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.
La Feria - Detroit, MI
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.
Mudgies - Detroit, Michigan
Hippies love Mudgies and so do I!!! Are you vegetarian, gluten free, or a meat craving carnivore? Do you love salads, Michigan booze and homemade soups? In the mood for a greasy, perfect Rueben or on a health kick? Do you love a good deli or are you looking for a spot that could easily do well in Berkley, California? Mudgies is for all of you. Located in a non-descript location in Detroit (not many other businesses around, so you have to know about it ahead of time), it’s always hoppin’ with a good scene for people watching. And you know you’re gonna get good food. You’ll see words like “Michigan, Detroit, local, farm” all over the menu, which is ALWAYS a good sign. Their soups ALWAYS sound good and rotate daily, and their salads (such as the Fajita chicken salad) are packed full of flavor and unique ingredients. There are a couple of famous sandwiches you can’t go wrong ordering. First off, the Mudgie: Grass-fed beef and turkey with cream cheese and veggies on warm onion Kaiser. And the Gutty V. 2.0: Salami, pastrami, bacon, beef, corned beef, cheddar and veggies on a warm Kaiser. If that didn’t hook you, you’re probably a vegetarian- but don’t worry, they have every kind of roasted red pepper, sprout, mushroom or hummus option for you also (and me, when the occasion calls for it). Sometimes I drive the D just to go to this place, and sometimes I pair it with a skate around Campus Martius on a snow day. But either way, Mudgies fills me with a little bit of awe every time. And it makes up for the fact that I don’t live in California or Ann Arbor when I’m wishing that I did. Enjoy!
Bucharest - Detroit, Michigan
Chicken Shawarma. That is all. Even my mom still talks about it months later, even though we squeezed into uncomfortable bar seats in a sea of hipsters with lackluster service. Let’s deconstruct it for a moment: heavenly garlic sauce, a few fries, fresh pita full of flavored, tender chicken, cabbage and tomatoes. And something else- what is it? Something ordained and injected by Zeus himself? Whatever it is, it adds up to one damn good shawarma. Maybe the best. The line out the door is a great advertisement- but don’t be put off. This is a ‘to go’ line. It moves fast. And while the bar area is always busy, I’ve never once gone without a table within 10-15 minutes. Stumble into the take away line drunk or drive to the D just to go here- either way, you made the right choice.
Slows Bar BQ - Detroit, Michigan
What can I say that isn’t in a million other reviews? So I’ll probably just repeat it. Best quality smoked and grilled meat I’ve ever had at any other BBQ establishment- it restored my faith and craving in BBQ and is still at the top of the list for me. The variety of sauces just give fuel to the fire that is my fantasy when I haven’t been there in a while. Two sandwiches get mention: The reason for bacon on slow-roasted pork (not shredded- big chunks of moist delicious smoked pork all up in your mouth!) You drizzle some apple BBQ on top, and the flavors swish in your palette. The other favorite is the yardbird. I don’t know why I ordered the chicken BBQ sandwich because it sounds boring- but I can tell you that now it’s hard to order anything else! It comes mixed in a sweet BBQ mustard sauce with cheese, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms and these flavors meld perfectly. On the side: Share both waffle fries and mac and cheese with a friend (the mac and cheese to rule all others with a peppery kick, crusty cheese top and gooey goodness within). Shockingly, the side salad is worth getting- fresh veggies and interesting flavors come from fresh fennel and their noteworthy tomato vinaigrette. I’ve met a couple of people who don’t like Slows BBQ, and it only proved that they weren’t ‘friend’ material. If you love meat and BBQ then Slows IS your thing.
Way back in the day (like five years ago) they used to give you two bread options. One being the kaiser roll and the other being texas toast. They cut some corners and made their texas toast out of regular bread. We miss their actual thick, garlic-butter texas toast. Bring it back and I'll be a born again gluten eater.
*There will be more photos posted once I filter through my photo library. Slows deserves more photos.
Giving you a taste of what I taste. From gourmet to everyday. No pretentious bull - just good food.