Eastern Market

456. Cairo Coffee – December 31, 2019 – Detroit, MI

December2019CairoCoffee1 (2)December2019CairoCoffee2 (2)I know New Year’s Eve harkens to champagne in terms of liquid imbibing, but it was a cozy cappuccino that was in order during my afternoon jaunt to Cairo Coffee on the last day of 2019 (the bubbly stuff came later).

The coffee house occupies a nook of Savvy Chic, a shop that sells fashionable clothes, accessories, home goods, and gift items (and which I need to revisit to explore! It wasn’t open for business on the day of my visit) that’s based in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Detroit.

I would classify Cairo Coffee as the tiny-homes version of coffee houses, occupying as it does minimal space with its barista counter and two tables. But it’s small-yet-mighty, this coffee shop! And as with any tiny home worth its salt, Cairo Coffee makes good use of its allotted space, offering a variety of beverages, including pour-over coffee and espresso- and tea-based drinks, plus baked goodies.

The barista working Cairo Coffee’s counter on the day of my visit was pleasant and welcoming and made me an EXCELLENT cappuccino, well-flavored and delicious to savor. I sat at one of the tables and read a book I’d brought while I sipped it.

Speaking of books: Cairo Coffee has its own lending library from which patrons can check out items (again, this business is making the most of limited space – see the bookshelves built into the barista counter in the photo above!).

Friendly vibes, fresh-brewed caffeinated goodness, AND a library? Now THAT is a swoon-worthy combination for this coffee house-loving bookworm!

2712 Riopelle St.

Detroit, MI 48207

(Closed Sundays and Mondays)

www.cairocoffeeblog.wordpress.com

455. Discount Candles and Blessings – December 31, 2019 – Detroit, MI

December2019Discount Candles1 (2)On the last day of 2019, a Detroit jaunt was in order! A visit to Discount Candles and Blessings in the Eastern Market neighborhood seemed like an appropriate way to prepare to usher in the new year.

The shop sells candles in tall glass jars, many of which are emblazoned with intentions, such as the Block Breaker!! candle I procured during my visit. There are candles that encourage the finding of love, the winning of the lottery, the victorious resolution of legal disputes (see the amusingly titled Other Lawyer be Stupid candle). There are candles depicting saints and ones branded with signs of the zodiac (I got one of those, too). Crystals, herbs, incense, essential oils, and other items of a spiritual bent are also sold.

I found the candles I bought at Discount Candles to be affordably priced; they cost around $7 each and are long-burning.

When candles are purchased at the shop, they can be dressed for an extra charge: anointed with essential oil and blessed, upping the goods-vibes ante. Another cool feature of Discount Candles on the day of my visit was a burn bin, where patrons could incinerate lists of things they wanted to rid themselves of before entering the new year.

Whether you are into spiritual shops or simply a candle devotee, this place is worth a visit!

1484 Gratiot Ave.

Detroit, MI 48207

 

414. Cøllect – June 29, 2019 – Detroit, MI

June2019Collect1 (2)June2019Collect2 (2)During the last weekend in June, I went on a blast of a superhero-themed bike bar crawl (nothing like cycling with a posse of Power Rangers!). Cøllect was our first stop on that jaunt.

We started on our bikes at Cullen Plaza, riding the Dequindre Cut to the Eastern Market area and the bar, which resides above its sister restaurant, Gather.

Cøllect’s focus is craft beers, many of which are locally made. It’s got 14 beers on tap, plus bottled and canned varieties. It also offers cider, mead, kombucha, and red and white wines for those who aren’t into the ales and lagers, according to its website – and if those options still don’t suffice, you can bring cocktails from Gather up to Cøllect (nice!). Gather’s food menu is also available to order at Cøllect.

During my group’s visit, we ordered drinks at the bar and took them up to Cøllect’s rooftop patio, which offers picturesque views of the city. The beer I enjoyed there was delicious, a chocolatey stout, though I can’t recall its name or who made it. I do recall that the bartender on duty at Cøllect was cool about answering my questions and offering samples.

Other rad aspects of Cøllect: it serves free popcorn (LOVE!). And while food isn’t allowed on the rooftop patio, if you do want to munch on that free popcorn or Gather’s grub, the good news is that Cøllect’s main interior is a beautiful space, bright and airy with its white walls, blonde plank floors, and smatterings of potted plants and vases of flowers. Not bad digs from which to savor one of those well-curated brews!

1454 Gratiot Ave., 2nd Fl.

Detroit, MI 48207

(Closed Mondays)

www.gatherdetroit.com/cllect

366. Rocky’s Historic Eastern Market – October 6, 2018 – Detroit, MI

October2018Rockys1 (2)October2018Rockys2 (2)During my recent birthday jaunt to Eastern Market via a bike tour with Wheelhouse Detroit, I made a first-time visit to Rocky’s Historic Eastern Market, a dry-goods store on Russell Street.

What an impressive assortment of goodies this place peddles! Certain items especially caught my eye:

-The wide assortment of nuts and nut butters, including the intriguing ghost-pepper peanuts and spicy peanut butter

-Locally-made goods such as Gus & Grey jams (an obsession of mine!)

-A bulk candy section brimming with chocolates and glossy hard candies in every color of the rainbow, delighting my inner six-year-old

-Ant Wafers. These are chocolate-covered confections crunchy with – you guessed it – real black ants(!).

I left Rocky’s with an item small enough to easily carry back with me on my bike: a jar of Gus & Grey’s Hubba! Hubba! raspberry-habanero jam. Those ghost-pepper peanuts still entice me, though!

2489 Russell St.

Detroit, MI 48207

365. Germack – October 6, 2018 – Detroit, MI

October2018Germack1 (2)October2018Germack3 (2)Surrendering to the experience at play brought about my visit to Germack last Saturday.

If you read my last post regarding my visit to Wheelhouse Detroit, you’ll know that Saturday was my birthday and the day I took a guided bike tour to Eastern Market during rain showers. During a hiatus in the tour where our group was allowed to explore Eastern Market on our own, I found myself wandering in a downpour with two hours on my hands and no umbrella.

What to do? I felt crabbiness at the situation start to settle in – then shrugged it off. Nope, I wasn’t doing the bad-mood thing – not on my birthday. “Surrender to the adventure” became my mantra.

The practice was at play then. After fortifying myself with some pierogis from the People’s Pierogi Collective stand at Eastern Market (and discovering that its Corned Beef and Swiss pierogis are LIFE), I surrendered to the adventure by wandering towards Germack’s Russell Street-based café and shop.

As you may already be aware, Germack is a Detroit-based purveyor of nuts, coffee, chocolates, dried fruits, and other dry goods. (When I think Germack, the Tigers-branded bags of roasted and salted shelled peanuts sold at Comerica Park always come to mind. So simple and yet so addictive!) According to its website, it’s also an O.G. of nut-roasting, declaring itself the “oldest roaster of pistachio nuts in the United States” (who knew?).

Aware of the company’s rich local history, I was pleased at the opportunity to visit Germack. Desire for a hot beverage and to scoot my soaked and bedraggled-looking personage away from the crowds was also a motivating factor.

The building’s interior is allocated for the coffee house on the left and the shop on the right, with no dividing wall in between. I didn’t browse the shop, but I know it sells nuts and coffee and chocolates and spices and coffee-brewing equipment and probably a myriad of other things. In that visit, I was focused on ordering a coffee, settling down, and drying off.

I ordered a cappuccino and felt extremely fortunate to nab the last open table in the bustling café. My cappuccino was brought to me, and it was boldly flavored and piping-hot. Initially disappointed that I had no book with me, I remembered the reading app on my phone and opened a writing about – interestingly enough – being relaxed about life to encourage a positive outcome.

The book’s stance could be dismissed as woo-woo, sure. But as I sat there reading it, sipping my cappuccino and enjoying the urban-rustic coziness of the Germack shop, I realized that my mood had become relaxed, present, pleasant. And that – miraculously! – the rain had alchemized into blue skies and sunshine. Surrendering to the adventure felt pretty good right about then.

2517 Russell St.

Detroit, MI 48207

www.germack.com

327. Trinosophes – May 10, 2018 – Detroit, MI

May2018Trinosophes1 (2)May2018Trinosophes2 (2)I have a new coffee-shop obsession, people: Trinosophes in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Detroit!

What a gorgeous space this place is: light and airy, with long communal tables, book-crammed shelves, and vibrant greenery. I instantly fell in love with its ambiance.

I also fell in love with the fact that it’s located right off of Gratiot Avenue and has its own parking lot (free, easily accessible parking in Detroit is LIIIIFE!).

This affection for Trinosophes was pretty much predestined, given my long-held infatuation with independent coffee shops. Reveling in the chill, escape-the-world vibes of a good coffee shop while my bloodstream revels in caffeine is one of my favorite pastimes.

While I savored Trinosophes’ soothing, welcoming aura, I also savored two of its brews: a richly flavored cappuccino and a sumptuous cardamom latte. At the end of my two-hour sojourn there, I was vibrating with caffeine-induced energy and contentment.

A portion of that goodwill I felt during my visit to Trinosophes was due to the barista on staff who served me. She was friendly and approachable, as was the 20-something female patron who perched at the other end of the communal table I was working at. We chatted a bit between typing away on our computers.

It felt good to be out in the world on a Thursday morning, connecting with people, feeling part of a little community. I know I simply spent a couple of hours in a coffee shop – I wasn’t forging a friendship circle – but Trinosophes does embody that friendship-fostering spirit that makes you feel that you could meet the next important person in your life there.

Perhaps Trinosophes emits that community-cultivating vibe because it’s more than a coffee shop. It’s also a café, offering enticing breakfast and lunch dishes, including vegan and gluten-free options, plus a performance and exhibition space that regularly hosts music performances, art exhibits, and other creative events. It bills itself as a library, too, boasting the collections of several impactful Detroiters on those book-crammed shelves.

Leaving the coffee shop/café/library/performance space on this May morning, I felt the magic of the almost-summer season in the vivid green grass and budding trees surrounding it – and the elation that comes with discovering a new place I love.

I knew I’d be back to Trinosophes, that it’d been filed away into my local-coffee-shop rotation, further fueling my obsession with quality caffeinated beverages and quiet, creativity-inducing places.

1464 Gratiot Ave.

Detroit, MI 48207

www.trinosophes.com

293. Eastern Market Brewing Company – November 17, 2017 – Detroit, MI

November2017EMBC2 (2)November2017EMBC3 (2)Last Friday night was especially fun because (as I mentioned in my last post) I spent it downtown! Friends and I enjoyed a night out in Eastern Market, which I quickly realized is more loaded with restaurants and bars than I’d thought it to be. Our first stop? The recently opened Eastern Market Brewing Company.

Right away I loved the ambiance of this craft brewery established inside of a former meat-packing facility, from the exposed bricks and bare-lightbulb lighting to succulents in vintage cans studding the long pinewood tables to the hooks left as remnants from the building’s past festooned all over the walls. Wooden plant boxes crammed with lively greenery hang from one wall; a large mural of the brewery’s logo, a frolicking elephant wielding an EMBC banner with its trunk, emblazons another.

The menu contained an expansive selection of 15 brews on the night of my visit, from which I ordered four to populate a sampler flight: the Maize Cream Ale (a light-bodied beer infused with corn), Coffee Stout, Pumpkin Hefe, and Nitro Pumpkin (which led me to learn that nitro beers incorporate actual nitrogen – interesting!). All of the beers were good, but I especially enjoyed the Pumpkin Hefe – a.k.a a Hefeweizen (wheat beer) with a pronounced pumpkin flavor, subtle sweetness, and an irresistible hint of nutmeg. What a perfect brew to sip whilst huddled away from the chilly fall night in a cozy, convivial environs!

Worth noting: Eastern Market Brewing Company doesn’t have a kitchen-backed food menu, but snacks are available for purchase (I’m not positive what kind, but it did look like bags of popcorn were on display), and you can bring in outside food, as well.

2515 Riopelle St.

Detroit, MI 48207

www.easternmarket.beer

139. Supino Pizzeria – September 26, 2015 – Detroit, MI

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Detroit Day – woo hoo! Yes, me and my pals had what we like to call a Detroit Day – an extensive jaunt around the city – two weekends ago. On an absolutely gorgeous Saturday afternoon (we’ve had quite a lovely string of weather this fall, haven’t we?), we jaunted down to the Eastern Market area, which was kickin’. Supino Pizzeria sits in a strip of businesses that hugs the perimeter of Eastern Market. I’d heard great things about the place; it was on my to-try list for quite a while. But I didn’t expect it to be quite so in-demand! There was a line out the door to wait just to place an order. Granted, the place is tiny – a tightly-packed little shoebox of hipster eclecticism plus old-school Italian charm (there’s not too much more to the place than what you are seeing in the photo of the interior above – just a few rows of tables), so it’s not hard to form a line that extends out the entrance. But still, we probably waited about a half hour just to place our order. I’ve chalked it up as part of the experience. Because after all of the waiting, we were happy to discover that the pizza was legit! I had Margherita pizza, and it was all cheesy, olive-oily, fresh-basil-and-tomatoesy goodness.

2457 Russell St.

Detroit, MI 48207

http://supinopizzeria.com

135. Eastern Market’s Sunday Street Market – August 16, 2015 – Detroit, MI

Eastern Market's Sunday Street Market

So I can’t believe it, but it’s been almost a month since I visited Eastern Market’s Sunday Street Market! I vow that I will be more regularly updating this blog going forward! Fall is here now, and fall is a great time for writing and introspection – and of course, exploring! And one place you can still enjoy exploring through October is the Sunday Street Market. It’s different from the traditional Saturday market, which is more focused on produce – and which I hope to hit this fall. I haven’t visited the Saturday Eastern Market since childhood, about 20 years ago, and don’t remember much at all about it, so I figure this is a good place to declare that a statue of limitations has expired and that it’s indeed a new place for me! The Sunday Street Market, on the other hand, is packed full of vendors – a few selling produce, but it’s more focused on artisans and their various wares: jewelry; Detroit-centric T-shirts and artwork; hats; vintage clothes; gourmet popcorn – you name it! I bought a wrap dress made from recycled saris that can be wrapped in a zillion different ways. And when you are done shopping, you can grab lunch from one of the multiple food trucks clustered around the area. A perfect Sunday-afternoon-in-the-D destination.

2934 Russell St.

Detroit, MI 48207

Held every Sunday, 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., from June to October

http://www.easternmarket.com/attend/sunday-street-market