beef

Midtown: Selden Standard

One of Detroit’s favorite hot spots, Selden Standard, just celebrated it’s two year anniversary. Located in Midtown, Selden Standard is the ideal place for shareable small plates. With ingredients that are prepared at their seasonal freshness, Chef Andy Hollyday and his crew create mouth watering masterpieces that showcase their love and passion for their work. The style is rustic casual, but don’t let that fool you. These guys are bringing their A game with a menu bursting with local, fresh flavors. Expect to experience the same from a full bar that includes carefully chosen wines from around the world, perfectly paired brews, and craft cocktails that incorporate seasonal fruits with house made juices. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4.5 out of 5 bites (unique ingredients, quality, flavor)

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Sour Cherry Ale: Belgian. Perfect balance of sweet and sour. Loved it!

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Grilled Scallions: Romesco sauce (made with roasted red pepper and almonds). I never thought how much I would like whole grilled onions, but these were delicious. Sweet and subtle. The romesco sauce added a slight smokiness and freshness.

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Beef Tartare: Grilled bread, tonnato sauce (tuna mayo), olives, herbs. Whaaaat? This was the most amazing thing I have ever tried. I have never had tonnato sauce and honestly didn’t know what it was until today, but it was good. It added enough fat to compliment the lean beef without being fishy. The grilled bread added a great texture and when it was gone I found myself shoveling the beef into my mouth with just the fork. Get this! And when you’ve finished it, order another!

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Charred Octopus: Chickpea, chorizo, pepper salad. The octopus was tender and paired well with the subtle nutty chickpeas. I liked that the red pepper salad still had some crunch.

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Duck Bolognese:  Tagliatelle, pear, Parmesan. The sauce included delicate pieces of duck and big chunks of pear served over tender pasta. The pear was tender, but still had texture and sweetness. It was an interesting combo, but worked well. This dish was full of flavor, but wasn’t heavy. The pasta was buttery and cooked perfectly. My only complaint was that there wasn’t more duck. Very delectable!

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The service was great and our server made it a point to go over the menu with us before we ordered. I really liked that although there was a wait on a busy Thursday night, the staff didn’t seem flustered or overwhelmed. There was a very cool and relaxed vibe going on. The menu changes with each season and offers a wide array of eats. I will definitely be back for brunch and the donuts and cider.

Shout out to @motorcityknifeworks for showing me the Beef Tartare. Thanks, Jason!

Selden Standard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Food Tasting @ Olive Garden

Josh and I were lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive food tasting @ Olive Garden in Ann Arbor, MI last week. Olive Garden’s culinary geniuses were looking for feedback on their latest and most significant menu evolution in OG history. Olive Garden’s new menu is designed to appeal to the evolving palettes and preferences of casual dining guests, while providing more customizable options. See how they ranked!

Atmosphere: 4 out of bites

Price: 3.5 out 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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We started off with a drink…

Italian Margarita: Sauza Gold Tequila, triple sec and imported Italian amaretto. Light, refreshing, and dangerous because you cannot taste the alcohol. The sweetness from the amaretto balances the sourness from the margarita. Highly recommended!

Italian Margherita

Out of a 10 course food tasting, Josh and I decided to share our favorites.

Crispy Risotto Bites: A bite-sized blend of Italian cheeses and rice, lightly fried and served with marinara sauce. Perfectly crispy and not greasy. The marinara was flavorful and the perfect sidekick. Great for sharing!

Risotto Bites

Artichoke Fritta: Artichoke hearts lightly battered and fried, topped with Italian cheeses, Served with citrus aioli dipping sauce. Even though the artichoke hearts were fried, this appetizer was very light. The artichoke has a slightly lemony and sour element that brightened up the texture. The citrus aioli sauce was what made this dish: delectable!

Articoke Fritta

Salmon Bruschetta: Grilled filet topped with fresh tomatoes and basil pesto. Served on a seafood risotto with sauteed shrimp. Although we’re not huge seafood fans (Josh even less than I), this salmon was amazing. Cooked and seasoned perfectly and extremely fresh! The creamy and silky risotto was the perfect pairing.

Salmon bruschetta with shrimp risotto

Citrus Chicken Sorrento: (Lighter Italian Fare, under 575 calories). Tender, grilled chicken breasts in a citrus honey glaze, inspired by the city of Sorrento, famous for it’s lemon groves. Served with lightly seasoned broccoli, artichokes and roasted vegetables. The sweet citrus and lemon flavor was light, yet satisfying. The chicken was tender, juicy, and succulent.

Citrus Chicken Sorrento

Braised Beef and Tortelloni: Tender slices of slow-braised beef, portobello mushrooms, and asiago-filled tortelloni tossed in a basil-marsala sauce. OMG! Hands down, the best thing we’ve ever eaten! The beef was so tender and absorbed so much of that slightly sweet basil-marsala sauce. The tortelloni was perfectly cooked, and filled with buttery asiago cheese that just melted in your mouth. Although this dish was slightly heavy, it was comforting, exquisite and so worth it!

Braised Beef Tortelloni

Apple Tuscan Bread Pudding: (Seasonal dessert)-Warm, rustic Italian bread pudding baked with York Imperial applies, then topped with caramel and a rich vanilla cream. Now, I would normally gravitate towards a chocolate dessert or cheesecake for an after dinner delight, but this bread pudding is good! A nice crusty top with a moist, soft center. This is the perfect dessert to warm you up right before you venture out into the Michigan cold. The vanilla cream is the perfect finishing touch and really compliments the bread pudding well.

Tuscan Apple Bread Pudding

Some of the other menu features include Spicy Three Meat Sauce part of Cucina Mia (customize your pasta), Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper, Mediterranean Flatbread, Spicy Calabrian Wings, and Pappardella Pescatore seafood entree.

The OG staff and organizers of the food tasting were really great and took the time to explain each dish and interact with the food tasters. Service was good as always and the staff was very accommodating. A big thank you goes out to the the staff at Olive Garden and Costa Communications Group! We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, if you want good Italian that never disappoints, go to Olive Garden. This new menu is the best we’ve had at OG so stop wasting your time with mediocre. Get to Olive Garden now and experience decadence.

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon

Panchos Mexican Restaurant

Today on the Bite Tonight: Panchos

Located on Dix Rd. in Lincoln Park, MI, Panchos is serving up some pretty killer Mexican food. When it comes to Mexican, I know what I like and it’s hard to find that Downriver. Every restaurant has their own style and spin on their cuisine, but my family has come to enjoy Panchos. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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Taco Dinner:  2 beef and 1 chicken with side of rice and beans. Ma and I love Panchos because they will fry the flour tortillas for us making them crispy. The meat has good flavor, Muenster cheese is my favorite, and the rice and beans are delicious and authentic.

taco dinner

Irony got the best of us because Ma suggested going to Panchos even though they were a few miles further from our house than Taco Especial. Ma wanted to go there because on a Saturday night, she never has to wait and their prices are more reasonable than other local Mexican restaurants. We ended up having to wait about 20 min for a walk-in carry out order. Which isn’t too bad, and for the wait they even threw in an extra taco. Unfortunately, they gave us all beef tacos instead of one chicken taco. I think this was the first time our order was ever compromised and can be forgiven because they were so busy and we scored an extra taco out of it. If you haven’t experienced Panchos, check em out!
Pancho's Mexican on Urbanspoon

Yum Yum Express

Today on the Bite Tonight: Yum Yum Express

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There seems to be an influx of Asian restaurants opening up Downriver. The newest one is located on the corner of Southfield Rd. and Lafayette in Lincoln Park. Specializing in Chinese and Thai cuisines, Yum Yum Express announced it’s grand opening a few weeks ago. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

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Ma and I wanted to dine in, but the restaurant was only opened for carryout due to a broken dishwasher. The restaurant was still very accommodating. Sometimes, Chinese tastes better out of a box anyways!

Sweet & Spicy Thai Wings: Now, based on the menu description, I expected these to be tossed in a sweet and spicy Thai sauce, but it was served on the side. Bummer! The wings still tasted good, moist on the inside, crispy on the outside. Tip: Toss the wings in the sauce so that it caramelizes. This will really up the ante!

sweet chili wings

Chicken Fried Rice: Chicken, Carrots, white onion, peas and egg. Pretty standard. I did have to pay an extra 75 cents to add the egg to the fried rice which I didn’t like.

fried rice box

Beef in Garlic Sauce: Beef sauteed with broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, green pepper, and water chestnut in a slightly spicy garlic, brown sauce. Pretty tasty, with a rich garlicy sauce. I would’ve like some onions, but the veggies were crunchy and fresh.

beef with garlic

beef with rice

Yum Yum Express has better prices then other local Asian restaurants. The food is decent, not the best, but not the worst. Service was really good and we were greeted with smiling faces. The inside of the dining room is really nice, with bright walls, and a modern design. Yum Yum Express offers party trays which sets them apart from the rest. Stop in and check em out!

yum yum express dining room

 

Yum Yum Express on Urbanspoon