When I go out to eat in the Detroit area, it is rarely to try something new, but to eat something old that I knew and loved growing up there. But when it came time to celebrate my step-dad’s 70th birthday, something a little more special was in order. Namely, Iridescence at the top of the Motor City Casino in Detroit. The place features some of the most innovative food in the area and some of the highest prices to go along with it. Some might call it molecular gastronomy, but I just call it fancy-pants.
One thing that has been sorely missing from my life since packing up and moving to the more easterly part of the country is Middle Eastern food. You know, that and beaches. But seriously, I found Salem’s in Pittsburgh, but not so much in Buffalo. So when I took a trip back home to Michigan for a weekend Middle Eastern was one thing I craved more than anything else, even more than Coney.
Breakfast is definitely a meal for bowls. Cereal, yogurt and oatmeal all call for bowls or bowl-like conduits. The Breakfast Club in Commerce, Michigan, though, is breaking that mold just like its namesake movie broke the mold of teen movies in the ’80s. You see, they offer savory breakfast bowls and I just couldn’t wait to get one for myself.
After quite the kayak journey down the Huron River, I found myself in Milford, Michigan seeking food. Fortunately, I was with family that brought me to Coratti’s on Main. Having had Italian for dinner the night before, I was not the most excited, but Coratti’s was definitely different from what I had just eaten. Instead of a ristorante, it was more of a cafe, with lighter fare waiting to make its way into my stomach.
You can get Italian food anywhere, so on the many occasions that I have returned to my homeland of Michigan since moving away one fateful day in 2007, I have not felt a drive to get to Antonio’s in Farmington Hills. After making a trip back there, I now realize this has been a mistake. After all, Antonio’s was the site of my college graduation lunch. Upon arrival, I could almost taste their amazing bread, which was good because it came out quickly and I devoured it like a fiend.
Bates’ Hamburgers in Farmington Hills has a history with my family. As my step-dad’s favorite burger place in the area, I kind of inherited his love for their classic sliders. In the same vein as Greene’s and Hunter House, Bates’ is the third and final spot I had to review in the greasy trinity of awesome sliders of Metro Detroit. And just like in those other two reviews, it is important to note that these are real sliders: skinny patties prepped on the griddle with onions and the bun on top so that they get that tasty burger steam inside.
The decline of the city of Detroit from one of the greatest cities in the world to a land of ruins can hardly be better personified than by looking at Michigan Central Station in the Corktown district. Once the tallest train station in the world with architecture on par with New York’s Grand Central Station and Chicago’s Union Station, it is now a hollow ruin. Approaching the station is like looking at the skeleton of a hero, of something that was once great and never will be again. When gazing at the Colosseum in Rome, you feel surrounded by the ghosts who were both the entertained and the entertainers of the arena. In contrast, Michigan Central StationÂ isÂ the ghost.
While the existence of Coney Dog in LA has staved off my insatiable desire to eat at Coney Islands every time I’m in Michigan, I still take advantage of Coney if it’s not too far out of the way. Case in point: National Coney Island at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. When I was there last, I was hungry and rather than blowing money on a generic sandwich, I opted for some Coney.
Once upon a time, Paul Revere rode through the streets of Boston, warning all patriots by shouting, “The redcoats are coming!” These redcoats, of course, were the British soldiers and the Americans knew that danger was coming. But when Redcoat Tavern came to West Bloomfield, Michigan, the people did not sense danger. No, they embraced it. That’s because the original Redcoat Tavern in Royal Oak had been serving up some of the most delicious food in metro Detroit for years. Yet, while I embraced the branching out of Redcoat Tavern, like the Founding Fathers, I also prepared to do battle against its famous burger.
While Detroit may be experiencing some of a resurgence (perhaps wishful thinking), it is still a rough city with a small number of little islands of brightness. One of these islands, which has been afloat since 1890, is The Whitney. This former residence of David Whitney, Jr. was converted from a mansion to a restaurant in 1986 and has flourished ever since with some of the best food Detroit has to offer. In Detroit, The Whitney is not exactly an everyday type of restaurant. The prices are pretty steep for the local standards, but are they worthwhile for the food or simply the price you pay for getting to eat in a Michigan Registered Historical Site?