Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Love Affair With Foran's

Photo ripped from website...apparently I have no pictures from inside this place. Inconceivable.

I've always liked Foran's (now officially known as Grand Trunk Pub, though still Foran's in the hearts and minds of every Detroit drinker), but recently I've found myself being quite the verbal proponent of the place. Why?

For starters, the people. The people there are quite simply the best. From manager Dave and his staff right down to the regulars, Foran's is the kind of place where you will always find a friend (either one you already knew or one you'll meet during your visit). No pretense, no BS, just good people getting together and drinking some good beer.

(And, blessed be, the Chotchey McChotch Tigers crowd has yet to discover this place...probably because they don't have $1 drafts of Bud Light on tap but regardless, let's hope it forever remains this way.)

Second, the beer. Foran's carries an ever-changing variety of Michigan brews on tap, and don't let the term "craft brew" scare you: a pint is only $5.00--in other words, what you'll likely pay for a pint of Bud in any other bar. Some of the best breweries in Michigan have found a home in Foran's, including Founders, Shorts, and New Holland. (On my last visit just a couple of days a week ago (I really need to write these posts faster), they ran out of New Holland's Poet Stout, which made me very sad, but which led to my discovery of the ultra-hoppy Founders IPA, which made me very hoappy.) There aren't many bars where you can find such a wide selection of Michigan craft brews on tap (save for the breweries themselves), so this instantly makes Foran's one of the best places for beer--especially since you get such a wide selection of different brewers.

But wait, there's more: Foran's has long served some of Detroit's favorite corned beef sandwiches and Sunday brunch, but now they're expanding the restaurant side of things even further: please welcome Foran's Delux Diner, located in the space where once stood Eph's (Eph's, under new ownership from its original and well-loved Corktown location, will be relocating to the Bohemian National Home né BoHouse).

Foran's Delux Diner will be serving "gourmet comfort food," according to owner Tim Tharp. It will combine the pub favorites of the Grand Trunk (a name born from the space's former identity as a GT ticket office) with the deli favorites of Eph's and a unique emphasis on sustainability (i.e., locally-sourced, seasonal items). From the Model D blurb, "If it's not from Michigan, we'd really rather find something else."

Right now the Diner is open Mon.-Fri. 11AM-3PM, and has already started hosting dinner events with the intention of eventually having a full menu with regular dinner hours. And because I like to tease you, take a looky-loo at the menu from last week's "dinner club":

Charcuterie table, featuring Detroit Corridor Sausage made with fresh pork sausage, sage, apple and maple country pork terrine, pork tenderloin inlay, fig and pistachio; beet-cured Canadian salmon, lox-style cure; assorted sauces and cheeses.

1st Course
Jerusalem artichoke soup served tableside; lemongrass chutney

2nd Course
Poached pear with grilled Romaine and radicchio atop raisin baguette and sweet vanilla vinaigrette

3rd Course
Braised short ribs, horseradish whipped potatoes, roasted baby beets, and confiture of red wine onions

4th Course
Chocolate almond torte, whipped cream and raspberry sauce

And as if all that weren't enough, each course is also paired with the best local beer and wine. All for--wait for it--$35.00 per person. That includes the booze, people. That's a damned good deal. Shoowt.

In time, Motor City Wine Bar will also be opening on the other side of the Grand Trunk (I will be bringing you the details soon enough, pets)...between all these places and Enoteca Campo Marzio on the north end of the same building, I will never have reason to leave this particular corner of Detroit. Never. Not ever, ever.

But back to Foran's, or whatever you should choose to call it. How about "AWESOME"? Okay then. This is my favorite place to wind up at the end of the night, but be warned: Foran's is a dangerous place to be for last call. When Dave looks at you and says, "Jameson's," it is not a question but a statement. You do not have the option of saying "no." And then "Dead Skin Mask" by Slayer will play. And it will be good.

BUT WAIT! There's more: Foran's is also known to host some pretty cool techno nights, and always at a totally reasonable price...such as the one coming up tomorrow evening, as in the day before Thanksgiving, as in "Humpsgiving" (for "Hump Day," 'cuz it's Wednesday, get it?). No matter where the night starts, this is where the night will end, bet. I will be surrounded by people I am Facebook friends with but don't actually know in real life. And then Dave will look at those of us still left at the end of the night once the ravers and suburbanites have left and he will say "Jameson's," and it will be good. Oh yes, it will be good.

Keep eyeballing my Twitter ticker to find out when the next Dinner Club will be held, and I will see you there, and we will become friends and eat good food and drink good beer, and then it will be last call, and we will drink Jameson's and listen to Slayer. Hey, I'm Irish and was raised in Macomb County, bust off.