bacon

Detroit: Parks & Rec Diner

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I love that Parks & Rec has an old school diner vibe, yet they are amping things up with fun and creative twists on the classics. Think of your standard diner offerings, only taken to the next level. The Coney Waffle features Detroit-style chili, cornbread waffle, shredded cheddar, onions, house mustard. I took a ride back to my childhood with the Saturday Morning Cartoons which consist of cereal milk pancakes and toasted marshmallow syrup served with two eggs. Thirsty? They even fresh squeeze orange juice for Mimosas, serve Bloody Marys with a beer back, and mix bourbon and Vernors (my favorite). See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites (menu, quality)

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I was really sad because I came here for the Biscuits and Gravy, but they were all out of the gravy by the time we got there. I didn’t want to just get biscuits so I went with the Steak & Eggs Benny: House biscuit, shaved Michigan cover crop NY strip, chimichurri hollandaise, pickled red onion. The pickled red onion was slightly sweet, but had a bit. It went well with the tender, thinly sliced steak. The chimichurri hollandaise was unique and unlike anything I have ever had before. It added a nice brightness and freshness.

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Allison decided on the “Build Your Own” hash with crispy, caramelized bacon and white Cheddar cheese. I liked that the hash browns were shredded and extra crispy (just how I like them). There was a cheesy pool of white Cheddar on top of the hash browns and thick pieces of delicious bacon sprinkled on top of the cheesy layer. Killer!

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Parks & Rec is one of the few diners in the area that is doing things with such high standards. Don’t expect to get your typical greasy breakfast items here. Parks & Rec goes that extra step to crank out quality dishes. Just be sure to get there early (they close at 2 PM) so you don’t miss out on the Biscuits and Gravy like I did.

Parks & Rec Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Centaur Bar

After celebrating RL Concetti’s (Detroit Interior Design and Consultation) soft opening of their Midtown spot and stopping by Dangerously Delicious Pies (pictured below) for some grub, the girls and I decided to continue the festivities at Centaur Bar. Centaur Bar is located Downtown Detroit on Park Ave within walking distance from Comerica Park and the Filmore. Centaur is great if you want small plates and a killer drink. See how they ranked.

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Some of the amazing work of RL Concetti, Dangerously Delicious Pies, Midtown, Detroit

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 5 out of 5 (Thanks, Brandon)!

Wow Factor:3 out of 5 bites

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Dirty Martini: Grey Goose. Exactly how a martini should taste. Perfect amount of dirty. These were dangerous and I could’ve had 5. Brandon makes the best martinis!

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Cheese & Fruit: Sampling of imported cheeses , crackers, and seasonal fruit. Nice light snack. The fruit was fresh and the cheese was delicious.

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Bacon Wrapped Dates: stuffed with gorgonzola and served warm. Decadent! Perfect bite of bacon, date, and gorgonzola. The bacon was crispy and went well with the creamy, bite of the gorgonzola. The date added a sweetness that complimented the salty and the balsamic reduction was delicious. Perfect with a martini!

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So proud of @RLConcetti. I can’t wait to see what you ladies have in store for 2017! Thanks for a great night on the town, girls! Let’s do it again soon ❤

Centaur Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linger

There were a lot of great eats in Denver so its hard to narrow it down to one favorite, but Linger took the cake for many reasons. Number one, their menu is crazy good (read on for more). #2. The restaurant was once the historic Olinger Mortuary (super creepy and cool). Numero Tres, the atmosphere and ambience is different than any other restaurant I have been to. Food is emotional for me and the feeling I got from sharing each dish and experiencing the different layers of flavor was incredible.

How the Menu Works: Its divided up into different regions of the world (tasty and educational) and each dish is served family style and designed for sharing. Works for me, since this is how I usually dine.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Stem Cider Branch and Bramble: Dry, Raspberry Cider. Very good!

Likes: Local, fruity, not too sweet, crisp.

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Cowboy Popcorn: BBQ flavored popcorn for the table. Smoky, salty, good!

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Devils on Horseback (Europe & Eurasia): Applewood Smoked Bacon, Medjool Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese & Sambal Gastrique . Our server recommended these and they were spot on! The smoky, sweet, and salty bacon was cooked perfectly. The dates were caramelized and went well with the creamy, tangy goat cheese. As soon as I popped one of these in my mouth, it was over. So delicious.

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Michelle’s Pick

Thai Fried Rice (Asia): Poached Egg, Corn, Tomatoes, Charred Pole Beans,  Fried Shallots, Thai Basil, Five Spice Cashews, Coconut & Nam Prik Pao Sauce. I love that this fried rice had corn-not too common. Lots of flavors and spice from the red/green chiles. The yolk from the eggs created a luxurious, rich sauce. The char from the beans added a smokiness and the basil was a nice touch of brightness. The crispy shallots were delicious with the sweetness from the Coconut & Nam Prik Pao sauce.

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Stacey’s Pick

Colorado Lamb Kabob (Africa & Middle East): Cucumber, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Cilantro,  Chapati Bread (traditional Indian flat bread), Tzatziki, Carrot-Chili Purée & Green Harissa (condiment consisting of jalapeno, parsley, cilantro, chilies, spices). The lamb was tender and juicy. The bread was warm, slightly charred, and acted as the perfect device to soak up the delicious sauces. The tzatziki was creamy and cool and the harissa was fresh and spicy.

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Dave’s Pick

New England Fish Tacos (Americas): Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins, Bibb Lettuce, Dill, Cherry Tomato Relish & Tartar Sauce. Whoever thought of the salt & vinegar potato skins should get a raise. This was a flavor bomb of salty, vinegary, crispy, crunchy, goodness. Of course this paired well with the fresh, flaky fish. The tomato relish and tartar sauce was tangy, yet sweet. Love these!

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My Pick:

Mongolian BBQ Duck Bao Bun (Asia): Scallions & Miso Pickled Cucumbers. Holy Duck! The duck was so tender it was as if it was slow roasted for hours. The sauce was sweet and sticky. The scallions and cucumbers added a nice crunchy brightness. The steamed bun was light and fluffy.

Dave’s Pick

Fried Chicken Bao Bun (Asia):  Togarashi Ranch (spicy Japanese seasoning), Kimchi & Honey Sambal. The fried chicken was juicy on the inside and had a brilliant crunchy exterior. The kimchi was the perfect side kick and went well with the honey sambal (spicy relish).

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My Pick:

Sesame BBQ Tacos (Caribbean): Wagyu Short Rib, Napa Slaw, Radish, Avocado & Lime. The short ribs were super tender, lean, and had a rich and hearty flavor. The slaw and radish lightened up these tacos and added texture. The avocado added color and freshness.

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Service was great and our server did an excellent job of explaining the menu and offering suggestions. Linger has the perfect lighting, low, warm, like eating by candlelight. The décor has an industrial, casual feel, but is still upscale enough for a nice night out. I really liked that the menu was a taste of different areas of the world. It gave us a chance to try different things and it was exciting as each new dish came out one after the other. The menu ingredients explode with flavor and elevate your taste buds to places they haven’t gone before. The menu is very unique and the vision of showcasing different cultures is amazing -where else can you get both Cricket Empanda’s and Egplant Soup on the same menu?  Linger has an additional rooftop dining area, happy hour and brunch menus, and offers 3 course dining every Tuesday.  They use local ingredients and suppliers and also offer gluten free and vegan options. If you haven’t checked out Linger, you need to.

Linger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Johnny Noodle King

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Another best seller from the owners of Green Dot Stables, Johnny Noodle King is one of the few spots to score ramen in Detroit. Even though the menu has a lot of Japanese influence, Johnny Noodle King incorporates tastes from all over the world. Janet and I were lucky enough to score a seat at the counter right in front of all the action. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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We started off with a drink

Hitachino White Ale

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“Shark Fin” Dumpling: House Made Dumpling · Shrimp · Sweet & Spicy Sauce. So good! Really fresh and light despite being fried.

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Gong Bao (sauced): Chicken· Bell Pepper · Carrot · Scallion · Peanuts · Korean Chili Powder · Bean Sprouts · Garlic · Wide Rice Noodles. Spicy as shit! The Korean Chili was a little overpowering, but had good flavor. The peanuts added a nice crunch and saltiness to counteract the heat.

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Southwest (brothed): Shredded Pork · Corn · Scallions · Pickled Poblano · Ricotta Salata · Cilantro. The best! If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything South of the border. This was everything I hoped for and then some. The broth was so flavorful and spicy without being too hot. The ricotta was a nice touch to add a creamy coolness and the fresh cilantro and corn were amazing. Who doesn’t like pickled pablanos? We went with the shredded pork versus the pork belly and it was a good choice. So tender and juicy.

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Service was great and they were packed even on a rainy Wednesday. It was the perfect day for ramen. We only waited about 10 min, but it was definitely worth it. This isn’t your ordinary dorm room ramen. Although, they do have it on the menu (comes plain, just noodles and broth for those less adventurous). I can’t wait to go back and try the Bacon Fried Rice  and the pork belly bun. Check it out!

Johnny Noodle King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mother Bunch Brewing

Another beauty in Downtown, Phoenix is Mother Bunch Brewing. Located on N 7th St, Mother Bunch brews about 15 different beers and offers a handful more for your drinking pleasure. Established in 2014, Mother Bunch Brewing offers brunch, lunch, shared plates, burgers, a traffic hour (happy hour that we selected from) menu, plus much more! See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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I tried my first Gose “sour” beer here and fell in love! If you know me at all, you know I love anything sour (pickles, banana peppers, sour candy, etc). Naturally, when I was introduced to a sour beer I had to try it. It definitely lived up to my expectation.

$2 4 oz-ers

Featuring Pink Boots Gose and a variety of light and fruit ales.

Pink Boots Gose: Sour and tart. Refreshing!

Juniper Berry Gose: I didn’t like this as much as the Pink Boots Gose, but it was still nice with a citrus note.

White Chocolate: Interesting, sweet with a hint of chocolate.

Lauren tried the Campfire IPA: She liked it’s smoky flavor, but I am not a fan of IPA’s. It was definitely unlike anything I have ever tried.

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House Smoked Olives: Served with olive oil and crostini. Salty and smoky!

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Bacon Popcorn: Freshly popped in bacon grease, smothered with Chef’s special smoky chipotle secret seasoning and crispy chopped bacon. Delicious! Real meaty bacon pairs so well with light popcorn with a salty seasoning. Seriously addicting.

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The traffic hour menu was great. It had a decent amount of small bites that were hearty enough to hold you over before your next meal. I really liked the exposed brick and industrial feel this brewery had. The art on the walls was also a nice touch.

Mother Bunch Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

La Feria Spanish Tapas

Today on the Bite Tonight: La Feria

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Located on Cass Ave, in Midtown Detroit, La Feria was born in 2012 when three friends decided to bring their joyous experience of the Seville Fair (a week long celebration in Spain) to Detroit. They submitted their idea to the Hatch Detroit contest and won $50,000 to start their business. La Feria Spanish Tapas soon became one of the few restaurants of it’s kind in the area. Popular for serving small plates perfect for sampling and sharing, La Feria, offers authentic dishes. My former co-worker, April and I stopped in for dinner and drinks. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (creative style and seasonal menu)

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Our server recommended the Sangria. We didn’t want to be rude, so we tried it.

Sweet, fresh, fruity, with a bold red wine flavor. This Sangria was dangerous because it was so tasty. April and I could’ve easily finished another pitcher. One of the best Sangria’s I have ever had. I really appreciated the fresh fruit.

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Tostada De Almogrote: Cured Goat & Sheep Cheese Spread. Baguette. The baguette was grilled and toasty, but still had a chew. The cheese was creamy and nutty. Perfect starter!

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Patatas Bravas: Fried Potato. Spicy Tomato Salsa. Aioli. One of my favorites! The potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The tomato salsa had the consistency of a marinara sauce and had a nice flavor with a hint of spice. We should’ve ordered two!

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Tocino Relleno De Datil: Bacon Wrapped Dates. Stuffed with Almond. The best! I want to recreate these at my next gathering, but I afraid I won’t do them justice. The bacon was that perfect balance of chewy and crispy and added a nice saltiness to the sweet date. The texture of the almond was delicious. You must try this!

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Chorizo: Grilled Pork-Spanish Paprika-Wine Sausage. The sausage had a good flavor, but was just a little too charred for our taste. When we asked the server about it, she said it was intended to be charred, but it was dry and not appealing. So we asked for something else.

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Our server brought us the Chicken Skewers instead of the sausage. They were grilled with nice grilled marks and still moist. Not spicy, but flavorful.

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Service was good and we really enjoyed the tapas selections. Our server was really knowledgeable and made recommendations based on what our likes were. It was nice sharing and trying different things. Everything we tried was really delicious and fresh (aside from the sausage). You can really taste the passion and love the chef and owners put into every recipe. La Feria offers plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free items so there’s something for everyone. La Feria is really cute inside with exposed brick,  paintings, and vibrant red walls that displays Spain’s culture. I can’t wait to enjoy Sangria and small bites as soon as it’s patio season!

To our next date, April!

La Feria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gus and Us Grill

Today on the Bite Tonight: Gus and Us Grill

Gus & Us Grill is a Greek restaurant located on the corner of Southfield Freeway and Outer Dr. in Allen Park, MI (right across from the Fairlane Green shopping mall on “the hill”). Gus & Us used to be the Opa restaurant years ago, but has transformed into a great new eatery. Gus & Us offers a full menu including Greek favorites, daily specials, Italian & Barbeque dishes, sandwiches & wraps, salads & soups, burgers and Coney’s, appetizers, broasted chicken and pork chops, and breakfast. Whatever you are in the mood for, Gus & Us has it. Josh and I happened to stop in for breakfast. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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My Pick

Country Omelette: Three eggs with onions, green pepper, sausage and hash browns inside, smothered with sausage gravy. Tip: Order the hash browns extra crispy. Ordering the hash browns well done ensures that you still get a crunch after the sausage gravy saturates the omelette. The Country Omelette is one of my favorites. There’s something about the “surprise” of all the goodies that are stuffed inside. The sausage gravy is rich, salty, and velvety. Delicious!

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Josh’s Pick

George’s Special Skillet: Served with two eggs (over medium), hash browns, green pepper, onions, topped with Cheddar cheese, and bacon. I don’t know who George is, but he has a pretty tasty skillet. I highly recommend any one of the three skillets from Gus & Us. This skillet has everything you could want all in one. When you break the yolk from the eggs, it drips down on top of the crispy hash browns, veggies, and bacon and acts as a sauce. The bacon was crispy, sweet and salty and the cheese covered every little bit of the skillet ingredients. On point!

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Service was really good and our server was really nice and did a good job at recommending the skillet. The menu is reasonably priced for the portion and quality of food you get. The dining room was clean, updated, and full of people. It’s always a good sign when a place has a lot of customers. Gus & Us is doing something right and it’s comforting and refreshing when the servers know the “regulars.” They serve breakfast all day and their menu is pretty impressive for a smaller Greek restaurant. You can really taste the love and passion put into their food with each bite. Skip your usual night out at (insert chain restaurant here) and try Gus & Us.

Gus & Us Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato