the bite tonight

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

Troy: Ocean Prime

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli at Ocean Prime is light and delicate, with a tangy, creamy filling. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

(Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with Golden Oak Mushrooms)

Ocean Prime is an upscale dining destination specializing in prime seafood and steaks. I was invited to taste their Happy Hour menu this past week including appetizers, small plates, and cocktail specials. With an emphasis on presentation and detail, Ocean Prime sets to create remarkable dining experiences. Their “smoking” displays (getting creative with dry ice) really exhibit the dedication and passion to wow their guests. Ocean Prime offers a menu featuring American dishes done with modern, sophisticated execution including White Truffle Cavier Deviled Eggs and Duroc Pork Chops.

Berries and Bubbles cocktail at Ocean Prime in Troy, MI is spooky and theatrical. It includes dry ice which gives it a bubbling and smoky effect. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Berries and Bubbles: Belvedere Citrus, Crème de Cassis, House made sour, Domaine Chandon Brut, Grand Marnier marinated berries. A little sour meets slight fruity fizz.  Pretty cool! This drink is made with dry ice which gave it a smoky, bubbling effect.

The Berries and Bubbles cocktail is light and refreshing, with a slightly sour citrus punch. The sweetness from the berries and Grand Marnier balances the flavors. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Tuna Tartare: Ahi tuna, chilled, diced, and tossed in soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, stacked as a tower with avocado tossed in lime juice, wasabi drizzle, and fried wontons in ginger ponzu sauce. Garnished with sour cream, pickled ginger, toasted sesame seeds, scallions. Light, refreshing, with a touch of heat. With each bite, you got a nuttiness from the sesame seeds and a crunch from the fried wontons. The sweet, citrus ponzu sauce was a nice addition and the tuna melted in your mouth.

The Tuna Tartare is great if you want a light, yet satisfying dish. It combines buttery tuna, avocado, fried wontons, ginger ponzu sauce, and garnished with pickled ginger and sour cream. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Somerset Roll: (Pictured on left). Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, Scallion, Beef Carpaccio (pounded thin and served raw). The beef carpaccio was a unique twist and it worked. The cream cheese added a slight tang that went well with the sweet sauce.

Tuna Roll (Pictured on right). Spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber. I was a little disappointed there wasn’t more to this roll. I liked that the tuna was on top, but it was pretty basic. I can get a spicy tuna roll like this anywhere.

The Somerset Roll at Ocean Prime in Troy, MI pairs tempura shrimp with beef carpaccio. The tempura adds a nice texture while the cream cheese brings a rich and tangy element that aligns well with the sweet sauce. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Shrimp Saute: Jumbo shrimp sautéed in white wine garlic sauce, Tabasco, & grape tomatoes.  Served with sourdough crostini with aged Swiss and Provolone cheeses gratineed on top and garnished with minced chives. I am not sure I understood the idea behind this dish and how the ingredients fit together. The Tabasco cream sauce was tasty with subtle heat, and the shrimp was fresh and succulent. However, the crostini was so soggy from the cheese and sauce, that when I first tried it, I thought it was just a piece of fried cheese. It tasted good, but the cheese was heavy and it was hard to distinguish what it was until we asked our server. It would have been better with a more substantial piece of bread like a baguette with a light dusting of cheese added right before it was served.

The Shrimp Saute at Ocean Prime in Troy, MI sits in a pool of tobacco cream sauce. The appetizer is served with a sour dough crostini topped with melted Swiss and Provolone cheeses. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Point Judith Calamari: Fried and tossed with hoison, soy, and sweet Thai chili sauces with carrots, red peppers, bean sprouts, candied cashews, snap peas and scallions. The sauce was sweet, slightly spicy, thick, and tacky, and really adhered to the lightly fried calamari. The calamari was still crispy despite being dressed with a generous amount of sauce. The garnish of veggies and candied cashews added a fresh, crunchy texture.

Point Judith Calamari at Ocean Prime in Troy, MI is tender, lightly breaded with a crispy texture. The sweet, Thai chili sauce is tacky, sticky, and adheres to every curve of the calamari. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Lamb Lollipops: Teriyaki marinated Australian lamb rib chops.  Frenched (exposed ribs), roasted, seared, and glazed with Teriyaki marinade reduction on a bed of soy butter sauce. The lamb was heavily seasoned which was appreciated, but it was overcooked (served well done) and a little dry. I liked the soy butter sauce. It was salty, rich, with a nice sweetness to finish it off.

The Lamb Lollipops at Ocean Prime in Troy, MI come drenched in a sweet and salty soy butter. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

Butter Cake: House-made warm, golden butter cake, with fresh berries, vanilla ice cream, served with a house-made raspberry sauce. This dessert took me back to my childhood when I used to eat butter cookies with my grandma. It was warm, simple, yet complex with the different layers of flavor. First, you tasted the warm, sweet, cake, then the fresh berries, creamy cool vanilla ice cream, and it was completed with a tart raspberry sauce. In one spoonful, I scored a crispy, crunchy edge of the cake which almost had a caramelized element to it.

The Butter Cake at Ocean Prime in Troy, MI is sweet enough to satisfy your craving, but not too overindulgent. The fresh, seasonal berries add natural sweetness that compliment the sugary vanilla ice cream. The raspberry sauce is warm, tart, and syrupy. Find the full post at www.thebitetonight.wordpress.com

The “smoking” presentation included in dishes such as the Shellfish Tower, Shrimp Cocktail and the Berries and Bubbles cocktail is creative and theatrical. Overall, you can taste the quality and feel the effort put forth in each dish at Ocean Prime. Service was above average and the staff knows their stuff when it comes to the menu and recommendations. Be sure to take advantage of Ocean Prime’s Happy Hour happening weekdays from 4-7 PM which includes $5 off cocktails and sushi rolls, and specially priced appetizers and small plates.

  • Join Ocean Prime for an Easter Brunch Sunday, April 16th beginning at 11 AM featuring Blood Orange Mimosa, Smoked Salmon, Crab & Eggs, Braised Short Rib Surf and Turf, and more!
  • Surf & Turf Sundays: 2 courses featuring an 8 oz filet with your choice of Sea Scallops, Crab Cakes, or Shrimp Scampi for $55/person. Select bottles of wine for half priced.

Ocean Prime Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Royal Oak: Qdoba

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Taco Salad: Tequila lime chicken, corn salasa, pico de gallo, guacamole, lettuce, black beans, cojita cheese, spicy queso, and sour cream. This is usually my go to because I can go crazy with all the toppings. Fresh, light, and delicious! Totally satisfying and I didn’t feel bad eating it because of all the veggies. The spicy queso packed the heat and I liked that could taste all the different peppers.

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Qdoba is one of the few chain/fast food spots that I enjoy. I really like that you can load up on a ton of veggies and customize your order. They are constantly offering new and exciting menu items and switching things up. Check it out!

Steak Quesadilla: Loaded with sauteed red onions, green peppers, cheese. The steak was tender and flavorful. Salty, spicy, but not overwhelming. Perfect ratio of cheese, veggies, and protein. The green peppers still had a bite to them, but were slightly sauteed. I hate when veggies have been cooked to death that they are so limp and lifeless.

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Knockout Tacos

Gladiator: Grilled steak, bacon, pico de gallo, lettuce, Mexican caesar dressing, cilantro and cotija cheese. The bacon was salty and paired well with the tender steak. I really liked the Mexican Caesar dressing. It was creamy, tangy, with a little kick.

Two timer: Pulled pork, salsa roja, shredded cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo and cotija cheese in a crispy taco, wrapped in a flour tortilla spread with 3-cheese Queso. The queso acted as glue for the second tortilla. It had a “cheesy gordita crunch” vibe, but only better because it was queso! The pulled pork was juicy and the cojita cheese added a hint of salt. The veggies were fresh and balanced out the whole taco. The only thing I didn’t like was that halfway thru, the tortilla started to fall apart so I ended up fork and knifing it.

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My favorite thing about Qdoba is the selection of queso. At any given time, they offer around 3 different types of queso to choose from. The current promo is beer cheese queso and I can’t wait to try it! Each location offers different seasonal items, so be sure to check with your local Qdoba.

Shout out to Sonya at the Northville location. Thanks for the opportunity to try out so many delicious items!

Qdoba Mexican Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Johnny Noodle King

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Another best seller from the owners of Green Dot Stables, Johnny Noodle King is one of the few spots to score ramen in Detroit. Even though the menu has a lot of Japanese influence, Johnny Noodle King incorporates tastes from all over the world. Janet and I were lucky enough to score a seat at the counter right in front of all the action. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4.5 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

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We started off with a drink

Hitachino White Ale

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“Shark Fin” Dumpling: House Made Dumpling · Shrimp · Sweet & Spicy Sauce. So good! Really fresh and light despite being fried.

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Gong Bao (sauced): Chicken· Bell Pepper · Carrot · Scallion · Peanuts · Korean Chili Powder · Bean Sprouts · Garlic · Wide Rice Noodles. Spicy as shit! The Korean Chili was a little overpowering, but had good flavor. The peanuts added a nice crunch and saltiness to counteract the heat.

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Southwest (brothed): Shredded Pork · Corn · Scallions · Pickled Poblano · Ricotta Salata · Cilantro. The best! If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything South of the border. This was everything I hoped for and then some. The broth was so flavorful and spicy without being too hot. The ricotta was a nice touch to add a creamy coolness and the fresh cilantro and corn were amazing. Who doesn’t like pickled pablanos? We went with the shredded pork versus the pork belly and it was a good choice. So tender and juicy.

Before

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After

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Service was great and they were packed even on a rainy Wednesday. It was the perfect day for ramen. We only waited about 10 min, but it was definitely worth it. This isn’t your ordinary dorm room ramen. Although, they do have it on the menu (comes plain, just noodles and broth for those less adventurous). I can’t wait to go back and try the Bacon Fried Rice  and the pork belly bun. Check it out!

Johnny Noodle King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bierkeller Tavern

For lunch, Lauren and I decided to try out Bierkeller in Taylor, MI. I will admit that I heard both good and bad so I was nervous to try this spot out. Located on Goddard, Bierkeller brings a taste of Germany to Downriver. With a creative menu, over 30 beers on tap, live music, and food and drink specials, Bierkeller has quickly become part of the neighborhood. 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: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (creative menu, German theme)

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Of course, I had to start out with a mead.

B. Nektar Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser: Refreshing, light, with a slight sweetness. I first had my first taste of mead about 3 years ago and fell in love. It’s so yummy!

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My pick

German Taco’s: Three flour tortilla’s stuffed with shredded corned beef, red cabbage, and haus sauce served with your choice of side. Delish! The haus sauce was some sort of horseradish aioli concoction and it was very good. It added just enough zip to balance the salty corned beef. The cabbage added a nice crunch. My only disappointment was that the cabbage was seriously juicy and caused the tortilla to get soggy. I also never received my choice of side with this entrée.

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Kellercakes:  Crispy potato pancakes stuffed with bacon and sharp Cheddar cheese. Topped with green onions and served with a side of sour cream and wasabi ranch.  Of course a Polish girl cannot pass up potato pancakes. These were crispy, salty, and cheesy. The wasabi ranch added just enough creamy, cool, spice to send my taste buds into overdrive.

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Lauren’s pick

Bierkeller Burger: Beef patty topped with carved ham, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, spicy brown mustard, served on a pretzel bun. Fat & juicy! The combo of beef and ham never disappoints. The subtle Swiss paired with the sweet onions and spicy, tangy mustard. The fries were cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

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Service was OK and the food was pretty tasty. I do give Bierkeller credit for the unique and creative menu. The German theme brings something different to the area. I liked that the seating is family style with long wooden tables and benches. Stop in for some sauerkraut balls and get a growler of your favorite beer to go.

Lauren, I cannot wait for our AZ adventure!
Bierkeller Tavern & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Camino Real

Located on Eureka Rd in Wyandotte, MI is Camino Real. This spot is actually where Ponderosa used to be and opened it’s doors about a year ago. Camino Real uses quality meats and produce and serves authentic Mexican cuisine. They offer food and drink specials. live music, and events. I’ve been meaning to try this restaurant for a while and it seemed perfect to meet Janet here for dinner. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4  out of 5 bites

Price: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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My pick:

There Flour Taco dinner: Al Pastor (marinated pork), Pollo Asado (grilled chicken) and Carne Asada (steak) topped with lettuce, tomato, and cheese served with rice and beans. The meats all had great flavor and were moist. I think my favorite was the al pastor. Slightly sweet and salty pork never disappoints. The rice was perfectly cooked and the beans were delicious. The only thing I didn’t like was that by the time I made it to my third taco, the tortilla was very soggy from all the juice.

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Janet’s Pick

Three Corn Taco dinner: Chorizo (Mexican Sausage), Pollo Asado (grilled chicken) and Carne Asada (steak) topped with cilantro and served with rice and beans. Janet’s taco dinner was a little more authentic than mine and verydelicious. The cilantro was fresh and brightened up the tacos. The chorizo was spicy without being super greasy.

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If you haven’t visited Camino Real yet, get in there. The portion sizes are generous (our tacos were filled to the brim with meat) and service was good. I do want to go back on a weekend when the live music plays.

Janet, let me know when you want to go back!

Camino Real Mexican Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maple Leaf Diner

Next Dallas feature is the Maple Leaf Diner. Don’t let this diner, which is located in a strip mall, deceive you. They are what I would describe as a hipster diner and are whipping up some delicious and over the top dishes. Maple Leaf Diner is making their food from scratch and bringing a taste of Canada to the big D. 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 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Really quirky décor-coffee cups hanging from the ceiling

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Ma and I split the diner omelet (create your own) with spinach, feta, and sausage served with home fries and homemade blueberry preserves. Fresh ingredients and huge portions. The home fries were delicious! The blueberry preserves were some of the best I’ve had and tasted delicious on the thick pillowy toast.

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Pot Roast Poutine: Fresh cut fries, pot roast, cheese curds  and brown gravy . Pretty decent poutine for a “diner” in Texas (tee hee). An appetizer that eats like a meal. The pot roast was thick and meaty and the cheese curds light and creamy. The whole dish had a nice balance of salty and savory.

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Chicken, Bacon, & Waffles: Fried chicken breast and crispy bacon served on stacked Belgium waffles, topped with fresh strawberries and cream puffs . Talk about over the top! This is the perfect breakfast for your inner child. It’s adult enough to qualify as breakfast, but sweet enough to spoil any appetite for the rest of the day. It’s a delicious tower of yum! The cream puffs were delicious! Ice cream inside a flaky pastry? Whaaat?! The chicken was juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The fresh strawberries cut through the salty bacon.

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Maple Leaf Diner has the classics, but they take these favorites and give them a makeover. Such as the Magic Mike Burger and the Lox Benedict & Latkes. Be sure to check out their dairy bar and fresh, homemade desserts. The best part is that they serve beer/wine and you can get a “boozy” adult shake while enjoying a solid meal.
Maple Leaf DIner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato