Guess what? As I sat down to write this review, I started to fantasize about the quality and bold flavor that are Guanaco. Now I’m going to take a break and So that’s my first selling point. I’ll hold off until I finish another round to see if it inspires anything new…
Still great! Now that my belly is stuffed full of goodness, let me explain that El Guanaco is the only El Salvadorian restaurant in the Troy/ Royal Oak area (at least that I’ve found!) The first time I walked in, the restaurant was a hole-in-the-wall establishment and the workers were jumping wildly around a television, rooting for their favorite El Salvadorian soccer team. There was a certain charm to that, though I know they’ve gotten some mixed reviews for service, wrong orders, wrong change and language barriers. However, this has definitely improved. They moved around the corner, just north of Maple Road on Livernois (East side of the street). Their new place is clean and more professional with more confidence inspiring décor. There’s even a couple of tables if you want to hang out with your papusas.
What sets this apart from Mexican restaurants is the papusas (which have generated a small following in the area), empanadas (my personal favorite), and other regional choices such as their marinated chicken. The reason I keep coming back is that you get a LOT of food for a little money, and they don’t skimp on the portion sizes. Case in point: One taco is $1.50. It consists of two fairly large corn tortillas and is busting at the seems with meat (al pastor is the way to go!), fresh cilantro and onions, and spicy red sauce on the side (a must if you ask me). I’m usually a three taco gal as I have a nice appetite, but they had me stuffed at two (especially since you gotta save room for an empanada!) Empanadas come with spicy cabbage deliciousness and a different red sauce, not as hot but a good dipper. Every item I’ve ordered has been tender, flavorful and fresh, unlike many other restaurants in the same cuisine. It seems you can’t really go wrong here. They deserve the good reviews, and I’ve never had bad service or a wrong order. Try it out and you’ll have solid leftovers for a couple of meals.
El Guanaco's Website
I went downtown to try Craftwork (again) for a friends birthday. It was a lovely evening filled with great food, friends, and conversation. I really love the decor of the bar area. It's a non-pretentious atmosphere with community seating. And the food really did hit all the right notes. The first time I came here (when they first opened) I wasn't too impressed. The service was slow and the appetizers I got did not rock my world. In fact, some of them were even over done. I did really like the area and the atmosphere and ultimately that's what brought me back. I try not to judge new restaurants on their opening weeks because it takes time to get into the flow of things. Again, I'm very glad I gave Craftwork another shot.
Tapas have hit Detroit! With small plates being a new fad for the indecisive, La Feria brings you small bites for your palette. La Feria has the feel of a tapas bar, but feels slightly institutionalized. Some menu items are on display, but dried, old versions of what you could order. There are flags hanging up and nice small tables and chairs outlining the place. It's a small area and a fine atmosphere. I imagine it would get loud and congested when busy, but I went during an off peak time.
The red wine and sprite 3$ special was quite refreshing, giving you a simple sangria taste, but with no fruit. The tapas were good, but having been to Spain and tasting tapas and montaditos, there really isn't any comparisons. The tapas were ok. They didn't blow my mind. I was a little disappointed at the size of the montaditos. They use larger slices of bread, but the toppings were minimal for a montadito. In Spain when you order a real montadito they give you a lot of bang for your buck. It's a small mountain of deliciousness. Here you will be lucky to a get a little hill.
The ingredients relies heavily on garlic. Even though I looooove garlic, it was a bit much when every dish tasted of strong garlic flavors. Even the patatas bravas, had garlic swished around it. They are definitely the best value you here. For three dollars you get a plate of potatoes. So, if you're hungry and looking to fill up - get the potatoes. The Spanish omelette was good, but needed more salt and pepper. I would have liked it better if it were hot! The shrimp I wouldn't get again. They were good, but they tasted like a good solid shrimp scampi. Nothing to write home about. But I can get shrimp scampi at Red Lobster (and a lot more of it!). Bacon wrapped dates were excellent, but the garlic, goat, and sheep cheese spread montadito was suuuuupppppperrrrr overpowering. If you are on a date you will not want to get this one. It lingers with you the whole night.
There are so many options to choose from and I liked the atmosphere during the non-week rush so I think I'll be back and give it another shot. Paella night is Tuesdays! Paella and tapas sound lovely. I'll update this when I go for a second round.
It's Pinball Pete's meets Dominicks. Minus the sangria, but it's be cool if they started making it! :) With so many new places popping up it was about time new business entrepreneurs started to take note and do something a little different. In steps M Brew a new local beer, snacks, and arcade place. With microbrews on the menu and shuffleboard and old school arcade games downstairs how can this be a bad combination? Answer. It can't. There are snacks for the drunk and hungry ranging from wraps and salads to pizzas and pizza by the slice. There's indoor seats as well as outdoors.
If you're by Valentine Vodka and you see the house next door hoppin' with locals, don't be sad you weren't invited to the house party because... You were! Everyone is! That old house is M Brew transformed. So now if VV is too busy you have another place to rest your feet. Good job Ferndale. Once again, you are proving to add new awesome places to your city. Maybe Royal Oak should start taking note.
Go try it out! Hot and new. ;)
You know that moment when you’re starving, meeting friends in Ferndale in an hour, and not wanting to search for a parking spot before filling your belly? You know you need to eat before getting your drink on, but can’t deal with circling for spots downtown. This is the moment you go to Christine’s in Ferndale. That scenario might sound like it’s selling Christine’s short. It’s a perfectly comforting and delicious breakfast spot in it’s own right, as well. But its location makes it a great place to grab fresh and well-prepared food in Ferndale in the evening without dealing with Ferndale parking, which is getting increasingly hard to navigate.
Giving you a taste of what I taste. From gourmet to everyday. No pretentious bull - just good food.