Downtown Detroit

Downtown Detroit: Townhouse

The Shrimp Tempura Verde Roll from Townhouse in Downtown Detroit is full of fresh, bright flavors. This roll combines Granny Smith apple, salsa verde sauce, and cilantro. Find the full post on www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Townhouse’s Detroit location lies on Woodward Ave in the heart of Downtown, across from Campus Martius. Townhouse offers a massive Whiskey and Bourbon menu as well as an array of different small plates that are reasonably priced. I recommend dining in the “glass house” because the natural light will pour through and illuminate your experience. If you want drinks, grab a seat at the bar. The menu is all over the place and there is no theme, but I like this. You can find pizza, salads, burgers, sushi, and also some unique dishes such as Elk Tenderloin, Braised Short Ribs, and Butternut Squash Pizza.

Sweet Corn Chowder: House Chorizo, Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas), Cilantro, Lime. The chorizo had a subtle spicy flavor without being greasy or heavy. The chowder had a smooth, silky texture which complimented the crunchy pepitas nicely.

This Sweet Corn Chowder topped with chorizo and pumpkin seeds from Townhouse in Downtown Detroit was a good way to start our meal. This chowder combines spicy, creamy, and nutty flavors without being super heavy. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Brussel Sprouts: Balsamic Brown Butter, Parmesan, Pistachio. Since I love pistachios, I couldn’t pass up this dish. I liked that the Brussel Sprouts were tender on the inside, yet crispy and caramelized on the outside, but they were a little overcooked for my liking. The Parmesan adds a nice salty flavor which paired well with the balsamic.

The Brussel Sprouts from Townhouse in Downtown Detroit are topped with toasted pistachios and salty Parmesan cheese. The combination of balsamic and crispy Brussel Sprouts is delicious. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Shrimp Tempura Verde Roll: Crab, Granny Smith Apple, Japanese Salsa Verde, Cilantro Crystals. If you know me, you know that I love verde sauce. So much, in fact, that I often request it at my late night Taco Bell visits even though I know they don’t carry it. Ridiculous, I know, but I just have hope that one time I will ask and they will have a different answer.

Fun Fact: Verde sauce is a regional TB menu item. You can imagine how excited I was when I was in Arizona a couple months ago and was rewarded verde sauce. I asked for my favorite condiment as I usually do ready to be disappointed yet again, only to be told that not only did this Taco Bell have it, but they actually make it fresh. Score!

Anyways, back to this sushi roll. This verde sauce was on point. Fresh, slightly acidic and tart, adding a nice brightness to the crunchy tempura. The Granny Smith apple was a nice addition and added a sweet texture. I didn’t taste the crystalized cilantro, but since it can be overpowering, this was a good thing.

The Shrimp Tempura Verde Roll from Townhouse in Downtown Detroit is the perfect choice if you want something refreshing. The bright, fresh, verde sauce and cilantro really wake up your taste buds. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Chicken Meatballs: Tomato Sugo, Parmigiano Reggiano, Basil. I liked that these meatballs were a change from the usual beef meatball. They were light and I didn’t feel bad eating them. The sauce was decent, slightly sweet, with a hint of heat. I also appreciated that there was enough sauce for each bite of meatball. The meatball itself could’ve used more seasoning.

The Chicken Meatballs from Townhouse in Downtown Detroit are packed full of flavor. The sugo sauce is your classic Italian red sauce with a sweet and robust tomato flavor. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Service was good and the restaurant gave off good vibes. Townhouse offers Happy Hour and daily dinner specials. I didn’t save room for dessert, but I had my eye on the Hot Chocolate Creme Brûlée and the Fried Bread Pudding. I will definitely be back to taste dessert and eat my way through the sushi menu.

Shout out to Chris for a fun night! Thanks for sharing with me.

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

Downtown Detroit: Maru Sushi

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Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5  bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites (slower than expected wait time on a Sunday afternoon)

Wow Factor: 3.5 out of 5 bites (menu and décor)

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Maru Sushi Key

Rooster Sauce: A fancy, hipster name for Sriracha.

Soy Paper: AKA Mamenori. Thin wrappers made out of soybean.

Kampyo: Dried gourd shavings.

Burn Sauce: Hot, spicy, condiment

Fantasy Sauce: Red, sweet and spicy sauce

Maru Sushi set up shop in November 2016 and has been a hit ever since. The spot occupies space in the Federal Reserve Building on Fort St in Downtown Detroit. My favorite feature is the wacked out menu. Expect to find creative roll names like Super Mario (featuring marinated shitake mushrooms) and Beach Party (with tuna, crab salad, avocado, cuke). You can also get soups, salads, noodles, and entrees off the hibachi grill. See how they ranked.

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Mahalo Roll: Tempura shrimp, avocado, spicy mayo, topped with yellowtail and pineapple salad (red pepper, cucumber, carrot, and pico de gallo). The crunch of the tempura shrimp added texture to the yellowtail and creamy avocado. The spicy mayo added just enough heat. The pineapple salad was bright, sweet, and a refreshing addition. Very tropical and one of my favorites!

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Crouching Tiger: Panko fried shrimp, cream cheese, crab salad, topped with shrimp, avocado, fantasy sauce, eel sauce, honey wasabi aioli, masago (roe: fish eggs) and scallion. The panko added a light crunch to the cream cheese. I really liked the combo of shrimp, crab salad, and fried shrimp. The spice from the fantasy sauce and the sweetness from the eel sauce and honey wasabi took my taste buds for a ride. First you got spicy, then sweet, then heat from the wasabi. Multiple layers of flavor.

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Sexy Bacon: Cherrywood smoked bacon, cucumber, asparagus, crab stick, tempura crunch, in soy paper, with fantasy sauce, eel sauce, creamy garlic sauce and shredded nori. Did someone say Bacon?! Ahhh! This was amazing. Smoky, sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy all exploding onto your taste buds. The soy paper was a nice change. I could not get enough of the fantasy sauce. Seriously, addicting.

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Honeymoon: crab stick, salmon, albacore, cucumber, kampyo, topped with eel sauce, served with tempura crunch and rooster sauce. The rooster sauce added a nice spicy chili flavor and the sweet eel sauce balanced out the heat. The salmon and tuna went well with the fresh cucumber then at the end you got this nice crunch from the tempura. Well done!

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Check out the happy hour menu and daily specials. I am always game to cut costs when I can so this is great. Maru Sushi gets an A+ in the quality category. They use the finest, local ingredients, featuring organic produce, and wild caught fish when possible. They also offer a healthier option of brown rice ($1 extra) and vegan friendly items. Awesome!

Maru Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

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

Central Kitchen + Bar

Today on the Bite Tonight: Central Kitchen + Bar

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One of the newest occupants to Downtown Detroit is Central Kitchen and they’re bringing all kinds of buzz to the food scene. With a menu featuring contemporary American cuisine emphasized by blending inventive flavor ideas with seasonal and local ingredients, Central Kitchen offers something for everyone. To ensure only the finest components go into each recipe, Central Kitchen incorporates local businesses including Avalon International Breads and Corridor Sausage Company as well as Zingerman’s Coffee. A couple of my work friends, Anna and Emma, and myself decided to experience what all the hype was about. 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: 4 out of 5 bites (unique twist on classic dishes and decor)

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Dark Horse Raspberry Ale: Light bodied, easy drinking ale.  Real raspberries late in fermentation are used, giving this beer a mild fruit flavor while keeping a very balanced malt profile. Perfect for Summer and refreshing. Nice if you want a fruity ale that’s not super sweet.

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Baby Kale Salad: Roasted red pepper, farro, gruyere cheese, Prosciutto, sweet Romano vinaigrette. Light, yet filling. The farro was new to me, but it was delicious. The saltiness from the cheese and Prosciutto was nice against the sweet and creamy vinaigrette. My new favorite salad! 

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Fig Flatbread: Fig jam, crispy brussel sprouts, goat cheese, balsamic reduction. Really nice balance of sweet, crunchy, and creamy. I really liked the crispiness and slight bitterness of the brussel sprouts. The goat cheese was mild, but still had a slight tang that complimented the sweetness of the fig jam. The fig jam was almost sticky from the caramelization. My only complaint was that the flatbread was more of a thin, crispy cracker, than a flat bread. I would’ve liked a thicker canvas.

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Carnitas Tacos: Slow cooked pork, chayote slaw (fruit belonging to the gourd family), crema, tomatillo salsa, queso fresco. The pork was lightly seasoned and moist. The real flavor came from the condiments. The chayote slaw had a nice crunch and sweetness that went well with the heat from the salsa. The coolness from the queso fresco and crema really tied the whole taco together. I was really impressed.

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Service was very good and our food came out right away. With music, a modern dining room, and very nice outdoor seating area, Central Kitchen is the perfect spot to enjoy a nice lunch or after work cocktails. Happy Hour is Monday-Friday 3-6 P.M. and offers food and drink specials. With a Sunday brunch menu coming soon, there is no other place you need to go to!

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Lafayette Coney Island

Today on the Bite Tonight: Lafayette Coney Island

Working in Downtown Detroit has it’s perks and I just love when our owners treat the office to local food spots. For the opening of the Detroit Tiger’s season, we were surprised with dogs from Lafayette Coney Island. Detroit is known for it’s long time “Coney Wars” and it’s clear that Lafayette Coney Island takes the cake for me. It’s good to know that I can still enjoy a delicious hot dog without going to the game!

Hot Dog: Classic cased dog. The way a hot dog should taste with a nice bite!

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Lafayette Coney Island is a classic, authentic coney spot and a true Detroit gem. The menu is very basic, and if you’re looking for breakfast, you won’t find it here. Don’t bother swiping your card, because it’s cash only here. They do one thing and they do it right: Coney Dogs. The chili recipe is delicious and the best!

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Dime Store

Today on the Bite Tonight: Dime Store

A hot, new lunch spot opened in the Chrysler House on Griswold in Downtown Detroit about 6 weeks ago. Dime Store, serving up decadent and mouth watering food, is what I call “casual gourmet.” They offer breakfast and lunch menus consisting of some serious unique and fresh dishes. From the pork belly eggs Benedict to the cauliflower gruyere soup and duck Reuben sandwich, they have something that is sure to spark up anyone’s taste buds. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3.5 out of 5 bites

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Butternut Squash soup: Sweet, but not overwhelming. Fresh, silky, and smooth.

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Korean BBQ Sandwich: Shaved steak, pickled onion, cilantro, carrot, cucumber, and bulgogi sauce (Korean barbeque) on a ciabatta roll. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough of the steak! The sauce was sweet and paired well with the veggies. The ciabatta was soft and fresh and the steak was tender and juicy, but I could’ve used a little more in my ciabatta.

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If you haven’t been to Dime Store yet, stop in now! It is a little pricey (my sandwich and soup totaled $15), but I didn’t feel bad about spending so much because the flavors were spot on. You can really taste the made from scratch love that goes into each item. They also serve booze and I liked that one of the owners, Jeff Alexander, was the one running my food to the carryout counter. If you’re looking for a change from Jimmy John’s or the food truck scene, start eating at Dime Store and support the locals.

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