Corktown

236. Nancy Whiskey – March 12, 2017 – Detroit, MI

20170312_114523 (2)20170312_114645 (2)20170312_120512 (3)Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all!!!

If you are looking to cut out of work early and indulge in some crazy St. Paddy’s Day non-adulting shenanigans, Nancy Whiskey is the place for you. Cuz you know this Corktown Irish bar is going crazy right about now with half-gone celebrants decked out in green knee socks and tophats and shamrock-themed face paint.

I’m not planning to go out and revel with the revelers today, but I am feeling mighty nostalgic right now for my early-to-mid-20s, when taking off work to start drinking green beer at 9 a.m. was a given. ~Sigh.~ Those were the days!

If I’m being honest with myself, though, I’ll admit I got my fill of the St. Paddy’s Day party vibes last Sunday after running in the Corktown 5K associated with the parade held annually in that historically Irish part of town.

If you’ve never been to the Corktown St. Patrick’s Day parade – held annually on the Sunday prior to the holiday – it’s definitely something you should consider experiencing at least once. It’s quite a spectacle! Just aim for a year when it’s not 40 degrees and downpouring (2016) or with temps in the teens and a bitter wind chill (this year). Crossing my fingers for a balmy 50-degrees-and-sunny experience next year!

But I digress – back to Nancy Whiskey! It’s one of the D’s oldest bars. According to its website, it’s been around since 1902! And the corned beef it served up on parade day was excellent. I’d heard good things about it from a former coworker and Corktown-parade diehard who was obsessed with getting a corned-beef sandwich from Nancy Whiskey every year, and man, it lived up to her hype. I only got one corned-beef slider, but it was loaded with an ample amount of tender, thinly-sliced meat – Mmmmmm. It was a much-needed beacon of comfort as I tried to ignore the fact that I was walking around in frigid temps in sweat-dampened race clothes (the unglamorous side of running in the Corktown 5K).

2644 Harrison St.

Detroit, MI 48216

www.nancywhiskeydetroit.com

164. Detroit Institute of Bagels – February 14, 2016 – Detroit, MI

20160214_10382320160214_11052520160214_104832Love is . . . taking yourself on a drive to Corktown on a brisk, sunny Valentine’s Day morning and gorging yourself with the most delicious bagel sandwich you’ve ever had in your life. Seriously – go. to. Detroit. Institute. of. Bagels. Tomorrow morning. Get the mind-blowing #9 (the Turkey, Bacon & Avocado sandwich with gouda and spicy mayo) on a toasted whole-wheat Everything bagel, or try one of the other amazing-sounding bagel sandwiches. Soak up the rustic hipster ambiance and the cheery vibes from the happy, friendly staff. And fall in love with this charming bagel shop!

1236 Michigan Ave.

Detroit, MI 48226

 

www.detroitinstituteofbagels.com

162. Two James Spirits – January 24, 2016 – Detroit, MI

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In my next lifetime, I am going to come back as one of those pretty, tattooed female bartenders you see everywhere around Detroit, and I am going to tend bar at an establishment just like Two James. A bright, beautiful bar, the perfect mix of gritty (set in an obviously former industrial building) and elegant (featuring vivid floral-themed artwork and metallic orb light fixtures with delicate cutout design work floating around the bar). Small and intimate. And crafting with care a deliciously stiff drink. Damn, was the drink I had there amazing! It was a White Russian, and I think it had a name other than White Russian on the menu – but of course, I can’t recall that name (I need to start taking notes in my travels – this is critical info!).

While I was prompted by the menu description to order this, I’ve heretofore never been much of a White Russian girl – and it’s probably because, I am realizing now, I never had one that was made properly! Two James’ is perfection – due in large part, I am sure, to the fact that it contains its own distilled vodka. The distillery also produces various whiskies, two kinds of gin, a bourbon, a mezcal, and absinthe. So yes! It is the perfect establishment for some chill Sunday afternoon spirits-imbibing.

The day I visited Two James and also Mercury Burger and Bar, January 24, also happened to be the one-year anniversary of me hitting the landmark of 100 local places visited since starting this blog (with my visit to Grand Trunk Pub in Detroit on January 24, 2015)! That I had planned this visit to Detroit on this day was a happy accident – but one that I was pleased to discover.

2445 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216

www.twojames.com

161. Mercury Burger and Bar – January 24, 2016 – Detroit, MI

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Glorious Southwest Detroit burger with chorizo, avocado, jalapenos, pickled carrots . . . out-of-control good! 

I’m OBSESSED!!! Ok, I say that about a lot of places I visit lately, but I truly am experiencing feelings of obsession around Corktown’s Mercury Burger and Bar and the AMAZING Southwest Detroit burger I had there about a month ago. Seriously, it was glorious. It was PERFECT. It had to be one of the very best burgers I’ve ever had.

That weekend was the weekend of burgers for me, apparently. I’d visited another peddler of excellent burgers, Luxe Bar and Grill, just two days prior. The trip to Mercury was part of a Detroit Day – one of my very favorite days in the world! – on which a good friend and I spend an afternoon jaunting about Detroit, exploring establishments we’ve never been.

Not only was the burger I had amazing, but so were the poutine tater tots (poutine tots!!!). Another plus: the interior of the diner is so bright and cheerily Detroit-centric, with a friendly, welcoming bar staff if you decide to perch along its rail and enjoy a local craft ale with your meal as we did. All in all, it is almost impossible not to fall in love with this place.

2163 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216

www.mercuryburgerbar.com

108. Gold Cash Gold – March 15, 2015 – Detroit

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This was our first stop post-race, when we were all psyched up and invigorated and sweaty. Thank God for the tutus to doll up the running apparel!

I’ve been wanting to check out Gold Cash Gold for several months now, ever since I found out it had opened. It’s in a building that was formerly a pawn shop, and they decided to keep the name. All the tables were taken out on this day to accommodate the crowds, but I liked what I saw. It’s all bright white walls and stained glass and wood – very light and relaxed and welcoming. I will have to write a postscript whenever I go in there and actually order food, because I am curious about the menu. It looks very interesting, and I definitely have an affinity for menus that veer off the beaten path.

2100 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216

http://www.goldcashgolddetroit.com/

107. McShane’s – March 15, 2015 – Detroit, MI

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Sunday was a glorious day of running and reveIery. Yes, I went downtown to run in the Corktown 5K – and to celebrate my friend Jaclyn’s birthday. After a night of drinking and insufficient sleep, we were both so proud of ourselves for running the whole thing without stopping once. We felt like champions – 33-minute champions! That was our time. Ok, so Nike is not going to be calling us anytime soon to sponsor a new line of running shoes or anything, but it felt impressive to us.

McShane’s was our first stop, pre-race. It was a pretty no-frills bar – but I do have a fondness for no-frills bars. And it was Irish. And the small trace of Irishness left in my genes (the Floods immigrated over here in the 1800s, so it’s pretty diluted by this point) enjoys anything Irish.

1460 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216

http://mcshanespub.com/index.html