Corktown

Corktown Detroit: Ima

The Unagi-don Rice Bowl from Ima Noodles in Detroit, MI has everything you love about an eel sushi roll and more! I added a fried egg to mine and the yolk was a silky, rich surprise that acted as a sauce to the rice. Read the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Ima, located on Michigan Ave, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Motor City Wine, opened its doors in late December of last year. Chef Michael Ransom’s Michigan roots and his passion for Japanese comfort food and is what started the udon (thick wheat flour noodle served hot in soup) themed restaurant. The space is small, but is full of big flavors. With a seasonal menu offering a variety of noodle soups including Spicy Pork Udon and rice bowls like the Golden Curry, Ima brings together Japanese cuisine with home cooked feel good food.

Steamed edamame: Chilis, lemon, olive oil, sea salt. I really liked the bright, spicy, seasonings. This normally yummy snack was amped up with flavor. I couldn’t get enough.

This steamed edamame from Ima Noodles in Corktown Detroit, MI was packed full of spicy deliciousness. The seasoning was a combo of sea salt and various chilies and brought heat without burning my mouth off. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Unagi-don Rice Bowl: BBQ glazed eel, pickled cucumber, slaw, pickled ginger, radish sprout. I am a huge eel sushi fan so when I saw this on the menu, I had to order it. I was worried that the eel would be fatty and when it came out, my suspicions were confirmed. This required me to put in a little work, but once I did, it was slightly sweet from the eel sauce and satisfactory. The pickled veggies were slightly acidic, but cut through the rich eel. I added a fried egg and boy, am I glad I did. The yolk created a sauce that added a bright color to the rice bowl.

The Unagi-don Rice Bowl from Ima Noodles in Detroit, MI has everything you love about an eel sushi roll and more! I added a fried egg to mine and the yolk was a silky, rich surprise that acted as a sauce to the rice. Read the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Golden Curry Rice Bowl: Silky curry sauce, root veggies, ginger pickle, soft boiled egg. When I spotted the bok choy, I was thrilled because it’s one of my favorite vegetables, but I don’t get to eat it too often. The curry flavor was bold, without being overwhelmingly spicy. The scallions added a mild onion flavor and a nice bright crunch.

The Golden Curry Rice Bowl at Ima Noodles in Detroit, MI has a classic curry sauce without being super spicy. It was served with bok choy which is one of my favorite vegetables. Pair it with a soft boiled egg for a little protein. Read the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Spicy Pork Udon: Toasted chili broth, smoked pork loin, soft boiled egg, garlic oil. This bowl brings the heat! The pork was tender, juicy, and sliced thin. The broth was seriously spicy with a hint of smoky. It was almost hard to eat because of how hot it was, but the broth had good flavor. This would’ve been better if they toned it down just a tad.

The Spicy Pork Udon at Ima Noodles in Detroit, MI has a smoky, chili broth with garlic oil. The smoked pork was tender and juicy and the soft boiled egg helped compliment the spicy broth. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Curry Udon: Silky curry broth, soft egg, ginger pickle. Be prepared, because you will definitely slurp with this bowl! I recommend cutting the noodles into smaller pieces to make eating this less messy. The curry broth was savory, subtle. and not super spicy which I liked. The ginger pickle added texture and the sour flavor complimented the curry.

The Curry Udon from Ima Noodles in Detroit, MI is a huge bowl of thick noodles, fresh bok choy, a rich, curry broth, and a soft boiled egg. This is a hearty dish perfect on a rainy day or when you are just in the mood for some comfort food. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Service was really good and I was impressed with how accommodating and friendly the staff was. The tables are set up as shared seating which I always like because I get a good view at what my neighbors are enjoying. If you know me, I hate menu’s because I can never decide. I want it all! So being able to see the options in the flesh helps me make a dinner decision. I was bummed out that Ima doesn’t serve alcoholic beverages, but hopefully they will have their liquor license soon. I will definitely be back to try the Ima tacos and Mexican Coke. Ima offers gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options. Join Ima for dinner, they are open Tuesday-Saturday, 5pm-10pm.

Ima

The space at Ima Noodles is small, but intimate. The dining room offers shared seating which allows each guest to get a front row view of every dish that comes out of the kitchen. Read the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Thanks for an awesome time, ladies! Can’t wait for our next adventure.

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

Corktown Detroit:Katoi

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites (colorful lights illuminate exposed brick)

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites (Scored one of the last tables @ 6 PM, Thursday night)

Wow Factor: 4.5 out of 5 bites (seasonal menu)

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Located on Michigan Ave in Detroit’s historic Corktown, Katoi opened its doors in March 2016 and has been the hottest new spot ever since. Currently it is being considered as Best New Restaurant for 2017 James Beard Awards and I am convinced when the winners are announced in March, Katoi will be awarded the honors. Diners expect an “out of this world” experience. The flavors are on a whole other planet and this is what the restaurant is centered around. The mother ship has landed and it brings bold and intense tastes!

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Shared plates, so order a lot and be prepared to chow as each plate is delivered

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Thrice Cooked Sweet Potatoes: Palm sugar, sherry, cilantro, topped with crispy shallots and served on a bed of avocado cream sauce.  Insane! The outside of the potato was crispy, yet the inside was tender and creamy. The potatoes weren’t super sweet, but the sugar caramelized the outer edges of the potatoes. The avocado cream sauce added a creamy freshness that offset the richness.

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Chickpea Tofu: Served with herb salad topped with crispy shallots and a sweet chili garlic dipping sauce. The tofu was soft and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. I didn’t think I would like this as much as I did, but it was delicious! It was like a soft, fluffy, chickpea pillow. The crispy fried shallots added a subtle onion flavor and texture. The sweet chili garlic sauce was the right amount of sweet and heat to spice up the chickpea tofu.

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Drunken Pastrami: Stir-fried rice noodles with thai bail, tomatoes, chilies, black soy sauce, and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). This was my first choice, but it ended up being super spicy! The pastrami was tender and delicious, but the chilies really took over this dish. I really liked the rice noodles and gai lan. Pair with sticky rice to tone down the heat.

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Phat Mama: Stir-fried ramen, sea urchin, cherry tomatoes, chilies, thai basil, steelhead roe, and galangal (root spice similar to ginger). One of my favorites! I was very intimidated by the sea urchin, but it melted into the dish acting like a creamy sauce. The ramen was perfectly tender and delicious. The chilies added a slight kick and Watch out! I wasn’t looking and accidently swallowed one and it lit my tongue on fire.

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Panaeng Curry: Kabocha squash, tofu, lime leaf, peanuts, roti (Indian flatbread). My favorite dish! Most curry’s are too sweet for my liking, but this was the perfect trio of sweet, spicy, and curry. The curry wasn’t overpowering and the sauce was the perfect velvety consistency. The tofu was slightly crispy and absorbed the delicious sauce like a sponge. The squash was creamy and perfectly cooked. The peanuts added texture and the toasted roti was the ideal tool to scoop up the sauce.

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Scallop Sour Curry: Jasmine rice cake, napa cabbage, long beans, thai basil, cured egg yolk. The rice cake was crispy and paired well with the rich broth sauce. The scallops were tender, light, and perfect with the sour curry.  I like that this dish was served with long beans, they added a nice brightness.

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Tom Yum Hotpot: Hot & sour soup, pork & shrimp dumplings, lemongrass, lime leaf, lime, cilantro. This was unlike any hot & sour soup I have tasted before. The broth had a good flavor, but the hot/sour element was subtle. The pork & shrimp dumplings were slightly sweet and tender.

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Flank Steak & Mushrooms: Wild hedgehog mushrooms, king trumpet mushrooms (high quality longer mushrooms), puya (botanical plant), lemongrass, lime, herbs. I loved the meaty, earthy array of mushrooms. The steak wasn’t as tender as I’d like, but it was sliced thin, cooked medium, and delicious.

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Superman Ice Cream: House made blue moon with almond crumb. The best way to end an amazing meal! You could really taste the homemade quality. Creamy, sweet, with that blue moon fruity flavor that I love. The almond crumb was subtle, but added a sweet, nutty crunch.

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Service was great from the moment we walked in and our server did an excellent job of explaining the menu and suggesting different dishes. Each bite was packed with a punch of flavor yet perfectly balanced. I have never tasted such a wide variety of different spices in one sitting before and it was incredibly pleasing.

It pains me to report that early Friday morning, February 17, 2017, Katoi was victim to a devastating arson fire. This breaks my heart as I was just there the night before and so excited to return. Please support the owners and staff of Katoi and help out in any way that is needed. I am confident that when the mothership lands again, it will come back bigger and better than ever!

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

Mercury Burger & Bar

Today on the Bite Tonight: Mercury Burger & Bar

Residing in Corktown, Detroit, on Michigan Ave, Mercury Burger & Bar is one of those places that you must visit. A neighbor of Slow’s BBQ and Mudgie’s Deli, Mercury Burger & Bar is adding it’s own flare to burgers. They have amped up some favorites by putting their own spin on fresh ingredients. The menu includes burgers, hot dogs, shakes, and hand cut fries. What goes best with a burger? Yep, you guessed it, beer! It is a bar after all, so Mercury offers a full bar including beer and liquor. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 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 (menu)

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My pick

Southwest Detroit: Burger topped with a chorizo slider, jalapeños, münster cheese, tortilla strips, avocado, and zanahorias (pickled spiced carrots). I also added green olives and Southwest ranch. Mercury does not skimp on the toppings, that’s for sure. I think they went a little crazy with the tortilla strips. I had to knock a handful off the burger just to taste the other toppings. I’d rather have more than not enough and they added a pleasant crunch with each bite. The Meunster cheese caught my eye and added a nice mellowness to the spicy, salty burger. The pickled spice carrots were subtle, but the vinegar was just enough to waken up my taste buds. The chorizo slider was smaller than I expected which was a good thing. It was juicy, spicy, and paired well with creamy avocado. 20150830_175634

Josh’s Pick.

Bacon Cheddar Burger: With a fried egg, crispy onion straws, and Dreamland BBQ sauce. Messy, but tasty! The yolk from the egg acted as a rich, silky sauce and went well with the tangy, sweet, BBQ sauce. The crispy onion straws were not your usual wimpy thin straws, these were thick onion rings! Deliciously fried goodness.

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Strawberry Milkshake: Sweet, creamy, with chunks of strawberry. Delicious, without that artificial strawberry taste.

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Service was good and the staff did a good job at recommending items off the menu. I really liked that the menu wasn’t too large. There’s nothing more difficult than being faced with a bunch of choices when you’re as indecisive as me. I’m expected to only pick one or two things? C’mon! Mercury Burger & Bar offers a handful of items and they really put all their energy into doing those items right. There are pieces of Detroit incorporated into the item names (Eastern Market & Flint) and Mercury serves tater tots and poutine! Next time, I am ordering the Faygo Orange Creamsicle Milkshake. If you haven’t been, you have to check em out.

Mercury Burger Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Detroit Institute of Bagels

Today on the Bite Tonight: Bagels!

Located on Michigan Ave, in Detroit’s Corktown, is the Detroit Institute of Bagels. Normally, at work we get bagels from Panera Bread, but it was refreshing when I walked in and noticed something different.

Everything Bagel: Fully loaded! I really appreciated all the seasoning (even on both sides of the bagel), but there was something that I couldn’t quite put my taste bud on. It tasted spicy, almost like jalapeno and it was too overpowering for me.

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So then I switched to an Asiago Bagel: Light with a touch of salty goodness.

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Spinach and Herb Shmear: Fresh and delicious.

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One of the things that Wowed me was the spreads and shmears. Detroit Institute of Bagels offers everything from veggie  to strawberry shmear and smoked Lox cream cheese and Butternut Squash Tahini Spread (which was awesome). DIB strives to create masterpieces in bagel craft and I would agree that they are on the right track.  If you’re feeling adventurous, stop in and try the Sriracha Lentil Spread.

 

Detroit Institute of Bagels on Urbanspoon

The Sugar House

Today on the Bite Tonight: The Sugar House

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Another Corktown classic is The Sugar House, serving up craft cocktails just right for any season. The next stop, on mine and Tiffany’s trip down memory lane was filled with refreshing ingredients and an entertaining bar chef. We watched as each guest was poured something unique. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of  bites

Price: 2.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Pimm’s Cup: Pimms No.1, lemon, ginger syrup, mint, cucumber & soda. Strong ginger hits your tastebuds right away. Refreshing with a little fizz from the soda.

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Juliet & Romeo: Gin, simple syrup, lime, rose water, cucumber and mint. I asked for something light, summery, with cucumber and this is what I got! The mint pushes its way right up front, but it was invigorating and energizing.

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The Sugar House is very pretentious, but has made a home into Corktown, Detroit. Just be careful because ordering something ordinary  is considered an insult. With hundreds of different options including wines, beers, mixed drinks, liquors, classic cocktails, and punches, there’s something for everyone. And if you find the menu as overwhelming as I did, just tell the mixologist what you fancy and watch as your request is concocted into an interesting potion. By combining smoke, spices, only the freshest and finest ingredients, and even egg white, each cocktail is crafted with care and precision. At the Sugar House, every drink tells a story, so stop in and hear yours.

The Sugar House on Urbanspoon

Astro Coffee

Today on the Bite Tonight: Astro Coffee

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Located in the heart of Detroit’s Corktown, next door to Sugar House and just feet away from Slows BBQ is Astro Coffee. The baristas looked more like brew artists as they delicately created our selections. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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There’s something about a chalkboard menu that brings me back to my childhood.

Miravalle, Guatemala: Blueberry, plum. Bold, solid, rich. I could not taste fruit at all, but the coffee was still delicious.

Chocolate, hazelnut cookie: Slightly sweet, fresh baked, and soft. The hint of sea salt was amazing and took this cookie over the top.

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Mocha: Rich blend of coffee and chocolate. Nice presentation!

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I like Astro because it has a welcoming, kind atmosphere. The baristas were more than willing to assist with clueless patrons like Tiffany and I. We received helpful recommendations based on our tastes. With a comfortable, yet trendy community, Astro is brewing good ass coffee while using local ingredients. It was good catching up with a dear friend and the employees didn’t even kick us out when we stayed past closing.  Good luck, Tiffany! I wish you nothing, but the very best. ❤

 

Astro Coffee on Urbanspoon

Bucharest Grill

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Located inside Park Bar Behind the Fox Theater lies a small little counter cranking out some of the best shawarma’s in the area. Normally I order to go, but this trip, Tiffany and I grabbed a seat. With a menu consisting of Middle Eastern favorites, burgers, gourmet dogs, and sides, Bucharest Grill is the hot spot after any concert, Tiger’s game, or night on the town. We stopped in for lunch and it was pretty busy.

How they measured up: 

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 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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Chicken Shawarma: Grilled marinated chicken, tomato, lettuce, pickles, garlic, and spices wrapped in a pita. First, the shawarma is huge and all for $4.50 plus tax. Second, the chicken is perfectly seasoned, grilled, and still juicy. So moist that the juices will drip from the sandwich and onto my hand.  It’s a beautiful thing. This time, the pita was a little wet from it’s contents but when you eat it as fast as I did, it doesn’t matter. Next, the pickles! Skinny, slightly sour, but still crunchy. I don’t know what it is about these pickles, but they are my favorite. Lastly, the garlic sauce can be a little overwhelming so I often get mine on the side.

Tip: Beware because they charge you $0.25 cents to get your sauce on the side. This boggled my mind, because actually getting it on the side is a smaller amount than what they slop on the wrap. I brought this to the attention of the woman who took my order and she only said they charge to get it on the side versus on the shawarma. Isn’t that backwards?

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“New” Cheese Pie Turnover: Crispy pastry crust loaded with feta, asiago, and muenster cheeses. I was disappointed when this was brought to our table and I’ll tell you why. By the description I expected a pastry crust similar to phyllo dough. What I got was basically pita bread or a tortilla. It tasted delicious, but it was more like what I would expect a quesadilla to taste like. And it even came with a side of sour cream just like a quesadilla!! On the other hand, muenster and feta make everything betta so it turned out to be good.

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If you haven’t been to Bucharest Grill, you are missing out. The shawarmas are seriously the best around. They’re so good that I have even stopped in on my way home from a long night. I’m not normally a person who eats alone, so this is kind of a big deal. Bucharest Grill is opening a new location in Corktown so stay tuned. They also cater and deliver for your every need.

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Bucharest Grill on Urbanspoon