OK, this post is months and months and months overdue. Usually after the end of each 100 Places in the D blogging year (which ends in early February, given that the anniversary of the first post on the blog is February 8), I’ll give a top-ten list of my favorite places visited during that timeframe. I still hadn’t done that for Blog Year 3 – until now (FINALLY!).
Given that it’s Thanksgiving Eve and that many of my fellow Metro-Detroiters will have ample time to go out and explore this holiday weekend, I thought it would be an ideal occasion to post this belated-yet-still-relevant top-ten list for Blog Year 3, which specifically encompassed February 8, 2016 through February 7, 2017. So here they are, my faves of the bunch, listed in no particular order; they are all Number 1s in my heart!
–Detroit Institute of Bagels (#164, Detroit): Turkey, Bacon & Avocado sandwich with gouda and spicy mayo on a toasted Everything bagel – be still my heart!!! Loved the friendly staff and pleasant vibes of this Corktown bagel shop, too; it’s the kind of place I could hang around all day. A must-visit.
–Cornerstone Barrel House (#198, Detroit): Classy and contemporary yet down-to-earth, the Woodward Avenue whiskey bar is the perfect place to enjoy both the company of friends AND an excellent meal (tomato caprese salad AND juicy sirloin steak AND bread pudding made with Krispy Kreme donuts? OH YEAH.).
–Natalie’s Bakery (#208, Madison Heights): This bakery’s got the goods! The rosemary-garlic ciabatta and seven-grain loaves of bread I picked up from Natalie’s were fantastic – perfect for Thanksgiving stuffing – while the pumpkin-mousse-filled fried croissant pastry is as ridiculously delicious as it sounds.
–Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails (#194, Detroit): I had probably the best dining experience of my life at this gorgeous restaurant with exceptional food (those tender spare ribs! That killer corned-beef sandwich!). The fact that it happened during my 32nd birthday lunch made it that much more special.
–Tom’s Tavern (#204, Detroit): I felt a wave of sadness while writing this when I realized that I have not been back to Tom’s Tavern, that most venerable and glorious of Detroit dive-bar establishments – because Tom’s Tavern is EPIC and demands to be experienced first-hand at least once a year. One of the most magical places I’ve ever been.
–Mabel Gray (#175, Hazel Park): You know how Mabel Gray has gotten a crap-ton of accolades? The reason for that is totally legit, I discovered, when I enjoyed one of the best restaurant meals in my memory (I’m sensing a trend here) in its ribeye steak (perfection!) and chocolate torte.
–Le Petit Zinc (#169, Detroit): This charming, colorful crepe café off the beaten path in Corktown was inherently lovable. That citron sucre (lemon-sugar) crepe! I recently read that Le Petit Zinc is currently location-less after its landlord gave it the boot from its once-home on Trumbull Street – Wah Wah. Hopefully it will be back soon!
–Source Booksellers (#195, Detroit): My heart was grabbed by Source the instant I walked into the Cass Corridor bookshop. Small, thoughtfully curated, and with an owner who is downright lovely, it emanates this welcoming, community-fostering vibe. SO. GOOD.
–El Patrón (#193, Pontiac): With an extensive salsa bar and carnitas enchiladas that equal YUMMM times INFINITY, there was no way I was not going to fall hard for this place. Mexican is LIFE when it’s done right, and El Patrón does it RIGHT.
–The Old Miami (#196, Detroit): The dive bar majorly captured my affections with its charmingly grandma-esque backyard area. How many days until summer?