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    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Restaurant Review

Land of cedars

Quality Lebanese fare in downtown east Dearborn

Photo: , License: N/A


13823 Michigan Ave.

Amani's is a halal neighborhood place, across from Dearborn City Hall, that serves all the tried-and-true dishes of Lebanese cuisine that Westerners tend to order — hummous, kebabs, tawook, shawarma — plus some that deserve to be more widely known. In particular, the chef does a great job with makaneck or sojouk.

It's advertised as a $10 appetizer, a big plate of two-inch sausages cooked in an oily and delicious sauce of tomatoes, parsley, garlic — and a few slices of pickle, which add a marvelous piquancy.

I called the Greenland Market (15237 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn; 313-945-5445; 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily) to find out how they make their makaneck and sojouk. The meat department mentioned white vinegar, coriander and mustard mixed with beef and lamb, in a lamb intestine casing, but I suspect there's much more, and that every butcher's recipe is distinct. Different online sources mention pine nuts, cumin and cloves. Sojouk is the hotter version, made at Greenland in a plastic casing.

Amani's gets its sausage elsewhere, but the flavors are superbly complex and satisfying, which is due partly to the cooking method. Add a salad and pita and you have a meal.

There are always plenty of customers at Amani's, of both the east and west Dearborn persuasion, though it's not a fancy place. Pita is the triangles-in-a-baggie variety, not made in-house. Tables are bare, and the decor is a jumble of tiles, leaded glass, carved wooden screens, a picture of burnoose-clad men on camelback, and a few brass trappings. Friendly waitresses are well-informed, and it's a pleasure to hear them repeat your order; I thought the "r" in arayes would go on forever.

Baba ghanoush, to my mind, should be more popular than hummus, not less, but we Americans tend to go blander when possible. Both are standouts at Amani's, the hummus of the plainest — just a strong chickpea flavor, as velvety as it can possibly be. Baba is richer, garlicky and smoky, a delight.

Another great appetizer is fried kibbeh, which is fried twice for good measure. First raw lamb and cracked wheat are processed together to form the kibbeh shell. Then more lamb, onions and pine nuts are fried, to make the filling. Balls of kibbeh mixture are hollowed out and stuffed, formed into torpedoes and deep-fried. They don't look like much, unless you know how succulent the result is; the interior is as moist and tender as can be.

Falafel, made from ground chickpeas and fava beans and deep-fried, are also tasty, though a tad overdone on the night I ordered them. I think falafel work better when they're larger, so the ratio of green and spicy filling to crunchy crust is higher. There's a hint of cloves in Amani's version.

A party of four seeking meat would do well to order the Jumbo Platter, advertised for three. The servings of hummus, fattoush and baba ghanoush are large, and the charcoal-grilled skewers of kebab (beef), tawook (chicken) and kafta (ground beef pressed into shape with onions, tomato and parsley) are cooked with onions, peppers and carrots. The chicken in particular is a fine product of the griller's art, with a bit of mint flavor. The platter also includes a mound of yellow rice (from yellow pepper) and, my favorite, a heap of lamb shawarma. The snow-white garlic sauce is creamy, just sharp enough.

Lebanon has a seafood tradition, being on the Mediterranean, and shrimp and several fish are offered. We had a whole red snapper that was presented vertically rather than lying down on the plate. It looked as if it were swimming happily along, though thoroughly deep-fried. The white flesh was moist and full of flavor, but picking it out from among the many tiny bones was time-consuming. If there were classes to make a food-bolter decelerate and savor his meal, this red snapper could be part of the curriculum.

Breakfast is the time to try some traditional Lebanese dishes: foul (favas cooked with chickpeas, garlic, lemon and olive oil); eggs with makanek or sojouk; labneh, a thick yogurt, with olives; fateh. They're served till 2 p.m. but can be available later if supplies last. Fresh-squeezed juices are orange, apple and carrot, a bargain at $3.50 for 12 ounces.

For dessert, I can't recommend the rice pudding with pistachios and rosewater, which was more Jell-O-like than creamy. The deli case in front contains some alarmingly pink custards. Cr�me caramel, though, was rich and fine, a byproduct of the French occupation of Lebanon between the two world wars, thus proving the law of unintended consequences. (Whatever their imperial sins, the French have left culinary footprints in many places, from Vietnam to Tunisia.)

But you'll be going for the truly Lebanese food. If you're in a rut, get out of it and try some little sausages.

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