A selection of diners, restaurants and bars just down the river
Published: December 7, 2011
Prush’s Bar and Grill 1212 Eureka St., Wyandotte; 734-282-6535; $: Another time warp! With tin ceilings, a modest dining area, hanging lamps, and neon in the front windows, you could picture Jimmy Stewart coming in and brushing the snow off his overcoat. They have a handsome copper bar and free pool. Their kitchen’s menu includes appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads and pan-fried lake perch.
Real BarBQ 3695 Dix Hwy., Lincoln Park; 313-769-5010; realbarbq.com; $$: A friend of ours describes Real’s ’cue as good fast-food-style barbecue. He’s a discerning gent, and we believe that’s actually a high compliment. They have it all, including a competitive-eating offer: Anybody who dares order “Paul Bunyan’s Daddy” — three pieces of extra large Texas toast stuffed with barbecued beef, pulled pork, pulled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, baked beans, house sausage, fries and onions, with a layer of mac’n’ cheese — gets a free shirt and a picture on the wall of fame.
The Rockery 1175 Eureka Rd., Wyandotte; 734-281-4629; rockerywyandotte.com; $$: Specializing in Michigan brews, beer nuts can expect suds from everyplace from Arbor Brewing to Short’s, as well as cider from J.K.’s Scrumpy and meads from B. Nektar Meadery. The four taps all pour Michigan beer, and there are more than 90 Michigan bottles to choose from. Burgers, chicken strips and other finger foods will help bring you back from the brink. Expect live music Friday nights, karaoke Saturday nights, and regular events posted on the Rockery’s website. For instance, at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Dec. 7, Frog Island Brewery will be in for a beer tasting; $25 includes beer samples, appetizers and swag. Or come at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, for the inaugural Downriver Women’s Craft Beer Lovers Society Meeting, featuring the world’s first certified female cicerone, Annette May, from Merchant’s Fine Wine in Dearborn.
Round House BBQ 2760 W. Jefferson Ave., Trenton; 734-671-6100; $$: Architecturally unique, you enter a breezeway connecting a stainless steel diner to a round-shaped former ice-cream parlor. The stainless steel number is part-kitchen, part high-key dining area, whereas the round house has a moodier setup with a small bar. Either way, it’s a family restaurant and a crowd-pleaser at that, thanks to the quality barbecue. Our pulled pork could have been a little crispier (we love the burnt ends), but the brisket was perfect — a hard feat to accomplish — the ribs were excellent, and the sides were pretty darn good too.
Sabina’s Restaurant 3840 Oakwood Blvd, Melvindale; 313-388-5171; $: Pierogi, paczki, kielbasa and golambki reign supreme at this homegrown Polish eatery. Try the farmer’s cheese pierogi, made in-house.
Shish Garden 22673 Allen Rd., Woodhaven; 734-362-6600; shishgarden.net; $$: Middle Eastern cuisine, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean fare of Lebanon.
Shong Hey Restaurant 3480 West Rd., Trenton; 734-676-0686; $: Dependable, if typical, Chinese-American fare.
Smokie’s Restaurant & Tavern 930 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-283-3228; smokiestavern.com; $$: Open since 1998, steaks, seafood, pasta, ribs, pizzas and more in a casual dining environment.
Speed Boat Bar & Grill 749 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-282-5750; $: Famous for their “Swine Burger,” Speed Boat also hosts a particularly satisfying fish fry on Fridays, with walleye and perch done properly instead of greasily.
Sportsman’s Pizzeria 2425 Fort St., Wyandotte; 734-284-6770; sportsmanspizzeria.net; $: Delivery or pickup only. Established in 1989 with customer service in mind, this pizzeria has taken the principle to heart, delivering specialty pizzas and warm service. Pizzas are made with fresh, unique ingredients; try the Mediterranean (Sliced lamb, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, goat cheese and tzatziki sauce) or the Mighty Meat (Steak, chorizo, chicken, and hand cut pepperoni). There’s no seating, so it’s delivery or pickup only, but they often deliver to area bars, in Wyandotte, Lincoln Park, pretty much anywhere south of Southfield and Allen Road, as far south as Southgate.
Star Diner 15170 Southfield Rd., Allen Park; 313-388-5520; thestardiner.com; $: Toledo-area diner chain’s sole Michigan location, seems to specialize in diner fare that’s a cut above.
Thai Place 15230 Eureka Rd., Southgate; 734-225-6409; thaiplace.comcastbiz.net; $$: Simple, cozy joint serves a menu of classic Thai fare.
Three Nicks Tap Room 14594 Eureka Rd., Southgate; 734-282-7722; 3nicksbars.com/taproom.php; $: Ever wonder what a solar-powered bar would be like? Check out the tap room, with its solar reflective roof system and solar panel electrical system. And enjoy the bar’s large plasma televisions and daily drink and food specials with a slightly cleaner conscience.
Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen 1679 Dix Hwy., Lincoln Park; 313-383-9100; tijuanasmexicankitchen.com; 13312 Fort St., Southgate; 734-285-6430 $: Once the famed restaurant in Dearborn, there are now two locations serving Downriver. Expect Tex-Mex-leaning fare (including gorditas, chimichangas, fajitas, botanas), dozens of entrée choices, and a bomb breakfast menu — with huevos con chorizo, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, machacado con huevo and more.
TV’s Deli & Diner 2441 Fort St., Trenton; 734-671-9005; tvsdelidiner.com; $$: Diner drawing inspiration from the Golden Era of TV — the 1950s. Quite a pedigree too: The owners met while working for Rattlesnake Club’s Jimmy Schmidt. Chef Victor’s menu is, therefore, a little more refined than the usual diner fare.
Wheat & Rye 7721 Allen Rd., Allen Park; 313-928-4322; $: The sports bar exemplified with high-top tables, lots of shots and a bazillion televisions.
Zukin’s Rib Shack 967 Dix Hwy., Lincoln Park; 313-388-1170; zukinsribshack.com; $$: Pickup or delivery only. A classic barbecue joint, Zurkin’s serves classic home-cooked fare like fried chicken, butterfly shrimp and steak subs, but the restaurant is famous for its spare ribs, which are coated in a tangy homemade sauce. There’s no sit-down dining, but you can pick up or ask for delivery, available for Lincoln Park, Allen Park and Melvindale.
See any inaccuracies or omissions in this column? Let us know! Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Email Michael Jackman