I need a drink

One day I had a really rough time at work.  I just started a new job, and it was an especially tough day for constructive criticism.  So I texted B and said, “I need a drink.  Let’s try a new place!”

He suggested 24 Grille, which is a classy bar and restaurant located inside the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.  The nice thing about downtown is that most things we want to do are only a short walk away.  We both recently agreed that it really is a nice change walking places instead of driving; it feels brisk and refreshing.  B even said it makes him feel more alive.

I was still in my work clothes, which are business casual, but I felt a little under-dressed at this place nonetheless.  This was probably just more of my own insecurity than it was a vibe that I got from the place itself.  We took two seats at the bar and looked over a drink menu.  There were a lot of tempting choices, and I almost went with something bold and new (something I’m trying to embrace while we’re down here), but then B ordered a vodka martini, and I just decided to do the same.  We like our martinis extra dry (little to no vermouth) and extra dirty (lots of olive juice so the drink looks cloudy).  I ordered mine with blue cheese stuffed olives, which are delicious.  The bartender did a great job; a lot of times, we ask for them extra dirty and they just don’t use enough olive juice. 

Nothing much eventful happened…except that some guy in a business suit crop dusted us as he walked by.  We finished our drink and walked home.  On the way, there was a long line of male and female valets waiting outside of the hotel, in the cold wind.  It looked as if they were preparing for a huge influx of guests, but hardly anyone appeared to be arriving or departing, so we weren’t really sure what they were all doing. 

Until next time,

H

Monday night special

One Monday after I got off of work, we decided to go to Bookies for dinner.  Our apartment complex has an arrangement set up with them so that on Monday nights, residents get 50% off their food and drink bill. 

So far, it’s been surprising to me where bars and restaurants are located.  It’s not always in places where you’d expect to find them, or maybe just not the types of places I’m used to seeing them.  Green Dot Stables was located in what appeared to be an abandoned industrial complex….Comet Bar surrounded by empty gravel lots and broken down buildings….and Bookies appeared to be in a deserted area as well.  But Bookies is actually a really nice brick building, very clean inside with a high ceiling, music playing and a chill vibe.  We sat at a table not far from the door and ordered a couple Angry Orchards.  The waiter seemed a bit socially awkward but was nice.  It was pretty empty inside, just a couple girls at the bar, besides us.  For some reason, I decided to order a turkey sandwich.  Now, this doesn’t seem particularly strange in and of itself, but, it was out of character for me.  I’ve really gotten picky about lunch meat over the past few years, and I’ve never been a huge sandwich person; I like sandwiches but I don’t love them, and they’re not my first pick when eating out.  For some reason, the sandwich sounded good when I ordered it, but I immediately began questioning it.  Would it be thin, salty, cheap lunch meat?  Or thick, fibrous white turkey meat, like leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches?  I could only hope it would be the latter.  B ordered a swordfish sandwich; he had swordfish for the first time when we were on our mini-moon in Mackinac Island so he wanted to try it again.  He has also developed an interest in eating non-traditional animals haha.  Just as I feared, the turkey sandwich was just regular old lunchmeat, and I could barely eat it.  It came with fries, which of course I wanted to eat, but I had had fries earlier that day already and just felt like a fat-ass eating them again.  B said his sandwich was good, but tasted fishier than before.  He had a 2nd cider and then we headed back home, agreeing to come back again to take advantage of the Monday night special.

Until next time,

H

Bdubs

On October 27th, we decided to go to the Detroit Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Lions game.  We had heard that it was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) in the country and we’re obviously huge fans of hot wings because we love to eat.  We also found out that they have a buffet, and yes, we love to eat, so we like buffets even if they’re kind of disgusting.

The Detroit B-dubs is 3 stories with exposed brick walls and tons of televisions.  We went upstairs to the 2nd level where they have a buffet.  You get a wristband like you’re 21+ at a bar, so they know you’re legit and allowed to be eating from the buffet.  The hostess told us that a coke was included in the price, which was $12.99 (I think).  The buffet was good, but not great.  It’s hard to keep wings hot, which is the best way to eat them.  And I happen to like a lot of sauce on mine, and these were a little low on sauce.  Finally, I guess I was hoping that a buffet would have every single flavor available, but that was probably a bit grandiose of me.  Anyway, that’s an awful lot of thought that I put into the bdubs buffet and obviously it doesn’t matter much if it was good or great.  It was a good time regardless. The service wasn’t that great; or I should say, the service wasn’t bad when we had it, but we just didn’t have much of it.  When we went to pay our tab, we noticed that we were charged for 2 cokes.  We had an awkward conversation about it with the waitress, who said that the hostess had been incorrect, but if that’s what we were told, then she’d have the manager honor it.  We weren’t arguing or complaining at all, but she was sort of defensive and it seemed like she felt like we were complaining.

The other people eating were pretty into the game, which is always fun.  They had a giant projection screen, and next to it a few smaller TVs.  Unfortunately the smaller ones were a few seconds faster than the big one, and B kept looking at the smaller ones and seeing what was about to happen before I and everyone else really did.  I told him to stop but I guess it was hard to block the view of it.  The Lions were up and down throughout the game, and towards the very end, even the announcers had pretty much written us off.  Disappointing.  I don’t know much about football because just this season I started getting more into it, but even I know that the Lions have had a rough go of it for basically my entire life.  They’re finally starting to get a bit better and all the fans are pretty hopeful. 

We left, walked home, and were still able to catch the very end of the game, and this is how B describes it:  “The Lions drove down the field with one minute left, no time outs, and made a 30 yard pass where the wide receiver was tackled near the 2 yard line.  With only seconds left, Stafford was motioning to spike the ball to stop the clock, but he fooled everyone by jumping over a pile of guys for the touchdown.  It was amazing!  Basically, very un-Lions like.” Ha ha.  But it was very exciting!

Until next time,

H

 

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

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