Most Read
  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email


The Detroit food pyramid

How to eat like a real Detroiter.

Photo: Courtesy photos., License: N/A

Courtesy photos.

Apologies to the USDA, but there are all manner of food pyramids. Beyond the simple triangles designed for mere civilians, there are pyramids for vegetarians, vegans, superfooders. Too often they’re imbued with a kind of subliminal scolding, that if only you could find the right fuel mix, you’d shed pounds and be able to do the 50-yard dash without pulling a ligament and throwing up all over the finish line. In these pyramid schemes, foods aren’t delicious or comforting; they’re things to be used, two or three times daily. In short, food pyramids are a drag.

So we endeavored to come up with our Detroit food pyramid. It comes with no health promises (and should probably be stamped with a big, red Surgeon General’s warning), but it will help you compose a daily diet of Detroit, healthful and otherwise.

Coney Dogs: Detroit’s diners, known throughout the region as “Coney Islands,” aren’t that much different from diners far and wide. They serve your usual greasy spoon fare, including burgers, fries and hash browns (no “home fries” here!), but the singularly famous confection they serve is the Coney Island hot dog, or “coney dog.” It’s an all-beef frank in a steamed bun, nestled beneath a mound of beef chili, showered with diced onions and given a topping of yellow mustard. As regional dogs go, the coney dog doesn’t get much national respect. That honor goes to Chicago dogs, Philly Po Boys, New York franks, Southwestern Sonorans and Hawaiian “puka dogs.” With the national media increasingly training its sights on Detroit in recent years, that may be changing. In 2012, Painted Turtle published a book by Katherine Yung and Joe Grimm called Coney Detroit, all about the coney dog and its history as a humble component of our local culinary heritage. You can get them almost anywhere, with large local chains such as National Coney Island dotting the map. But the burning question is downtown, where coney-hounds argue over which historic joint is better, American Coney Island (open since 1917) or Lafayette Coney Island (founded in 1924). Gird your stomach and take the taste test.

Detroit deep-dish pizza: Not as deep and gooey as Chicago-style deep dish, and squared off instead of round, Detroit deep dish is a metro Detroit tradition. Local lore says the creation was born at Buddy’s Pizza in the 1940s, when the former speakeasy was looking for a dish that would bring in more customers. How successful was it? The place is still there, on Conant in an otherwise disinvested area. It became so popular, in fact, that Buddy’s inspired a second generation of Detroit-style pizza joints, each slinging their own versions of the fabled classic. You can now get it at Cloverleaf in Eastpointe, Ypsilanti’s Tower Inn Café and at Loui’s in Hazel Park, where you can dine on it amid hundreds of empty Chianti bottles, amid waitresses who might still call you “hon.”

Better Made Chips: Among its many fabled virtues, Detroit has been known as the potato chip capital of the world — though we’re not sure by what measure, production or consumption. The city still hosts a number of potato chip brands, but they’re all distant runners-up compared to Better Made. Magician, comedian, author and potato chip expert Penn Jillette, writing for Maxim magazine, declared Better Made among the best chips in the country, writing “These are American chips exactly as they should be: not too crunchy, a little bit mushy. You can get a lot in your mouth at once. They also don’t have any ridges or added flavor … just salt and cotton-fat goodness.” They come in regular, barbecue, salt and vinegar, and more, but an even guiltier pleasure awaits: the “Rainbow” chips, cooked to a darker hue and slightly sweeter. Better Made churns out a whole lot of other bagged snacks, including cheese corn, popcorn and cheese doodles, but when you drive by the factory on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, it’s potato chips you smell wafting into your car. Now that’s pure Detroit.

Faygo: Also on Gratiot Avenue is the Faygo Beverage company. Started by the Feigenson brothers, the flavors mimicked the cake frostings they also sold. The soda business took off, and Faygo has become a multimillion-dollar family business, one synonymous with Detroit picnics and the good old days. It’s also become synonymous with something else: the Insane Clown Posse. The local rap duo has turned Faygo into a countercultural sacrament, baptizing crowds in the sticky sweet soda pop — tapping an international market for the 2-liter bottles of Redpop or Rock and Rye so ubiquitous in local stores. Strangely, the Feigensons and ICP are at cross purposes, the hip-hop group evangelizing for the Juggalo lifestyle, and the Faygo folks hoping to appeal to another kind of “family” demographic altogether. “We wish they would do a limited-edition Faygo pop run with us,” Violent J once told Metro Times. “But whoever’s in charge now wants to steer clear of Insane Clown Posse. They consider themselves a family product. I guess they don’t make it to throw at each other.”

Boston Cooler: Named not for Boston itself, but for the historic Boston Edison district in Detroit, this soda float is another hometown innovation. You drop two scoops of vanilla ice cream into a tall glass and top it off with a generous pour of ginger ale, then attack it with a spoon and straw. You could make this treat with any old brand of ginger ale, but it was traditionally made with Vernors Ginger Ale. Created in 1866 at James Vernor’s Detroit pharmacy, it’s regarded as the oldest soft drink brand in the United States. According to lore, when he returned from service in the Civil War, Vernor discovered some syrup he’d accidentally left aging in a barrel was spectacular enough to sell. Sadly, the Vernors of today is a pale imitation of what it once was: a super-effervescent beverage that could induce a sneeze during that first drink from the can. For the ice cream, a classic Detroit brand, such as Stroh’s, will help score points for authenticity.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus