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  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Detroit food trendometer

A look at Detroit dining, where it’s been, and where we’d like to see it go.

Photo: Courtesy photo., License: N/A

Courtesy photo.

Following dining in metro Detroit like we do, you get familiar with the ebb and flow of trends. Based on our completely unscientific research, here are the trends we’re spotting, divided into threes — ones that are almost overheating, ones that are coming into their own, and ones that are cooler — most of them waiting to get hot again.

A bit overheated:

Poutine: In just the last year, Detroiters have apparently gone nuts for this Canadian creation. Find it at Joe’s Hamburger in Wyandotte, Local Kitchen and One-Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale, and in Detroit at Green Dot Stables, TAP Sports Bar and Brooklyn Street Local, where it’s made by Canadian natives.

Communal dining: Eateries have adopted all sorts of strategies to seem unassuming and inclusive, among them communal seating. You’re often pleasantly surprised by the folks at your elbow, even if it can get cramped. Experience it at such unpretentious spots as Ann Arbor’s Frita Batida and Mark’s Carts, an outdoor dining court. 

All casual: The upscale casual dining trend has given us fabulous restaurants where we can not only dress down, but our waiter might wear Chuck Taylors. When the food’s that good, who cares? That’s the case at Roast in Detroit.

Sliders: It started as a cultural goof, appropriating the derisive name for a small burger bought in a white-enamel greasy spoon, and designating it for greater things. But these creations should be called what they really are: delicacies. These bite-sized sandwiches often feature Kobe beef or game at Detroit’s hipper-than-hip Green Dot Stables.

Small plates: The concept first burst onto the scene as a Spanish import in the 1990s. Now it’s gone from hip new idea to staple choice. And not all small plates places are stingy about portions, allowing diners to create a filling selection for the usual price of an entrée. Enjoy variety at Small Plates in Detroit, Rock City Eatery in Hamtramck, and even a twist on the original tapas at Spanish-run La Feria in Detroit. 

Dietary restrictions: Don’t get us wrong: There are people who have serious dietary restrictions and commendable stands on what they eat. But because this is America, you can expect some marketing director to take a worthy trend and turn it into a marketing gimmick, and for food faddists to abuse it into meaninglessness. That said, your dietary restrictions will be taken seriously at such places as Royal Oak’s Inn Season Café and Cacao Tree, the Lunch Room in Ann Arbor, and the Clean Plate in Shelby Township.

Fun and games: We’ve seen a rash of places opening that offer athletic pursuits along with their fare. While it makes sense to burn off a few calories in the same place you just consumed them, it can sometimes be an aggressive display of bewildering hipster impropriety, like somebody’s going to demand we play croquet before we can be seated. That said, they’ve been feather bowling for generations at Detroit’s Cadieux Café, tabletop games grace Detroit’s Northern Lights Lounge, and a bocce court is planned for Detroit’s Ottava Via. So, um, limber up. 

Just right:


Classy fries: Once upon a time, garlic breath was a faux pas. No more, friends. A host of restaurants are upgrading their fries. At Mercury Burger Bar, you’ll find garlic fries: hand-cut potatoes fried golden brown and showered with tangy crushed garlic. The tasty shoestring fries  at Roast in Detroit are pleasers too. It might not be extreme enough for the beardo set yet, but just to our tastes.

Patios: The weather is lousy almost half the year in Detroit, but when it’s good, we want to enjoy it. Perhaps that drives the popularity of patio dining. Go al fresco at La Dolce Vita, Le Petit Zinc, Sindbad’s and Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit, Palate in Milford, Anita’s Kitchen and Como’s in Ferndale, Shores Inn or Tin Fish in Saint Clair Shores, or Dominick’s in Ann Arbor. 

Class without judgment: Though it’s nice to be able to experience fine dining in comfortable clothes, it’s an added touch of class when your server dresses at least a little snappy. We’ve found this ideal mix at Italian-and-Mexican joint El Barzón in Detroit.

Classic burgers: Everybody raves about the burgers at Royal Oak’s Redcoat Tavern, but classic burgers abound in Detroit. Top picks include Motor City Sports Bar in Hamtramck, the Emory in Ferndale, Miller’s Bar in Dearborn, Sidetrack Bar & Grill in Ypsilanti, or the smaller, appealing creations at Nemo’s in Detroit.

Entrées with benefits: Sometimes you want a nice, filling entrée, but the varied flavors of tapas. A great way to split the difference is to enjoy an ethnic cuisine that’s been doing that for centuries. Korean food is particularly well-suited, with its satellite dishes of pickles and condiments orbiting a large, hearty, central dish. Get the whole monty at Korea House in Farmington Hills, where they routinely serve almost 10 classic sides, ranging from  kimchi to cucumber to potato pancakes.

Local sourcing: If Michigan is an economic backwater, local yokels are marshaling their economic power by doing it local. From community-supported farms to farmers markets to urban agriculture, the best restaurants know that sourcing ingredients locally benefits the environment, the local food economy, their customers’ health and, increasingly, their bottom line. Keep your food dollars local at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, or at Woodbridge Pub in Detroit, where the Cobb Salad comes with Detroit-raised duck eggs.

Muses for munching: It’s not a huge trend, but enough venues have been mixing music with a dining crowd that it bears mention. It’s actually quite appealing to have a live performance, generally acoustic, while enjoying a meal. Sometimes this kind of entertainment takes place offstage in the dining area at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit. It’s one of the main attractions at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, as well as big draws on certain nights at O’Mara’s in Berkley, and Peabody’s in Birmingham.

Cooling off:

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