Monday, July 15, 2013

The Week We Ate (The EID Week in Review)

This works so well for this post.

Famous person ate something. [G+B]

So I guess my next Detroit Bus Company tour route is set. [Freep]

And in typical social media fashion, the Biggest Thing on the Internet was quickly replaced by the Next Biggest Thing on the Internet. Detroit certainly found plenty of ways to congratulate itself last week! The new Google Maps app commercial was shot in Detroit and features images of Comerica Park, Lj's Lounge, Lafayette Coney Island, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, and more. [YouTube]

Slows and Eastern Market Corporation and Supino Pizzeria and the Sugar House and Astro Coffee. Looks like it's time for me to update my Official Detroit Food Experience list and add Fodor's to all of these places! Also, Detroit is probably one of the (possibly even THE) only cities in the country where the rates for the top hotel in the city are actually *lower* on weekends. [Fodor's / EID]

In case you missed it:
~Slows fans who should find themselves at Ford Field this year will have plenty to celebrate, even if it's not the Lions. (OHHHHHHH.) Ford Field is adding two more Slows locations plus a Corridor Sausage Co. cart and a Russell Street Deli outpost this fall. [Model D]

~The new Meijer opens up in the Gateway Marketplace at 8 Mile and Woodward on July 25. This development is a transformational change to the oft-malinged 8 Mile corridor, which the 8 Mile Boulevard Association is trying to rebrand as "Uptown." [Model D]

~I'm considering this a companion piece to the preview in Crain's since I was slow on the draw (vacation!), but here is a sneak peek of the new Griffin Claw Brewing Co. opening this week WITH the full food menu, the opening day tap list, Brewmaster Dan's full list of achievements while brewing under Big Rock, distribution plans, and Dan's wacky idea to distill a domestic absinthe. BAM. [EID]

~In honor of July being National Hot Dog month, I revisited (and totally revamped) an old Hot Dog Hot List, first written in the days when the haute dog trend got off to a halty start. [EID]

~Jefferson House and Urban Cellars inside the Crowne Plaza Pontchartrain are now open! [EID]

Brilliant! "South Detroit" is a new bar/restaurant opening in downtown Windsor, geographically south of Detroit. Journey fans rejoice, that line in "Don't Stop Believing" is no longer a total misnomer. (Though it still doesn't mean what Steve Perry thinks it means.) [Windsorite]

And now it is final: Takashi returns to Michigan with Slurping Turtle in Ann Arbor. The lease has been signed. Tribute II it will not be, but it's something, and I'll take it. []

So the new restaurant in the old Sangria space has a culinary dream team behind it. (Insider tip: the menu Chef Derik has planned for this restaurant is every bit as forward and ambitious as you'd expect from a Takashi protege, and for you winos the wine cellar is going to mimic something you'd expect in Vegas.) [Crain's]

Huerto Tequila Bar and Grill is opening in West Bloomfield this September. Design by Ron Rea, big brick fireplace in the dining room and a second one on the huge outdoor patio, SW/Mexican/American food, and 75 different tequilas. (When I lived there all there was was Joe's Crab Shack and a Big Boy. Sigh.) While the contemporary Mexican cuisine-and-tequila-bar concept sounds like a no-brainer recipe for success, the model hasn't has much luck around here - there was the recent Barrio bomb in Birmingham, and those of us who have lived here for more than 5 minutes aaaaaaaaaaall remember Agave. (Double sigh.) Will this one work in an area that historically has not seen a major trendy restaurant last longer than two years (aside from Stage Deli, which isn't exactly "trendy")? [Huerto Official]

My colleague Jon Zemke highlights Joseph Wesley Black Tea in this week's Model D, a hand-harvested "slow" tea company selling teas of a quality difficult to find in North America. Garth, do we have the beginnings of America's next artisan beverage trend right here in our hometown? Why yes Wayne, I do believe we do. Excellent! [Model D]

Tuesdays at Eastern Market Corporation started last week. Some would say (some includes me) that Tuesdays are even better than Saturdays, with fewer people and more of an emphasis on local vendors like Beau Bien Fine Foods, The Brinery, Love's Custard Pie, Spice Miser, Oliver Farms and more. [Crain's]

Ottavia Via in Corktown is nearing opening (rumor has it it's actually open now, in some sort of capacity). Owned by the same people as Mercury Burger Bar, soooooo dot dot dot. (Sidebar: I feel like people missed the point of the "dot dot dot" earlier...DOT DOT DOT.) [Freep]

Detroit Vegan Soul is hoping to be open by August, and have also announced that they are now hiring kitchen and service staff. [BLAC]

Long-time Detroit institution Mr. Mike's burned to the ground. It was one of those divey spots students would go for cheap drinks and Detroitphiles would go for kicks. No details yet on if the owners will try to rebuild or if the bar is gone for good. [Michigan Chronicle]

Ganbei is now open in downtown Rochester. Sounds kinda Chen Chow-y? [Rochester Patch]

The important tidbits: bar owner/restaurateur J. Lambrecht of Bookies Bar N' Grille and Fountain Bistro at Campus Martius Park is now getting into the real estate business, and Buddy's Pizza bends to trends, forsaking its identity as THE Detroit-style deep dish place to also include thin-crust pizzas. [Crain's]

Here's some nice coverage of Detroit SOUP on the Indiegogo blog. [Indiegogo]

Zoup! celebrated the opening of its 50th store last week; here's a nice little story about the guy behind this successful local chain. [Freep]

So basically Kroger is now becoming Meijer (with a sometimes-way-better-and-actually-pretty-impresive wine selection, depending on what city you're in). Would love to see one of these in the city...and since I'm making a wish list, one of those really sweet two-story Targets too. [Crain's]

Not sure if I posted this back in May, but I walked by the new Aventura space in Ann Arbor (THREE addresses, almost an entire city block) this weekend and this really looks like it's going to be awesome. Plus an outdoor deck! If it's anything like the rooftop patio at Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery, count me in. []


Pig + Whiskey is this weekend in Ferndale. Detroit BBQ Co., Rock City Eatery and others will be there, plus the boys of Bailout Productions will be doing kegged cocktails all weekend and on Sunday, a very hungover crew from the Oakland (in post-Tales of the Cocktail bliss) will be holding it down in the cocktail corner. Do. Not. Miss. [P+W FB]

Tacos: Turntables: Tequila (Tuesdays) are now a thing at Great Lakes Coffee in Midtown through the summer, featuring the food-slinging stylings of Detroit's most famous food truck, El Guapo. [GLC FB]

Check out the Always Brewing Detroit grand opening party this Friday with food from the Batata Shop, Sweet Potato Sensations, and Pete's Chocolate Co. [ABD FB]


Northern Michigan winemakers and growers are still looking to establish the region's signature grape; while cold-weather white European vinifera varietals are certainly proving their worth (mostly in Rieslings, but the Pinot Blancs and Gewurtztraminers are no slouches either), the delicate reds, when the growing conditions cooperate, can be mind-blowing (specifically Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir; the Merlots also do well but that thing's like a weed and will grow anywhere). I'd also like to see more wineries experiment with the Bianca grape. [Michigan Radio / EID] 

And here's a cool interactive map of wineries across the nation that shows both current wineries and the growth of wineries over the past several decades. [NYT]

This is a bittersweet story about a 90-year-old farmer in South Lyon. With the new focus on farm-to-table and young people in the food industry taking a sincere interest in local agriculture, it will be interesting to see how the farming industry grows and develops over the next few generations. [Freep]

Like with chickens! [Freep]

Except for that nevermind, hipsters can't handle it. [NBC News]

Well, this year's crops weren't killed by an early thaw and late frost and they're getting plenty of water, but they're also coming in a bit later. [WDET]


The new Old German opens this week in the basement of Grizzly Peak Brewing Company. Got a little preview this weekend 'cuz I know a guy, and it looks rad. Gotta love Jon and Greg and their love of basement bars! (See also: Habana under Lena, Craft under Bastone Brewery.) Also, das MenĂ¼ ist sehr Deutsch--suuuuuuuuuper German. Potato salad and bacon and beer brats, anyone? Also also: kellerbier. Also also also: hasenpfeffer. Does anyone even know what hasenpfeffer is aside from a line in the Laverne and Shirley theme song? Oh, THEY'RE GONNA DO IT. []

The Coors Light Sky Deck is opening on the roof of the Detroit Opera House. Looks pretty cool, views will be fantastic, love the idea of a downtown rooftop beer garden and only $5 to watch Detroit Tigers games from above, also love how (relatively) affordable it is to rent for private parties (made possible by the sponsorship, no doubt), but really hate the sponsorship. Will they only serve MillerCoors products? Or will they be able to sneak in some craft beers? This is a make or break kind of situation for me. [Freep]

This is the best piece of LADY beer writing ever. Ever ever. [XO Jane] weighs in on 12 brewpubs putting the Midwest on the map - not just for their beer, but also for their gastropub fare. Jolly Pumpkin - Old Mission Peninsula (Traverse City) (PAUL!!!) and Arcadia Ales both made the cut. Not mentioned: Jolly Pumpkin OMP also has one of the best patios in the country. Yes, country; I'm going for it. []

Oh, well, speaking of Traverse City... [Freep]

Remember when I told you awhile back that craft ciders were going to/are already becoming a thing? Here is a list of the best canned craft ciders in America from Serious Eats: Drinks, featuring ciders from Vander Mill and Uncle John's Cider Mill. [SE:D]

9 out of 10 cicerones seem to agree that craft beer trends are going to veer more towards low-alcohol session beers, lighter styles in general, and perfecting more "traditional" styles rather than chasing the latest XTREME trend. (The other one thinks XTREME beers will continue to dominate.) So here's hoping the 90% majority is right. [Serious Eats: Drinks]


~Cheese and their literary counterparts - a bit of brilliance from the folks at The Airship. [The Airship]

~SPIN talks about bacon blinds in the new video from Detroit's Jamaican Queens. [Spin]

~Yet another articulate argument in favor of abolishing tipping (though the solution proposed at the end wouldn't quite get us there). [Slate]

~The mystery of Ruth Bourdain has been solved. [NYT]