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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Best of Detroit 2012

Nutritional Value - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for dining in Metro Detroit

Best Small Plates

Tria

300 Town Center Drive, inside the Henry hotel, Dearborn; 313-253-4475; triadearbornrestaurant.com

Tria encourages experimentation with its combo of small sizes and smallish prices. Dinner guests can try nibbling plates of five spreads and snacks for $12 (such as olive tapenade, marinated olives and nuts). Or get one Black Angus slider with red onion jam and one braised lamb taco, $4 apiece. Share flatbreads spread with smoked salmon or with mushrooms, chèvre, arugula and caramelized onions. Some dishes are available in half-sizes (such as the impossibly rich lamb ragout), and the "small is possible" ethos extends to wines and desserts. You can order 2-ounce, 5-ounce or 8-ounce servings of wine, allowing you to create your own flights, and get a miniature dessert for $3 or five for $7.

Best American Restaurant

The Root

340 Town Center Blvd., White Lake; 248-698-2400; therootrestaurant.com

The Root is not only aggressively American in its menu choices (pork shoulder, New York strip, meatloaf, pumpkin pot pie, cheese grits, corn on the cob) but insistently Michigan: pork pasties are on the menu. In truth, it's not sticking to nearby suppliers, but to chef James Rigato's outsized cooking skills, which have produced such excellent takes on old favorites. He tosses linguine with house-made bacon and shrimp from Okemos (!), roasts quince to mix with arugula and pumpkin seeds, braises pork in cider and then adds cheddar grits. The result is taste sensations that draw diners from all over metro Detroit.

Best Locavore Cuisine

Zingerman's Roadhouse

2501 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3663 (FOOD); zingermansroadhouse.com

You can't get much more local than sourcing from eight miles away on your own farm. Chef Alex Young's Cornman Farms grows 27 vegetables for the Roadhouse in scores of varieties, including many heirlooms, and raises old breeds of hogs and cattle for diners' barbecue glee. He says varieties are chosen for their suitability to the Michigan climate, bragging that, in the summer, vegetables are served just hours after they're picked. The rest of the harvest is put up for the winter — no need to import from afar. And what goes around comes around: Your leftovers go back to the farm as compost.

Best Raw Food

Cacao Tree

204 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-336-9043; www.cacaotreecafe.com

We are continually being warned about foods that are harmful to our well-being, those containing too much fat, too much lactose, too many hormones and preservatives. When shelf stability is more important than healthfulness, making the right choices becomes difficult. Amber Puopore, owner of the Cacao Tree and longtime advocate of a vegetarian diet, has taken her diet to another level, serving raw foods that retain many of the nutrients lost in the cooking process. She uses mostly organic ingredients, sourcing as much she can locally. Almost everything is vegan. What's more, the purity of the flavors is compelling, even to a meat-eater.

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant with Alcohol

Le Chef

32621 Northwestern Hwy., Farmington Hills; 248-932-1300; lechefmi.com

Despite the abundance of fine Middle Eastern restaurants in metro Detroit, it can be difficult to find one that serves cocktails and wine, a must for some folks. Tucked away in an obscure strip mall, Le Chef has it all. Owned by a Lebanese family — both husband and wife are chefs — you'll find generous portions of their take on the usual dishes, reflecting their pride and the expertise, all served up in a contemporary room with white tablecloths. Save room for the crème caramel and French pastries.

Best Nonstandard 

Middle Eastern

Yemen Café

8731 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-4349

Forget hummus — it's not traditional in Yemen — and seek dishes far afield from the well-known Lebanese. The 8 a.m.-to-midnight, seven-days café is no-frills — no raw juices, no dessert — and oriented toward men from the neighborhood. A giant piece of flatbread (malooga) is the utensil of choice. Basically, lamb is spiced and cooked in a variety of ways, in large servings: on the backbone with vegetables, in a dark broth, ground with egg and vegetables, in stews called soups, and served in heavy cast-iron pots. Prices are nonstandard too: $5-$10 for entrées.

Best Old-School Italian

Roma Café 

3401 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-831-5940; romacafe.com

For the last couple decades, the majority of new Italian restaurants have anxiously tried to distinguish themselves from their "inauthentic" older cousins, aka red-sauce joints. You know, the places where most of the dishes have a thick blanket of mozzarella, and where you'll unfailingly find familiar standbys such as chicken Marsala and eggplant Parmesan. We say there's nothing wrong with these old-school restaurants — in fact, they should be celebrated for the hearty hybrid cuisine they offer. Detroit's oldest and best is Roma Café in the Eastern Market. Not only does the place have history and ambience up the ying-yang, their food is rock-solid. In addition to covering the usual classics — pastas, steaks, several preparations of chicken and veal — Roma also offers such items as frog legs, sautéed sweetbreads and escargot for more adventurous diners.

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