Detroit

395. Harry’s Detroit – March 1, 2019 – Detroit, MI

March2019Harry's1 (2)March2019Harry's2 (2)100 Places in the D is marching into March – finally! (Never mind that we’re still five months behind here – progress is progress. :P)

A visit to Harry’s Detroit kicked off the month. The bar was packed during my dinnertime visit, most likely due to the Michael Bublé concert soon taking place at nearby Little Caesars Arena. My mom and I were attending that concert and decided to stop off at Harry’s first.

The bar has a classy yet homey vibe, with lots of glossy dark wood and a blackboard spelling out drink specials in colorful chalk. It also has a covered rooftop patio that looks like a very good time – but alas, I was not able to enjoy it during the frigidity of my late-winter visit.

Harry’s menu showcases an enticing array of bar-food fare: appetizers that scream of high calorie counts and deliciousness (see the Jalapeño Poppers Eggrolls with their deep-fried casings stuffed with bacon, jalapeños, and cheddar, Gouda, and cream cheeses and served with ranch – !), hefty burgers, and stick-to-your-ribs sandwiches. It also offers comfort-food-focused entrées such as baked macaroni and cheese and meatloaf, plus soups and salads.

I was craving a Greek salad (I get on kicks with those suckers sometimes; they’re SO good! Says the woman who didn’t like salads until her late twenties). So I went for Harry’s Detroit Greek Salad, to which I added grilled chicken.

The salad was hearty and flavorful with its mixed greens tossed with roasted beets, spicy pepperoncini, and creamy feta, plus onions, olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes bringing the veggie goodness. Accompanying it were triangles of soft, chewy pita bread. It was the perfect sustenance to energize me for a night of cheering on my favorite Canadian crooner. 🙂

2482 Clifford St.

Detroit, MI 48201

www.harrysdetroit.com

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392. Chili Mustard Onions – February 9, 2019 – Detroit, MI

February2019ChiliMustardOnions6 (2)February2019ChiliMustardOnions2 (2)February2019ChiliMustardOnions4 (2)February2019ChiliMustardOnions5 (2)Chili Mustard Onions is in the house!!!!!

I’m not a vegan, but I don’t mind playing one sometimes – especially if it means eating at an establishment as phenomenal as this one. Chili Mustard Onions is serving up the FLAVOR!

The vegan restaurant is modeled after a Coney Island, except that its gyros, Coney dogs, nachos, and chili-cheese fries are chockful of plant-based ingredients rather than animal products. And I was totally digging it during my February visit.

Besides proffering plant-based versions of the above-mentioned dishes and others such as pitas, sandwiches, and a Big Mock burger, Chili Mustard Onions features a drink menu full of vegan beers, wines, and spirits. Non-alcoholic drinks such as iced tea, pop, and kombucha are also available. Vegan soft serve and other desserts are offered, too.

I’m a big fan of chili fries, so I knew I had to try CMO’s Chili Cheeze Fries. I also opted for the Beetball Sub, followed by a slice of chocolate cake that was modeled after a Snickers bar, with peanuts and layers of chocolate- and caramel-flavored frostings.

Those Chili Cheeze Fries, you guys – they were fantastic. In the almost six months since I have lunched at Chili Mustard Onions, I have not stopped thinking about those fries! They were so, so, so, SO good. They were frankly better than the real, meat-laden thing. The chili was more like a gravy; it didn’t have any chunks of plant-based meat in it, which I preferred, as I’m not a big fan of traditional meat substitutes such as tofu and tempeh. And the cheese sauce! Wow, did it taste like the real thing! It was creamy and savory and delicious.

The Beetball Sub was amazing, too. The meatballs were made from beets and a combination of other plant-based ingredients; I believe there was tofu in them, for instance. Again, I didn’t feel like I was eating fake meat but extreme deliciousness. I enjoyed the Beetball’s cashew-based mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and its rich, tomato-y sauce.

And then came the Snickers cake, which was chocolatey, decadent goodness. A satisfied appetite and very full stomach came along with it.

This first visit of Blog Year Six for 100 Places in the D was most definitely a memorable one. I’m confident that Chili Mustard Onion is going to end up in my list of top-ten visits for the year. I’m also excitedly anticipating a revisit – possibly this week, as a friend has mentioned she’d like to try the restaurant, and I am totally down for the ride. Chili Cheeze Fries, here I come!

3411 Brush St.

Detroit, MI 48201

 

390. House of Pure Vin – February 3, 2019 – Detroit, MI

February2019HouseofPureVin1 (2)February2019HouseofPureVin2 (2)House of Pure Vin!!!! What a delight this wine shop is. It also has the distinction of being the 50th – and final – locally-owned, new-to-me place that I visited in Detroit proper during Blog Year Five (which ran from February 8, 2018 through February 7, 2019). My 50-visits-in-Detroit-in-one-year goal was achieved!!!!!

When I walked into House of Pure Vin, one of the owners welcomed me and urged me to browse the carefully curated selection of reds and whites from wineries all over the world. She later joined me mid-browse and offered me samples of a few wines that were out to taste, then showed me the room where tasting events are held and explained the shop’s wine club.

House of Pure Vin’s monthly wine club is offered in two tiers. The Beaujolais membership is $35 a month and allows subscribers the choice of two bottles of wine per month, plus the ability to attend store-run tastings and events exclusive to club members. Additionally, a patron of this membership tier is afforded the ability to schedule two private wine tastings a year for himself/herself and up to nine guests. It also affords a 10 percent discount in-store. The Grand Cru wine club membership is $75 a month and allows the choice of two bottles of exclusive-tier wines (wines not offered in-shop) per month; four annual private tastings for the subscriber and up to nine other guests; invites to store-held events exclusive to club members; and a 20 percent discount in-store. Monthly wine selections can be picked up in-store by club members or shipped to their homes for an additional fee of $10 per month.

I appreciated the owner of House of Pure Vin who I met during my visit for taking the time to give me a personal tour of the store, explaining the wine club membership and tastings, and giving me free samples. At the end of our interaction, I was very tempted to join the Beaujolais-level wine club! I find it quite reasonable in value, and it’s a someday-goal that I hope to achieve in the near future, belonging to a wine club, as I LOVE wine and wouldn’t mind stepping up my sophistication around it and veering away from those budget-bottle grocery store varieties!

I did conclude my visit at House of Pure Vin that day by purchasing a bottle of one of the wines I sampled, a lovely white-wine blend (called Oriana) by Washington-based winery Brian Carter Cellars. It’s still sitting in my improvised wine cellar (a basement closet), awaiting a special occasion. That special occasion may simply turn out to be a beautiful summer’s evening sometime very soon. 🙂

1433 Woodward Ave.

Detroit, MI 48226

www.houseofpurevin.com

389. Bird Bee – February 3, 2019 – Detroit, MI

February2019BirdBee2 (2)My barrage of visits to cap off my visit-50-places-in-Detroit initiative for Blog Year 5 of 100 Places in the D continued on February 3 with a stop at Bird Bee, a clothing store for women and those who enjoy wearing clothing traditionally identified as female.

The shop was loaded with beautiful and stylish jeans, blouses, sweaters, dresses, and other apparel and accessories, as well as gift-worthy items such as candles and cocktail accessories. While I didn’t make a purchase, I enjoyed browsing its wares and chatting with the friendly sales clerk about a recent café opening that the city was abuzz about, that of Cannelle by Matt Knio (which – spoiler! – will end up on this blog once I catch up to mid-May).

1228 Griswold St.

Detroit, MI 48226

www.shopbirdbee.com

388. The Farmer’s Hand – February 3, 2019 – Detroit, MI

February2019Farmer'sHand2 (2)February2019Farmer'sHand3 (2)After lunch at Folk and shopping at Mama Coo’s Boutique on a sunny Sunday in early February, I stepped into The Farmer’s Hand, the Corktown grocer adjacent to the restaurant and vintage clothing store.

The tiny shop showcases a thoughtful curation of locally-produced fruits, veggies, cheeses, and other grocery goods, such as Mindo Chocolates (produced in Dexter) and my perennial obsession, Gus and Grey jams (one of Detroit’s finest exports, in my opinion!). Baked goods, salads, sandwiches, and other ready-made items are also available for purchase, as are coffee and tea. A window-facing counter allows patrons to eat, drink, and relax in-shop before heading out to face the rest of their day, foodie fuel in hand.

1701 Trumbull Ave.

Detroit, MI 48216

www.thefarmershand.com

387. Mama Coo’s Boutique – February 3, 2019 – Detroit, MI

February2019MamaCoo's2 (2)Mama Coo’s! I visited this cute shop back in early February and have lately been pondering a return jaunt. Considering that five months have elapsed since my first visit (!), I’m due!

The Corktown-based store is one of those thoughtfully-curated spaces around which you can rotate multiple times and find new items catching your eye with each revolution. It sells jewelry, magnets, candles, crystals, buttons, handmade greeting cards, vintage clothing, and other striking goodies.

Multiple items intrigued me, and I went for all four of them: a packet of soothing-scented incense sticks; a polished nugget of rose quartz; a magnet emblazoned with “The Patriarchy Isn’t Going to Smash Itself” and drawings of female historical figures and superheroes; and the best candle I have ever smelled, a concoction that included scents of peppermint and lavender – and was it eucalyptus? I burned it up long ago and don’t remember what it was called or who produced it, but it was AMAZING, the kind of candle you take a big whiff of before you head out the door for the day to give you a boost – and now I’m legit penning into my planner a return visit to Mama Coo’s at the remembrance of it!

The employee working the counter at Mama Coo’s that day was so friendly and lovely, too, chatting with me about the history of the shop and the building it is housed within (which she said the owner’s grandparents had lived in at one point years ago).

In short: Mama Coo’s Boutique is a gem, one worth a first visit, a return visit, and many more beyond that!

1701 Trumbull Ave.

Detroit, MI 48216

www. mamacoosboutique.com

386. Folk – February 3, 2019 – Detroit, MI

February2019Folk1 (3)February2019Folk2 (2)February2019Folk3 (2)As outlined in my “100 Places in the D’s Year Four Review!” post that debuted alllll the way back in February 2018, my goal for Blog Year Five (which ran from February 8, 2018 through February 7, 2019) was to visit 50 locally-owned, new-to-me places in the city of Detroit alone.

This was a daunting goal for me. I live in general proximity to Detroit but not right next door to it, and as much as I adore the city (and I very much do!), navigating its oft-labyrinth streets and various parking scenarios can be a nerve-jangling experience for me – one that often entails self-directed pep talks and psyching up. But I quietly chugged away toward the milestone, and as of January 2019, I only had five more places to visit to achieve that goal. Huzzah!

Flash-forward to February 3, 2019, when I had achieved exactly [INSERT DRUM ROLL] . . . zero of those five remaining visits. A two-week trip to Thailand, with all its pre- and post-trip preparations, had derailed me from my eye-on-the-prize mentality around my 50-visit goal. And now it was crunch time.

So in a crap-why-did-I-procrastinate-this last-minute sprint, I established a game plan to achieve my remaining five visits and headed down to the D on this fortuitously warm February Sunday to make my goal happen.

Folk was my opening visit of the day. I’d been wanting to visit the Corktown restaurant for months and was fortunate to score a seat at a communal table within its tiny interior. Seating was at a premium that afternoon, but because I was down to enjoy my lunch between two couples who were strangers to me, I got seated immediately in the bright, beautiful café with its modern white-tiled walls, blonde wood floors, and cascading plant collection.

Sitting at the communal table was an interesting endeavor, as I attempted to balance my purse, scarf, and heavy winter coat within my personal bubble of space while also attempting to read a novel and politely tune out my tablemates’ conversations. This was some advanced-level solo dining here!

But I must say, I handled it gracefully – even when my scarf slipped on the ground near the feet of the guy next to me and I unsuccessfully attempted to catch his attention before giving up and invading his personal bubble to grab it myself, all whilst under the sympathetic gaze of the couple across from me.

The periodic awkwardness of the shared table experience at Folk was well worth it, because my meal was INCREDIBLE. The Aussie Pie I ordered arrived quickly and was SO wonderful with its meaty chunks of tender steak and bacon, creamy white cheddar and mashed potato, and perfectly crispy, flaky, buttery crust. MMMM MMMM!

I also enjoyed sipping Folk’s Rose Milk, which is a warming, delicious blend of cinnamon, cardamom, chili, ginger, vanilla, beetroot, rose simple syrup, and steamed milk. Folk’s drink menu included several infused milks at the time of my visit, as well as a selection of teas, juices, and espresso-infused beverages.

Besides proffering the most delectable Aussie Pie, Folk’s food menu contained a variety of breakfast dishes (including a yogurt bowl, seasonal quiche, and an avocado toast blinged up with additions of pea shoots, toasted benne seeds, and beet hummus) and a few lunch items such as the Warm Rice Bowl with vegetables, kimchi, and edamame. Several vegan and/or gluten-free options were available.

Another aspect of my visit to Folk worth shouting-out is the service I received. The staff was prompt and friendly; they were fantastic.

The overall lunching experience was fantastic! This one is definitely worth a visit.

1701 Trumbull Ave.

Detroit, MI 48216

(Closed Tuesdays)

www.folkdetroit.com

383. Pewabic Pottery – December 30, 2018 – Detroit, MI

december2018pewabicpottery1 (2)december2018pewabicpottery3 (2)december2018pewabicpottery4 (3)Pewabic Pottery, how excited I am to finally be acquainted with you!

I knew that the pottery studio and shop established in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry and Horace Caulkins had a rich history in Detroit and had long wanted to visit. I didn’t realize until I pulled up to the building on a sunny Sunday afternoon in late December 2018 that it is a National Historic Landmark, with an exterior as gorgeous as the handcrafted goods housed inside.

Entering Pewabic’s first-floor showrooms, I was enchanted by the array of beautiful handcrafted ceramic goods made both in-house and by featured outside artists. I browsed the decorative tiles, vases, ornaments, urns, and serving dishes and selected a snowflake ornament and a sea-foam-green glazed decorative tile that reads “Detroit is Beautiful” to take home with me.

After making my purchases, I walked up to the second floor, where I perused ceramic pieces and written plaques outlining Pewabic’s history.

I’m keeping this post immensely short and sweet for me, because as you may have noticed, this is my first time posting here in over five months (WTF, Self???), and I’m simply happy to be back on the blog and finally showcasing this Detroit gem. It is definitely worth a visit, both for the simple pleasure of browsing the meticulously crafted goods and for the opportunity to support the local artisans who make them.

10125 E. Jefferson Ave.

Detroit, MI 48214

www.pewabic.org

382. Bikes and Coffee – December 16, 2018 – Detroit, MI

december2018bikesandcoffee1 (2)december2018bikesandcoffee2 (2)I’m forever enthused to find a new indie coffee shop. So when the recently opened Bikes and Coffee in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit popped up on my radar, you know I was there!

As its name implies, Bikes and Coffee isn’t simply a coffee house. It’s also a full-service bike repair shop that offers cycling-related gear and builds custom bikes by request.

The small shop artfully melds its two business elements, with counter and sofa seating up front for cozy latte sipping, a barista-station island in the center, and bike frames, tires, and other gear concentrated along the rear peripheral.

I’ve been to Bikes and Coffee twice: once on a gorgeously sunny Sunday in mid-December when I enjoyed a white tea latte while sunning at a window-facing counter seat and again two weeks later, when I sipped a rich cappuccino.

The first time I was there, the owner’s kitten was there, too, running and jumping and playing. What an adorable little guy! He pawed playfully at my legs and hopped up onto one patron’s lap.

Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or not, Bikes and Coffee is worth a visit. Bring your bike in for a tune-up and sip on some caffeine-fueled goodness, to boot!

1521 Putnam St.

Detroit, MI 48208

www.bikes-coffee.com

380. Populace Coffee – December 9, 2018 – Detroit, MI

December2018PopulaceCoffee1 (3)After Sunday-morning brunching at Brass Rail Pizza Bar and checking out the holiday markets at Capitol Park, friends and I decided it was time for piping-hot caffeinated goodness at Populace Coffee.

The downtown-Detroit-based coffee shop is located inside of The Siren Hotel, retro-chic accommodations housed within the previously long-abandoned Wurlitzer Building on Broadway Street near Comerica Park.

You know how some places are so inviting, so otherworldly in their coziness that you don’t want to leave? That was how I found Populace Coffee to be. With its velvet-plush furniture, potted palms, fringe-shaded lamps, and ornately carved bookshelf packed with tomes, it exudes antique glamour and a welcoming, come-rest-with-your-feet-up-and-a-cup-of-tea (or Colombian-roast coffee) vibe. I wanted to spend all Sunday afternoon holed up in that coffee house, sipping my rich cappuccino, chatting with my pals, and perusing the magazines scattered about.

We ended up spending about an hour inside Populace; then it was back out into the real world. It was an hour well spent, as I emerged exhilarated by communion, caffeine, and the crush I’d developed for yet another awesome independent coffee shop in the city.

1509 Broadway St.

Detroit, MI 48226

(with an additional location in Bay City, MI)

www.populace.coffee