Our staff suggests what they think's best
Published: November 10, 2010
Hill Seafood and Chop House 123 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe; 313-886-8101: Here the seafood is a strong point: The grilled swordfish is tall and terrific and the calamari appetizer is out of the ordinary. Prices range from the "Pure Michigan" spinach salad ($10) to the sautéed dover sole ($43). The steaks are the usual cuts: filet mignon, New York strip, porterhouse and rib-eye and all are certified Angus beef, char-grilled and prepared to spec, and finished with a burgundy demi-glace. They have section of the menu dedicated to "Something Different," including vegetable lasagna that's "pasta-free."
Honest John's Bar and No Grill 488 Selden St., Detroit; 313-832-5646: What's best about Honest John's: They serve breakfast till noon on weekdays and till 3 on weekends. What's not to like: The menu is short — burgers, chicken sandwich, fries, soup, chili. The burgers are veggie, turkey or beef, at $4-$4.50. The price stays the same whether or not you add cheese, tomato, lettuce or onion. The soups are nice if you're looking for something that's thick enough to stand your spoon in.
Jamaican Jerk Pit 314 S. Thayer St., Ann Arbor; 734-585-5278: This Caribbean featured restaurant carries the traditional tropical foods: jerk chicken and pork, curry goat (which is halal), escovitch tilapia and coconut shrimp, with prices ranging from $9.50 to $12.50 — all in all, prices not bad. Though island food is been known to be spicy, they still cater to the milder palate. Run by trade-winds restaurateur Robert Campbell, formerly of the successful Irie in Canton.
Janet's Lunch 15033 Kercheval St., Grosse Pointe, 313-331-5776: This Grosse Pointe restaurant, founded in 1938, still serves such diner mainstays as hot beef, hot pork, hot turkey, mashed potatoes, soups made from scratch and home-made pies, including banana cream, apple, cherry and blueberry. As one of our staff members says, "Nothing beats a greasy breakfast." If the waterfront air whets your appetite, there's fish after five everyday, all day on Fridays. Great for eating alone, with 27 stools to choose from.
Mario's 4222 Second Ave., Detroit; 313-832-1616: Mario's is the quintessential Italian restaurant. Since it first opened over 60 years ago, they've been serving favorites from veal Tosca and spaghetti Bolognese to shrimp scampi and chicken cacciatore. Prices range from the humble minestrone ($4) to the juicy filet mignon tenderloin ($34).
Mind Body and Spirits 301 S. Main St., Rochester; 248-651-3663: This hip eco-conscious eatery, located in downtown Rochester, seems serious about saving the earth all the while dishing up a satisfying meal. All of their food is organic, and if possible, locally purchased. One of the vegan entrée options, a mushroom risotto served with sautéed greens, is as creamy, hearty and rich as it can be without any animal fats involved. In the evenings, you can head upstairs to their laid-back lounge and sip on couple organic happy hour cocktails.
Motor City Brewing Works 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-832-2700: The state's second oldest microbrewery, Motor City Brewing Works (MCBW) is known so well for its beer that it once was the question to an answer on Jeopardy! While the drawing attraction is the beer, their menu has a nice selection of appetizers, salads and soups, but the brewery's real strength is their 10-inch brick-oven pizza, which is a steal at $8-$9. Among the house-made pies are the simple classic margherita, and the cutesy "Mary did have ..." with ground lamb roasted with garlic, tomatoes, pine nuts, feta and labneh.
Mr. Paul's Chop House 29850 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville; 586-777-7770: Founded in 1968 by Paul and Peter Gogo, Mr. Paul's is now run by three of Paul's children, and delivers some of the best steaks and freshest seafood in metro Detroit. The interior is spacious and casual, but the food is upscale. The Caesar salad is made at your table by the attentive staff. And the chateaubriand, thick-cut tenderloin served for two, comes in a flaming tray with grilled tomatoes and buttered vegetables. Leave room for dessert; the cherries jubilee is a tasty treat.
New York City Pizza 2885 W. Maple Rd., Troy; 248-280-9800: NYC Pizza looks like a regular pizzeria, but the famous wood-fired oven makes it different. Toppings range from the common pepperoni and mushroom to the unusual buffalo chicken and spicy taco. The pies are not baked by a timer; they get individual attention from the chef to meet the diner's specific satisfaction. You like your pizza extra crispy or chewy? All you have to do is ask. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Red Coat Tavern 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, 248-549-0300: While the Redcoat might be given two stars for the "experience," because of its unpleasant red lights and faded red plaid carpet, the variety of food, on the other hand, is most optimal. They offer their famous hearty half-pound hamburger, with sides like chicken tenders and onion rings, alongside their signature salad featuring Port-poached pear and a Stilton-hazelnut terrine. The Redcoat has been around for over 40 years and it's the place where the upscale chefs of Royal Oak and Birmingham go after work to get a burger.
Russell Street Deli 2465 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2900: Located in Eastern Market area, Russell's serves up great food for loyal customers. The busy deli is always filled with happy, and hungry, people. If nothing on the menu catches your eye, don't worry, because you're even able to build your own sandwich the way you want it. The soups are definitely a standout that change daily, which include a wide range of vegan, meatless and homemade that add a twist on the traditional soups your mom used to make. With affordable prices and huge portion sizes, you'll have enough for lunch and dinner.
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