Best of Detroit 2013
Nutritional Value - Reader's Choice
Reader's choice for dining in Metro Detroit
Published: March 20, 2013
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Oakland County
The Fly Trap
22950 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Imperial Taco Bar
22828 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
When it comes to cheap eats in Oakland County, our readers don’t want to stint on style. The Fly Trap, with its upbeat atmosphere, playful dish names, consistent quality and attractive prices, is no stranger to our Best of Detroit pantheon. And it makes sense that it shares the honor with its near neighbor, the Imperial Taco Bar, which, in good weather, throws open its doors to create a sun-splashed dining area with a hint of Baja breeze.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Macomb County
18322 E. Nine Mile Rd., Eastpointe
The chatter about Plaza Mexico is that it’s a friendly little joint with quick service and food that’s good. Particularly popular is their “Combo No. 1,” which includes rice and beans, an enchilada, a burrito and a hard taco. The rest of the menu runs to the usual American-friendly menu items — quesadillas, fajitas, tostadas, etc. — that are both affordable (lunch specials, large portions) and made from fresh ingredients.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Washtenaw County
300 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor’s only 24-hour-a-day diner is an excellent choice. There’s simply nothing on the menu that costs more than $10. You can get the “Hippie Hash” — hash browns grilled with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, broccoli and feta cheese — with eggs and toast for a little more than $6. Adding meat costs extra — less than a dollar extra. Heck, for $15, you could get pork chops with two eggs, hash browns, toast and jelly, then add on a threesome of pancakes! Best of all, the people watching lasts all day long.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50
Best New Barbecue
Red Rock Downtown Barbecue
207 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti
Here’s the story: Some entrepreneurs took a building on Michigan Avenue with endearing historical quirks, put a bar in the middle of it, served low-and-slow barbecue with a handful of sauces, and topped it all off with a kick-ass beer menu. No, we’re not talking about Slows Bar-B-Q! We’re talking about Red Rock, the latest in a string of very successful local barbecue restaurants. Red Rock offers excellent barbecue, great beers, a historic setting and, better still, no snoot-factor: The service staff is generally outgoing, friendly, conversational and interested in the products they’re selling. How’s that for a change?
Best Restaurant View
GM Global Renaissance Center
Floors 71 and 72, Detroit
Coach Insignia is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering a panoramic view. You can view the Detroit and Windsor riverfronts while dining at the second-highest restaurant in the country, located on the upper floors of the Renaissance Center. Even the elevator ride is paned with glass windows, allowing you to view the city from the first to 72nd floor.
Best Italian Cuisine in Wayne County
3401 Riopelle St., Detroit
Detroit’s oldest Italian restaurant serves up classic Italian dishes, including gnocchi, veal Parmesan, polenta and lasagna topped with a thick, rich tomato sauce. There is a full bar with a wide-ranging wine list. For dessert, we recommend a crisp cannoli studded with bits of chocolate and filled with sweetened, whipped ricotta cheese.
Best Italian Cuisine in Macomb County
42705 Grand River Ave., Novi
see andiamoitalia.com for more locations
The Andiamo mini-chain serves traditional Italian fare in an intimate setting that caters to both romantic couples and families. They serve such house-made favorites as spaghetti, lasagna and gnocchi, as well as more creative items, such as vitello con insalata portabella, a free-raised veal rib-eye steak in a portabella mushroom slaw served atop a bed of balsamic-braised Swiss chard.
Best Italian Cuisine in Washtenaw County
Mani Osteria & Bar
341 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor has been undergoing something of a dining renaissance, with a blossoming of real coffee shops and restaurants serving decent cocktails alongside creative preparations of seasonal food. It’s the perfect setting for Mani Osteria & Bar, an Italian restaurant embracing the national trends toward comfortable dining and shareable plates. Although the small dishes can add up quickly, it doesn’t have to be an expensive outing: Mani serves Old World-style thin, 12-inch pizzas from its wood-fired ovens, and, given the numerous choices, everyone can find something of high quality that fits their tastes and budgets.
Best French Cuisine
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