides at Treerunner Adventure Park don’t usually facilitate blindfolded obstacle-course runs. My employer asked for this element to be added to the experience so that those not participating in the aerial activities (due to an aversion to heights or the park-imposed weight restriction) could participate as guides, shouting instructions from the ground to blindfolded teammates in the trees. Climbers were allowed to scale vertical ladders and perform the zip lines sans blindfold, but our eyes had to be covered for the obstacle runs.

I was resistant to the blindfold at first. The aerial activities I’d been gung ho about performing became nerve-wracking to contemplate without the benefit of sight.

I ended up, however, enthusiastically enjoying the added challenge of completing the obstacle runs blindfolded. My team’s guide offered great support with his descriptive directions, while I learned to feel with my feet for evidence of each hanging plank, block, and bridge I needed to navigate. Secured as I was via harness to the sturdy wire running the length of each obstacle, I knew that even if I did falter, I’d be caught.

Ditching the blindfold for the zip-line portions of the course proved worthwhile. The zip lines on the Level 3 run my team completed were much abbreviated compared with the loping ones I rode in Costa Rica, but they still delivered the rush of barreling airborne through the trees.

Overall, my experience at TreeRunner Adventure Park was super rewarding. Not only did it help me and my colleagues hone our teamwork, leadership, and communication skills, it also helped us connect to our inner-child selves on a day when we normally would’ve been hunched over our computers in our cubicles. Here’s to traipsing among the tree branches instead!

6600 W. Maple Rd.

West Bloomfield, MI 48322

(Open Friday through Sunday to the public;

group reservations available Monday through Thursday)

www.treerunnerwestbloomfield.com

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353. 5th Tavern – August 12, 2018 – Bloomfield Township, MI

August20185thTavern1 (2)August20185thTavern2 (2)5th Tavern is POPULAR among the brunch crowd.

I learned this when I attended a baby shower at the Bloomfield Township-based restaurant on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago. The place was KICKING when I walked in at noon, to the point where I found myself having flashbacks of pure-chaos Sunday afternoon shifts (the shift that’s most likely to end with someone breakdown-crying, in my experience) from my restaurant-server past.

The crowd was enjoying 5th Tavern’s weekend brunch buffet and live music by a gentleman playing what appeared to be an electric clarinet (I had no idea woodwind instruments came in electric form!). The restaurant’s classy ambiance and outdoor patio seating most likely enhanced the appeal of the place for the clientele, as well.

The baby shower I attended at the 5th Tavern was tucked away in a room separate from the main dining area, so we were somewhat insulated from the hubbub. The celebration offered a set lunch menu with three items to choose from: the Salmon Salad, Chicken Marsala, and American Kobe Burger.

I’m not one to put stock in Kobe beef being superior, but let me tell you, this American Kobe Burger was AWESOME. It was a thick-patty burger that came cooked at a standard temperature of medium that was incredibly tender and juicy and delicious. MAN, was it perfect topped with melted cheese and nestled within a brioche bun! The accompanying fries were excellent, too: thicker cut and crispy-fried on the outside while soft on the inside . . . YUM. It’s 9:15 in the morning as I’m writing these words, and I am hardcore craving that 5th Tavern American Kobe Burger.

So despite the lively crowd giving me server-nightmare-esque flashbacks, I enjoyed the fact that I got to spend time at 5th Tavern on that Sunday afternoon. I’d love to go back and try more of its menu, which is loaded with various salads, sandwiches, burgers, flatbreads, and meat- and seafood-centric entrées (such as Lamb Chops and Michigan Cherry BBQ Salmon).

I’m also intrigued by the various promotions that 5th Tavern offers throughout the week, including happy-hour food and drink deals Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing and half-off bottles of wine on Wednesdays. No wonder the place is such a popular hangout!

2262 S. Telegraph Rd.

Bloomfield Twp., MI 48302

www.5thtavern.com

352. Elie’s – August 1, 2018 – Birmingham, MI

August2018Elies4 (2)August2018Elies2 (2)August2018Elies3 (2)Tender steak, toasted pinenuts, and sautéed onions nestled on a bed of hummus? Fattoush salad with crisp vegetables, crunchy pita chips, and zesty dressing? Yes, yes, and YES, please!

These are the dishes I enjoyed at Elie’s, a Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Birmingham, whilst lunching on its lovely patio earlier this month.

While Elie’s lunch menu is loaded with delectable-sounding choices that I’d love to explore further (ranging from Lamb Shawarma to Shish Tawook to Homemade Chicken Pot Pie), the hummus with tenderloin was a no-brainer for me.

I mean, creamy hummus and red meat combined – how could that not equal GLORIOUS? And it was glorious, especially when scooped up with soft, piping-hot pita bread.

The Fattoush salad was equally fresh and flavorful and delicious. I got the large-sized salad, which was substantial and more than I needed; I easily filled up on half of it.

The restaurant’s pretty patio was an ideal place to dine; the location along Pierce Street makes it a prime spot for people-watching. As the sands in the hourglass are running out on our patio days here in Metro Detroit, I find myself especially appreciating any opportunity to dine alfresco.

All in all, my experience at Elie’s was a pleasant one – one that I would definitely say YES to again.

263 Pierce St.

Birmingham, MI 48009

www.eliesgrill.com

347. M.C. ‘Wiches – July 27, 2018 – Ferndale, MI

July2018MCWiches1 (4)July2018MCWiches2 (2)The Friday before last, I was in downtown Ferndale, and I needed sustenance – hearty sustenance. Bread-and-cheese-and-meat-level sustenance. I scanned the downtown stretches of Woodward and Nine Mile, seeking somewhere to satisfy this requirement, and stumbled upon M.C. ‘Wiches sandwich shop.

After scanning its menu, I knew M.C. ‘Wiches was a place where I could stuff my face with a substantial, satisfying sandwich: specifically the seven-inch Cuban B ‘Wich. I got it on toasted wheat bread, opting to keep it simple when choosing from the various bread options, which included the intriguing Jalapeño Cheddar and a gluten-free variety. My sandwich was prepared promptly by the friendly young woman working the counter, and I settled in at one of ‘Wiches’ tables to devour it.

That Cuban B was a hefty sandwich indeed! Loaded with ham and pulled pork, pickle chunks and Swiss cheese, mustard and the signature ‘Wich Sauce (a garlic aioli), it most definitely satisfied my hunger – and was delicious while doing it.

While I found the seven-inch ‘Wich to be the perfect portion, I like that M.C. ‘Wiches offers two other sandwich sizes: the 3.5-inch Lil ‘Wich and the 14-inch Double ‘Wich. Its menu also includes two combo options that add a drink and a pickle to your ‘Wich as well as a side: depending on which one you go for, you can choose from chips, coleslaw, soup, mac-and-cheese, and baked goodies (including gluten-free varieties).

Bomb bread-and-cheese-and-meat-level sustenance offered by a friendly staff in a clean, pleasant environs: M.C. ‘Wiches is doing fast-casual right!

172 W. Nine Mile Rd.

Ferndale, MI 48220

(With an additional location in Oxford)

www.mcwiches.com

334. Detroit Cookie Co. – June 9, 2018 – Ferndale, MI

June2018DetroitCookie5 (2)June2018DetroitCookie2 (4)June2018DetroitCookie3 (2)I really don’t need to convince you to visit today’s featured place, right? I mean, who really needs much convincing around visiting a cookie joint?

I certainly didn’t need convincing around visiting Ferndale’s Detroit Cookie Co. After driving past its cheery purple-and-blue exterior scores of times, then perusing its website and laying eyes on its massive XL chocolate-chip cookie, the hype had totally built up in my head. I NEEDED a cookie from the place!

Finally, on a Saturday night a few weeks ago, the fates aligned, and I paid my first visit to Detroit Cookie Co. after a friend and I gave up waiting on a rain-delayed baseball game we were supposed to attend. As much as I love hanging out in Detroit and attending Tigers games, cookies and coffee sounded more appealing on that rainy, chilly night than braving the elements, so we scooted on out of downtown and into that bright little cookie shop on Woodward Avenue.

Other Metro-Detroiters apparently had the same idea around sugary baked goods being appealing on that gloomy night, as Detroit Cookie Co. was buzzing at the time of our visit.

Perusing the bakery cases lined with a multitude of options, including a variety of enticing cookies and croissants, the Chocolate Almond Croissant Bread Pudding with Nutella Ganache gave me pause (how insanely delicious does that sound???). But in the end, I knew I had to stay on the cookie route, so I forewent that hefty slice of bread pudding and got what my heart had been set on for weeks: the XL chocolate-chip cookie. I also got a peanut-butter-and-chocolate cookie called the Peanut Butter Volcano (because PB + Chocolate = LIIIIFEE in my book) and a small coffee.

I tore into that XL chocolate-chip cookie right away. It was studded with loads of the little chocolatey gems, making it very rich and a perfect pairing with the boldly flavored black coffee.

My friend who accompanied me to Detroit Cookie Co. ordered a cookie ice cream sandwich – because yes, the bakery has several flavors of ice cream on tap for the purpose of loading the frozen dairy goodness between layers of its fresh-baked cookies. Hers consisted of creamy vanilla ice cream set between a chocolate-chip cookie and one with peanuts and toffee chips called Night Cap that she quite enjoyed. She also got a S’mores cookie, which I later received a text from her about raving that she found it phenomenal with its chocolate and graham cracker pieces and golden-brown toasted marshmallow topping.

I myself didn’t eat the Peanut Butter Volcano I’d ordered until a few days later. I softened it a touch in the microwave and devoured that peanut butter cookie topped with a decadent dollop of creamy peanut butter coated in chocolate, and man, was it SO, SO, SO, SO good! That one was my favorite over the XL chocolate-chip cookie – though you certainly can’t go wrong with that cookie that’s bigger than your fist and loaded with double the typical amount of chocolate chips.

Of course, you CAN go wrong with a cookie that’s bigger than your fist and loaded with double the typical amount of chocolate chips if it contains gluten and animal products and those things either make you sick or just aren’t your thing. As such, it’s worth noting that Detroit Cookie Co.’s website states that both gluten-free and vegan cookie varieties are available upon request (and when I scan the photos I took there, I see at least one vegan baked good was on display at the time of my visit, so it’s possible that both vegan and gluten-free cookies are sometimes available for walk-in purchases).

So the next time it’s a rainy, chilly day, or a hot-and-sweltering day – or any day, really – and you’re craving a fresh-baked treat, consider Detroit Cookie Co. I know I won’t have to twist my own arm to do a revisit here!

23421 Woodward Ave.

Ferndale, MI 48220

www.detroitcookieco.com

326. 2941 Mediterranean Street Food – May 7, 2018 – Rochester Hills, MI

May20182941Med1 (2)May20182941Med4 (2)May20182941Med3 (2)2941 Mediterranean Street Food has hit 100 Places in the D!!!

I was super excited to visit 2941 Mediterranean Street Food of Rochester Hills for lunch with friends last week, as the fast-casual Detroit-area chain had been on my radar for a few years (as was the case with many of the places I’ve covered on this blog. Cheers to the moments when long-anticipated visits finally happen!).

I adore Mediterranean food, and as mentioned in my recent post on Burrito Mundo, I also love places that allow me to build my own meals, choosing from a plethora of ingredient options the ones I’d like to add to customizable bowls, burritos, etc. 2941 Mediterranean Street Food is one such place that allows you to build your own bowls, loading them with all kinds of fresh, flavorful goodies.

Stepping inside the bright and clean Rochester Hills storefront with its long communal tables and wicker-basket-accented lighting (check out the light shades that appear to be made from upside-down baskets with the handles still attached in the photo above), my friends and I approached the ordering counter toward the back of the room, where we began the assembly-line production of the build-your-own-bowl process.

In succession, I was asked to: pick my grain base (I chose the Turmeric Basmati Rice); my protein (I did pork; chicken, steak, lamb, falafel, and veggie options were also available); two sauces (garlic sauce was a given for me, and I chose another spicy sauce whose name I can’t recall); two types of torshi, which are pickled vegetables (I went with the Atum beet-and-turnip mixture and the Osiris cauliflower-and-mixed-veggie combo); and two items from the Salads and Snacks category (I nabbed hummus and a salad that included radish, chickpeas, and parsley).

This was an intense decision-making process, my friends. I felt – as I had the week prior at Burrito Mundo when I was shepherded through its burrito-making process – that my first bowl-building experience at 2941 Mediterranean Street Food was simply a dress rehearsal for the next time I was there. Before that subsequent visit, I’ll likely study the menu ahead of time and get all strategic about my choices, because these are important decisions to be made (lunch is on the line!) and because I am that much of a nerd when it comes to customizable meals.

Still, despite feeling unprepared for the intricacies of the meal-crafting process, I felt pleased with how my bowl turned out at 2941 Mediterranean Street Food. I had opted for the larger-sized bowl, which yielded enough food to constitute both my lunch and dinner for that day. It was accompanied by a sizable loaf of soft, irresistibly chewy samoon bread that was perfect for dipping in the hummus and garlic sauce.

While I was surprised at the cost of 2941’s build-your-own bowl (an $11.50 base price for the large-sized bowl, with additional upcharges for extra sauce, extra meat, etc.), the ample portions and pure deliciousness justified the higher-than-expected price in my mind. The pork was tender and well-marinated, the vegetables were fresh and flavorful, and the hummus and garlic sauce were pure, addictive, garlicky goodness (I am SO a hummus/garlic sauce girl!). High-quality ingredients melded together to make a wholly delectable bowl of Mediterranean goodness, and I was TOTALLY a fan.

While the build-your-own-bowl option appears to be the centerpiece of 2941 Mediterranean Street Food’s menu, there are also some signature-bowl configurations to choose from, as well as soups, flatbreads, and a load of what are labeled Street Snacks on the menu (Marinated Olives, Habibi’s Nachos, and Veggie Grape Leaves, for example). Knowing me and my obsession with the whole build-your-own-bowl concept, I’ll probably stick with that option, but it’s nice to know there are predetermined choices on 2941’s menu should I be struck with decision-making paralysis during a visit.

How about you – have you been to 2941 Mediterranean Street Food? If yes, I’d love to hear what you thought of it; feel free to weigh in within the Comments field below!

87 W. Auburn Rd.

Rochester Hills, MI 48307

(With additional locations in Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, and Detroit)

www.2941streetfood.com

325. O.W.L. – May 4, 2018 – Royal Oak, MI

May2018Owl1 (2)May2018Owl2 (3)May2018Owl3 (2)Roadside diners encapsulate a kind of romance for many people, that whole freedom-of-the-road, classic Americana vibe. While O.W.L. is located in a suburb (Royal Oak), its perch along Woodward Avenue, that distinguished Detroit thoroughfare, makes it feel like it’s part of that roadside romance.

From the ’50s-esque exterior sign with its namesake bird outlined in neon lighting to the cheeseburger-meets-avocado-toast menu, O.W.L. exudes classic diner vibes with a contemporary, hipster bent.

The restaurant’s interior is tiny, and true to diner form, the seating options are counter-centric: you can either sit along a window-fronting counter with a view of Woodward Avenue or one that faces the kitchen line.  The ordering system is counter-centric, too: you give your request to the cashier at the end of the kitchen-fronting counter, pay your tab, and your food is delivered to you.

About half of O.W.L.’s compact menu consists of breakfast items, boasting five different kinds of egg sandwiches (including Chorizo Sausage and Cheese and Habanero Bacon and Cheese varieties) and other egg-centric dishes such as egg hash, chicken fried-chicken topped with eggs, and chilaquiles (a traditional Mexican dish made in this case with tomatillo salsa, cotija cheese, jalapeños, radishes, eggs, and cilantro). Wings, burgers, sandwiches, nachos, the Tacos Del Dia (tacos of the day), and other breakfast-centric (grilled cinnamon rolls, habanero bacon) and Mexican-influenced items (Chips and Pico, Torta Ahogada) round out the menu.

Upon perusing O.W.L.’s menu, I went with those nachos – a.k.a. the Double Layer Nachos. The thick, crispy slew of homemade chips layered with poblano cheese sauce, sausage chili, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, fresh jalapeños, pico de gallo, and cilantro were rich, greasy, delectable deliciousness. While they may not be a standard on the average diner’s menu, these babies deserve to be; they are the ultimate in comfort food!

I’m not an egg person, but if I was, the aforementioned Chicken Fried Chicken and Gravy breakfast dish topped with eggs, Texas toast, and a poblano cheese gravy sauce and accompanied by peas and cilantro potatoes would’ve been my bet. My friend who accompanied me to O.W.L. ordered it, and wow, does that dish proffer a weighty portion! The Double Layer Nachos was no slouch with its portion size (as you can see from the photo above), either, and I happily had leftovers to enjoy the next day.

Eating at O.W.L., I found myself reminiscing over the Royal Oak-bar-hopping nights of my twenties; the diner would’ve made the perfect closing-time stop during those evenings of revelry. It’s rare that I stay out late enough anymore that I’m looking to hit a restaurant after the bars are shuttered, but if I do happen to find myself in the Royal Oak area into the wee hours and am jonesing for some gratifying grub, I know where to go! O.W.L. offers its particular brand of roadside romance 24 hours a day, six days a week (it closes at 10 p.m. on Sundays).

27302 Woodward Ave.

Royal Oak, MI 48067

www.owlwoodward.com

323. Catfé Lounge – April 25, 2018 – Ferndale, MI

April2018CatfeLounge3 (2)April2018CatfeLounge1 (2)April2018CatfeLounge2 (3)I am wholeheartedly a cat person. I love, love, LOVE me some feline friends! My cat is the light of my life, and I identify internally as a cat whisperer even if I boast no formal qualifications or mad skills à la My Cat from Hell‘s Jackson Galaxy. So when I learned there was a place called the Catfé Lounge in Ferndale where you could hang out with cats who were available for adoption, I knew I had to check it out.

Somewhere along the trajectory of me learning about the Catfé Lounge within the last few years and my visit last week, I acquired the inaccurate perception that the place was a coffee shop. I thusly envisioned my eventual visit as one where I would sit at a café table, sipping cappuccino and typing away at my computer, while affectionate cats danced across my lap and nuzzled me and I fought off the urge to adopt them all. Probably I should’ve perused the Catfé Lounge’s website before my visit to get clear on the actual set-up of the place.

This misconception was cleared up on the afternoon of my visit. The Catfé Lounge is not a café as its name suggests – at least not in the conventional sense. It’s an adoption center that’s affiliated with the Ferndale Cat Center, a local no-kill shelter, but it’s set up in look and feel more like a cat-friendly living space than a shelter.

There are plenty of chairs around the visiting space, as well as cat-friendly cushions, nooks, and beds. There are cat food bowls, a cat water fountain, and cat toys to help visitors interact with the free-roaming feline friends. On the day of my visit, I would say there were about five cats roaming around.

Cat advocates will be happy to note that the Catfé Lounge follows a strict protocol for its visitors. When you walk in from the outside, you enter a little foyer area where there is hand sanitizer that you must apply before you walk through another door to the visiting area. You must also sign a waiver before you interact with the cats. A $10 donation to the Catfé Lounge is suggested, which I proffered. There are rules on a board on the wall that must be read and adhered to. Additionally, several women who appeared to all be Catfé employees were present during my visit, keeping a watchful eye over the entire scene.

All of the rules, protocol, and supervision admittedly didn’t prime the experience with relaxed, café-esque vibes, but it’s clear that all of these regulations are necessary, because they are there for the cats’ safety, and obviously, the cats’ safety is the number-one priority. But this was definitely the point where my dreams of the freewheeling coffee-shop scene went out the window.

Complimentary beverages (coffee, tea, and water, I believe) were available at the Catfé Lounge on the afternoon of my visit, and there may have been snacks, as well. I didn’t pay much attention to the available refreshments; I was more focused on finding a cat to interact with. There were several other visitors there when I entered, and all of the cats appeared to be preoccupied with them – playing with them, or attempting to ignore them.

Cats are often stereotyped as not giving a crap about humans besides them being the bearers of their meals. I’ve not found that to be the case in my experience with cats; I’ve found them to be generally loving and affectionate towards people, so long as you know how to interact with them. But I will say, on the afternoon of my visit, the cats at the Catfé Lounge didn’t appear to be interested in interacting with me – or any of the humans who were there, really.

There was one cat – the cat shown in the photo above – who I observed as being more friendly in her dealings with the other visitors. I got excited when she suddenly appeared to be coming right for me – until it turned out she was headed for a nearby food bowl. Wah-Wah.

Maybe it’s a good thing that this batch of cats I witnessed at the Catfé Lounge weren’t clamoring for affection, I mused after dejectedly leaving the place after less than 15 minutes. Probably it meant they were well-adjusted and well taken care of in this unconventional shelter setting. And how great is it that the Catfé Lounge lets its felines roam free instead of being cooped up in cages? My humbling experience aside, this place is totally worth checking out if you are considering adopting a cat – and hey, maybe your experience with the cats will be different than mine. There’s no saying that the felines onsite at the time of your visit won’t be all friendly and ready to frolic.

What it all comes down to is this: the Catfé Lounge is a place that is helping cats, which makes them more than all right in my book. I can go elsewhere for a cappuccino and coffee-shop vibes.

801 Livernois St.

Ferndale, MI 48220

www.catfelounge.com

315. Irish Tavern – March 17, 2018 – Waterford, MI

March2018IrishTavern1 (2)March2018IrishTavern2 (2)

I spent St. Patrick’s Day this year out and about, including a stop at Irish Tavern in Waterford. As you would expect from its name, the bar was decked out in full St. Paddy’s day glory and packed with drink-swigging, green-bedecked revelers.

I was one of those drink-swigging, green-bedecked revelers enjoying the live music and festivities, and I had my eye on the prize: that lunchtime corned beef sandwich.

True, my numero-uno priority on St. Patrick’s Day for much of my 20s was consuming a maximum amount of adult beverages (shocking, I know), but there’s nothing I enjoy more about the holiday now than the excuse to enjoy an EPIC corned beef sandwich. And I was pleased to discover that The Reuben on Irish Tavern’s menu is a glorious rendition of a corned beef sandwich.

This sandwich, with its layers of thickly-sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand-Island dressing between two pieces of buttery, crunchy rye bread, served with perfectly crispy, supremely seasoned French fries, was SO, SO, SO, SO good! And fortunately, The Reuben appears to be a staple on Irish Tavern’s menu, so it can be ordered at any time of the year and not just on Luck-o’-the-Irish-centered holidays [cue me happy dancing!].

Other pluses about this place: despite the busyness of the day of my visit, the various servers I interacted with were prompt, polite, and friendly. The bathrooms were clean, not a hot mess as they often are at bars on occasions of this caliber (though it was still relatively early in the day).  And I see that Irish Tavern’s menu is loaded with enticing food choices besides The Reuben, including a variety of other sandwiches; salads; appetizers; burgers; and Irish favorites such as Shepherd’s Pie, Guinness Braised Corned Beef, and several dishes centered around boxty (traditional potato pancakes). Numerous local craft brews are available, and the whimsically titled Staycation section of the menu touts daily food and drink specials.

So the verdict is in: Irish Tavern is worth a visit, and not just on Luck-o’-the-Irish-centered holidays. Certainly I can come up with an excuse to consume an epic corned beef sandwich, regardless of the day of the year!

4703 Elizabeth Lake Rd.

Waterford, MI 48327

www.itwaterford.com

307. Thai Street Kitchen – February 14, 2018 – Bloomfield Hills, MI

February2018ThaiStKitchen2 (2)February2018ThaiStKitchen4 (2)Today’s post recounts a visit made on Valentine’s Day, which was already almost two weeks ago.

Valentine’s Day was two weeks ago? We are at the end of February already? Where has the year gone????

2018 is melting away faster than snow melting in a thaw. And yet, I can’t say I’m sad about it.

To say winter is my least favorite season is an understatement. But it also realistically makes up a third of our year here in Michigan, so I work with being in the moment every day and loving where we’re at seasonally. And also, I am thrilled that it’s almost March. We’re GONNA make it, people!

Delightful times like this most recent Valentine’s Day make it so much easier for me to love where we’re at in the throes of almost-gone-but-still-here winter. On that day, I got to see my dear friend from Mt. Pleasant and have dinner with her at Thai Street Kitchen in Bloomfield Hills when she was down here dropping her husband off at the airport. We got to be Galentines!

In case you ever need a Metro-Detroit meeting point that is right off I-75, may I suggest Thai Street Kitchen? It’s conveniently located near the expressway, on Woodward Avenue near Square Lake Road and the I-75 Square Lake exit (and a few minutes from the M-59 I-75 exit). More importantly, its food is tasty.

During my visit, I enjoyed an order of beef curry noodles that was deliciously creamy and perfectly spiced – actually hot like I ordered it. So many Thai restaurants seem to not believe me when I say I like it HOT! (or have a more watered-down definition of hot than I do). Not so with Thai Street Kitchen; they brought the heat perfectly, and the server even left a spice tray on the table in case I wanted to add more (which wasn’t necessary given that the dish was perfect as-is).

Despite it being Valentine’s Day, Thai Street kitchen’s small, pleasant dining room was not especially busy. I expect the place gets more carryout business than dining-in patrons, but the orange-hued interior with ornate designs painted on the walls is elegant and cozy.

The restaurant’s menu contains iconic Thai dishes such as the Curry Noodles, Drunken Noodle, and everybody’s favorite, Pad Thai, plus soups like the classic Hot and Sour and appetizers such as Chicken Satay and Spring Rolls. A selection of organic teas are also offered.

Service was prompt and attentive. When my friend commented to our waiter at the end of the meal that her dish wasn’t quite what she expected, the chef came out and offered to cook her a new plate of whatever she wanted for free. I was quite impressed by that. It’s basic customer service, but not every restaurant will insist on cooking a new dish free of charge for a guest at the end of a meal.

Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or any other day of the year: Thai Street Kitchen, you are a keeper in my book!

42805 Woodward Ave.

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

www.thaistreetkitchen.com