Milford, Michigan might be out there, but it has a pretty cool main street with shops and restaurants. One such restaurant goes by the name of Palate and kind of does the gastropub thing. I had heard good things about their mac and cheese, but I wasn’t up for that as a full meal and needed to find the main course.
In need of some food to soak up the booze of the night before, we found ourselves at Les 3 Brasseurs in downtown Montreal. Of course, in English this translates to The 3 Brewers, so it seemed like a good place to get our fill before leaving the lovely city of Montreal. Because it seemed necessary, we started with a couple orders of poutine for the table – including one non-traditional that had pulled pork and bacon.
Clarkston is not a part of Michigan I ever found myself in while spending the first 22 years of my life in the state. Yet, Union Woodshop wasn’t there for any of those 22 years either. It’s there now though, a modern BBQ spot fully endorsed by hometown hero Kid Rock (although not owned by him in any way despite popular contrary opinion), and thus I finally made my way there as well. And it should probably be noted that while I don’t really listen to Kid Rock’s music, he does seem like he would like the same food as me.
In the world of DC burgers, it seems that one name stands above the rest: Ray’s Hell Burger. Originally conceived as a spot to bank on the discarded scraps from Ray’s the Steaks, Ray’s Hell Burger is on its third iteration, going by the name of Ray’s to the Third. It’s technically in Rosslyn/Arlington, Virginia and luckily so was I.
BBQ seems to be a pretty big deal in the South, and this is just as true in New Orleans despite the French influence. Supposedly the best place for it is The Joint, but for some stupid reason The Joint has chosen to not be open on Sundays. As a current business school student I can’t comprehend this, but we had a backup plan and made our way to VooDoo BBQ in the Garden District/Uptown.
One of the things New Orleans is known for is the Muffaletta. And perhaps no place is known more for their Muffaletta than Cochon Butcher in the Lower Garden District. The place is pretty much an unvegan paradise, evidenced by the fact that the word “cochon” quite literally means “pig” in French. It’s also an offshoot of the more famous Cochon (without the Butcher) that it shares a wall with.
Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood is not exactly the part of town you want to find yourself in when the sun goes down. So naturally, when I was told of a BBQ place there called Showcase, I assumed it had to be good. It’s not exactly easy to find, unless you’re looking for a sign that says, “Don’t Shoot, We Love You” on the corner of what is otherwise a residential area. But once you’ve found it, the big smokers out on the sidewalk tell you that you’ve come to the right place.
Uptown Grille in Commerce, Michigan is pretty much the most popular place in the metro Detroit area. It’s all at once a bar, restaurant and cafe and somehow draws an absurd number of visitors. So absurd, in fact, that when we dropped in on a weekday for a late lunch, we literally got the last table available. The menu is pretty vast, containing everything from salads to burgers to sandwiches to pizzas and in-between. And each of these items had a ton of options, leading me to worry that Uptown Grille might fall victim to trying to do too much.
Pittsburgh has its fair share of sketchy neighborhoods and Homewood is unquestionably one of them. But, according to a friend the neighborhood also has the best BBQ spot in town. So, with potential bodily harm awaiting us, we headed to The Dream BBQ, which can easily be spotted from a distance because they do their smoking right on the street in converted 8 gallon drums.
In my mind, no trip to Sin City is worth it without committing the sin of gluttony. There are many outlets for said gluttony, but none better than one of the city’s amazing buffets. And perhaps there is no better buffet than the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace. As an added bonus, for brunch they throw bottomless mimosas on top of their mess of food. And what a beautiful mess of food it is. The place is simply huge, with each station being big enough to house an entire buffet at any lesser establishment.