Detroit

483. The Gathering Coffee Co. – October 6, 2020 – Detroit, MI

October 6 was a day worth celebrating. Not only was it my birthday, but with my jaunt to The Gathering Coffee Co. in Detroit, it was my first coffee shop visit in over eight months! Adoring indie coffee houses as I do, this was a Cue-the-Confetti! moment.

You know I had to celebrate my special day with a trip to the D! And what could be more special than visiting a coffee shop that dared to open this summer amidst a pandemic?

According to its website, the Milwaukee Junction-based business is a “philanthropic missioned coffee company, seeking to use storytelling and gathering tables as key components to create and promote unity within the local community and city; standing with the belief that together, we are capable of more than we ever could do alone.”

It’s certainly cultivated a beautiful space from which to carry out that mission. Gathering’s interior is industrial-chic with its concrete floors, wood-beam ceiling with exposed ductwork, walls of brick and stark white, and gracefully curved barista counter constructed from grainy wood. Vases of fresh flowers grace tables, and potted plants hold state. Portraits, presumably of local community members, collage one wall, while a striking mural – a sketch of several sets of closely-gathered hands grasping plants – dominates another. Both art displays aptly encapsulate the coffee house’s community-centered focus.

I wanted to immerse myself in that space, to sit in it and admire it as I sipped my beverage. Alas, my COVID protocol excludes indoor dining! So I was happy to see that Gathering had tables set outdoors, in the strip of grass facing its storefront.

I took the iced oat milk latte with a house-made maple whiskey syrup that I ordered from the cheerful barista out to one of those tables. Full disclosure: I lasted less than 10 minutes in the nippy wind and shadows. But the drink was delicious; the espresso in it was on point, richly flavored, and the oat milk was nice and creamy. My birthday was officially a flavorful one thanks to The Gathering Coffee Co.

2831 E. Grand Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48211

www.gatheringcoffee.com

480. Zo’s Good Burger – September 5, 2020 – Detroit, MI

Labor Day is a time for burgers – though is there NEVER a time for burgers? Certainly it’s always burger time at Zo’s Good Burger – and hooray for that!

This burger joint near Wayne State University is serving up decadent iterations of its namesake food. These are not your father’s burgers – unless your father’s burgers are made of such luxe ingredients as pretzel buns, caramelized onions, and jalapeño poppers.

Zo’s offers both signature burgers (its House Burgers) and a build-your-own-burger option. It also has sandwich wraps in varieties such as Veggie and Chicken Bacon Ranch, plus chicken strips and nuggets and side portions of the decadent deep-fried goodies also featured as burger ingredients (cheese sticks and onion rings being prime examples).

There’s a build-your-own-fries option where you can soup up your spuds with add-ons such as crispy chicken, cheese sauce, and coleslaw. And what burger joint would be complete without shakes? Zo’s offers vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and Oreo varieties. The restaurant is also halal – meaning its quite-tasty bacon is turkey, not pork.

While House Burgers such as the Southwest (topped with pepper jack cheese, grilled jalapeños, and hot sauce – all spicy goodies I adore) and BBQ (complete with Swiss cheese, onion rings, bacon, and barbecue sauce) enticed me, I went the build-your-own route. That allowed me to construct the monster of a burger shown in the above photo, a quarter-pound beef patty nestled within a brioche bun and topped with bacon, tomato, pickles, raw onion, Good Burger Sauce (similar to the Big Mac’s special sauce – but better!), mustard, and my personal-fave component: mac ‘n’ cheese bites (!). I also ordered a side of the Cajun fries.

Digging into my carryout order from Zo’s was an absolute delight. How did hamburgers even exist before the mac-‘n’-cheese-bites add-on? The crispy-battered, creamy, and cheesy nuggets deliciously enhanced the juicy burger. They melded with the mustard, the Good Burger sauce, the pickles, and all the other ingredients I’d chosen to make one SPECTACULAR burger.

I gorged on that Zo’s burger and those spiced Cajun fries until they were gone, my stomach satisfied, my Labor Day weekend a happy one.

2894 W. Grand Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48202

(With additional locations in Canton, Dearborn, and Garden City)

www.zosgoodburger.com

479. El Rey de las Arepas – August 30, 2020 – Detroit, MI

Ah, El Rey de las Arepas, you beacon of fresh, flavorful Venezuelan vittles! My heart sings, my stomach growls, my mouth waters as I lovingly recall my visit to you!

The restaurant in Southwest Detroit had long been on my radar before my late-August visit. This much-anticipated jaunt felt like the perfect one to execute in celebration of my recent emergence from a six-week illness that greatly limited my diet (and that had me consumed with Food Network programming – apparently to torture myself with constant reminders of everything cheesy, fried, and fattening I couldn’t consume???).

After much pondering of El Rey de las Arepas’ menu pre-visit, I called in a carryout order of the K-Rod patacon and one of the restaurant’s namesake offerings, the arepa.

Pick-up was super easy; while El Rey de las Arepas’ interior wasn’t open to visitors at the time of my visit, an outside-facing window counter was. The friendly woman behind the counter chatted with me as she rang me up, saying she hoped I enjoyed the food when she found out I was a first-time visitor.

I hoped I enjoyed the food, too – and I was pretty sure I would when I unpackaged it and saw how amazing it looked!

Looks were not deceiving. The K-Rod, a sandwich with fried plantains as the bread and a generous filling of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and pink and green sauces, was AWESOME. The flavorful pork was a good choice for the meat filling (chicken and shredded beef were also options), and I was excited to have sides of the sooo-good pink and green sauces to augment what was already drizzled on the patacon.

And the arepa! WOW is an understated exclamation for that little baby. My reaction as I was eating it was, “How can something seemly so simple taste this good???” The mini sandwich of tender shredded beef and savory shredded white cheese nestled in between two fresh-grilled, pillowy corn-flour flatbreads was PHENOMENAL. Much love, El Rey de las Arepas, for blowing my mind and my taste buds here! I need to come back and buy not just one arepa but MANY-MANY-MANY.

BTW, dear readers: if you’re unfamiliar with Venezuelan pink and green sauces (as I was), here’s what my internet sleuthing turned up. The pink sauce, or Salsa Rosada, primarily consists of ketchup and mayonnaise. Different recipes I saw kicked up that combo with ingredients such as brandy, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. The green sauce is called guasacaca and is typically made with such ingredients as avocado, parsley, cilantro, vinegar, and garlic. Yum!

7701 McGraw Ave.

Detroit, MI 48210

478. Sheila’s Bakery – August 30, 2020 – Detroit, MI

My jaunt to Sheila’s Bakery in late August was exciting on so many levels. It was my both my first visit to Detroit since an illness I experienced for six weeks of the summer AND my first new-place visit in the city since the pandemic landed in Michigan.

My last new-place Detroit visit was almost six months prior: to E&L Supermercado (home of the phenomenal Salsa a la Diabla). I’d been to Detroit once since then, attending a June gathering on Belle Isle (my first trip to the island in 15 years!). But this was my first solo, drive-myself, new-place Detroit jaunt in nearly half.a.year.

I was both excited and nervous to navigate to the Mexican bakery in Southwest Detroit. Driving is not my favorite pastime, and Detroit roads – as those of you who live locally know – aren’t always the most intuitive (they get major marks for creativity!). But I made it to Sheila’s, one mile at a time, unscathed. The trip was well worth the auto-induced nerves.

I discovered that many of Sheila’s breads, cookies, cakes, and other baked goodies are displayed in serve-yourself cases. You select the confections you want with tongs, placing them on a tray you bring up to the cashier, who packages them and takes your payment.

I knew I’d not be leaving Sheila’s without tres leches cake.

Ah, tres leches, that gorgeous concoction of sweet, pillowy goodness soaked in three iterations of dairy! I was so excited to choose two slices of Sheila’s take on that beauty: one for me, and one for my mother, who I was visiting that same day (lucky her!).

That tres leches cake tasted as wonderful as anticipated! As shown in the above photo, it was a slab of sweet-milk-soaked heaven, complete with luscious frosting bedecked with chopped nuts and a literal cherry on top. I savored its richness over two sittings.

The other delight purchased from Sheila’s was its version of a Hostess cupcake. A surprise discovery: its center contained both the iconic white cream AND raspberry filling. I savored those decadent fillings along with the rich chocolate cake and frosting that comprised the two nuggets of happiness I’d brought home with me.

Now more than ever, our world needs the feel-good vibes induced by baked goods – and to support locally-owned businesses. A visit to Sheila’s Bakery satisfies both of those requirements!

Best wishes to you all at this intense time in the world. Here’s to staying safe, sane, and as joyful as possible.

2142 Springwells St.

Detroit, MI 48209

(With an additional location in Pontiac)

471. E&L Supermercado – March 8, 2020 – Detroit, MI

March2020E&LSupermercado1 (2)March2020E&LSupermercado2 (2)As of the writing of this post, I haven’t been to a grocery store in almost two weeks – or anywhere, really. But it cheers me to know that wonderful grocery stores such as E&L Supermercado are still in operation during this challenging time, doing the noble work of feeding the masses.

I visited the Southwest Detroit-based grocery store in early March, marveling over its well-stocked meat counter, mounds of fresh produce, array of fresh-baked breads and sweets, and ample selections of locally-made corn and flour tortillas, house-made salsas, and Mexican dry grocery goods.

I enjoyed shopping in the store bustling with families and friends running into each other. After perusing all of the goodies, I came out with a variety of fruits and vegetables, a sack of house-made tortilla chips, bags of fresh flour tortillas, canned salsa, a package of El Milagro non-GMO tostadas (LOVE those – they’re so deliciously crunchy!), and what turned out to be my favorite purchase, a container of E&L Supermercado’s house-made Salsa a la Diabla.

I ADORE spicy food. But I’ll admit: buying a salsa labeled “Salsa of the Devil” from a Mexican grocery store gave me pause; I wondered if it would be more heat than I could handle. Happily, it was not; that Salsa a la Diabla was nowhere near as spicy as I’d expected it to be – but it was wonderful.

It brought the heat, but in a pleasant way – at least, in a pleasant way for someone who has a high heat tolerance (I acknowledge that those who prefer mild heat might indeed find it as hot as a work of Satan’s); it had such beautifully nuanced flavor. It struck me as more of an oily, spice-infused paste than a traditional salsa; it didn’t have chunks of tomatoes or veggies in it but appeared to contain an ample amount of ground red chiles. I became OBSESSED with it, consuming it daily mixed into meals or slathered on E&L Supermercado’s perfectly crispy, salty tortilla chips – until it ran out and I found myself scrambling for an excuse to drive down to buy more.

Even if E&L Supermercado wasn’t doing the work of heroes at this intense time in history, feeding people fresh and nutritious and tasty food when they need it most, I’d still view the store as a superpower for manufacturing that Salsa a la Diabla and for offering such stellar produce and groceries. E&L Supermercado has definitely been added to my rotation of top-notch locally-owned markets!

6000 W. Vernor Hwy.

Detroit, MI 48209

www.el-supermercado.com

470. Mexicantown Bakery – March 8, 2020 – Detroit, MI

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Mexicantown Bakery’s churro, chocolate croissant, and coffee tres leches cake

Baked goods most definitely make my heart – and my stomach – smile, so recounting this visit to Mexicantown Bakery is a real treat.

The Southwest Detroit-based bakery offers a plethora of fresh-made goodies: loaves of bread, buns, cake, cookies, cupcakes, churros, conchas (Mexican sweet bread), flan, and the like. A long row of display cases line a section of its interior near its front door. Patrons are able to select items displayed in those cases themselves using tongs or parchment paper and to place them on plastic trays, which they can then proceed with to the cashier counter.

Additional displays of fresh-baked treats abound, including in cases built into the cashier counter and in a refrigerated case toward the back of the store that holds what I consider to be Mexicantown Bakery’s pièce de résistance: its tres leches cake.

Tres leches in its classic form is, to me, one of the finest baked goods ever – and Mexicantown Bakery has upped the ante by offering it in additional flavor varieties, including chocolate, caramel, and coffee. I HAD to try that coffee one, so I grabbed one of the plastic containers offering up a large piece of it (what I’d consider as two slices in one).

I also picked these items out of the choose-it-yourself display cases: a chocolate croissant; a caramel-stuffed churro; a slice of chocolate cake swirled with strawberry filling; and a cupcake rendered to look like a giant version of the classic cream-filled Hostess cupcake, complete with the white icing squiggle on top.

Yep, I went a little crazy, procuring five desserts all for myself: but it’s hard not to go crazy at a place showcasing such delectable delights as Mexicantown Bakery!

All of those desserts were DELICIOUS. I got a real kick out of eating the mega Hostess-cupcake clone and savoring its rich cream center, as I savored the strawberry filling in the slice of chocolate cake. The croissant was especially tasty heated up in the microwave, its center oozing melted chocolate, while the churro was a cinnamon-infused indulgence.

But that tres leches cake – oh, that tres leches cake! It’s taking the cake (pun intended, naturally) as the best thing I’ve eaten thus far this year. WOW, was it phenomenal: so rich and spongy and sumptuous, soaked in sweet, milky goodness, with a wonderful coffee flavor and creamy decadence that was immensely satisfying. I ate it over several sittings, relishing every bite and daydreaming about buying more of it. With any luck, a revisit to Mexicantown Bakery will be sooner rather than later.

As of the writing of this post, it appears that Mexicantown Bakery is open despite the coronavirus crisis; its Facebook page mentions modified hours, but I don’t see a post about it closing (perhaps it’s considered a carryout place and allowed to stay active). Regardless of whether it’s in operation now or not, I’m sure its business has been affected during this challenging time. Whenever this awful situation has resolved and we can be out and about again as we were before, please consider patronizing this wonderful establishment. Independently-owned Detroit businesses such as Mexicantown Bakery will need our patronage more than ever.

4300 W. Vernor Hwy.

Detroit, MI 48209

www.mexicantownbakery.com

Detroit Charities to Help During the Coronavirus Crisis

October2018DetroitRiverWalk2 (3)Watching Detroit become one of the cities hit hardest by the coronavirus is a terrible thing. As if many of its citizens weren’t struggling enough in day-to-day life, now they have to contend with a deadly virus ripping through their neighborhoods. To call what they’re going through right now unfair is a vicious understatement.

It feels silly in the face of such suffering to feel like I can help – which is exactly why I’m writing this post: as a reminder to myself and to anyone who reads it that we can help, that our small actions can add up to make a difference. One kind act, one relatively small donation can snowball into a massive positive effect!

In the spirit of that can-do optimism, here are some Detroit-based (and Detroit adjacent) charities that could really use our help during this time. If you’re able to give any amount financially or to volunteer your services to any of them that are still accepting volunteers, I’m sure they would very much appreciate it!

COTS: This has long been one of my favorite local organizations to support. COTS offers temporary shelter and a plethora of other resources to those in need – from assistance obtaining housing and employment to financial education and access to job training. www.cotsdetroit.org

Detroit Area Agency on Aging: The elderly are an especially vulnerable population at this time. Detroit Area Agency on Aging is helping them by delivering meals to senior citizens who are unable to leave their homes or prepare meals on their own via its Meals on Wheels program. www.detroitseniorsolution.org

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries: Another longtime favorite of mine, this charity provides food, shelter, and a variety of supportive programs, such as treatment for substance abuse and assistance upon exiting correctional facilities. www.drmm.org

Forgotten Harvest: Procuring food that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to those in need is Forgotten Harvest’s mission. Now more than ever, they need financial help to deliver that food. www.forgottenharvest.org

Turning Point: The Macomb County-based advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence is facing the virus head-on, continuing to offer beds at its shelter and services such as it 24/7 crisis line and Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. While it’s not based in Detroit or Wayne County, I felt compelled to feature it here because I have personal experience working with the women who run it and wanted to give a shout-out to their bravery, resilience, and do-gooder-ness. www.turningpointmacomb.org

United Way for Southeastern Michigan: The mainstay Metro-Detroit charity has established its COVID-19 Community Response Fund to help local aid organizations who are assisting the community in the midst of the pandemic. www.unitedwaysem.org

469. TARDIS Detroit – March 8, 2020 – Detroit, MI

March2020TARDISDetroit1 (2)March2020TARDISDetroit2 (2)March2020TARDISDetroit3 (3)Here’s one establishment that’s able to stay open during the coronavirus crisis: TARDIS Detroit.

The stock in the lending library based in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit is patron-maintained; it runs on the take-a-book, leave-a-book philosophy. The wooden structure has been crafted to look like the TARDIS time machine from the British sci-fi TV show Doctor Who – though rather than its acronym standing for “Time and Relative Dimension in Space,” it means “Totally Awesome Reading Dispensary in Society.” Love it!

TARDIS Detroit is located in a grassy lot in a residential neighborhood at the corner of West Warren Avenue and Vermont Street. Approaching it on a sunny Sunday morning in early March, I felt as giddy as a child. Visiting the TARDIS combined three things I love: art, books, and exploring, and it was so fun to open first the outer doors, then the intricately painted sliding inner doors to reveal the bookshelves within.

Those shelves contained a variety of books, including a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a cookbook touting fruit-based dishes, and a novel by Hilary Duff. But it was a hardcover copy of Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau that prompted me to take it with me (and which, in hindsight, feels like an especially apt selection given the state of seclusion I’ve been forced to take up by current world events). In return, I left three books from my personal library that I’d brought with me.

It’s a dark time for Detroit; the coronavirus is ravaging it. I’ve struggled with whether releasing such a post at this time is even appropriate; I’ve went through with it because I’m hoping it serves as a reminder of all that is great about Detroit and that joyful experiences are still available.

It’s a small comfort to know that there are structures out there such as TARDIS Detroit that one can visit to pick up a book (perhaps on one of our sanctioned outdoor recreational jaunts?), without having to encounter another soul. It may not be an actual time machine, but through the tomes it houses, it’s serving as a portal to other dimensions – and escapism through the worlds constructed by books is a much-desired commodity for those of us who are privileged enough to be able to engage in it during this nightmare of a time.

1944 W. Warren Ave.

Detroit, MI 48208

466. Mutiny Tiki Bar – February 16, 2020 – Detroit, MI

February2020MutinyBar1 (2)February2020MutinyBar2 (3)It feels massively bittersweet to be writing this post about my mid-February visit to Mutiny Tiki Bar. I had an amazing time at this wonderful, high-vibing bar in Southwest Detroit – but knowing that I couldn’t go there today if I wanted to brings tears to my eyes.

The coronavirus has impacted so many of us globally. For many, it has meant devastatingly life-altering or fatal consequences for themselves and/or their loved ones. My heart goes out to those who have been directly impacted by the virus in terrible ways, and I know my plight – to be stuck inside while we attempt to curb and end this thing in Michigan – is utterly miniscule compared with the suffering and grief those people have experienced. I am living a life of luxury and comfort in comparison, and I acknowledge that and am grateful for the fact that thus far, my family, friends, and I have been able to stay safe.

I acknowledge that, and . . . I miss exploring already. Monday was a bad day for me, when the directive came through from our governor for dine-in restaurants, coffee shops, and bars to close – plus gyms, recreation areas, spas, and the like (a.k.a., the fun stuff). I totally get and respect this decision, I know it’s necessary, and yet, it still SUCKS. Exploring Metro-Detroit has become much, much harder right now; even stepping out at all has become, at the very least, an ethical dilemma – not to mention, what could be a matter of life and death for vulnerable populations . . .  and we don’t know when that’s going to change.

And all of our beloved locally-owned restaurants and bars and shops . . . what is going to happen to them? How many of them will not be able to survive the shutdown, and how many of their employees are financially struggling by being unable to work?

The silver lining around this horrible time for local small businesses and their employees is that there are multiple ways that we as patrons can still support them. We can buy gift cards online to use toward future visits, grab carryout from those that are offering it (should we feel comfortable venturing out), purchase goods from their online shops, and even tip local bartenders for drinks we’ve made at home via a site called Go Tip Em (www.gotipem.com), which I became aware of via cocktaildetroit‘s Instagram account. We can do our part!

Hopefully such seemingly small actions can accumulate and make a big difference in keeping all of the wonderful independently-owned establishments in Detroit and the surrounding tri-county area operating. I, for one, am going to start doing my part by procuring online some of Lake Orion coffee house A Bean to Go‘s delectable beans (LOVE their brews and the vibe of their shop!) and browsing Detroit-based Pages Bookshop‘s internet store for that book club pick I can no longer get from the library.

Enough of the spotlight on this awful virus: it’s time to move on to cheerier topics and the hope of brighter times – times when we can again patronize stellar establishments such as this one, Mutiny Tiki Bar!

I enjoyed the heck out of my visit to this bar. Located in an unmarked brick building, it can be challenging to spot, but using the reference points of other landmarks (it’s at the corner of Vernor Highway and Lansing Street; it’s next to Chicago’s Pizza) helps to locate it.

The no-frills ambiance ends outside; Mutiny’s interior is a fun mix of hipster chill and tropical vibes. The interior is paneled in wood and accented with bamboo. Colored twinkle lights, gauzy netting, pretty parasol umbrellas, and voluminous amounts of grassy-looking fibers that appear to be dried palm fronds (or faux stuff constructed to look like them) hang from the ceiling, while flowered leis are draped over the turquoise bar chairs and all manner of other surfaces. Carved masks, colorful buoys, and tropically-themed photos and other goodies decorate the walls. It all melds together to form a visually arresting atmosphere.

It also melds together to form very relaxed, very friendly, ultra-good vibes. Maybe it was the boosted spirits of me and my friend who had come to Mutiny for a Sunday Funday celebration; maybe it was our awesome bartender, who was attentive and welcoming in a very chill way; maybe it was the cool gal sitting near us at the bar who we struck up a conversation with and who my friend brought in on our shot-taking hijinks, but man, the vibes were EXCELLENT at the place!

I had such a good time sampling Mutiny’s wares: its tasty Old Salt cocktail with its Patron tequila, tomatillo syrup, chili salt rim, and flaming lime (shown on the right in the photo of the drinks above) and its Banana Bread Shot – which O.M.G., is phenomenal. Like, WOW-THIS-IS-DEFINITELY-ONE-OF-THE-BEST-DRINKS-I’VE-EVER-CONSUMED phenomenal.

Not gonna lie, my friend and I each had two of those Banana Bread shots; they were so good that we felt compelled to do a take-two on them (and we had an excuse to use: celebrating my procuring of a much-desired new job). The menu description of this delectable little baby says it all: “molasses infused Bacardi Banana, coco nib, cinnamon, cream.” It truly tastes like the most luxurious banana bread you’ve ever eaten and is so, so YUMMMM.

Once we get the all-clear to be out and about again and Mutiny Tiki Bar is reopened, I have a feeling it’s going to be KICKING. It is so worth a visit, and in the great, grand scheme of things, it’ll be reopened again before we know it.

4654 Vernor Hwy.

Detroit, MI 48209

www.mutinybar.com

464. Good Cakes and Bakes – February 4, 2020 – Detroit, MI

February2020GoodCakesandBakes1 (2)February2020GoodCakesandBakes2 (3)February2020GoodCakesandBakes3 (2)I love a good baked good! I can resist candy, but put a spongy little nugget of frosted cake in front of me, and I have a much harder time resisting. This is especially true of spongy little nuggets of frosted cake that come from stellar establishments such as Good Cakes and Bakes.

The bakery based in the Avenue of Fashion neighborhood of Detroit offers enticing house-made treats; cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, sweet breads, cinnamon rolls, and scones are offerings, as are homemade soups and coffee. Vegan options are also available.

According to its website, Good Cakes and Bakes uses organic and/or locally-sourced ingredients for its wares whenever possible, which I love! Organic ingredients = one more justification I can use to cram a baked good into my mouth. 🙂

Walking into the storefront of Good Cakes and Bakes, I was greeted not only by the gleaming displays of goodies but the vibrancy of its interior. Whimsical dessert-centric murals grace the walls, and the whole place is teeming with color and welcoming vibes. Tables provide ample seating for guests to sit and enjoy the tasty treats they’ve purchased.

The woman working the counter was friendly – and a good salesperson. She convinced me to purchase four cupcakes based off of the number of slots in the cardboard box she was using to pack my order (I was only going to order three, but . . . twist my arm!).

Good Cakes and Bakes offers cupcakes in varieties as varied as Banana Pudding and Frutti Pebbles. Being the chocolate lover that I am, I zeroed in on the ones that featured that ingredient, opting for the Chocolate, Chocolate Salted Caramel, German Chocolate, and Red Velvet varieties.

I sat and enjoyed the Red Velvet cupcake right then and there, savoring its rich cream-cheese frosting. The other three, the Chocolate, Chocolate Salted Caramel, and German Chocolate, were enjoyed later at home. And WOW, did those three especially blow me away! They were total beacons of deliciousness with their moist, tender-crumbed cake and ample amounts of sumptuous frosting.

The German Chocolate was so decadent with its delightfully sticky, coconut-laced frosting, while the Chocolate Salted Caramel surprised me with the vibrancy of its flavor, from the melding of the savory sea salt and sweet caramel flavors with the rich vanilla frosting and moist, decadent chocolate cake to the chewy caramel square that bedecked it. And the Chocolate was a supreme example in less being more with its harmonious melding of moist cake and luxurious frosting festooned with sprinkles and a chocolate drizzle.

As if those delectable cupcakes weren’t incentive enough to return to Good Cakes and Bakes: I was also signed up for the bakery’s rewards program during my visit. This program allows customers to accrue points every time they make purchases at Good Cakes and Bakes and earn redeemable rewards. MORE motivation to enjoy baked goods? I’LL TAKE IT – thanks, Good Cakes and Bakes!

19363 Livernois Ave.

Detroit, MI 48221

(Closed Sundays and Mondays)

www.goodcakesandbakes.com