Located in the historic train station near downtown Birmingham, this looks like an upscale Montana hunting lodge, with Native American decorations and moose, elk and bear trophies and artifacts on the dark wood walls. The menu is heavy with huge hand-cut steaks and chops and a range of appetizers such as calamari, sautéed mushrooms, mountain-high onion ring and potato platters, and salads. Six hearty beers are brewed on the premises, and they fuel a lively singles scene that spills out to an open-air patio that is heated when it's chilly and up to a second-floor smoke-filled cigar and cocktail bar called Got Rocks.
A traditional steakhouse, this dark-paneled, golden-lit emporium is decorated like a power broker's den. Dry-aged meat is displayed in a glass-walled tenderizing locker. The stately dining room has portraits of local civic and political leaders. Veal, pork chops, large lobsters, crab cakes, calamari and shrimp scampi are all skillfully prepared, and the onion rings are legendary. Sample the lobster bisque, the Grille's Delmonico, or Gaint Shrimp Scampi with Roasted Tomatoes over Linguini, and don't forget to leave room for the mouth-watering desserts. In the Wine Room are a wide selection of vintage wines, and you can visit it if you feel like puffing on a cigar after a good meal.
Easily the best food bargain in Detroit is this thoroughly unpretentious diner in the heart of Mexicantown. The best tamales in the state are churned out here. The choice of what you can put inside the steamed corn husk of the tamales includes spiced-just-right pork or chicken, beans or even fruit. The decor has only the bare essentials, but that deficiency is counter-balanced by solicitous service and an extensive menu beyond tamales, including steak and eggs, short ribs, menudos and botanas (generous chips, cheese and vegetables platters).
Evenings at Genitti's Hole-in-the-Wall start with a traditional Italian family-style feast. Seven courses later, guests move to the adjacent theater to get wrapped up in some mystery or comedy, where they'll have a say at deciding how this night at the dinner theater ends. The family-owned feel gives Genitti's a comfortable atmosphere while the interactive plays maintain a heavy dose of whimsy.
For half a century, Sindbad's has been unique as Detroit's only restaurant with its own marina and a great view of the Detroit River. Located across from Belle Isle, the restaurant hasn't changed much in 50 years. The dozen seafood specials are reliable and well presented, and diners can also get Angus steaks and large sandwiches of all types, along with salads. The view and Sindbad's reputation as a party spot attract a large crowd to hear live music in the second-floor room on most nights. Summer is the best time to come here for dining and dancing, though the Sunday brunch is also popular.
27903 Orchard Lake Road 12 Mile, Orchard 12 Plaza Farmington Hills, MI 48334
The Bangkok Sala Cafe brings a taste of Thailand to Metro Detroit's western areas. The specialty of this brightly decorated eatery is Pad Thai, a traditional entree of rice noodles and bean sprouts with green onions, egg, peanuts and lemon. Other favorites include Pad King (made with mushrooms and other vegetables) and the spicy rice and vegetable dish known as Gang Gai. The broccoli fried in peanut sauce, string beans in garlic sauce and tofu preparation is sure to please the vegetarian palate.
Christine's cuisine ranges from Eastern European favorites like homemade pierogis, to French dishes, to typically American items like ribs and hamburgers. The soups are made fresh daily (try the potato soup with chopped pickle) and the salads are prepared with care. There is also a variety of sandwiches on the menu. The decor is eclectic and sometimes artful, and the service is friendly.
Halfway between Main Street and the University of Michigan campus, Afternoon Delight is a popular meeting spot. Despite its name, this eatery closes at 3pm and is a popular place for breakfast, with hearty omelets and home-made muffins. Cafeteria-style lunches and brunches feature hearty home-made soups and sandwiches. The layout isn't elegant or always comfortable, but the food is reasonably priced, satisfying, and eclectic, with plenty of choices for vegetarians. See the website for menus, specials, catering info and more.
The food at Hungarian Rhapsody is authentic, zesty and very filling. For starters, visitors to this suburban Detroit restaurant can try home made chicken noodle soup and sausage-based Hungarian hors d'oeuvres, then proceed to a variety of Eastern European entrees including chicken paprikas, stuffed cabbage, Tournado Rossini and Budapest styled steaks. Accompanying noodle dishes are enlivened with cabbage, bacon or cheese, and desserts are Old World specialties like strudel and crepes.
On Ann Arbor's busy Main Street, Palio is always crowded on weekends, with long waits the norm. The chefs cook in a sort of controlled frenzy at the front of the restaurant, so you can watch while you wait. The food is mainstream Italian with Tuscan specialties including fish, and the atmosphere lively. Nearly all the entrees are carefully prepared and tasty if not particularly adventuresome. Thick soups and generous portions of bread make the sometimes-long wait for dinner very palatable. An extensive wine list and a second-floor patio, open in the summer, help make this a big drawing card.
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