Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Metro Times Best-Of Breakdown 2010 (Staff Picks)

Word to the wise: do not go to Foran's on an empty stomach. Then don't proceed to do several shots of Jameson('s) and drink many dark high-alcohol beers with names like El Mole Ocho. Then don't eat a container full of cold pesto-chicken pasta in about 30 seconds. Just saying.

And now, if I can get these trembles under control, I give my opinion on how other people's opinions are wrong. Or possibly, in this case, right. Let's find out.

Staff Picks

Best New Restaurant — Upscale
Café Via

No argument. Not many new upscale places to choose from, anyway.

Best Discount Splurge
Atlas Global Bistro

Christian Borden is a fucking genius.

Best Fine-Dining Value
Bistro 222

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! This was going to be my super-top-secret special find!!! DAMN YOU, METRO TIMES!

Best Pre-Theater — Moderate
The Majestic Cafe

Or Union Street, I'm comfortable with either.

Best Service
Due Venti
No kidding? Not that I'm arguing, this just seems like a damn-near impossible category to judge.

Best Return to Roots
Cinco Lagos

Best Mexican in Milford! (*crickets*)

Best Recession Makeover
Big Beaver Tavern
Allow me to add an additional quote from the blurb: "Among the new items is the huge burger whose $12.99 price tag comes with a T-shirt proclaiming that 'I Ate the Big Beaver.'" The jokes just write themselves, people.

Best New Spinoff

Agreed. Me likey some dim sum.

Best New Dining Destination
Grosse Pointe

NFW, I was JUST saying something about this on Facebook! GP is all of 15 minutes away from me and yet I act like it's freakin' Ann Arbor. I greatly enjoyed the Hill Chophouse when I was there a couple of years ago, and I really want to check out Dylan's and Robusto's. And the Dirty Dawg Jazz Cafe since it was named "Restaurant of the Year" by Hour, a designation I'm just a tad bit skeptical of.

Best Reason to Dine in Tecumseh
Evans St. Station

Where the fuck is Tecumseh?

Best Al Fresco in the Vicinity of Downtown Detroit
Le Petit Zinc Creperie & Café

Which is NOT CLOSED. I repeat: NOT CLOSED.

Best Ann Arbor Restaurant
Eve: The Restaurant

She's opening a Cuban-esque place soon too, called Frita Batido.

Best Seafood

Gorgeous interior, but my socks failed to be knocked off by it. Still, stellar service and beautiful inside.

Best Barbecue
Union Woodshop

:O :O :O I'm not even going to say it.

Best Sandwich Shop
Famous Izzy's Restaurant and Bakery

Except for you have to go to Roseville.

Best Sandwich Shop — Downtown Detroit
Lunchtime Global
If only they were open past 5pm I might actually go.

Best Sushi Lounge

It was a-ight. They pretty much lifted their entire sushi menu from Crave, even named some of the rolls by the same name. And $17 for their signature roll? They can keep it. Much prefer Sakana, right across the street.

Best Small Plates
Cliff Bell's

3 words: Duck Confit Biscuit.

Best Thin-Crust Pizza
Supino Pizzeria


Best New Haven Pizza
Tomatoes Apizza


Best Pizza and Wine

YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! (*pounding the table*)
Pant...pant...pant...oh, that was good, just what I needed.

Best Soups
Modern Food & Spirits
Another one that seems like it would be impossible to judge.

Best Upscale Burger
Motor Burger
888 Erie St. E., Windsor, Ontario; 519-252-8004

A burger worth crossing the border for? Hope they don't find the 2 dozen kilos of cocaine in my trunk. I'm just kidding, that much coke would never fit in my trunk.

Best Falafel

Israel is cool. Or not, if you're Palestinian.

Best Pommes Frites
Relax, it just means French fries.

Best Pho
Thang Long


Best Duck

Mmmmmm, duck. Duck confit biscuit. Wait, wrong place. Mmmmm, crispy duck skin.

Best Place to Order a Calamari Appetizer and Bottle of Wine
El Barzón

Your choice: bomb-ass Mexican or bomb-ass Italian. Both under the same roof, and the wine is CHEAP.

Best Corned Beef Hash
Farmer's Restaurant

I heard that place was terrible. I dig the corned beef hash at Woodbridge Pub though, not that this is something I order on any kind of regular basis anywhere.

Best Tacos al Pastor
Los Altos

Screw the beef; where's the pork?

Best Sweet Potato Fries

And probably the only thing I would ever eat here.

Best Crêpes
What Crêpe?

2 words: Mushroom Madness.

Best Hot & Sour Soup
Dong Sing

Heh, you said "dong."

Best Soul Food Restaurant
Beans & Cornbread: A Soulful Bistro

Is this the only soul food place white people know about? I'm sorry for my kind.

Best Italian Restaurant — Non-Chain

Fuck yes.

Best Greek Restaurant
Cyprus Taverna

Again, they're pretty much all the same.

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
Anita's Kitchen

Another white people joke.

Best Authentic Mediterranean Restaurant
Lebanese Grill

Alright, this list now gets excruciatingly specific so I'm just going to barrel through it down to the next categorical theme.

Best Local Innovation in Middle Eastern Cuisine
La Saj Lebanese Grill

Best Cheap Middle Eastern Restaurant
Beirut Kabob

Best Ethnic Restaurant on a Budget
Aladdin Sweets & Café

Best Ethiopian Restaurant
Taste of Ethiopia


Best Indian Restaurant
Rangoli Indian Cuisine

Best Indian Buffet
Royal Indian Cuisine

Best Indian Street Food
Neehee's Indian Vegetarian Street Food

VERY surprised this one didn't make the readers' poll. Or maybe it did, I gotta be honest I kind of skimmed that category.

Best Vietnamese Restaurant
Da Nang

One of my top 10 favorite finds of 2009.

Best Thai Restaurant

At least it's not Sala Thai. But again, these places are kind of all the same. And Asian people all look the same, too. (Calm it down, I was being sarcastical.)

Best Chinese Take-Out
Gim Ling

Rrrrrr???? This is new to me. I am interested.

Best Retro Experience
Mr. Paul's Chop House


Best Irish Pub Food
Dick O'Dow's

Gus O'Connor's in Rochester (NOT Novi or the other one). Dick O'Dow's has good food, but Gus's has the most and best authentic Irish cuisine. And they have Magner's. Farking Magner's man, bloody hell brilliant!

Best Friendly Neighborhood Bar and Grill
Motor City Brewing Works

FORAN'S!!!!! But yeah, I like this place well enough.

Best Diner
Northside Grill

What the...? Oh, it's in Ace Deuce, that's why.

Best Slow Food
Mind Body & Spirits
You know, there are so many restaurants doing the Slow Food thing now that aren't necessarily proclaiming how they do the Slow Food thing that it makes me kind of over this place, even though I've never been. Gimmicks bother me, even if it's a gimmick I stand behind (sustainability in food, supporting local farmers, etc.). Plus a friend in both the construction and bar business told me that it isn't even CLOSE to being possible to occupy a building and operate a restaurant that is nearly as "green" as they claim to be, and I believe that without doing any additional research whatsoever.

Best 'Blunch'
The Fly Trap

It would be called "brunch" but that requires booze, which they do not have.

Best Street Food Destination
Eastern Market

Southwest Detroit!

Best Restaurant for Cocktail Hour

Ahhhhh, THERE it is!

Best Takeout
Lazybones Smokehouse

Again, another tough category. I mean, pretty much EVERYWHERE does takeout. How do you even begin to qualify it?

Best Restaurant to Spot Anthony Bourdain

I want his job.

Best Restaurant to Mourn
Annam Restaurant Vietnamien
No doubt. Also, Tribute.

Best Hospital Food
Hummous, Oakwood Hospital, Dearborn
Isn't Matt Prentice doing the food at the Henry Ford in West Bloomfield now too? Dude, I wanna go to the hospital for dinner.

Best Rationale for Naming a Restaurant
Parrot Cove Yacht Club


Best Mexican Sit-Down Lunch Counter
La Mexicana #4

Waterford, what what! Don't know if you knew this, but Waterford is FULL of Mexican restaurants and taquerias. Elizabeth Lake Rd. is the new Vernor!

Best Urban Poolside Dining
Lefty's Lounge

I don't know why this makes me think of The Big Lebowski, but it does.

Best Restaurant Where You Can't Find a Seat


Best Food Recommendation from an Olympic Gold Medalist
Buffalo Empañada at the Prickly Pear

That guy's a tool, but the dish sounds yummy. Actually, I don't really know if he's a tool, I just wanted to say that. It seems likely, anyway.

Best Ice Cream
Guernsey Farms Dairy

I LOVE dairy. Dairy dairy dairy. Milk and cheese and ice cream, deeeelicious dairy. If I ever become lactose intolerant, I will die of starvation entirely by choice.

Best Unusual Dairy
Erma's Original Frozen Custard

God bless custard, too.

Best Neighborhood Bakery
Mexicantown Bakery

*tear* Thank you, Metro Times. Thank you.

Best Desserts
Rattlesnake Club

Iridescence too!

Thanks for playing the 2010 edition of "Nicole makes fun of Metro Times readers then acknowledges that the staff still knows what the fuck they're talking about." I look forward to doing this again next year, and maybe (and thanks to a reader for suggesting this) doing one of my own. And it will be the BEST. LIST. EVER. Because I am full of win. That is all.