Our staff suggests what they think's best
Published: November 10, 2010
Steve's Back Room 19872 Kelly Rd., Harper Woods; 313-527-5047: Since owner Steven Kalil moved his restaurant to the booming "Nautical Mile" of St. Clair Shores, his restaurant has remained in full swing. The Middle Eastern food is heart of the menu: the sprightly flavors of lemon, garlic, parsley and olive oil, vegetables used in inventive ways, meat as a minor player. Desserts are standouts.
Supino's Pizzeria 2457 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-7879: Although the pizzeria service is friendly in a slacker way, it gets the job done just fine. All the work has gone into the food; Supino's saving grace is brilliant thin-crust pizza with imaginative fresh ingredients. They have five red pizzas and six white, meaning no tomato sauce; almost all are made with traditional ingredients, no pineapple, no taco fixings.
Sukhothai 25226 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park, 248-968-9495: This seedy strip mall-located restaurant offers a nice blend of traditional Thai cuisine. Their Thai soup is a pleasure, and Tom Kha combines at least four of the five Thai flavors — salty, spicy, sweet, sour, hot — with harmony. The Gang Dang curry — another staple of Thai cuisine — is a red curry made with coconut milk, bamboo shoots and green and red peppers. The staff member who recommended this spot says, "the Thai food is a foodgasm."
Thang Long Thai & Vietnamese 27641 John R. Rd., Madison Heights; 248-547-6763: "Simply the best Vietnamese I've ever had," one staff member says. "I love the fresh rolls with Vietnamese sausage and the Hanoi soup that's chock-full of pork, shrimp, squid, crab." Being the staple of Vietnamese diet, it would be a shame to not order soup. Pho is essentially a large bowl of clear beef broth, beef and rice noodles, with scallions and herbs added as the chef and the diner decide. Charred onion and ginger add to the broth's complexity and it's an enormously satisfying meal.
Union Street 4145 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3965: This standby Detroit restaurant (which has been around since the early 1900s) combines an interior of classic aged hardwood with a splash of art deco. The food is packed with home-cooked lovin' and tends to be on the hearty side, including "The Three Story Club," smoked turkey, Bavarian ham, hickory smoked bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. One of their more noteworthy appetizers, "Dragon Eggs" (which can be eaten like a meal) combines chicken breast stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, battered and tossed in "rasta sauce" be forewarned, the menu says the sauce is hot.
Wasabi Sushi 115 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-5219: Fresh sushi selections are the focal point of Wasabi Sushi, which features a nice variety of both roll and nigiri styles. Sweet shrimp or egg nigiri pieces are mild and tasty; flavors of abalone, squid, eel, and other seafood are distinct and fresh. And of course, their California and tempura rolls are crisp and satisfying. For the all vegans out there, they have a plentiful supply of vegetarian options you can begin with their briny, onion agedashi tofu or their mint leaf roll for dessert.
Woodbridge Pub 5169 Trumbull St., Detroit; 313-833-2701: The most popular items on the menu are the burgers. They're a tender half-pound of certified Angus, topped with with white cheddar or goat cheese or caramelized bacon or portobellos. Other sandwiches are equally wonderful, such as a pile of sweet caramelized bacon combined with Brie on a baguette. For appetizers, the Pub serves a fresh and generous cumin-enhanced guacamole for just $6 and an excellent queso fundido, melted cheese laced with spicy chorizo.
Special thanks to editorial intern Michelle Styczynski for compiling these listings.
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