Fried chicken

Gold Cash Gold

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Located in Detroit’s Corktown, Gold Cash Gold is getting ready to celebrate it’s two year anniversary. Once the home to pawnshop owner, Sam Rubin (grandfather of Les Gold, owner of American Jewelry and Loan), the space now houses the farm to fork restaurant, which is serving up American food with a Southern twist. Gold Cash Gold offers classics such as Fried Chicken and the signature GCG Burger and also unique items such as Chicken Liver Mouse and fries with a pimento cheese sauce and a fried egg. See how they ranked.

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The front door. How cool!

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Bloody Mary: Pickle juice bloody Mary mix. Those that read my blog or follow me on Instagram (@thebitetonight) know that I am obsessed with Bloody Mary’s. This one was really good! Fresh, spicy, and the pickle juice was the perfect amount of sour. The rim was seasoned with a killer spice blend. The only thing I could put my finger on was cumin and chili powder, but our server mentioned a few other flavors that he wouldn’t reveal. Kudos to the pickles, olive, and pickled asparagus garnish.

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Biscuits & Gravy: Mushroom gravy, buttermilk biscuits, and poached eggs. That gravy though! I loved the mushroom gravy, it was delicious! Rich and hearty with big chunks of fungus. The gravy was thick and acted as the perfect sauce for the dense biscuit. Once the yolk broke and mixed with the gravy, it added a light yet silkiness that took this dish over the top.

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Chicken Biscuit Sandwich: Pickle brined fried chicken, homemade ranch, spicy slaw, mixed greens. Disappointing. Brining chicken is supposed to add moisture, but this fried chicken was dry even for being dark meat. It also didn’t help that the homemade ranch was missing. I asked for a side of it and it made the sandwiches a little better, but not much. I did like the spicy slaw. It had a subtle kick, nice crunch, and pickled punch.

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My favorite part of Gold Cash Gold (besides the Bloody Mary, of course) was the décor and design. I would describe it as art deco meets antique with a touch of history with the original loan sign. I love the stained glass and the chandelier. Service was good and our food came out quick (there also weren’t many tables @ 1 PM on a Saturday). Our server did a good job of describing the menu and answering our questions. Don’t expect to get lunch here, GCG skips it altogether, only offering brunch (Saturday & Sunday) and dinner service. They also offer dining via the Chef’s Table where guests are sat next to the kitchen with a distinct view into Chef Brandon’s technique and skill.

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After brunch, Jacki and I stopped by Motor City Wine for a drink where I received a full consultation from the bartender on sour beers. It was great. Take note.

Petrus Aged Ale (sour beer): A little bite with a touch of sour. Not as sour as I’m used to, but still really good.

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Gold Cash Gold Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Motor City Wine 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

Four Friends Kitchen

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The first stop on my Colorado trip was one of my favorites. Located in Stapleton, CO (a Denver neighborhood), Four Friends is doing American comfort food with a Southern spin. Seeking to take their families out to a good brunch, four neighbors or “friends” (hence the name) opened up the place when they soon discovered the local restaurant options were limited. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (unique menu and décor)

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Bloody Mary time (It is brunch after all): Supreme Bloody with Tito’s Vodka, pork belly & house made pickle garnish, and an Old Bay seasoning rim. This drink was the right concoction of spicy. Although, I am not crazy about pork belly, I had to order this amped up Bloody. I am a sucker for garnishes and the more obnoxious the better (think a meal in a glass). There’s something rather theatric about a Bloody Mary that comes served with a mini slider or bacon grilled cheese hanging off the side of a glass. The pork belly wasn’t the best and it was a little too fatty for my liking. However, the Old Bay seasoning carried the team, pairing really well with the spicy, salty, brunch cocktail.

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Fried Green Tomatoes: Pan-fried breaded green tomatoes, jalapeno buttermilk aioli and pickled vegetables. Holy Cow! This dish was probably one of the best things I’ve ever ate. The pickled veggies were so good and were the perfect compliment to the crispy, panko breading of the tomatoes. The jalapeno aioli was subtle, but delicious-I just wish there was more of it. This was the first time I have ever had fried green tomatoes and I could not get enough.

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Michelle’s pick (and my second favorite)!

Four Friends Grits: Buttermilk battered Southern fried chicken, two poached eggs, four cheese grits, collard greens and red chili sauce. The fried chicken was juicy on the inside and so incredibly crispy on the outside. The grits were creamy and cheesy with the perfect hint of salt. Tip: Salt Your Grits! The yolk from the egg was silky and dripped all over the other ingredients creating this melody of flavor. The red chili sauce added just enough heat to this dish.

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My Pick:

Smoked Brisket Hash & Eggs: Hickory smoked beef brisket, BBQ house potatoes, grilled onions, green chilies, peppers, blended cheese and red chili ranchero sauce with cornbread and two eggs. I was a little disappointed with the brisket. It was a little tough, but at the same time fatty. The potatoes were delicious, though. They had this smoky, sweet BBQ seasoning with every bite. The cornbread was also a little dry, but A for effort.

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Service was decent and the dining room offered enough eye candy to keep us busy while we waited for our food. Four Friends has a laundry list of savory and sweet options to keep you coming back for more. Keep it simple with Rosalyn’s Breakfast Sandwich or get adventurous with the Smoky Mountain BLT topped with cheddar pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes or the Green Chili Mac & Cheese.

When is the last time you played with an Etch A Sketch??

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The backs of the booths were upholstered in jokes!

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Four Friends Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Moo Cluck Moo

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I have to give all the credit to April for finding this gem. Moo Cluck Moo, located in Dearborn Heights, offers all natural, no preservatives, no gluten, or additives “fast food.” With a plethora of burgers, fried chicken, shakes, sides, and hot dogs, Moo Cluck Moo is doing things different. Who knew that we can still eat fast food and be healthier? See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 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: 4.5 out of 5 bites (creative theme and menu)

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My Pick:

The Baa Burger: Ground lamb topped with feta, sliced onions, and homemade cumin aioli (also pictured above) . I added a side of garlic fries (tossed in homemade garlic oil) which were crispy and flavorful. The only thing I didn’t like is that they seemed to soak up the garlic oil.  The lamb was so flavorful, juicy, and lean. Moo Cluck Moo offers the option of getting your bun fried, so naturally that’s what I did. It gave the bun a nice crispiness and prevented it from getting soggy from the juicy burger. You can never go wrong with feta and onions on a burger and they paired well with the lamb. I added pickles for an added sour crunch. It was messy, but a burger isn’t a burger unless you have lamb juice dripping down your hand. I highly recommend this burger!

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I couldn’t leave without also ordering Cluck Bites.

I went with the Garlic Cluck Bites: Fried chicken bites tossed in garlic oil with ranch . Crispy on the outside and juicy, tender, white meat chicken on the inside. The chicken didn’t seem to soak up the garlic oil like the fries did. Very good!

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Notorious Cluck: Deep fried and sprinkled with spicy seasoning and topped with picnic slaw. The fried chicken was awesome! Lightly battered, tender, juicy, and delicious. The slaw added a nice crunch and creaminess. This sandwich is where it’s at and I will be getting it on my next visit.

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With an order of Romano Parsley Fries: Tossed in garlic oil and sprinkled with romano cheese and parsley. The fries were yummy, not oily. The romano added a nice saltiness and the parsley brightened up the fries.

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This place is small inside, but offers a few tables if you wanted to dine in. We did dine and the service was great. Since it was our first time, we asked for recommendations on what to order. The staff was so helpful, friendly, and just all around awesome. Moo Cluck Moo offers vegetarian options as well as yummy shakes, and soda sweetened with real cane sugar. I love that they offer better quality food, but a decent price. Even though, I deep fried my bun, I felt a little better doing it. Plus the cow and chicken theme is creatively adorable.

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April, we are do for a dinner date!!!

Moo Cluck Moo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Joe Kool's

Today on the Bite Tonight: Joe Kool’s

Located on Big Beaver Rd in Troy, is Joe Kool’s, a sport’s bar and grill. Joe Kool’s has a pretty tasty menu consisting of pizza, bar food, steaks, Mexican favorites, and sandwiches.  Joe Kool’s also offers a wide array of Michigan brews, imported and domestic beers, and a full liquor bar. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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Southwestern Eggrolls: Cajun chicken, corn, black beans, onion, red pepper, pico de gallo and Monterey Jack in a spring roll with a side of Chipotle mayo and salsa. Whenever I see these on a menu I just have to order them. The combo of the crispy shell filled with the cheesy, spicy filling is delicious. I really liked the Chipotle mayo as well.  I will be picky about the name and the description: They are called eggrolls yet made with spring rolls? Well, which one is it?

spring rolls

Southern Fried Chicken Wrap: Strips of lightly fried chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and Cheddar cheese, topped with Ranch dressing, wrapped in a Lawash tortilla. I really liked the idea of a fried chicken wrap, but this was just OK.

Southern Fried Chicken Wrap

Wow Factor: Joe Kool’s offers sauces that they serve with their wings, but Josh and I had to get a couple to try with our pizza and wrap. We picked General Tso’s (pictured on left) and Caribbean Jerk (pictured on right)!! The General Tso’s was, well, amazing! Sweet and spicy and exactly what we expected and the Caribbean Jerk had a lot of island spices and heat.

sauces

BBQ Chicken Flatbread: Crispy flatbread topped with our sweet and tangy BBQ sauce loaded with diced chicken breast, red onion, fresh cilantro and a blend of Jack, Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese. This was my favorite dish of the night. The flatbread was crispy, yet slightly chewy on the inside and the BBQ sauce wasn’t too rich and overpowering. It was the perfect amount of cheese and perfect balance of toppings.

BBQ Chicken flatbread

Joe Kool’s is a good place to go to if you’re looking for a change from your typical chain restaurant. They offer decent food and service. The only thing I would change is the amount of garnishes they used. I’m all about huge portions, but this was way too much and honestly unnecessary.

This was the bed of greens the flatbread was on. It was more than most restaurants side salads and is a huge waste.

wasted lettuce

Despite the overload on greens, it was a good time and Josh and I left very satisfied.

Joe Kool's Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon