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Plus, Little Caesars tests Impossible meat on pizza and more intel

Impossible pizza! pizza!

Detroit-based pizza company Little Caesars is the latest chain to jump on the Impossible Foods bleeding, faux meat bandwagon. The company is testing an Impossible Supreme pizza with meatless Impossible sausage at locations in Florida, New Mexico, and Washington, according to CNN.

A guide to regional Mexican cuisine in Detroit

There’s a whole lot more to Detroit’s Mexican food scene than botana and tacos. Tostada Magazine editor and Eater Detroit contributor Serena Maria Daniels developed a handy guide to regional Mexican dishes in the Detroit area. The list includes options like the cemitas at La Noria Bistro and the Jaliscan torta ahogada at Los Altos. Taqueria y Cenaduria Triangulo Dorado recently opened inside the former El Caribeño space serving Sinaloan vampiros — griddled tortillas topped with carne asada, Chihuahua cheese, and avocado crema. Plenty of options to develop a regional Mexican food crawl.

Just Baked gets a reboot

Former metro Detroit cupcake chain Just Baked collapsed in 2015 only to be bought out by Tubby’s Sub Shops. The sandwich chain began incorporating those Just Baked cupcakes into its existing stores. Now, Tubby’s operators plan to relaunch Just Baked as a more generalized bakery franchise with plans for 50 stores over the next three to four years.

Fast-casual burrito chain brings a drive-thru to Sterling Heights

Chipotle Mexican Grill is leaning into its new direction of embracing the fast-food aesthetic by introducing drive-thrus at news locations. The first “Chipotlane” location will open on Wednesday, May 22 at 35388 Van Dyke Ave. in Sterling Heights.

Late-night menu refresh

Seemingly timed in unison with Movement weekend, downtown Detroit’s destination cocktail spot Standby is freshening up its menu and extending its kitchen hours. Chef Stephen Schmidt’s updated menu features options like tempura battered-perch and chips and vegan pasta with coconut pea broth, roasted eggplant, spinach pasta, and lemon oil. There’s also duck confit gyoza and ice cream sandwiches. The full menu is now available until midnight with snacks served until 2 a.m.

All AM Intel Coverage [ED]

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The coffee roaster is officially open at its new Division Street digs

Anthology Coffee will officially open the doors this weekend at its Eastern Market cafe and roastery. The shop had been hosting pop-ups in at the new location since March as it transitioned from its former home in Corktown. It finally received the blessing from inspectors to open on Friday, May 17.

Founded by Josh Longsdorf at Ponyride in 2012, the cafe owners have been in the process of establishing a new homebase at a sprawling 2,900-square-foot property 1948 Division St. since 2017. The shop now shares a wall with furniture company, Floyd, and is just a stone’s throw away from the Dequindre Cut.

The cafe has an industrial minimalist look with exposed brick walls and ductwork as well as a custom-built coffee bar. During the day, the room receives lots of natural light from three garage doors at the front of the space. Those doors, in turn, open up to a large outdoor deck. On the menu, customers can expect Anthology’s single-origin roasts served as pour-overs and in espresso drinks. The shop also serves a variety of pastries and cakes. One option that’s new to the Eastern Market location is iced coffee tonic — a cold coffee mixed with tonic water and citrus.

Anthology is now open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and plans to eventually expand its hours. Take a peek around the finished space below.

Anthology is located at 1948 Division St.; open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Disclosure: Chris Gerard is a contributor to Eater Detroit and also has a personal and business relationship with staff at Anthology Coffee.

Anthology Coffee Prepares to Relocate to Eastern Market [ED]
Anthology Coffee Plots Move to Bigger Cafe Space in Eastern Market [ED]
All Eater Inside Coverage [ED]
All Openings Coverage [ED]
All Coffee Coverage [ED]

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From gut-busting breakfasts to pizza and cocktails

For more than 100 years, Eastern Market has acted as a hub of Detroit’s food and beverage commerce. Home to numerous meat processors and wholesalers, on Saturdays the massive red brick market sheds fill up with vendors selling farm fresh produce, plants, and prepared foods.

Thousands of people from around the region commune in Eastern Market on weekends to pick up groceries and grab a bite at the ever-changing lineup of food trucks and stands that set up shop around the area. Although the neighborhood has always been home to a few restaurants, over the past several years Eastern Market has attracted a large influx of new bars, restaurants, and even a winery.

This latest update of the guide is particularly drastic due to some recent closures at the market. Mootown Ice Cream and Farmer’s Restaurant are leaving the map. Russell Street Deli remains for now. Get there and enjoy the atmosphere and food, before the restaurant is gone forever. In addition to the closures, a handful of new spots including Warda Patisserie, Anthology Coffee, and Detroit Vineyards have made new homes in the district. From smoked meat sandwiches to crispy pistachio cannoli to craft beer, here’s where to dine and drink in Eastern Market this season.

Did we overlook your favorite market spot? Drop a note at the tipline or in the comments. Locations are organized geographically west to east.

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Starred reviews are here to stay in the paper’s dining section

There’s a new food critic at the Detroit News, though her name might be familiar to folks who follow the paper’s dining section. Features reporter Melody Baetens announced on Wednesday that she’ll be taking over the the role of writing restaurant reviews, following the retirement of critic Molly Abraham last fall.

Baetens, who also co-owns Small’s bar in Hamtramck, has worked for Detroit News for the last 20 years covering the entertainment beat. During that time the Detroit’s restaurant landscape has evolved, she’s seen her position go from one focused on music coverage to one increasingly devoted to the local dining and bar scene. Baetens’ food coverage made her a natural choice to succeed Abraham’s long-standing weekly column. Baetens writes of her approach to criticism:

As your new restaurant critic, I want to feature a variety of cuisines from all over Metro Detroit, from fine dining steakhouses to hole-in-the-wall neighborhood favorites. I want to be useful to you, the reader, reporting not only how things taste, but also about the best way to approach the spot and the story behind it. I want to shine a light on chefs and business owners who deserve attention but who may not have the resources for a publicist or marketing strategist.

Baetens plans to preserve Abraham’s starred review system for “most reviews,” with one star standing for “notable in some way, but otherwise routine,” and four stars being reserved for only the most “extraordinary” restaurants.

Baetens’ new critic position will further expand her overall role at the News. Currently she’s not only responsible for dining calendars and restaurant news, but also contributes regularly to the paper’s arts and entertainment coverage. Baetens confirms in an email to Eater that she’ll continue to cover those diverse restaurant and entertainment topics throughout the week with “something food-related from me each Thursday in the paper.” All that’s left to do now is wait for the first review.

Update: This post has been updated with comments from Baetens.

Melody Baetens Named Detroit News Restaurant Critic [Detroit News]

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It’s called Table and yes, there’s a burger on the menu

Fort Street Galley has introduced its newest food stall tenant. A restaurant called Table serving Nashville hot chicken and burgers replaced short-lived Korean seafood restaurant Pursue on Friday, May 10, the Detroit Free Press reports. Table is operated by the food hall developer Galley Group. The menu was developed chef Phill Milton, who runs another food stall called Home at the Smallman Galley in Pittsburgh.

Milton’s menu features Southern food such as shrimp hushpuppies, chicken and biscuits, and pulled pork. A dish called “Meat and Potatoes,” features short rib ragout and parmesan gnocchi. Prices range between $7 and $16. During brunch, diners can expect options like smoked salmon avocado toast and Nashville hot biscuits and gravy.

Galley Group describes itself as a restaurant incubator. It’s original lineup of restaurants pitched their concepts through a competitive application process and were selected by a panel of local judges and Galley Group representatives. As part of the agreement, restaurants sign on for a minimum of a year at the property. Galley Group covers the cost of the buildout, the insurance, utilities, and marketing for partnering restaurants, while the restaurant owners cover inventory and labor expenses. Each stall pays 30 percent of its monthly revenue in place of rent. It’s designed to be a lower risk testing ground for restaurants than opening a brick-and-mortar establishment.

Table’s arrival came just over a week after Pursue officially closed down operations due to low sales. Pursue’s chef and owner Mike Han told Eater that he was placed in a 30-day “remediation period” in April. During that probationary period, Galley Group asked Han to adjust the sustainable seafood menu at Pursue and make more dishes “approachable” to drive sales. Han chose not to make the changes, because he felt the suggestions didn’t fit his vision for the business.

It was the second time in Galley Group’s four-year-history that it’s canceled a food stall contract early. Benjamin Mantica, one of the co-founders of Galley Group, said that all of the restaurants initially faced challenges at Fort Street Galley, but had slowly gained momentum since the opening in December with the exception of Pursue. “I think it’s important with these big concepts to have a pretty solid level of approachability and I don’t know if we necessarily achieved that right off the bat,” Mantica said.

Table joins Filipino spot Isla, Israeli sandwich destination Allenby, “healthy” barbecue joint Lucky’s Noble BBQ, and cocktail bar Magpie at the food hall.

New Fort Street Galley Restaurant Has Trendy Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich on Menu [Freep]
Fort Street Galley’s Korean Seafood Restaurant Is Closing After Less Than a Year [ED]
All Fort Street Galley Coverage [ED]
All Openings Coverage [ED]

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The owners of the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange are opening a Detroit outpost of their supply-and-demand bar

Detroit is about to get its own stock market-inspired beer bar. The founders of the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange have leased space inside the Stevens Building at 1258 Washington Blvd., Crain’s reports.

The original Kalamazoo Beer Exchange is modeled after the stock market with a supply-and-demand format. TVs throughout the building list the prices of the extensive draft beer list. If customers begin to purchase one listed beer more than the others the price on that beer rises and then falls when demand for the beer decreases. Occasionally the market “crashes” and the prices also tank for a limited time.

The owners declined to provide specifics on the opening timeline or the design for the new Detroit Beer Exchange outpost. MLCC liquor licensing records suggest that the location will feature two bars. It also holds a license for to-go beer sales. The original Kalamazoo restaurant features 28 taps, cocktails, and items like BLT sandwiches and chicken pot pie.

When Detroit Beer Exchange eventually opens, it will join other similar concepts in the area. The Dow opened in Birmingham in 2017. At the time, the format and name were so comparable that the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange filed a lawsuit against the Dow to get the owners to drop “beer exchange” from the name.

Stay tuned for more updates on Detroit Beer Exchange as the project moves forward.

Detroit Beer Exchange in the Works Downtown [Crain’s]
All Coming Attractions [ED]
All Beer Coverage [ED]

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Plus, the Morrie plots a summer opening in Birmingham

Olga’s returns to Detroit

Four years after departing from the Compuware Building, beloved metro Detroit chain Olga’s Kitchen is returning to the city with a new location at the MGM Grand Detroit. The casino outpost is expected to open in June inside the Breeze Dining Court. Customers can expect to find options like season curly fries, spinach and cheese pie, fried chicken Olga, and Olga’s Snackers on the menu.

Historic jazz club gets a new lease on life

The Blue Bird Inn club, which hosted some of American jazz’s most legendary performers, has been rescued from demolition by the Detroit Sound Conservancy, according the Metro Times. With help from a Kresge grant, the organization is preparing to cleanup and secure the site during MotorCity Makeover on Saturday, May 18.

Roadhouse restaurant plans summer debut

The Morrie is on track to open its second 8,000-square-foot outpost in Birmingham this summer at 260 N. Woodward. The restaurant, which was founded in Royal Oak by AFB Hospitality Group, will feature options like build-your-own salads, pizza, and burgers. The restaurant seats 260 people.

Getting to know Eastern Market’s most controversial landlord

The Detroit News published a profile of Sanford Nelson, the developer who some have blamed for many of the recent business closures in Eastern Market, this week. In the piece, Nelson tries to tell his side of the story and vision for the properties his company FIRM Real Estate has been buying up in the popular food district. Nelson believes he has been unfairly targeted for some of the closures including Mootown Ice Cream, which he says was let out of its contract with three years left on the lease. He also alludes to two other restaurants that may be joining Jose’s Tacos in Eastern Market. Rumor has it that one will serve fish and chips and the other is allegedly a hot dog concept.

All AM Intel Coverage [ED]

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The owners are scouting locations for a larger storefront

After a year and a half shacking up with butcher shop Farm Field Table on Woodward Heights Boulevard, Ferndale chocolate and cheese shop Mongers’ Provisions is preparing to relocate to the Rust Belt Market. Founders William Werner and Zach Berg confirmed the change of address in a statement on Facebook on Monday, May 13.

“We’re both expanding and they needed more space,” Werner tells Eater by phone of the decision to move on from Farm Field Table’s storefront. “Both of our businesses outgrew [the space] within the first few months,” he says. “It’s challenging to run a business out of 400-square-feet, let alone two businesses.” Werner described the move as bittersweet, but positive for both companies in the long run.

Mongers, which specializes in cut-to-order cheeses and small batch bean-to-bar chocolates, began scouting new alternative locations several weeks ago and has struck a deal to open a smaller location next to the Rust Belt Market’s bar from June 28 through the end of December. The shop will offer a smaller selection of cheeses at the new location while devoting more space to chocolate bars, oils, vinegars, and other shelf-stable products. It will open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only during the residency. The current Ferndale location will remain open beside Farm Field Table through the end of May.

During their residency at the Rust Belt, Werner and Berg plan to look for a new permanent address in the area. “The goal is to use that time to find somewhere where we can set up a larger concept,” Werner says.

As for Mongers’ Provisions’ larger, flagship storefront in Detroit, Werner says the partners are preparing to expand hours to stay open until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. After Memorial Day, the shop will also be adding hours on Mondays.

Provisions Chocolate and Cheese Oasis Opens in Ferndale [ED]

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The tallest public bar in the city gives a bird’s-eye view of Comerica Park and other iconic buildings

Perched atop the restored Metropolitan Building in downtown, the Monarch Club rooftop bar opened on Saturday, May 11, with sweeping views of the Detroit skyline. Located on the 13th story of the neo-Gothic property that was once home to the city’s jewelers and watchmakers, it’s the tallest rooftop bar available to the public in the area. With three outdoor terraces, it’s an impressive vantage point to look out at the city’s iconic architecture.

Visitors can access the Monarch Club by wandering into the refurbished lobby of the Element Hotel and hopping on an elevator. The doors open onto the main landing of the 150-seat bar, which is filled in by plush, red banquette seating and a white marble-topped bar. A pair of double doors demarcate additional lounges for regular bar service or private events with access to two of the building’s three patio spaces. The rooms were once concrete boxes used primarily by technicians servicing machinery at the top of the building. No they feature finished blue walls, leather armchairs, and views of the city through arched windows.

The third patio area, which will remain open to the public regardless of private events, overlooks the north side of the building towards Woodward Avenue and Comerica Park. Each of the terraces is outfitted with tables and fire pits for relaxing and enjoying the scenery — maybe even some baseball game fireworks — during nice weather.

Chef Jared Bobkin, a Hell’s Kitchen alum who previously ran food services for the Oakland Hills Country Club, is overseeing day-to-day operations at the Monarch Club alongside beverage director Mike Eisenberg of Grey Ghost, Detroit Optimist Society, and Roast. The pair together with Monarch Club’s operator Azul Hospitality and the development team at the Roxbury Group came up with the bar menu. Both Bobkin and Eisenberg agree that the primary focus is on the drinks.

Zia’s Meatballs at the Monarch Club.

Eisenberg says he tried to develop a list of classic drinks like French 75s and gin martinis and break them up with more original drinks like the Sasha Says with El Jimador Reposado, maple syrup, and egg. There’s also a handful of beers and wine — especially the effervescent varieties that Eisenberg says pair well with patio drinking. Drinks range from around $8 up to $22. Bobkin’s snacks are designed to complement the cocktails with options like barbecue brisket sliders and Zia’s meatballs, a traditional Italian meatball topped with a crispy disc of parmesan cheese.

Photographer Michelle Gerard visited the Monarch Club ahead of its public opening when the spring weather cooperated to check out the lounges and most importantly those stunning rooftop patios. Take a tour of the bar in the gallery below.

The Monarch Club is located at 33 John R St. (13th floor); open 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

The Metropolitan Building’s Rooftop Bar Opens This Month With Stunning Views [ED]
All Monarch Club Coverage [ED]
All Eater Inside Coverage [ED]

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Cannoli, paninis, pasta, and more

Long considered the lesser of the two terminals at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in terms of food options, the North Terminal is finally getting some well-deserved updates. Among the latest improvements: a brand new outpost of metro Detroit favorite Cantoro Italian Market Trattoria.

The location, which opened in April inside the North Terminal’s pre-security baggage claim area, features a variety of Italian dishes and grocery items like Cantoro-branded sauces, olive oil, and boxed pasta, according to a release. Travelers can expects to find grab-and-go options and snacks ranging from paninis to farfalle primavera to pasta. Cantoro is also outfitted with a coffee station serving espresso drinks alongside baked goods, and desserts such as cannoli and tiramisu. Count on breakfast croissants, muffins, and burritos before 10:30 a.m.

This is the fourth outpost for Cantoro Market, which opened the restaurant in partnership with the airport food service operator HMSHost. It’s also the first in a string of new restaurants including Jolly Pumpkin Taphouse and Anita’s Kitchen Lebanese Cafe coming to the North Terminal between now and spring 2020.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Add Chick-fil-A, Jolly Pumpkin Taphouse [ED]
Where to Eat at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) [ED]
All Openings Coverage [ED]

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