Best of Detroit 2011
Photo: Marvin Shaouni
Nutritional Value - Readers' Choice
Our readers pick the best places to scarf, nosh, tipple and dine
Published: April 27, 2011
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Macomb County
5709 E. 12 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-619-7551; oasiscuisine.com
When it comes to an inexpensive place to fill up on Middle Eastern food, Oasis got the nod for Macomb. It may have to do with the relatively meat-intensive menu, filled with chicken, beef and lamb preparations, though rice-and-lentils mujadara will appeal to veg-heads. A variety of booths can accommodate small groups of diners, or tables can seat groups as large as 20.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Washtenaw County
12 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti; 734-485-9625; beezyscafe.com
Simple, honest food: That's what the sign promises at Beezy's in Ypsilanti. Oddly, a simple but delicious sandwich seems almost novel in a world populated with both an abundance of chain restaurants and expensive foodie hotspots. But when someone at Beezy's calls you to the counter to pick up your plate, that's exactly what you'll get — simple and honest. What's more, the staff couldn't be friendlier, a quality that serves as the center of the café's singular charm.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50 in Oakland County
419 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-544-6250; bastone.net
The concept is Belgian brewpub and the atmosphere is totally unpretentious, quirky and interesting. Belgian food is heavily influenced by Germany and France, and some of Bastone's menu items are quintessentially Belgian, such as moule (mussels), and twice-fried Belgian frites served with mayonnaise. Desserts are spectacular.
Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50 in Washtenaw County
422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 888-636-8162; zingermans.com
Perhaps it's the name-recognition of the Zingerman's empire, which includes the deli, the bakehouse and more. But what likely put it over the edge for Washtenaw readers is Zingerman's Roadhouse. The roadhouse presents "unusually good American food" in a setting that harks back to the day when weary travelers could recharge with a comforting meal by the roadside; and it's a sprawling place with a semi-open kitchen, full bar, two dining rooms and —in good weather — outdoor seating.
Best Italian Cuisine in Wayne County
3401 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-831-5940; romacafe.com
Roma is a treasured Eastern Market hideaway. The lighting is low, conveying an atmosphere of intimacy. And the food is overflowing with rich and rare flavor, particularly the seafood, such as the sizable frog legs and the shrimp and scallops sautée (its overall flavor is augmented by a white wine sauce). All of the pastas come complete with especially savory and attention-demanding sauces. And it's all served by formally attired staff.
Best Italian Cuisine in Washtenaw County
326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-6387; gratzirestaurant.com
At the almost-25-year-old Gratzi, they've established a crowd-pleasing bastion of (mostly) northern Italian cuisine. Housed inside the old Orpheum Theatre, a Depression-era movie palace, it's a fittingly rich setting for the rich Italian delights on offer here, as well as the lengthy wine list and ethereal desserts.
Best French Cuisine
Le Petit Zinc
1055 Trumbull Ave., Detroit, 313-963-2805; lepetitzincdetroit.com
Named after the French slang term for a local bar, Le Petit Zinc distinguishes itself by being Detroit's local Parisian cafe. And Paris-like it is: To cite just a few examples, there is an outdoor eating section in the back that is great for days made sublime by a glowing sun and gentle breeze, and the water is served in large untagged glass bottles. The coffee is aesthetically marvelous and the food is fresh and delicious (especially the crêpe specials).
Best Greek Cuisine
558 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-6800; pegasustavernas.com
Serving authentic Greek recipes prepared with the freshest ingredients, the dishes have a unique flavor and romance. Classic Greek country cooking blends such simple ingredients as vegetables, grains and cheeses with fragrant herbs and spices to create wholesome, delectable meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. And Pegasus is particularly adept at cooking their meats. One can tell that the lamb has been slow-cooked for hours on end by the ease with which it falls from the bone; your knife may go completely unused.
Best Eastern European Cuisine
Polish Village Cafe
2990 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-874-5726; polishvillagecafe.com
Digging into a big plate at Hamtramck's Polish Village Café might have you suppose you're eating food prepared by somebody's Polish mother. That's because, essentially, you are. During peak dining hours there's a steady flow of waiting customers first lining up at the bar and sometimes winding up the stairs and out the door. Most entrées run around a trifling $8. Don't forget to order Poland's famous beer Zywiec along with your meal to truly enhance your Polish experience. Cash only.
Best Mexican Cuisine in Wayne County
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