Wednesday, May 22, 2013

[HOT LIST] Movement off-site food guide

Photo from the Official Movement Facebook page.

I get a lot of emails asking me for recommendations - places to eat that are new and cool, places to eat for an anniversary/birthday/special occasion, places to get married, places to sightsee. Etc. While I don't have time to respond to each and every one of these requests (seriously, I get a lot), I do try my best to answer as many as I can, particularly for people coming in from out of town (I get a lot of those, too).

Last weekend the social media coordinator for Beatport got in touch asking for some recommendations within walking distance of the Movement festival grounds while she was in town. She wanted beer bars, a beer store, and a place to get some of that oft-cited Detroit-style pizza that's been making some national waves lately. Which got me thinking: wouldn't it be nice if I had a list of places to go for ALL people coming into town for Movement? Even semi-local people who might not be as familiar with the area immediately surrounding the festival grounds?

Indeed it would. So here you go.

Note: this year, the boys of Bailout Productions invite you to take Refuge at the Rhino Bar. I recommend you do so.

#1 Foran's Grand Trunk Pub/MotorCity Wine Downtown
If it's beer you seek, to Foran's Grand Trunk Pub you should go. They were the first bar in Detroit to switch over to all Michigan craft taps and have a huge selection of craft beer by the bottle too. For Movement they usually have a few coordinating parties, plus they are also open for Saturday and Sunday brunch. *AND* they sell beer to go, *AND* they are all of five minutes walking distance from the festival grounds. Expect heavy Midwestern bar food: burgers, corned beef, deep fried pickles, deep fried pickle corned beef burgers (actually you would have to special request that, but they would totally do it), etc. Upstairs is MotorCity Wine, and this will be its last year in this location. Take advantage: yes it's a wine bar and as such they have a fantastic selection of wine, beer, cheese and charcuterie, but it's also a live music venue with events planned all Movement weekend. (Pro tip: Monday's "House Gallery" is free and goes on all day.)

Ribber at Bert's. Photo from @eatitdetroit Instagram feed.
#2 Eastern Market Eastern Market
Walkable for those who really enjoy walking (for everyone else, there's Uber), Eastern Market is pretty much the second-greatest thing about Detroit. The first greatest is the Riverfront, which, as a festival attendee, you are already familiar with (though if you need a break during the day, a jaunt down the RiverWalk and maybe even a guided bike tour with Wheelhouse Detroit -- they have special Movement tour packages for the weekend -- will offer some scenic solace). Eastern Market is quickly becoming Detroit's alternative arts district. Once home to many, many, many many manymanymany raves in the '90s (and maybe possibly this is occasionally still known to sometimes happen), Eastern Market is more legit with all the same grit. The Red Bull House of Art and the newly-opened Inner State Gallery both have Movement-partnered programming for the festival, while Supino Pizzeria, Russell Street Deli, and the market's Saturday food truck rallies and ribbers outside of Bert's Marketplace are all on the master Detroit bucket list.

#3 Niki's Pizza Bricktown
For Detroit-style pizza, another bucket-lister, the biggies really require you to have a car and drive a bit (Buddy's Pizza being THE biggie). However, Niki's Pizza in Greektown will give you a good Detroit-style deep dish fix, and they're open until 4am on weekends. There is a Greek version of their pizza with feta cheese, black olives and lamb, which is sort of an extra-Detroit version of the Detroit pizza since we have such a strong Greek culture here. I mean, it's in Greektown, you know? Loco Bar and Grill serves meh Meximerican food next door but is also open until 4am which makes all the difference.

Sweetwater wings. Photo from @eatitdetroit Instagram feed.
#4 Sweetwater Tavern Bricktown
Detroit's most famous wings are at Sweetwater Tavern, all of five minutes walking distance from the fest. All-natural Amish chickens (Amish chickens taste better! Because they're Amish!) delivered daily from Eastern Market are marinated for 24 hours and rubbed in their secret blend of spices and seasonings. Go there. Get wings. The end. The beer selection sucks but if you like ice cream drinks, try the hummer (it's got booze and is also a Detroit "thing").

#5 Roast Downtown
If you have time for a proper dinner, or really just want to experience the very best dining Detroit has to offer, hit up Roast in the Westin Book Cadillac. It's a Michael Symon restaurant and it is outstanding - excellent beer list (do be sure to try some Jolly Pumpkin, Michigan's all oak-aged Belgian-style sour beer producer -- also available at Foran's), excellent bites (the Roast burger, the sweetbreads, the marrow, the everything), excellent cocktails (I hold them personally responsible for two of the worst hangovers I've had in the last two years), excellent space. And not exceptionally expensive; you can totally share apps and walk out spending the same you would in any other bar. Just excellent, all around. 24grille in the same building is also very, very good, only slightly less very, very good than Roast. If you need some quiet time on Sunday, check out the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at the Motor Bar on the second floor.

Bubbling under Greektown Casino (Greektown - Market District food court for fast, Brizola for fancy), the Detroiter Bar (Bricktown), SkyBar Lounge (Downtown), Golden Fleece (Greektown), Jacoby's German Biergarten (Bricktown), Lafayette Coney Island (Downtown), American Coney Island (Downtown), Tom's Oyster Bar (Riverfront), Greenwich Times Pub (Downtown), Fountain Bistro (Downtown), Pegasus (Greektown), Red Smoke (Greektown), Buffalo Wild Wings (Greektown), Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Greektown)