435. Unburger Grill – September 24, 2019 – Dearborn, MI

September2019Unburger1 (2)September2019Unburger3 (2)September2019Unburger2 (2)Unburger Grill, you phenomenal purveyor of vegan goodness, you had my palate exclaiming “WOW!” over and over during my recent visit to you!

I’m not vegan – or vegetarian – but I enjoy eating plant-based cuisine. Impressive vegan and vegetarian establishments reside in the Metro-D, making the meatless fare taste as good as – or better than – the animal-based originals.

Unburger Grill in Dearborn is one of those impressive vegan establishments. The fast-casual restaurant serves burgers with house-made patties made from plants; Black Bean Portobello, Spicy Chickpea and Zucchini, Sweet Potato and Quinoa, and Ultimate (described on Unburger’s website menu as “using a blend of the best vegan meat alternatives available”) are the varieties offered.

Diners choose what patty and bun they’d like for the style of burger they select at Unburger: Basic, Mushroom Swiss, Southwestern, Mac Style, or Sweet BBQ. The restaurant also serves vegan sandwiches, sausages, salads, soups, nachos, air-fried French fries, and other veggie-based sides.

A fact I didn’t know before the writing of this post: Dearborn has two downtown areas, West Downtown Dearborn and East Downtown Dearborn. Unburger is located in West Downtown Dearborn.

I’d never seen any downtown area of Dearborn and was excited to discover for myself the area where Unburger is located. It’s super cute! My friend who accompanied me to Unburger and I got enthused about exploring it more in the future.

Behind Unburger and some adjacent businesses is a courtyard with tables where patrons can sit and enjoy their meals. After walking into Unburger and ordering our burgers at the counter, we sat at one of the tables outside and waited for our burgers to be brought to us. They arrived quickly.

I ordered the Mac Style burger with a Spicy Chickpea and Zucchini patty and whole-grain bun, plus a side of the air-fried French fries. It was A-MAZING. The Spicy Chickpea and Zucchini patty was SO full of flavor; it was wonderful. It was definitely the best vegan patty I’ve ever had, hands-down!

Honestly, I found myself liking that Spicy Chickpea and Zucchini patty better than a traditional beef patty – and that’s high praise from me, as I LOVE red meat. Unburger, look at you, making me a plant-based burger convert!

It wasn’t only the Spicy Chickpea and Zucchini patty on my Mac Style burger that was deliciously flavorful – the entire burger was, too. The Mac Style burger was – you guessed it – a vegan riff on McDonald’s Big Mac. It was delicious with its lettuce, onion, pickles, vegan cheese, and Thousand Island dressing – and hefty, to boot. Between eating that Big Mac and the crispy French fries, I was stuffed upon leaving Unburger!

Another thing I liked about Unburger was that the staff was really nice. How employees treat me at a place definitely makes a difference in how I recall it; excellent meals can be marred by snotty staff, and I appreciate how lovely the staff at Unburger was the night of my visit. Thanks, Unburger, for being so welcoming – and for cooking up fare that is both healthful and INCREDIBLY TASTY!

22018 Michigan Ave.

Dearborn, MI 48124

431. Mike’s on the Water – September 4, 2019 – Saint Clair Shores, MI

September2019MikesontheWater1 (2)September2019MikesontheWater2 (2)September2019MikesontheWater3 (2)Post-Labor Day, I strove to hang on to that summer feeling by dining at Mike’s on the Water.

The Saint Clair Shores-based restaurant’s epic patio fronts Lake Saint Clair, offering up a picturesque view of the water and nearby marina. The patio itself is crowded with eye-catching knickknacks and features an outdoor bar area.

More epic features of Mike’s on the Water, because this place is seriously tricked out:

-An ice cream truck parked near its entrance proffering tasty frozen treats!

-A food truck on its rooftop patio (see it in the first photo above?) serving select menu items!

I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the ice cream truck or rooftop patio/food truck during my visit to Mike’s on the Water, because the ice cream truck wasn’t open and because my friend who accompanied me and I were all about the main-level patio, where Mike’s on the Water’s full food and beverage menu are available.

Browsing the variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, and seafood entrée items offered on Mike’s on the Water’s menu, I opted for the Classic Corned Beef Reuben with a side of tater tots. The sandwich was delicious with its ample portions of corned beef, Swiss Cheese, sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye bread; the tater tots were delectably crispy, grease-saturated goodness.

Sipping a glass of red wine while eating that Reuben and tater tots, laughing and talking to my friend and enjoying the view from Mike’s on the Water’s patio . . . it doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks, Mike’s on the Water, for helping me hang on to that summer feeling just a little bit longer!

24530 E. Jefferson Ave.

St. Clair Shores, MI 48080

429. El Taco Veloz – August 31, 2019 – Detroit, MI

August2019ElTacoVeloz1 (2)

August2019ElTacoVeloz2 (2)El Taco Veloz is, hands-down, the BEST visit of Blog Year Six of 100 Places in the D thus far.

I’m OBSESSED with this Detroit-based purveyor of Mexican cuisine after visiting it during Labor Day weekend. I’ve exclaimed over a lot of fantastic tacos on this blog, but I seriously think El Taco Veloz’s Al Pastor tacos are the BEST tacos I’ve ever eaten. They are PHENOMENAL!!!!

It’s hard to know how to categorize El Taco Veloz: is it a restaurant, or is it a food-truck-based business? The answer I’ve arrived at is that it’s both.

When you pull up to El Taco Veloz’s given location on Toledo Street in Southwest Detroit, you see a gated parking area. Mind the wholesale produce warehouse to the right of the lot and the semi-trucks rolling in and out of it, and look towards the rear, where you’ll see two food trucks parked. Those are the El Taco Veloz kitchens/ordering stations.

Behind the El Taco Veloz trucks is a building, which contains a dining area with tables where you can enjoy food ordered from the trucks.

From one of these food trucks, I ordered six Al Pastor tacos to go, which cost under $11 – an awesome deal, especially considering the supreme deliciousness of the tacos, which I was about to discover.

I’d ordered the Al Pastor tacos to share with my dad and brother, who I was on my way to visit. But I couldn’t resist eating my two tacos right away, while they were still super fresh (sorry, Dad and Bro!). So I hunkered down at a table in El Taco Veloz’s dining room to do just that.

Opening the foil-covered to-go container, I revealed the six steaming-hot, fresh-off-the-grill Al Pastor tacos. Grilled corn tortillas were loaded with marinated shredded pork topped with cilantro and diced raw onion and accompanied by sliced raw radishes, sautéed onion, a grilled jalapeño, a lime wedge, red salsa, and a creamy, spicy green sauce (alllll that goodness for under $11!).

The experience of biting into one of those Al Pastor tacos . . . the written word cannot do it justice. All I can say is, WOW!!!! The flavor explosion these babies are bringing is just exceptional. These are not only very probably the best tacos I’ve ever eaten – they may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten, period!

Driving away from El Taco Veloz after consuming two of those magical Al Pastor tacos, I literally could not stop exclaiming to myself over how amazing they were. Every 30 or so seconds during the first several minutes of that drive, there’s me declaring “Those were SO good!” to no one but me, myself, and I. That’s how enchanting these El Taco Veloz wares are: they will make you talk out loud to yourself!

Worth noting: El Taco Veloz is a cash-only establishment (and SO worth that trip to the ATM!). AND it has a second location from which it peddles its glorious goodies: a counter inside Midtown-based convenience store Marcus Market.

6170 Toledo St.

Detroit, MI 48209

426. La Pecora Nera – August 22, 2019 – Detroit, MI

August2019LaPecoraNera1 (3)August2019LaPecoraNera2 (2)Ravenous hunger brought me to La Pecora Nera on a Thursday afternoon in August. With its hefty, hearty sandwiches, the downtown-Detroit-based deli is an ideal place to satisfy such hunger.

After over-caffeinating myself at Madcap Coffee (SO worth it, BTW), I hit that phase of the coffee-drinking experience where my temporarily-distracted appetite suddenly whooshed into awareness, craving ALL the things.

After scanning La Pecora Nera’s menu, that craving narrowed down to a hankering for its Reuben Italiano sub, which I enjoyed on the deli’s pretty, street-facing covered patio. It was delicious, packed full of flavor with its corned beef, cabbage slaw, pickles, mozzarella, and house-made Thousand Island dressing. I devoured it – and it, in turn, devoured my hunger.

La Pecora Nera’s menu features much more than that Reuben Italiano. It also offers a variety of other subs, such as the Italian Meatball with its crispy fried onions and  homemade marinara and the P.L.T., a luxe B.L.T. with pancetta replacing bacon and herb-and-garlic aioli dethroning garden-variety mayo; entrée salads; morning-centric items (breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, hash browns, muffins – available in the a.m. only); coffee and espresso drinks; and gelato (because satisfying one’s sweet tooth is never sweeter than after you’ve enjoyed a whole lot of savory!).

1514 Washington Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48226

(Closed Sundays)

424. Lafayette Coney Island – August 18, 2019 – Detroit, MI

August2019LafayetteConeyIsland1 (2)August2019LafayetteConeyIsland2 (2)My chronicling of my rendition of the Detroit Coney Challenge continues with my visit to Lafayette Coney Island, American Coney Island‘s neighbor and competitor in this gastronomical rumble.

Researching online in the writing of this post, I discovered that Lafayette Coney Island was opened in 1936 by Bill Keros in response to a rift with his brother, Gust Keros. The brothers had opened American Coney Island together, but after their falling out, Gust maintained ownership of the restaurant while Bill went off on his own – just next door (awkward!). So the Lafayette vs. American rivalry has its origins in a family rivalry.

Lafayette doesn’t look like it’s changed much since its 1930s inception. Its long, narrow interior with its mint-green walls accented with white tiling and shiny metal shelving emanates Depression-era vibes. Framed photos of notables who’ve noshed on Lafayette’s wares crowd the walls and are a reminder of the decades that have passed in the restaurant’s 80-year existence.

Lafayette’s menu is even more abbreviated than American’s (which is pretty spartan itself). It essentially focuses on its pièces de résistance: its chili and the Coney dog, loose Coney burger, and French fries it tops. A few other food items are offered, such as potato chips, pie, and donuts. And like American, Lafayette Coney Island serves beer.

When my friends and I took a seat at one of Lafayette’s long tables, we were promptly greeted by a server, and our orders were taken. Our food was brought out shortly thereafter.

As I mentioned in my post on American Coney Island, I don’t like hot dogs, so I modified the Coney Challenge to suit my tastes, subbing Lafayette’s loose Coney burger (called a Loose Hamburger on its menu; it’s basically a Coney dog with ground beef replacing the hot dog) for the Coney dog. My friends ordered Coney dogs, and, as we did at American, we got an order of chili fries to share.

Our food appeared quickly, and I dug in with surprising gusto considering I’d consumed the same meal just 15 minutes prior.

My appetite was not disappointed. Lafayette’s Loose Hamburger was AMAZING! Its chili was richly flavored and reminded me of National Coney Island’s chili, which I grew up on and love. It formed a powerful flavor combination with the spicy ground beef, savory mustard, and generous heaping of diced raw onion. The fries were tasty, too, slathered as they were with that luxurious chili.

After finishing my meal, it was time for the verdict. Which Coney Island restaurant won out for me: American or Lafayette? I compared both experiences:

-I found American’s vibrant red, white, and blue interior more striking than Lafayette’s, and I preferred their fries over their neighbor’s.

-BUT, I favored Lafayette’s chili over American’s. I found it to be notably more nuanced in flavor.

The deliberations done, my verdict was in: in my personal Coney Challenge, Lafayette Coney Island takes the prize as being the premier Coney Island institution in Detroit. YAY, Lafayette!!! Thanks for doing your thing so well and for serving Metro-Detroiters the Coney goodness for over 80 years!

And thank you, American, for doing your thing, too; you are definitely awesome yourself! 🙂

118 W. Lafayette Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48226

423. American Coney Island – August 18, 2019 – Detroit, MI

August2019AmericanLafayetteConeyIslands1 (3)August2019AmericanConeyIsland1 (2)August2019AmericanConeyIsland2 (3)“American or Lafayette?” is an age-old question in the city of Detroit. We love our Coney Island restaurants here, and American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island are two of the city’s oldest.

Until last month, I’d never eaten at either American or Lafayette Coney Island. I grew up on National Coney Island, feasting on its loose Coney burger, chili-cheese fries, lemon-rice soup, and Sanders Hot Fudge cream-puff sundae (a revelation!) through my childhood and teen years. But I’d never visited either of the iconic Coney restaurants perched next to each other on Lafayette Boulevard downtown until a Sunday afternoon in mid-August, when some friends and I initiated our own Coney Challenge.

I’m not sure if there are any official/generally agreed-upon rules to the Coney Challenge, the practice of engaging in back-to-back meals at American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island to decide which establishment’s Coney hot dog one prefers. I know this is what me and my friends did: we started our taste-testing at American.

Stepping into American Coney Island on that Sunday afternoon, I took in the dining room crowded with patrons. I immediately dug the aesthetics of the place. American Coney Island’s ambiance is, true to its name, characterized by the patriotic colors of red, white, and blue. There’s a retro feel to the place – not shocking considering American Coney Island is over 100 years old (it’s been in operation since 1917). Still, the black-and-white checkered floor, kitschy swag on the walls, and paper caps worn by the staff definitely harken back to another era, one where diners reigned supreme.

One thing that surprised me at American Coney Island was the size of its menu. Compared with the ample menus of other popular local Coney Island chains such as National and Leo’s Coney Island, American’s menu is pretty abbreviated. There’s the Coney dog plus fries (plain or topped with chili or cheese or both); a loose Coney burger; Greek salad and gyro and spinach pie (Coney Island staples!). There’s soup and a few desserts and a couple of other things, but American Coney Island appears to be sticking with what it sees as the essentials.

I was also surprised to see a bar counter toward the back of the American Coney Island dining room and to find out that it serves beer. I guess this shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, as I’ve always known National Coney Island to serve beer and wine – so why shouldn’t alcoholic beverages be a part of American Coney Island’s formula? It was cool to see Michigan-brewed craft beers being served alongside the iconic Coney dog.

Speaking of that Coney dog: it’s time for full disclosure around my part in the Coney Challenge. I didn’t eat a Coney dog at either American or Lafayette Coney Island, because I don’t like hot dogs. So at each place, I ordered instead my childhood-classic alternative to the Coney dog, the loose Coney burger (called Coney Loose Burger at American), which consists of spiced ground beef served in a hot dog bun and topped with chili, diced raw onions, and mustard. It’s essentially a Coney dog with ground beef subbed for the hot dog – and it’s DELICIOUS!

So at American Coney Island, I put in my order for my Coney Loose Burger; my friends put in their orders for their Coney dogs; and we got an order of chili fries to share. The food came out in a matter of minutes, in true Coney Island fashion.

The food was hot and fresh. I enjoyed the Coney Loose Burger with its rich chili, spicy beef, fresh raw onion, and zesty mustard. The fries were especially tasty: crisp on the outside yet soft on the inside, with that chili goodness slathered on them. MMMMM!

In my opinion, the meal at American Coney Island was a success. The ambiance was awesome; the service was fast; the food was delicious; and the bill was cheap (I am ALLLL about those Coney Island prices! Man, is it affordable at both American and Lafayette!).

To find out which restaurant won in my own personal Coney Challenge, look out for my next post, in which I’ll highlight American Coney Island’s neighbor, Lafayette Coney Island – and crown a champion!

114 W. Lafayette Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48226

422. Lovers Only – August 10, 2019 – Detroit, MI

August2019LoversOnly1 (3)August2019LoversOnly2 (2)Lovers Only hooked me with its name.

For months, I’d been intrigued by the hamburger joint in downtown Detroit every time I’d walked by it: what kind of burgers were these, that they were meant to be enjoyed solely by paramours?

Of course, I knew Lovers Only isn’t really for lovers only, but I found the name so whimsical that I had to eat there. I finally did on a Saturday afternoon in August, with friends before our fifth-annual Tigers game outing – during which our previously 4-for-4 winning streak was ceased by a 7-0 thrashing of the Tigers by the Royals. ~Sigh.~

At least our lunch before that game was fantastic! Lovers Only brought the beefy burger goodness on that visit, which I experienced via its Burlington Burger. The meaty, juicy beef patty slathered with a rich cheddar-cheese sauce and topped with sautéed onions, pickle relish, lettuce, and a Dijon mayonnaise was INCREDIBLE!

At Lovers Only, you order at the counter as you would a fast-casual restaurant, and your food is delivered to your table. But the restaurant’s interior is more hip than that of the typical burger joint, with mod-retro vibes cast by its checkerboard-tile floors, globe lighting, and old-timey black-and-white menu board hanging above its order counter.

Lovers Only also sets itself apart by serving alcohol. Cocktails, craft beer, and boozy milkshakes are available (as are non-spiked shakes).

In addition to serving four types of burgers and booze, Lovers Only offers entrée salads, including a take on a local classic (The Maurice) and a kale salad packed with seed-and-grain-and-legume goodness (the Power Salad). Its menu also includes a couple of sandwiches, a hot dog dubbed the Recession Dog – and of course, French fries and onion rings.

So the mystery has been solved for me: the kind of burgers served by Loves Only are DELICIOUS burgers, burgers that aren’t meant to be enjoyed simply by paramours but also by friends, cousins, coworkers, solo folk . . . in short, everybody!

34 W. Grand River Ave.

Detroit, MI 48226

419. The Charlevoix – August 2, 2019 – Grosse Pointe Park, MI

August2019Charlevoix1 (2)August2019Charlevoix2 (3)August2019Charlevoix4 (3)You know that perfect summer’s evening where your look is on-point, the weather is bathwater-balmy,  and you’re wholly immersed in the present moment, which happens to be really freaking awesome? That was the kind of summer evening it was when I visited The Charlevoix – in no small part because the Grosse Pointe Park-based restaurant is really freaking awesome!

On that first Friday in August, I was cognizant of standing on the threshold of summer’s end, and I was all about squeezing out every little last juicy bit of it before its conclusion. It was opportune to be visiting The Charlevoix that evening for dinner and drinks with a friend, because the experience totally helped me maintain that seize-the-moment ethos.

Entering The Charlevoix, I immediately resonated with its interior’s industrial/contemporary look, its exposed ductwork, wood- and brick-paneled walls, potted plants, and orange stools providing pops of color. The place emits relaxed, welcoming vibes.

Food-wise, The Charlevoix is big on small plates. The Snacks section has a sophisticated take on pub-grub fare, featuring dishes such as Chilaquiles Rojo and Mini Smoked Salmon Salad Sandwiches. There are areas devoted to tacos and wings, plus po’ boy sandwiches in varieties such as Fried Tofu and Vietnamese Chicken Sausage.

When compiling my meal at The Charlevoix, I ordered from three out of four of those menu sections, opting for the Elotes, Carnitas taco, and Thai Style wings.

The Elotes was most decadent with its slathering of jalapeño mayonnaise coated with a generous portion of Cotija cheese, cilantro, and chili powder. It’s corn on the cob done right!

With its pillowy-soft corn tortilla and tender shredded pork garnished with tomatillo salsa, jalapeño conserva, and cilantro, the Carnitas taco was quite tasty.

And those Thai Style Wings: they married the complementary contrast of a crispy-skinned exterior and juicy, meaty interior. Tossed in a Thai vinaigrette, smoked mayonnaise, chili, cilantro, and mint, they brought a kaleidoscope of flavors.

As much as I dug the food I ate at The Charlevoix (and I did!), the drink I sipped there was my favorite part of the dining experience. The Hot Hot Heat cocktail I chose from the selection of signature drinks was AWESOME with its vibrant mix of jalapeno-flavored tequila, blood-orange liqueur, cilantro-infused simple syrup, Tajin seasoning, hot sauce, and lime. It was sweet and spicy and the kind of drink that goes down, real, REAL easy.

Service was great at The Charlevoix; our waitress was friendly and approachable and took good care of us.

The overall vibe of my visit to this restaurant was that it simply felt right to be there, enjoying the food, drink, and laid-back conviviality. I’m sure it feels this way to dine at The Charlevoix whether it’s January or June, and I especially appreciated it on that peak summer’s evening in early August.

14927 Charlevoix St.

Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48215

418. Fattoush Lebanese Grill – July 19, 2019 – Clinton Township, MI

July2019Fattoush1 (3)July2019Fattoush2 (3)July2019Fattoush3 (2)Two reasons to get excited about Fattoush Lebanese Grill of Clinton Township: 1) its FANTASTIC Mediterranean cuisine and 2) DEEP-FRIED OREOS!!!

I don’t think Lebanese restaurant when I think purveyor of deep-fried Oreos, but Fattoush has got ’em, and let me tell you, they are an EXQUISITE with their fried, cakey outer coating, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate-and-cream center, ample drizzles of chocolate, caramel, and strawberry sauces, and whipped cream, strawberry, and powdered-sugar garnishes.

I didn’t know about the deep-fried Oreos before visiting Fattoush – or need them to bring me in the door (though I’m certainly thrilled to have encountered them). Mediterranean food is my JAM! I love discovering another Mediterranean restaurant in the Metro-D to add to my mental rolodex. So when a friend suggested meeting for dinner at Fattoush on a Friday night in mid-July, I was game.

One reason my friend knew about and liked Fattoush was because it has a noteworthy vegan menu. The restaurant has meatless takes on traditional Lebanese dishes (chicken and beef shawarma wraps made with Beyond meat) and other popular fare (a burger, nachos, and quesadilla made with animal-free protein). She enjoyed the vegan chicken shawarma wrap with its hefty pieces of plant-based chicken, juicy pickles, and zesty garlic sauce.

The main portion of Fattoush’s menu is extensive, showcasing classic Lebanese favorites such as grape leaves, hummus, and kibbee, tabouli salad and crushed lentil soup, kabobs and ghallaba. The dessert section boasts decadent fare in addition to those deep-friend Oreos: fried cheesecake, baklava, and a molten chocolate cake, for instance. Fresh juice and fruit smoothies are also served.

I’m fairly obsessed with fattoush salads at this stage in my life (they’ve got everything you need: zing and crunch and deep-fried pita!), so it was a no-brainer for me to order a large one with grilled chicken as my entrée during this visit. And Fattoush’s iteration of its namesake dish was excellent with its ample portion of tender, perfectly-seasoned grilled chicken, crispy pita pieces, zesty dressing, and fresh mix of romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and red onion. (Man, I’m so dearly craving that salad now!)

As a former server, there’s no way I could end this post on Fattoush without giving a shout-out to the wonderful waitress who took care of me and my friend there. She was prompt and friendly and incredibly welcoming.

This visit to Fattoush Lebanese Grill confirmed for me that the restaurant is not only for Mediterranean-food enthusiasts, it’s for food enthusiasts in general. With its ample vegan options, top-notch Lebanese cuisine, and ultra-luxe desserts (Deep-Fried Oreos 4L!!!), Fattoush offers something for everyone.

41170 Hayes Rd.

Clinton Twp., MI 48038

417. La Noria Bistro – July 13, 2019 – Detroit, MI

July2019LaNoriaBistro1 (2)July2019LaNoriaBistro2 (2)La Noria Bistro is gracing 100 Places in the D! If I didn’t know better, I’d say this Southwest Detroit-based restaurant was tailor-made for me, serving as it does my two favorite cuisines – Italian and Mexican – under one roof. But naturally, La Noria Bistro is serving up the cheesy, spicy, flavorful goodness to more than just my party of one. 😛

I visited La Noria Bistro on a Saturday night in mid-July. July up to that point had been cray-cray-ba-nay-nay for me, so I was thrilled to step away from the madness for a new-place visit.

As restaurants serving both Mexican and Italian food aren’t common to this area, it was funny to realize that La Noria Bistro is located next to the only other Detroit restaurant I’m aware of that features a similar menu mash-up: 100 Places in the D favorite El Barzon. It was also no surprise, then, to later discover that they are owned by the same chef.

As with El Barzon, when you walk into La Noria Bistro, you feel as if you are leaving the banal outside world behind and entering a place of enchantment. From its backlit bar with rows of gleaming bottles to its brick walls etched with archways to the royal purple linens enrobing each table, La Noria Bistro’s dining room exudes an elegance that feels as welcoming as it does sophisticated.

Mexican and Italian food hold equal footing on the menu. Calamari lives alongside Chorizo con Queso Fundido. Italian-prepared veal, pasta, and seafood dishes coexist with fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas. There’s a section devoted to pizza – and another devoted to Mexican Sandwiches. SOOOO much goodness to choose from!

Would I go Italian or Mexican, Mexican or Italian during my visit? The glorious thing about dining at La Noria Bistro was that I didn’t have to choose one of the cuisines to the exclusion of the other  – I could choose BOTH! And choose both I did.

For my beverage, I went Italian, ordering a glass of red wine (though La Noria Bistro’s extensive list of signature cocktails is deeply intriguing me as I peruse it during the writing of this post). My appetizer, the tasty complimentary chips and salsa brought to the table, was Mexican by default – but I also went the Mexican route with my entrée, the Enchiladas Rojas. For dessert, you KNOW I had to order some of that Italian tiramisu!

The Enchiladas Rojas were exquisite! I opted for my dish to include cheese enchiladas as well as chicken-stuffed ones; both were richly flavorful and well complemented by a perfectly-spiced red sauce, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and sour cream drizzle. They were accompanied by seasoned rice and black beans.

The tiramisu was exceptional, too. It represented the Italian side of La Noria Bistro’s menu well with its layers of mascarpone cream and ladyfinger cookies well-soaked in rum flavoring.

Service at La Noria Bistro was excellent; our female server was friendly, prompt, and professional.

So while I know La Noria Bistro was not custom-made for me, my visit there certainly made it feel like it was, embodying as it did the ethos that I adore in a dining experience: top-notch food, service, and ambiance served up in a way that makes the meal – and you, as the guest – feel special. PLUS, Mexican food and Italian food comingling on one menu: does it get any better than that???

5517 Michigan Ave.

Detroit, MI 48210