Monthly Archives: November 2013

Whole Foods

The first place I went grocery shopping after moving downtown was the Whole Foods off of Woodward.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was plesantly surprised.  While smaller than some of the other Whole Foods I’ve been to, it was just as nice.  I wasn’t sure they if they would have samples like the other stores, but they did!  The crowd was an eclectic mix of people, a good representative of the surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole.  There was security sitting in a car at the front and the parking lot is well lit.  It was also quite busy there, so at no point did I feel unsafe.  I encountered one homeless person in the parking lot but no one around looked like they would cause trouble.  I really hope that it stays a nice place for people to shop at.

If it wasn’t so damn expensive I’d shop there a lot more often!

Until next time,

H

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Sister day!

On 10/29, my sister came down and spent the night.  I got home from work around 930, and we had snacks and watched the final Twilight movie On Demand.  The next day, we woke up, got ready and went to Eastern Market Antiques.  B and I have been there a few times, and taken a few different friends with us.  We’ve also found a few cool treasures there, including a really old Sears catalog and a cat/zodiac plate (random!) that I’m giving to my sister for Christmas.

It’s a really cool place, because it’s huge and has so many different rooms with so many different things.  I usually don’t have much money with me when I go, so I never make a big purchase, but I dream about refinishing furniture or finding an authentic, cameo necklace in good condition.  For some odd reason, it usually smells like some type of food mixed in with the smell of old things, but this time it had an odd smell, and it was freezing cold, especially upstairs.  We didn’t stay as long as I normally would have, but that was ok with me; we just weren’t feeling like antiquing that day.

We left Eastern Market and went back downtown, stopping at The Roasting Plant for coffee.  I hadn’t been yet, but B told me that the coffee beans come down from a little chute, sort of like when you go through the drive thru at a bank.  The coffee tubes are in the middle of the shop, and you order at front.  I wasn’t quite sure how it worked, so I asked a guy who walked up behind us; he grumpily answered, “You just go up and order coffee.”  Right, ok, thanks captain obvious.  I ordered the Roasting Plant Blend and E got Sumatra Red Badger.  I had to add a lot of sugar in the raw to mine because it was quite strong, but it had good flavor.  We sat at the diner-style counter, looking out onto the street where we had parked.  We talked about the surgery our mom was having the next day, among other things.  Just as we were finishing up, we saw a meter van pull up right next to my car, 2 people hop out, one of them holding a large metal canister.  At first glance, E said “They’re going to put a boot on your car!!!!”  So we grabbed our bags and ran outside, me getting my purse stuck in the revolving door on the way out.  When we got to the car, we saw that the metal canister was actually a container to hold all the coins from the meters.  No parking ticket, whew!

From there we decided to go to Sgt. Pepperoni’s for lunch, since they have vegan pizza available.  E placed her order, and we got a beer at the bar while we waited.  The bartender checked our IDs and mentioned that he also grew up in our hometown, which was a weird coincidence.  There was a guy next to us watching some type of weird video; I asked him about it, then afterwards joked with E about how lately I realized I have no problem making small talk with people I don’t know at all.  Our food was ready and we moved to a table with another round of beers.  We laughed a lot, and she shared some secrets with me.  At one point an older guy came around with 2 beers and asked if we wanted them; E’s immediate reaction was suspicion and annoyance and she blurted out “Um, NO.”  I, on the other hand, don’t like to turn down freebies, and assuming that this guy wasn’t trying to roofie me, I accepted.  We’re both a bit lightweight when it comes to drinks, so we were buzzed and trying to decide if we should continue drinking or go back to my apartment.  We decided we were having too much fun, so we went to Detroit Beer Company.

Shortly after we got there, I got a call from our friend Mike.  He was downtown and wanted to know if we were out and could he meet up with us.  We were both excited to see him because he’s been a friend for a long time, but we don’t see much of each other these days.  He stayed for awhile and the three of us talked a lot; the lady next to us remembered meeting Mike at a softball game and it seemed she may have had a slight crush on him, because she kept finding ways to interject into our conversation.  Eventually, Mike left, and we left shortly after.  We decided to pick up snacks and drinks and head back to my apartment for a dance party.

When B came home from work, we were dancing away.    After a little while, E got tipsy-tired and we decided to go to sleep.  We had a big tomorrow ahead of us.

Until next time,

H

Lunch out

On a cold, windy fall day, we ventured to Corktown to go to Green Dot Stables.  I didn’t know what the place was like, but I knew that a couple of my Detroit-savvy friends had posted pictures and status updates about eating there, so I figured it was probably an interesting place. B had heard of it too, so that settled it.

I was surprised to find that Green Dot is in the middle of a desolate, semi-industrial area.  Not at all a place I expected to find a hipster gastropub.  It was hard to tell from the outside what it would be like inside.  Right when you walk in, there are wooden saloon-style doors that you pass through.  Inside it’s dimly lit, and there’s a counter to sit at that is normal height on the customer side but deeper on the bartender side; sort of like a diner/bar hybrid.  We were told it would be about 30 minutes for a table, and I could see it was true; every seat was taken!  However, we decided to have a beer and wait in the heated patio area at the back.

While we waited, we tried out a fun game I had downloaded on my phone called Heads Up.  Within about 15 minutes, we were taken to a table.  The menu was straightforward and simple, which I like.  There are a ton of sliders to choose from, and then you can get fries, salads or soup on the side.  The sliders range from beef to chicken to vegan to “mystery meat”, which happened to be alligator at that time, each with a unique combination of toppings.  I had a buffalo chicken and a corned beef; the corned beef had sauerkraut, pickles and mustard aioli, all three of which constitute taste bud heaven for me.  B had the Cuban, the BBQ Bacon and of course the mystery meat.  Add it to the list of all the weird animals he’s eaten.

The fries were shoestring fries; not necessarily my favorite (since I like my fries mushy), but with the cajun seasoning they were still pretty tasty.

Until next time,

H

Dinner in

One of the things that’s different about living in a city instead of the ‘burbs is that it’s not quite as easy to “run out” and pick something up for dinner.  It involves 2 elevators and a winding parking garage just to get onto the road.  Alas, sometimes you just don’t want to get out of your pajamas and go out to eat in a restaurant, so B made the trek to get carry out.

We’ve been wanting to eat at Slow’s for years, and we will…….but this particular night, we decided to just get Slow’s to Go.  It’s where they do their carry out, and it’s a separate location over on Cass.  We ordered about 45 minutes from closing time, and although the food probably wasn’t fresh from the oven, it was still mm-mm-good.  I had dry rub ribs with mac and cheese and sweet potato mash.  There was something different and delicious about the mac and cheese; it had a warm spice to it.  B had the sandwich called “The Reason”; it’s pork booty, he really liked it.  He picked us up a couple of Boylan sodas which was a good surprise; ginger ale for me and cream soda for him, nom nom.  And we stuffed our faces!

Until next time,

H

Bar hopping!

We have a couple friends that really like hanging out in Detroit, and I’m glad to be able to provide them with a place to chill or crash.  I’m also glad that they don’t mind making the hike downtown and paying $5-$10 to park (sad face) and spend time with us!

Jason and Caleb met us at our apartment on Friday night, after we had been at Angelina’s.  We started out at Grand Trunk because there was a tap takeover that Jason wanted to go to.  I’d been there once before but it had been about 2 years.  I really like it inside; the long narrow building with its high ceilings wooden bench seats and brick walls.  The history of the building makes me nostalgic for Detroit of another era; it used to be a ticket station for the Grand Trunk railroad.  I ordered some kind of pumpkin beer; I love all things fall and pumpkin/cinnamon-y goodness, but for some reason, pumpkin beers just never taste the way I want them to.  Yet I keep trying!

The blue haired bartender had some kind of an attitude problem (bad review on Yelp pending), and this lame too-cool-for-school guy sitting alone at the bar insulted my friend while he was trying to order a drink.  So I was pretty much ready to leave as soon as we got there, and we took off as soon as we finished our first round.  PS, if I see that guy around town again, I’m gonna let him know what I think of him!  B has been warned ha ha!

I’ve just about passed my prime drinking years, so if I go out to bars, I like there to be things to do besides just sitting and drinking.  Like darts, or pool, or shuffleboard.  So we decided to check out Delux Bar & Lounge and fortunately for me, they had darts!  After the unpleasant experience of Grand Trunk that night, Delux’s cool black interior, spacious layout and lack of crowd were just what we needed.  I wondered why it was so dead in there, but then I realized it was still pretty early.  Eventually, the place filled up nicely, and we ended up sweaty on the dance floor.  Good times, we’ll definitely go back there again.

Until next time,

H

Dinner out

One of the first Fridays we lived in Detroit we decided to go to Angelina’s Italian Bistro.  B and I definitely don’t fit the definition of foodies, but maybe you could call us aspiring foodies, or people interested in foodie culture…..or, you could just say that both of us like to eat delicious food and really enjoy going out to eat at new places.  Any way you say it, one of the things we’re most excited to do while living downtown is to try all of the restaurants that we otherwise might not make the trip down to visit.

I really like the feel of Angelina’s.  It’s very warm and cozy inside, and I’m pretty sure there is a Chihuly piece hanging in the corner (one thing I actually remember from art classes in college).  B said I should ask the server, but 1. I didn’t know if that was something to expect a server to know and 2. I felt sort of pompous asking.  “Excuse me, but let me show off how much I think I know about art by asking you about this glass sculpture hanging in this restaurant.”  Anyway, I didn’t ask.

The server brought us bread with a honey butter, and I think a white bean hummus, which were both delicious.  I ordered salmon with creamed cabbage and B had pork ravioli.  Now, when I cook, I’m really paranoid about undercooked meat, so I overcook everything, including salmon.  I’m used to eating it pretty dry at home.  When my salmon arrived, it was nice and golden-brown-crispy on the outside, but inside it looked pretty soft and red.  So I asked the server if it was ok and she said “No, it’s definitely not ok!” and took it back to be cooked more.  Which ended up taking like at least 10 more minutes.

I do not like to complain in restaurants, for a multitude of reasons.  And maybe I have some sort of insecurity at nice restaurants where I feel like if I complain about the food or ask for a refund, I’m worried they’ll think I’m a cheapskate trying to get a free meal.  In any case, I’m a firm believer that in good restaurants, if something goes wrong, they should offer you something to make it up to you, so you don’t have to embarrass yourself by asking.  Unfortunately, in this case, that didn’t happen, and I didn’t feel like making a big deal out of it.  So I paid full price for the salmon, wah wah

All in all, it was still a decent experience.  But honestly, the food didn’t wow me enough to make me want to go back.  If my cousin was still cooking there, I bet I would feel differently!!!

But we’ve got plenty of other restaurants to eat at in the next year!!

Until next time,

H

More moving stuff

Our friend Chris agreed to help us with the move-in on Oct 8th, and we really couldn’t have done it without him.  He said he actually likes helping people move, which I absolutely cannot understand but completely appreciate nonetheless!  As we were moving in our stuff from the car through the big bay door and into the freight elevator, you could hear the cheers of the crowd at Comerica Park down the street.  The Tigers were playing the Oakland Athletics, trying to win the AL Division series; B and I had already decided we would be buying tickets to a World Series game if they made it that far. It added a real feeling of excitement to the air, and gave me another reason to be happy about moving to Detroit.

After we unloaded the car, we took Chris to Park Bar/Bucharest Grill for dinner and some beers.  We got there just in time, because as soon as the game was over, the bar was flooded with people and all of the tables were quickly filled up.  B went to order us food; the MOST delicious chicken schwarmas, with pickles and garlic sauce….mmmmmmm so good!   I went to the bar and ordered us some ciders/beers.   After that we ate and talked and felt good about life.

Until next time,

H