Places to get your late-night calorie fix
Published: June 8, 2011
Joseph's Coney Island 12500 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-824-4900: Here, night owls and arterially clogged foodies rub elbows with workers from the nearby Chrysler plant. Joseph's offerings include a marinated chicken pita and the "special omelet" — three eggs folded around three kinds of pig meat and two cheeses. After tax, many menu items land on quarter and dime price points — a real help for the drink-addled brain. The 24-hour joint keeps their drive-through open around the clock for those on the run, except on Sundays, when the place takes a day off.
Krispy Kreme 15050 Southfield Rd., Allen Park, 313-388-8533; 208 W. 14 Mile Rd., Troy, 248-583-1902; krispykreme.com: Pretend it's 4 in the morning, the Kwik-E-Mart closest to your house has closed, and you're going to die if you don't get some Krispy Kreme donuts or perhaps a whipped-cream-topped frozen fruit drink or some strong coffee in the next 20 minutes. Well, never fear, if you can make it to the Krispy Kreme drive through, you just may live. Indoor service ends at 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends), but the next best thing is pulling up to the donut stop in your car, getting your sweet treats and coffee, and parking at the edge of the lot to see how many kreme-filleds you can stuff into your mouth in less than 60 seconds. All in the comfort and safety of your own vehicle, where you can be barefoot and wearing pajama bottoms and nobody will care.
Lafayette Coney Island 118 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-964-8198: Many late-night music lovers head here for tube steaks after leaving concert venues, as it's open until 4:30 a.m. And the waitstaff, presumably to better serve their temporarily deaf clientele, bellow food orders to the kitchen at maximum volume. Lafayette serves up only all-meat franks — not the filler-laden "hot dogs" on the menu at lesser eateries. FYI: The restrooms are, appropriately, located within the bowels of the establishment. We've heard tales that this place is open in the daytime too — starting at 8 a.m.
Leo's Coney Island dozens of locations throughout metro Detroit; leosconeyisland.com; $: Chances are that if you're walking out of a bar in metro Detroit, there's a Leo's location within striking distance. Though they're all classics, the location on Main Street in downtown Royal Oak is the archetypal suburban coney island: bright, clean and filled with a fleet of cushy booths stocked with condiments. Expect the usual tasty lineup of coney dog classics, Greek specialties, melt sandwiches and breakfast plates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cooks crank out orders with military precision while the dinnerware clatters amid amicable chatter. A colleague tells us it's good for a greasy breakfast, "and you can still keep your flirting on because everyone's still drunk."
National Coney Island 21 southeast Michigan locations, including Detroit, Roseville, Royal Oak and Clinton Twp.; nationalconeyisland.com: Chances are you're never more than a few miles from a National Coney Island or three. Like Twinkies and Joan Rivers, they never seem to go away. But like your car keys or postage stamps, you can never remember where you saw one when you're looking for it — so check the website or plug those suckers into your GPS for easy finding, no matter what time it is and no matter how bleary-eyed you may be. Hand-dipped milkshakes and Sanders hot fudge sundaes (plus the standard coney island fare) will never be too far beyond your grasp. The Roseville (two of 'em — on Gratiot and Grosebeck) and Royal Oak locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; but the ones in Clinton Township and Warren are 24-hour gigs on Fridays and Saturdays. Which might not be very helpful if you're in dire need of pancakes and chili dogs at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday, but it's better than trying to find something edible under the heat lamps at 7-11. And, hey, some of 'em even have booze!
Plaka 535 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-962-4687: As the casino encroaches and Greektown gets increasingly less Greek, Plaka is one of the holdouts on the not-casino side of the street that keeps churning out good Greek diner fare at the cheapest prices on Monroe Street. They're also the last place that's open all day and all night so you can grab some fluffy golden French toast or a gyro combo whenever the fancy strikes. The people are beyond friendly even when it's late. Dinners are always cheap and tasty, the omelets are giant and fluffy and come with enough grilled potatoes to stuff yourself silly, and there's always a table, no matter what hour it is.
Ram's Horn 2940 Rochester Rd., Troy; 248-528-1620; and many other locations; ramshornrestaurants.com: Ram's Horn is yet another in the long line of "family" restaurants with vinyl booths and low-key lighting, catering to people who love to use senior citizen discounts whenever possible. But those folks all clear out by nine or so, making the vinyl fair game for bar-hoppers and other late-night denizens who want clam chowder or a chicken sandwich when nobody else is open. Sometimes, it's nice to go to a place like you went to with your grandparents as a kid, to mix nostalgia and night action. See if the night crew will give you crayons — even if you don't have kids in tow — for extra fun.
Telly's Restaurant 32040 Van Dyke Ave., Warren; 586-939-5630: Telly's is your standard eastern Michigan Greek-American place (OK, so maybe a lot of the 24-hour places around here are coney island-type things, but hey, this is Michigan) with gyros and breakfasts and typical mom-and-pop restaurant fare. It's small and unassuming but you can get a "Steak 'N' Eggs" breakfast or pie or any number of Greek dishes on the cheap, no matter how late it gets.
> Email Metro Times food staff