MI

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

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

B Boomers

Located on Southfield Rd. in Allen Park, MI, B Boomers is a local bar dishing out good food with big portions. Getting more bang for your buck is always a good feeling and a lot of spots aren’t as generous as they used to be. B Boomers offers a typical bar menu consisting of pizza, burgers sandwiches, soups and salads, and fried favorites. With flat screen T.V.’s, cold beers, and a full bar, B Boomers is the place to enjoy a nice dinner and watch your favorite game. Ma and I decided to grab a quick bite before heading to the Allen Park Street Fair a couple weeks ago. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bits

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 (good food and portion size)

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Reuben Sandwich: Thinly slice corned beef with sauerkraut on marble rye served with thousand island dressing and homemade chips. The corned beef was lean and juicy which made it tasty, but also made the bottom half of the bread soggy (I hate that). It’s sometimes the risk you take when enjoying a nice Reuben sandwich. The home made chips were really delicious and were served warm (so you know they were fresh).  The corned beef was stacked high and was enough for Ma and I to share. The sauerkraut added a nice bite to the salty corned beef. I really like how the sandwich was served on newspaper paper. It adds character and uniqueness.

b boomers

reuben

I sometimes forget about B Boomers since they are one of the last restaurants before you hit Southfield Freeway and because they re-opened under new ownership a little over a year ago. Since rediscovering it’s charm, I have a feeling that they are my new local favorite. My next visit will be to try the pizza (which I hear is amazing). B Boomers is a great place if you are looking for good food and service at a local price. Stop in for live music, events including fantasy football, trivia, and fundraisers, and great food and drink specials.

Click to add a blog post for B Boomers Sports Bar & Grille on Zomato

Small Plates

Located on Broadway St, behind the Detroit Opera House sits Small Plates, an upscale, snazzy tapas restaurant. Small Plates offers a unique dining experience designed around sharing. With a menu consisting of everything from Chicken and Waffles to Fried Green Tomatoes, appetizer sized portions are served making it ideal to sample. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites (presentation and style)

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Lotus Flower Tuna: Seared sesame crusted tuna over mango & jalapeño salsa, wasabi aioli, avocado, soy reduction in a fried wonton flower. Gorgeous presentation! Fresh, light with layers of texture. Creamy avocado, light and fresh mango, crunchy wonton, finished with sesame tuna. The only thing this dish was lacking was heat, as we didn’t get much from the jalapeno or wasabi aioli.

lotus flower tuna

Chicken Tostadas: Pulled chicken, pepper jack cheese, mango & jalapeño salsa, key-lime sour cream. Chicken was tender and moist, but could’ve used a little more seasoning. The toppings were fresh and my only complaint was that as I got to the bottom of the shell, it was soggy.

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Signature Mac & Four Cheese Gratin: White cheddar, gouda, pepper jack, parmesan. Our favorite! Perfectly cooked pasta covered with cheesy goodness and topped with a crunch.

Mac and Cheese Small Plates

BBQ Chicken Pizza: Grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, BBQ sauce. I really liked that the BBQ sauce had a hint of heat to help balance the sweetness from the caramelized onions. Not overly done with cheese with a nice crispy browned edge. Pretty good for a deep dish, but ordering it well done would’ve put this pizza over the top.

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Josh and I came here around 5 on a Friday and although it wasn’t busy yet, it was starting to fill up with reservations. The service was good, and the dim lighting was perfect for our dinner date. I have to say we were a little disappointed because the food was just OK, and not as good as we excepted for the price. We still had fun ordering different items and trying them all out.

Small Plates on Urbanspoon

Bill's Ham Place

My brother was in town for a couple days so we decided to get breakfast. We wanted something quick so we stopped in to this local dive breakfast/coney place in Lincoln Park. I remember stopping in to Bill’s Ham Place located on Southfield Rd, growing up and always liked it. Check out how this trip turned out.

Service: 4 out of 5 stars

Quality/Taste: 2 stars

Atmosphere: 4 stars (Friendly & authentic coney feel)

Price: 3 stars

Wow factor: 2

Western Omelette: Huge helping of eggs, ham, green pepper, onion, and cheese. This was enough for two and everything you would expect from a coney breakfast. Pretty spot on.

Tip: Order the hash browns well done.

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I went with the Corned Beef Sandwich: Thinly sliced corned beef on an onion roll. I added a slice of Swiss cheese. It was good, but unlike the omelette, the portion was lousy. I decided to order it because it was marked “Famous” on the menu. More like disappointing. It still tasted good, but I scarfed it in seconds. For around $7, it was not worth it (the cheese was an extra 80 cents).

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Check out what Ma made for breakfast a couple days later. Best of both worlds:

Corned Beef Hash with a fried egg: A great idea for leftover corned beef and it’s way better than the stuff out of the can. Brown potatoes and saute with onions and corned beef and top with a fried egg. When you break the yolk it creates a delicious, rich sauce that melts all over the potatoes.

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OK, back to Bill’s. The waitress was friendly and made conversation the whole time in between greeting and waiting on her other tables. Bill’s Ham Place is a great breakfast and coney spot, but if you’re looking for a huge, stacked deli sandwich that they are “famous” for, try Hops & Barley or Wheat & Rye.

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Bill's Ham Place on Urbanspoon

Eat Food Detroit climbed a couple spots on Urbanspoon!

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Southwest Chicken Salad

Recently, I went out to dinner for Jessica’s Birthday at Red Robin on Eureka Rd. in Taylor, MI and ordered the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad. It inspired me to recreate my own version. Here’s a quick recipe for a delicious chicken salad:

What you’ll need:

1 boneless skinless chicken breast

1/2 can of corn

1/2 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

1/2 diced red bell pepper

1/2 small white onion

2 green onions

1/4 cup shredded cheese (Mexican, Cheddar, or Colby Jack work best)

1/4 cup Tortilla Strips

2 cups Baby spinach

1/3 cup water

Prep

1. Add corn and veggies in a skillet with olive oil and a tablespoon of butter and saute on medium heat until soft.

2. While the veggies are cooking, season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic and brown until juices run clear. This is a good opportunity to get a nice color on the chicken and if you have a grill that’s even better!

3. When the chicken is done, shred and sprinkle with taco seasoning. I usually sprinkle the chicken with a couple tablespoons from a taco seasoning packet then add 1/3 cup of water to the pan (or a little less).

4. Simmer until the water makes a sauce and taste. If you want more seasoning, add it. When you’re making single servings like this, it’s better to add a little at a time, then adding too much and over doing it. Let chicken cool before plating.

Dressing

You can always buy southwest ranch dressing, but I like improvising.

1. Mix 2 tablespoons ranch dressing, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, & 3 tablespoons sour cream.

2. Taste. If it is too spicy, add more sour cream. If it’s not spicy enough, add more taco seasoning. If you like more ranch, add more ranch dressing! I don’t like a salad that is swimming in dressing, but if you do, double the recipe.

Tip: Substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream for a healthier alternative.

Build

1. Start plating spinach, making a bed for the rest of the ingredients.

2. Add corn mixture, black beans, shredded cheese, and chicken (add as much corn mixture or black beans as you like). Top with crunchy tortilla strips and dressing.

Alternatives: You can add whatever ingredients you like: olives, tomatoes, cukes, etc. Instead of shredding the chicken, you can just slice it.

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It was delicious! You get crunchy, fresh, cool, creamy, spicy, and warm all in one bite.

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