FOOD! DETROIT! THE BEST YEAR EVER! (2013 Edition)
What a year! Trends that have been developing for years now continued to grow and evolve. New places opened and old places closed, while others still rebranded. Some things got everyone talking, though what they said often came across as hive mind shoutiness. While some people will debate what the best new restaurants were, to me the interesting question to ask is, what were the biggest things that happened in food this year? Here's my answer.
Your EID Holiday Shopping Guide
There's one week until Christmas - time to start shopping!!! Allow me to make it easy on you: buy them booze. Why? Because everyone likes booze. (Except people who don't drink. Don't buy them booze. But everyone else likes booze.) Here's a few (several!) ideas for booze-themed gifts to give this holiday season.
Thanksgiving is one week away! Whether you want to buy a locally-raised turkey to make at home, buy a pre-cooked turkey (or the whole damn meal) to serve, or want to skip that whole mess and just go out to eat, here are some local places that will facilitate all of your needs.
Pursuit of Pappy 2013
It's a long walk for a short drink of water, but this is what all the Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve fuss is about, and here's where you can get some in metro Detroit.
This update to a previous hot list on metro Detroit cider mills includes information on mills expanding their businesses by opening wineries and producing their own hard ciders.
Not all falls are created equally. And this fall is about to put all other falls to shame. From spankin' new events to expanded old events, bon vivants have plenty of opportunities for dining and drinking in the coming weeks. Here are the highlights.
Best new patios
Another summer, another slew of "best patio" lists. These lists don't change much year to year. The Rattlesnake keeps being located on the Detroit River and the Whitney keeps having a garden and the Old Miami keeps having a big-ass lawn with a koi pond. But this year, things have changed. New places have opened. And these places have built patios. Really nice patios. So instead of the same old reminder that the Rattlesnake's patio has a nice view of the Detroit River (and it does! so very nice!), here's a look at the best new patios to pop up just this year.
Dream Cruise avoidance guide
Much like snow in the winter, every year at this exact same time the Dream Cruise happens and every year everyone who isn't an eager cruiser seems equally surprised and annoyed by its existence. But there are ways for you to find relief. And that is by avoiding it. Entirely. Here's how: pick one side of Woodward and stay on it for the next three days. And here's where to go to do that.
Single Food Item Festivals
In a world full of food festivals - as in, here's a bunch of restaurants in one place at one time outside under tents serving food and also there's music - enterprising new festival producers, nonprofit organizations with a savvy social media marketer and events person looking to put together a big fundraiser, and companies looking to create a signature marketing piece for their products (basically branded content in the form of a festival) are all hopping on board the Single Food Item Festival train.
Metro Detroit is pretty much the best place to be in the country right now if you're a mead fan. For National Mead Day, celebrate by visiting some of our award-winning meaderies and read more about their recent growth and expansion plans.
In honor of July being National Hot Dog month, EID 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.
Michigan Craft Beer Month - Summer beers
It's July. It's Michigan Craft Beer Month. Instead of the usual "best beers for MAKING A LIST WITH" list - which tend to completely disregard availability and any likelihood of readers actually ever being able to get their hands on any - here is a list of some of the best summer beers made by Michigan brewers that are widely available for your drinking enjoyment.
Metro Detroit's craft cocktail culture has grown exponentially in that last couple of years, fueled not just by a resurgence in interest in classic and hand-crafted cocktails with a culinary mindfulness, but also in the fast-growing artisan distilling industry, which Michigan is on the forefront of. Here are some of the best places for cocktails in metro Detroit, both new and "old."
Detroit's most metal meals
In honor of Metallica being in town for the second-ever Orion Music + More festival (and first-ever in Detroit), here is a list of Detroit's most metal meals? What makes a meal metal? Well, MEAT, for one. But really anything reminiscent of headbanging and hangovers and motorcycles and Black Tooth Grins and blood and sweat and METAL is fucking metal.
There doesn't seem to be much that is more contentious in metro Detroit than who has the best cow meat between buns. For National Burger Month, we look at some of Detroit's best burger joints that aren't the usual suspects (Roast, Vinsetta, Red Coat, Miller's). Sure, we could just run the same list of "Places That Are Always on Every List!", but where's the fun, the education, the excitement in that? We encourage you to branch out with your burgers.
Movement off-site food guide
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.
Mother's Day brunch
Here is a really long list of various places doing something special (brunch and beyond) for Mother's Day, including Honest John's 40-oz. giveaway. Which, not really sure if they're making good on that, but wouldn't be surprised if they did.
Sometimes you're hungry and, you know, you just don't feel like putting on pants. Let these places bring the food to you. Some are open late, and others will even bring condoms. Now THAT'S service!
EID's annual Easter brunch run-down: who's offering it, how much does it cost, and what's on the menu.
It's REALLY freakin' cold out. If you're snotting all over yourself, wrap a scarf around your head and get your butt into one of these places for their magic chicken anti-viral juju soup.
From staycations and romantic take-home meals to getting dirty in more ways than one and very beerie V-Day b-days and singles mingles, there's a little something for everyone this Valentine's Day (including an anti-Valentine party where people are encouraged to bring in photos of their exes to throw darts at).
Corktown: more than just Martha Stewart Living. These are the places that aren't as pretty as those that get profiled regularly in national publications.
The Detroit Food Experience(TM)
I've noted previously that there is an Official Detroit Experience® check list out there somewhere and all these things are on it. Well, here is that check list! If you're looking for a way to fill your time in between looking at cars during the NAIAS, here is the official Detroit Food Experience(TM) bucket list of the hottest, most-written-about restaurants, bars, and food hubs in the city of Detroit.
Here at EID you get plenty of food fodder for your taste-hole. Here are some things that you eat with your brain, books by natives past and present released in the last year that all roughly orbit the same primary topic: Detroit.
FOOD! DETROIT! THE BEST YEAR EVER! (2012 edition)
The Hot List to end all hot lists to usher in the year's end. Consider this an interactive archive of the whole entire year. Green Dot Stables wins at everything, steakhouses won the Most Overdone Trend of 2012 (though pop-ups, poutine and historic preservation weren't far behind, as much as I do love them all), everything we liked last year we still liked this year, plus predictions for 2013.
A perfect winter warmer and a Reagan-era dessert drink with craft cocktail credibility, the Spanish coffee is what's hot (literally) right now.
A Very Beerie Gift Guide
This holiday season, give the gift of beer. Clubhouse BFD's "Ultimate Beer Bucket" to Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery's rare beer auction, barware from Hugh and City Bird, VIP tickets to Baconfest Michigan (nearly sold out!), beerie buckets from 8 Degrees Plato Beer Company, a Christmas dinner at One-Eyed Betty's, and even a trip to Beer City USA.
College food (Midtown edition)
College students eat a lot of crap. But Detroit's university and cultural center -- aka Midtown, home to artsy CCS and fartsy WSU -- is full of good grub on the cheap where students can be good to their wallets without insulting their palates.
Biscuits and gravy
Why should bacon have all the fun? Biscuits and gravy is sausage in its finest form. (And if you want to REALLY do it up, put an egg on it!)
Gun season for Michigan deer hunting started on November 15. In the spirit of this other infamous annual opening day, here is a list of places to get your game on.
Thanksgiving is two weeks away. This is happening whether you're ready for it or not. Here is a list of wine tastings (holiday wine shopping! and pairing!), retail openings (gifts!), Thanksgiving parade (kids!) brunches (booze!) and more to help you get organized.
Costumes of flayed girls and zombies that sing ... these are a few of my favorite things! In the spirit of this pretty much being my high holy week, here is a round-up of some of the things that just make Halloween so much just the BEST. (With Detroit trivia!)
Detroit Beer Week 2012 (again)
Yes I compiled a list of Detroit Beer Week events last week. But it wasn't enough. More events have been announced since then plus there are some updates, so here is the auxiliary Hot List.
Detroit Beer Week 2012
Here is your complete guide to Detroit Beer Week, which starts today.
These ain't your gramma's hard-boiled eggs. Scotch eggs are yet another thing to be thankful to the British for, and these are the places 'round town you can get them. Beware the pterodactyl eggs at the The Wurst Bar.
Headed to ArtPrize? Here's where to eat.
DRW: Bougie on a budget
Oh, you fancy huh? The 2012 Fall Edition of Detroit Restaurant Week starts this week. These are the best places to maximize the discount dining and be bougie on a budget.
Oktoberfest officially starts this Saturday. These are the places where it's Oktoberfest all the time (if only in spirit rather than outward appearance).
From Yack-town to Yum-town: Ypsilanti is one of metro Detroit's craft beer connoisseur's prime destinations. It's time to check out Hipsi Ypsi!
We constantly have lists of "bests" blowing enough sunshine in our faces to blind us, but just as not all restaurants are good restaurants, not all patios are good patios. Here are some patios that really, truly suck.
In a search for metro Detroit's best Neapolitan-style pizza, I defined some loose criteria and set out to find NOT the garbage pail gut-bomb served in stagnant pools of grease, but the kind of pizza that holds true to the elegance of the Napoli way.
It's here, my magnum opus, the Hot List nearly one year in the making (lest you forget who the Queen of Poutine is in this town). Perfect for the late-night drunchies, homeopathic hangover treatments and all hours of comfort food cravings, poutine is sovereign. These places fulfill the poutine prophecy.
Old Mission Peninsula
Mario Batali can keep his precious Leelanau; EID is Team OMP! Here are some of the best spots to visit on the most beautiful place on the planet.
Since the very first EID Hot List came out one year ago, much has changed in the metro Detroit coffee scene with even more in the works. With all of these coffeehouse 4.0s opening and the many fantastic local roasters we have, Detroit just might be the new Seattle. (Or Tanzania, given the weather.)
What do you know about Plymouth? (Other than that you always see their water tower as you drive by on your way to Ann Arbor.) Plymouth is an absolutely adorbs community with a vibrant, walkable downtown filled with independently-owned restaurants and shops. Spend a pleasant afternoon exploring it, and start with these places.
Summer's best fests
Summertime in Michigan means festivals and events are even more abundant than usual, though sometimes the stress of choosing between them is enough to make you want to stay home and drink in the backyard. EID is here to help. Here are some of summer's best fests.
Not all waterfront dining sucks. A lot of it does but not ALL of it. These places have fantastic waterfront patios and a special emphasis on seafood for maximum summertime enjoyment.
From genuine KFC (Korean fried chicken) to Amish chicken and even giant turkey legs, these are the best places for wings in metro Detroit. There is but one steadfast rule: NEVER order them to go.
Salads are often dismissed as being "girly," and a lot of restaurants treat them as an afterthought, denigrating them to the lowly position of "side" or using such vile ingredients as iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing. These places take salad seriously.
Outdoor drinking (Midtown edition)
What started as a list about patios quickly became all about Midtown. Midtown has a surprising concentration of some of metro Detroit's best outdoor drinking spots, from backyards with koi ponds and volleyball courts to rooftops overlooking the urban center.
We love Prohibition chic, but these places are the real deal: century-old bars tucked away in residential neighborhoods that operated as bonafide blind pigs during the days of Prohibition and are still slinging drinks to this day.
Mother's Day brunch
If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, the way to mom's heart is through fancy brunch buffets and prix fixe menus. The more she raves about how nice the place is and how you're spending too much money on her, the more you win.
Best of Southwest (Cinco de Mayo edition)
Cinco de Mayo, Southwest Detroit style: these bars are some of the best in Southwest (especially for those who enjoy a good dive).
Veggiemites rejoice and meatheads take heed: here is an exhaustive list of vegetarian-friendly restaurants for all occasions (and also my own articulations on why you should all just shut up and eat it).
Detroit Restaurant Week - A Room With a View
Detroit Restaurant Week starts this Friday! If you're looking for a room with a view, these places offer the best perches in the city.
Best bars to work in
There are two staples to all freelancers' diets: booze and WiFi. These are the places that have plenty of both.
Did you fail to make plans for Easter brunch in a timely fashion? Here's the best of what's left. Hey, we all have days like that.
There is no reason sacred brunching should only be for Sundays. These places serve up Bloody Marys and mimosas bright and early on Saturdays too, and we love them all the better for it.
We revisited and expanded one of our first-ever Hot Lists in honor of Detroit's Irish roots and our proud corned beef culture. Eastern Market is still ground zero, but the Irish-settled Corktown is making gains. 'Tis the season for green beer and corned beef!
Good sushi should be fresh and affordable, but it also better have some flayva. Skip the talk of "authentic this-or-that;" just shut up and eat it! These places serve inventive rolls with fresh fish at affordable prices, and that's all we really care about.
Today is National Pancake Day! From the griddle to your gullet, these places treat pancakes as more than just a simple starch.
You don't have to be observing Lent to enjoy some good fried fish. "You buy we fry" fish markets are something of an unsung Detroit specialty. They might not be pretty or trendy, but they take their fish fry very seriously.
Next Tuesday is Fat Tuesday, and that means one thing: paczki. Hamtramck's varieties are pretty indisputable in superiority, but there are plenty of other spots to get your paczki fix (and some have them year-round). And don't miss all the paczki parties in Poletown!
Grilled cheese is a fond favorite from childhood; now this classic comfort food has gone all grown-up gourmet (and, predictably, is also better with bacon).
Every February guys have the Superbowl and girls have Valentine's Day. Coincidence? I think not. If you're going to say it with chocolate, skip Godiva and check out some of these Michigan-based chocolatiers
French onion soup
These restaurants tend to get written off as "OPF" (Old People Food) places, but these European-influenced American steakhouses and pubs have the BEST French onion soup.
Solid chick blogs
Who run the world? Girls. From professional chefs to freelance writers, students to stay-at-home moms, these are some of the best female-authored food blogs in metro Detroit.
NAIAS Charity Preview
The NAIAS Charity Preview has less to do with the cars than the clothes; this is all about the faces, fashion, and - inevitably - the food. Well, drink. But also food. This is a night to feel all shiny and special, so here's some of the shiniest, most special places to party.
In a major upset that majorly upset city residents, Ferndale took home the prestigious fake "neighborhood of the year" trophy in Curbed Detroit's first-ever annual Curbed Cup. In honor of this, here are some of the awesome places in Ferndale for morning, noon and night (and then some).
FOOD! DETROIT! THE BEST YEAR EVER! (2011 Edition)
The year in food in Detroit. (Which refers to the whole of metro Detroit, as we explain in the post.) Eat It Detroit is born and starts an epic meme (sort of), Corktown continues to "hog" all the attention, Ferndale wins at life, B-ham stops sucking so hard, the Food Network is all up on Detroit's balls, and more.
Chinese restaurants are an undervalued Christmas tradition. Here are some places for both Gentiles and Jews to take refuge on December 25.
The holidays are a time of widespread celebration, particularly in Europe and the Americas. Celebrate the season with some of metro Detroit's finest examples of global holiday multi-culturalism.
Made in Michigan gift baskets
Putting together a good gift basket is like putting together a good mixed tape. Here are some of our favorite Michigan-themed gift baskets that can be shipped to loved ones near and far.
I have only one hard-and-fast rule when it comes to hot chocolate: IT MUST BE MADE WITH MILK. These metro Detroit places "get it," from a coffee house with traditional Spanish hot chocolate to a chocolatier with a hot chocolate menu longer than some restaurants' wine lists.
From funky artisan farmstead esoteric cheese to old-country Amish farmers cheese, Michigan cheesemakers are earning the Mitten its "Great Lakes, Great Cheese" moniker. Stick that on your plate and eat it.
Say what you will about coneys; metro Detroit just wouldn't be the same without its sliders. Behold, the best of Detroit's little white huts.
Michigan pizza chains
Our locally-based pizza chains - some of them found across the country with headquarters right here in SE Michigan - are some of the best in 'Merica, and in metro Detroit we also pay the least amount for the most variety. One thing you never have to suffer in Detroit is bad pizza!
Another favorite fall food is pie. Warm, delicious, comforting, fattening pie. From Scottish cheese pies to glorious pumpkin and sweet potato, here's where to stock up for winter.
No autumn in Michigan would be complete without cider mills, and the best ones are those an hour out in the country that beg you to make a whole day out of it. From U-pick fruit and pumpkin patches to piping hot doughnuts and fresh cider, cider mills are just ANOTHER rest why fall is *THE BEST.*
Detroit Beer Week
From wine to beer! This week is all about Detroit Beer Week, now in its third year celebrating the craft beer culture of metro Detroit with more than three dozen participating venues and nearly 50 different official events.
Wineries of Southern Michigan
En route to or from Chicago? Make it an impromptu wine tour by exploring Michigan's southern wine trails, conveniently located off of I-94.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2011 Wineries of Northern Michigan
Meet Michigan's northern wine country, the two little peninsulas that could that are cranking out wines made to catch the world's attention. Bordeaux, schmordeaux - we're on the 45th parallel too.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2011 Best of Restaurant Week
With 21 restaurants participating and just a little over a week to try all of them, we sift through the offerings and come up with our five favorites for this go-round of the always popular event.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 Donut shops
The classic American doughnut shop stands strong in metro Detroit, with from-scratch fried dough classics like fritters and French crullers in settings that are throwbacks to a time before Starbucks and Krispy Kreme.
Eat to do good
Now more than ever, you are what you eat. As the general public becomes more conscious of creating sustainable food systems, food activists use it as a vehicle to enact social change.
AUGUST 29, 2011 Halal
Metro Detroit has the largest population of ethnic Arabs outside of the Middle East, many of whom are Muslim. To celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the Muslim holiday Eid, we look at some of metro Detroit's best (and most unexpected) certified halal restaurants.
AUGUST 22, 2011 Hot dogs
Hot dogs. NOT Coneys. There are whispers of the gourmet hot dog trend throughout metro Detroit and that's no surprise considering our proximity to Chicago, the hot dog capital of the country.
Raw | Vegan | Organic
We realize that metro Detroit might not seem like the friendliest food place for our herbivore friends, but there are still plenty of stellar spots committed to the raw food movement. These are the best of metro Detroit's California dreamin'.
The best of Waterford
It's the Macomb County of Oakland County, the bastard child of two places that nobody loves either -- Pontiac and White Lake -- but what it lacks in fancy it makes up for in food. From classic coney joints to Lebanese knock-outs, Waterford tastes pretty damn good.
Detroit grocery stores and markets
With the Motor City abuzz over the stunning announcement that Whole Foods had decided to build a store at Mack and John R, we decided to take a look at the very best grocery shopping options currently available in what many in the media continue to mislabel a "food desert."
The dollar can dives will always have their place, and a good brewpub is a joy forever (we've seriously contemplated moving into Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor once or twice ), but sometimes, you just want a ton of choice. Hey, this is Detroit -- any old way you want beer, baby, you got it.
No matter black white or beige, ice cream in Metro Detroit is a cross-cultural delight, showcasing the area's diverse flavors and the flavors of diversity.
Agriculture is Michigan's #2 industry. As such, we're about as crazy for good fruit and veg as we are for cars. (#1, duh.) Here are five of the top farmers markets in Southeast Michigan.
Corned beef sandwiches
Sy Ginsberg, Wigley's, Grobbels -- Detroit is corned beef country. This week, we take a look at the best places to eat the brined brisket of the gods.
JUNE 27, 2011 BreakfastBrunch is for people who follow the rules. In honor of Monday morning, we've got five weekday breakfast joints worth calling out for.
From Birmingham to Mexicantown, Metro Detroit's coffee roasting & cafe scene is heating up, and quickly. We've got the goods on where to go.