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  • 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.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

    Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]

    The post Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Best of Detroit 2013

Nutritional Value - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for dining in Metro Detroit

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


 

Best Upscale Nontraditional Mexican Restaurant

Burrito Mundo

19459 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods

313-884-2028; burritomundo.com

What Burrito Mundo may lack in authenticity it more than makes up for in creativity. Some tacos are classics, including the Gringo (shredded cheese and lettuce, diced tomato and ground beef), the Santa Fe (shredded cheese, chicken and lettuce, with corn salsa and black beans) and the Asado (shredded cheese, roasted poblano and red bell peppers, onion and marinated steak). But the inventive specials can include braised pork tacos, heaped with house-braised pulled pork, smoky roasted corn salsa with black beans, and cilantro on sturdy hand-pounded corn tortillas. Or the chili lime shrimp taco with jicama slaw, habanero guac and cilantro, generously mounded with grilled marinated shrimp, perfectly cooked, almost buttery, drizzled with rich Mexican crema. Perhaps best is the mahi mahi taco, sporting generous little fillets that flake apart in the mouth, topped with just enough garlic aoli to make them pop.

 

Best Budget-Gourmet Italian

Magdaleno Italiano

962 Dix Hwy., Lincoln Park

313-386-0260

A former chef at Bacco’s brings his sensibilities downriver but bows to the local price structure. Chef Ernesto Magdaleno makes his own pastas and sausages and a don’t-miss cannellini bean dip, spices up mussels and calamari, and serves such favorites as carbonara and lasagna as well as a house specialty called gemelli norcina, with truffle oil and tomato cream sauce. There’s nary a meatball to be found, and most pasta dishes are $10 or less, veal at $12-$14 — with side dishes included in the price. The lack of atmosphere and liquor license can be worked around.

 

Best Kinda French Restaurant

Rodin

15 E. Kirby St., Midtown

313-285-9218

Owner Torya Blanchard wanted “a play on French,” and she and chef Kate Williams are having a great time with it. Classic French dishes are interpreted freely — very freely. Bourride, a fish stew with aioli, becomes a drier dish with salmon and roast potatoes. Duck confit cassoulet loses its casserole character but keeps white bean gravy. Coq au vin emerges as chicken wings coated with candied bacon dust. Beignets are doughnut holes. Great things are done with spiced-up pommes frites. It’s all delectable and served small-plates-style, and the all-French wine list is complemented by fun but not-necessarily-French cocktails — and dancing.

 

Best Shandong Food

Empire Dynasty

29505 W. Nine Mile Rd., Farmington Hills

248-888-6866; empiredynastymi.com

Yes, it’s probably the only Shandong food in the area, but that doesn’t make Empire Dynasty less excellent (and the chef cooks Szechuan and Cantonese dishes, too). Shandong province, located on the Pacific and home to one of China’s eight traditional cuisines, is known for its salty seafood, complex vinegars and use of noodles instead of rice. Try Empire Duck instead of Peking Duck, for example; it’s cooked very crisp, with the interior losing none of its fatty lusciousness. Ask for Shandong Soup or one of several steamed fish, brought to your table still simmering, which allows the flavors to become concentrated. This place deserves more traffic from those looking for authentic Chinese of any variety.

 

Best Nonstandard Middle Eastern

Yemen Cafe

8731 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck

313-871-4349

Forget hommous — it’s not traditional in Yemen — and seek dishes far afield from the well-known Lebanese. The 8 a.m. to midnight, seven-day-a-week 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 Goan Food

Indo Fusion

44175 W. 12 Mile Rd., Ste. F-143, Novi

248-946-4804

The tiny seaside Indian state of Goa adapted its Portuguese rulers’ culinary habits, and the result was a culture whose national motto is susegad — no worries. Indo Fusion makes the most of a cuisine based on rice, fish, coconut milk and lots of spices. You’ll forget all about naan after trying light and spongy sannas: steamed dumplings made of ground rice, fresh coconut and buttermilk. In robust pork dishes like dhukramas, sorpotel and chorizo curry (that’s the Portuguese side), meat and spices make equal contributions to flavor. Goan Green Chicken is spiced with chilis, cilantro, ginger, garlic and cinnamon, and Goan shrimp are cooked with peppers and served on a slaw of cabbage and cilantro. And who would expect to find a Goan Christmas dessert, bebinca, in Michigan? This restaurant is one more bit of proof that fusion makes the world go round.

 

Best Sushi Buffet

Fuji Japanese Buffet

32153 John R Rd., Madison Heights

248-616-8868; fujibistro.info

We’ve gone to sushi bars and found that, after gorging ourselves on nigiri and rolls, the bill sometimes amounted to more than $80. No such fears at Fuji, where the fixed-price buffet means you can stuff your face with quality sushi and still not break the bank. Even though Fuji’s talented sushi chefs work overtime to keep the sushi counter loaded, it’s only natural that many diners’ first choices will be salmon, crab or tuna. But all the sushi choices are quite good, if the cuts aren’t as generous as when you buy sushi a la carte. And if you love the oily tang of fresh fish, there’s no reason to shy away from the mackerel nigiri. On both visits, we were able to load a plate with more than a half-dozen pieces of the shiny-skinned, scallion-topped pleasures.

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