pickles

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

 

Z Shawarma King

Today on the Bite Tonight: Z Shawarma King

Located on Southfield Rd in Allen Park, MI is Z Shawarma King. Offering Middle Eastern traditional dishes as well as burgers, fresh shakes, and a fruit juice bar, Z Shawarma King has become my new favorite place. Most of their sandwiches are available on french bread, also! See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Fattoush Salad: Romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots, red cabbage, toasted pita, and a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. Fresh ingredients with a light and satisfying dressing. One of my favorite salads! The toasted pita really adds a nice crunch to the veggies.

fatousch salad

Falafel: Ground garbanzo beans, garlic, parsley, onions, and spices. Crispy outside with a tender, moist inside. Full of flavor and delicious. I love the fresh and pickled veggies on the side.

falafel

Grape Leaves: Stuffed with ground meat, rice, lemon juice. Grape leaves are one of my favorite dishes because they taste good and they are good for you. The lemon juice really brighten up each stuffed grape leaf. The meat and rice mixture was well seasoned and moist.

Grape leaves

Chicken Shawarma: White meat chicken breast with garlic sauce, pickles and onions wrapped in a pita. The chicken was moist and flavorful. The pita was fresh and soft, with a nice chew. The pickles are the perfect condiment without taking away from the grilled chicken.

chicken shawarma

Z Shawarma King is a great choice if you are looking for vegetarian options without sacrificing flavor. Fridays and Saturdays they stay open til 2 to cater to the late night munchies. I just love this because usually the only places that are open are fast food joints or bars. The next time you are craving Mediterranean food, but don’t want to make the drive to Dearborn, try Z Shawarma King. Service is good and the prices are very reasonable.

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Zakey Middle Eastern Cuisine

Today on the Bite Tonight: Zakey

The next stop on my Traverse City trip is Zakey located on E Front St. right downtown. There are not many Middle Eastern restaurants in Traverse City, so Zakey is the place to go when you have a craving for culture. Zakey features belly dancers and unfortunately not during our lunch visit, but we still dined. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 2 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: 1 out of 5 bites

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Hummus: I really liked that the hummus came topped with pickled veggies and chick peas. I just wished there was more of it!

hummus

Cucumber Yogurt Salad: Diced cucumbers topped with plain yogurt, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Tangy, fresh, and crunchy.

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Lamb Shawarma with a side Fatoush salad: I’m more of a “chicken shawarma” kind of gal, but I stepped out of the box and went with lamb this time. It was pretty good, but I was missing the pickles and garlic sauce in this shawarma. The salad was fresh and delicious.

lamb shawarma

I liked that Zakey has their own thing going on, but being so close to Dearborn, I am a little biased when it comes to Middle Eastern food. I thought the food was good, but not the typical shawarma that I am used to. Service was good, but the food was pricey for the portion size. If you get a chance, stop in and see the belly dancers!

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La Pita

Today on the Bite Tonight: La Pita

Located on Newman St. in Downtown Dearborn, is La Pita,  one of my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants. I like La Pita because the food is always fresh and consistent. I can order my favorite dish and trust that it’s going to come out tasting exactly how I expect every time. 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: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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First, the server brings out fresh, warm bread. Soft, slightly chewy, and airy.

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What goes better with bread then hummus? The perfect blend of garlic, lemon, olive oil, and chick peas. hummus

Spicy Chicken Man-Ushi: Chicken breast served on sesame bread with mozzarella cheese, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and spicy garlic sauce. I have to give credit to my good friend, Tee, for introducing me to this sandwich. It’s better than a shawarma because it has melted cheese and a little kick from the spice. It’s everything I want in a sandwich: tender, juicy chicken, crunchy pickles, spicy garlic sauce, and melted cheese, on soft pita. Portions are generous and one sandwich is enough to share.

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Everyone has their favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, but if you haven’t tried La Pita, you’re missing out. Service is always good and the food is great. La Pita also offers a full bar, hookah, night club, catering, and a patio to enjoy the sun. Try em out.

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Juicy Lucy

Today on the Bite Tonight: Juicy Lucy

Juicy Lucy, otherwise known as a cheese stuffed burger, is a fun way to impress burger lovers. I like to refer to this amazing creation as a glorious meat sandwich filled with molten hot liquid gold. I have seen these on TV, seen them on restaurant menus, and finally decided to try one out for myself. Yesterday, I was craving a burger and really wanted to do it right.

Gather:

– 1/2 lb of ground chuck (15-20% fat content is perfect)

– Worcestershire sauce

– Salt, pepper, garlic

– 2 slice of American cheese (or use your favorite cheese)

Prep:

1. In a large bowl, combine meat, seasoning, and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce (about 2 tablespoons).

2. Cut the cheese slices in 4’s and stack on top of each other, set aside.

3. Make 1 thin burger patty and place the cheese in the middle, top with another thin patty, pinching the edges to form a tight seal. Form the patty into a burger, pressing to slightly flatten.

4. Repeat for the rest of the meat. This should make 2 burgers.

Cook

1. Grill or cook the burgers in a skillet on medium-high heat. You really want a nice browned crust on the burgers.

Tip: Do not flatten or press down on the burgers. You don’t want to press out any juices.

2. Cook until desired doneness. I add a couple more dashes of Worcestershire sauce to the burgers while cooking. I like my burgers well done with a really crispy crust.

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3. Allow burgers to rest for a few minutes after cooking. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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I topped with pickles, ketchup, mustard, grilled onions, and baby leaf spinach. The creamy, juicy cheese oozing out was delicious! I will forever make Juicy Lucy burgers because it’s so easy and it tastes so much better. Try em out and see what you think.

 

Bourbon's on Sycamore

Yesterday my brother, Jason and I wanted to grab lunch @ Coastal Thai in Wyandotte, but we found out that it doesn’t open until 4 pm, so we went a few doors down to Bourbons on Sycamore. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I’m glad fate directed us to try out Bourbons.

Fried Brussels Sprouts: Brussels Sprouts marinated in Balsamic Vinegar and flash fried. The Balsamic was a nice touch to the brussels sprouts. The only thing I didn’t like was that the brussels were a little on the burned side. Flash fried is defined as cooking at a high temperature for a minimal amount of time: 15 seconds or so. Judging by the color, I don’t think these brussels were cooked for only 15 seconds. Regardless, I respect the idea and the light crispy texture of the brussel leaves. It was very interesting and like nothing I’ve ever had.

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Blackened Salmon Wrap with Dill Mayo & Tempura Purple Sweet Potato Fries: The salmon was served on a spinach wrap which was the first thing that caught my eye. The dill mayo was cool & refreshing, yet subtle. I ordered a side of pickles (because I love them) and they added a nice crunch to this light wrap. Now, when I ordered the purple sweet potato fries I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The tempura batter was light and combined with the sweet potato, had an elephant ear flavor. The sweet potato wasn’t too rich, but perfect. It was delicious! When you go to Bourbons on Sycamore, you have to order these! And tell them the Eat Food Detroit blog sent you.

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Bourbons on Sycamore is new to Downtown Wyandotte, but they fit right in. The food was unique and our server was on point. Bourbons brings that neighborhood bar feel with an upscale flavor experience. They have seasonal draft beers (some of which were unavailable), but my brother was able to find a couple he liked. The place was decorated with holiday swag and flat screen TVs making it a warm, cozy atmosphere.

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