Rochester Hills

254. Shish Palace – June 28, 2017 – Rochester Hills, MI

20170628_121657(1)20170628_124149 (2)It’s hard for me to conceive of the concept of bad Mediterranean food, because being insanely delectable is kind of its thing. But why gamble on deliciousness when you can get a sure thing at Shish Palace in Rochester Hills?

I got lunch there back in June: the lemon-oregano Shish Tawook, all rich, savory, citrusy goodness, plus a cup of crushed lentil soup. YUMMM. Our server was attentive and funny, and she kept the free bread and garlic sauce coming (the BEST part about eating in a Mediterranean restaurant EVER!).

165 S. Livernois Rd.

Rochester Hills, MI 48307

(Locations also in Taylor and Allen Park)

www.shishpalacerestaurant.com

 

 

227. Rockin’ Cupcakes – January 27, 2017 – Rochester Hills, MI

20170127_133037-220170127_133721-2Ummm . . . I feel like the cupcakes in the photo above speak for themselves. Are they glorious or what??? That is SIX different varieties of chocolate cupcake you are seeing, including one with a caramel center; one with peanut butter buttercream, chocolate coating, and crushed pretzels; and another, as the menu describes it, with “Red wine infused chocolate cake, filled with red wine chocolate ganache, and topped with wine infused buttercream” – YOW! (That one was AWESOME.)

I had a Groupon for Rockin’ Cupcakes, the place where I got these exquisite dollops of perfection, and the Friday before last, on my brother’s birthday, I thought, here is an excuse to use this bad boy. On my lunch break, I headed out to Rochester Hills and the bakery’s tiny, colorful storefront, tucked within a sprawling plaza next to Papa Joe’s market.

I already knew its cupcakes were going to be awesome because I’d tried them before. For my birthday last October, a coworker brought me some of Rockin’ Cupcakes’ wares. Because I didn’t set foot in the place to get those baked goods, I didn’t count it then for my blog (my rule is that I have to physically visit a new-to-me place in order for it to be valid). But the moist and decadent cupcakes I had then convinced me I needed to go.

It was so fun to step away from work and into this cheery shop to muse over which mouthwatering varieties with the classic rock-themed names (Paint it Black, Yellow Submarine, The Rolling Stone) I was going to pick for my half-dozen. The pleasant young woman working the counter took the time to describe the cupcakes, helping me to decide. In the end, I purchased the chocolate assortment, because chocolate is LIIIIIFE. Luckily, my brother and other family members I shared them with are pretty keen on it, too.

Everyone exclaimed over how rich and moist the cupcakes were. That buttercream frosting – killer!

Worth noting: Rockin’ Cupcakes is open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., but according to its website, if it runs out of cupcakes before the formal closing time, it will close early. So it wouldn’t hurt to call the shop before you visit to make sure it’s open.

6906 N. Rochester Rd.

Rochester Hills, MI 48306

www.rockincupcakesrochester.com

199. Grand Tavern – October 12, 2016 – Rochester Hills, MI

20161012_17180620161012_171926Happy Monday, all! I hope you had an excellent weekend of getting out and exploring.

Ok, maybe your Monday is not going so happily. Maybe you, in a pre-coffee haze, have stapled your suit jacket sleeve to your mouse pad. Or, even worse, you’ve forgotten your suit jacket entirely and are only 24 minutes in to eight painstaking hours of frosting over in the sub-zero, arctic tundra God-forsaken landscape of your office (Seriously, who within the corporate landscape decided running the AC 365 days a year was a good idea????).

The Monday transition can be hard, for reals. I know, if you work a meh day job, you’ve gotta have something to look forward to all day, to sustain you through all the inane coworker small talk and bureaucratic drudgery. You need . . . HAPPY HOUR.

As part of the Fun Committee (yep) for my team at my day job, I was recently tasked with organizing a team happy hour. After much research – which was more prolonged than it needed to be, admittedly, because I had my own agenda of wanting it to be a new place for this blog – I stumbled across Grand Tavern in Rochester Hills. I saw it was close to my work and had daily specials, and I’d never been there. Done!

Grand Tavern exceeded my expectations. I expected it to be a pretty standard sports bar, which it is, but more amazing. First of all, our waitress brought us baskets of potato chips for free – deliciously seasoned potato chips that appeared to be house-made. I could not stop eating them. Seriously, I wasn’t even that hungry when I got there!

Happy hour was until 6 p.m., so I scored a $3 glass of Chardonnay. It wasn’t the greatest glass of Chardonnay, but still. I am young enough to appreciate a cheap drink!

And then, one of my coworkers suggested we split the Grand Nachos appetizer among the four of us. This thing was monstrous, a huuuugggeee oval platter of tortilla chips loaded with beef and refried beans and tons of cheese and deliciousness. I could not stop eating them. I probably ate the most of everyone. And still, there were nachos left on the platter. I wish I would’ve remembered to have taken a picture of them.

Split amongst the four of us, our bill before tip was about $5.50 apiece! That was with three out of four of us having one alcoholic drink each and splitting the nachos ($12) four ways, and me eating so much I had a stomachache. It’s the best value I’ve encountered on my visits in a long while.

3512 Marketplace Cir.
Rochester Hills, MI 48309

www.grandtavernrochesterhills.com

 

157. Rochester Tap Room – December 29, 2015 – Rochester Hills, MI

20151229_13563320151229_13563720151229_143954I’m really not much of a Christmas/holiday season person compared to some people. You will NOT see me putting up my tree November 1, that sacrilege against fall, my favorite season! And I pretty much throw up a little in my mouth when I see holiday decorations and plastic pine trees for sale in department stores in mid-October. But there are some things I love about the holiday season – real Christmas trees, family time, thoughtful gifts, richly indulgent dinners – and holiday decorations in bars. I LOVE holiday decorations in bars. Random, I know. But it makes them so cozy and lovely! Often the dive-i-er the bar, the better – the dive-i-ness somehow ups the festive factor.

The Rochester Tap Room is not at all a dive bar. It is definitely within the classy echelon of bars – regal, even. The menus are on frickin’ tablets! I’ve heard of restaurant menus being on tablets, but this is the first time I’ve ever handled one. I have to say, I prefer the traditional cardboard menu for ease of use; I swipe enough on my phone every day. But if there is a menu that should be encased on an electronic device, I would say this would be the one. The beer menu is impressive! Rochester Tap Room currently boasts 61 craft beers on tap! They’ve also got a pretty nice wine menu, plus a food menu that features hearty bar fare such as a pulled pork sandwich (the Pig Out) with bacon gloriously interlaced on top of the pulled pork, because why in the heck not? And they sure knew how to decorate for the holidays. Check out all of the gloriously beautiful heartwarming festiveness in these photos!

6870 N. Rochester Rd.

Rochester Hills, MI 48306

www.rochestertap.com

16. Clubhouse BFD – April 25, 2014 – Rochester Hills, MI

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I’m a fan of any place that has sweet potato tater tots, so of course I loved Clubhouse BFD. Great atmosphere, great food, amazing beer selection. Others seem to think so, too – we came in here right after getting out of work on 5 p.m. on a Friday, and the place was already packed.

2273 Crooks Rd.

Rochester Hills, MI 48309

http://chbfd.com/