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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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Drink

The Detroit drinking matrix

A bar for every purpose under heaven.

Photo: Photo via Lindsey G, Flickr Creative Commons, License: N/A

Photo via Lindsey G, Flickr Creative Commons


Unusual

Divey: Meant, as always, in the most loving sense of the word, Tom’s Tavern is a true dive. Open mostly on weekends, the bar opened when founder Tom Lucas bought the building in 1928, back when Prohibition was the law of the land, and when Seven Mile was still a dirt road. An astonishing 86 years later, Tom’s survives, despite a host of problems, including a car crash that caved in the front of the tavern. Over the years, the bar has been built and rebuilt so many times that it’s uneven enough to make you feel you’re drunker than you are.

Quirky: Not many Detroit restaurants have been around for more than 70 years. Even fewer have been owned and operated by the same family for as long. The Dakota Inn Rathskeller can claim both. The German beer garden at the crossroads of John R and McNichols is busiest on a Saturday night. Then, inside and through the heavy wooden doors, is the din of mirth as friends and families assemble to celebrate birthdays and other life events, or just grab a beer and sausage. Mandatory sing-alongs are a highlight.

Upscale: Tucked away behind a garden gate on Woodward Avenue just north of McNichols, La Dolce Vita has only a cryptic neon sign (reading LDV) to herald its presence. But those who slip behind the building, often for valet parking, can have one of the most romantic, secluded experiences in this urban oasis. Add the friendly, accommodating waitstaff, a well-stocked bar and good food, and you can see why this restaurant is a favorite. Call ahead to find out about their live DJ parties or inventive brunches.

Posh: With its 52 rooms, 10 bathrooms and 20 fireplaces, the three-story pink-granite edifice built for a lumber baron in 1894 has been one of Detroit’s most celebrated restaurants since 1986. In 2006, Bud Liebler, a former automotive public-relations executive, bought the place and began making renovations in and around the building and, especially, in the kitchen and the wine cellar. Now you can visit the Ghost Bar on the top floor of the ostentatious manor, and maybe say hello to the Whitney ghost that’s rumored to prowl the building.

Outdoor Drinking

Divey: Perhaps thanks to the smoking ban, even some of the grittier bars in the city have some outdoor seating, ranging from the fairly simple fenced in space off the alley at Whiskey-in-the Jar in Hamtramck to the outdoor oasis at the Old Miami. The Miami was a Vietnam veterans bar, and is still decorated with Vietnam memorabilia, but out back is an out-of-sight rear garden that you must see to believe.

Quirky: Classier joints often have places to enjoy yourself al fresco, and lots of recent urban spots, such as Corktown’s Mercury Burger Bar, Slows Bar-B-Q and Ottava Via all have ways to enjoy drinks outdoors. But our favorite is the Tashmoo Biergarten, a pop-up spot that takes over the corner of Agnes and Van Dyke, creating a family-style European vibe where drinking in the open air is fun for all. 

Upscale: Detroit’s suburbs boast all sorts of restaurants where you can enjoy a craft beer in the great oudoors, from Ann Arbor’s Dominick’s or Milford’s Palate. But there’s probably no grander outdoor drinking place than Tin Fish, with 5,000 square feet of deck, a full tiki bar, and a dance floor. After a few fruity cocktails you may actually start believing you’re in Mexico and not St. Clair Shores.

Posh: Sure, lots of other spots have pleasant water views, but none can match the fine-dining experience of the Rattlesnake Club. Alas, dinner at the Rattlesnake comes at a steep price. The best way to sample the fare and lower the bill is to go for lunch, when some of the same dishes appear in smaller portions and at a lower price, or to simply have a drink on the outdoor patio in what once was a bustling warehouse district.

Good Food

Divey: Divey spots have really kicked up their grill offerings in the last few years. Midown’s Bronx Bar has its wonderful sandwiches, Kelly’s in Hamtramck has its bacon burger, but it’s hard to beat PJ’s Lager House for its brunches. You can start the day right, with the hair of the dog, and have a rather healthy and often vegetarian meal, with offerings ranging from barbecued tempeh to vegetarian biscuits and gravy.

Quirky: Forget the onion rings of yesteryear: There are a host of places that have opened or revamped over the last 10 years that now offer excellent and creative small plates with their drinks. Try the tacos at Ferndale’s Imperial, the full menu of creative, locally sourced sandwiches at Foran’s Grand Trunk in downtown Detroit. One favorite is the Park Bar, where Bucharest Grill serves falafel and fries out of a space in the rear.

Upscale: Good food and upscale drinks intersect at restaurants more than bars. And Detroit’s Union Street fits the bill pretty well. The full bar has drinkers covered, but the kitchen turns out reliably good food, including excellent calamari and the one-of-a-kind “Dragon’s Eggs”: battered and deep-fried chicken breasts wrapped around Gorgonzola and topped with “rasta sauce.”

Posh: At Michael Symon’s Roast, the wine and beer lists are insane, the interiors are swanky and the food is awe-inspiring. They offer several cuts of beef, all naturally raised and dry-aged for a minimum of 21 days. The same amount of gastronomic attention is paid to the poultry and seafood dishes. Even the optional sides have their own unique signatures. Also a great spot for a date.

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