Irish You Would Try Malone’s

img_3244I had tickets the other night to Andiamo to see Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits.  It was a great show – even got to get an autograph and a picture with him! A wee bit tipsy, we invited him to my friend Michelle’s house for Nachos the night night , but he was heading for Ohio in the morning.  Otherwise, I am sure he would have joined!

We wanted something a bit easier and more economical than Andiamo’s for dinner, so we decided to try Malone’s Tavern, a local Irish pub, on Van Dyke and 14 Mile.  I made reservations, that we waiting for us when we arrived. The service was friendly and she took good care of us, even though she seemed to be one of the only waitresses.

Omar and I ordered a Super Trooper Coffee and Donut Brown Ale by Petoskey Brewing Company. 7.3% abv.  The beer was smooth, not too heavy. The beer is a brown ale that has chocolate malt, Colombian coffee and donuts in it, sourced from local companies.

From the website: The coffee grounds are from Higher Grounds in nearby Traverse City and the donuts are from Johan’s Pastry Shop in Petoskey. The brew smells more like a coffee than a beer.

Their menu is fairly large, with your standard bar fair, intertwined with Irish specialties. Some of their more unusual offerings are pepper jack cheese balls, reuben sliders made with Wigley’s corned beef, home made potato chips, shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash.

I was not super hungry, and just felt like potato skins, which I ordered with a side salad. The potato skins were a bit disappointing.  They were under cooked, with a small amount of toppings.  The salad was inconsequential.  A simple bagged salad with a few soggy croutons and ranch dressing. Edible, not memorable.

Omar got a Louisiana Burger, which is a Cajun spiced burger, topped with jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo and onion straws. Served on a grilled brioche bun. He ordered onion straws on the side as he doesn’t like onion straws/rings on a burger. He said the burger was good, but didn’t order any sides so was not super filling.

Our other guests ordered such items as reuban sandwiches, atlantic salmon, burgers and shepherds pie.  Everyone said their food was ok.  Nothing special, but nothing terrible either,

Overall, I give the atmosphere and friendliness factor a 7 out of 10 and food, a mere 5 out of 10.  It is what it is, bar food, nothing less, nothing more.  I would go back again for the convenience, but don’t think I will be singling it out for its amazing food.



Nothing Fishy Here, Just Pure Seafoody Goodness

Marine City is quaint little town with a bustling main street that has antique shops,theaters ice cream parlors and a variety of restaurants. One of these restaurants is the Marine City Fish Company. This is a rather unassuming place with very little space, so reservations are a must. My beautiful Jen and I were meeting our friends Steve and Katherine there for dinner.

Arriving at 5:30, already there was a line at the door to get a table. Unfortunately, their patio was not being used because it was rainy and windy. Nevertheless, we were seated quickly and began to peruse the menu. Now when I am at a place noted for seafood, I do not order steak. We started with a bread basket, calamari and the Fish Company Spread. I must admit the house bread was just ok, rather forgettable. The fried calamari was good, but the spread was wonderful. The fish spread consisted of smoke salmon, herbs and Bermuda onions that you could place on baguette slices.

Again, because its a fish place I had to order fish. My beautiful hottie and I each ordered the fishermans platter which was a special combo platter of fries,walleye, perch and shrimp that could be fried or sauteed to your liking. When seafood is cooked correctly, it is hard to beat as a meal. The perch was very tasty, but the Walleye was beyond excellent, I had forgotten how good that fish tasted since it had been so long that I’ve eaten it. A great feast, well worth the 20 dollars. And to top it off they also served craft beers like Atwater Vanilla Java Porter. Please people I implore you don’t wash down a tasty meal like this with a Bud Lite. Ah but that’s a discussion for another time.

So, If you are ever in the area of Marine City and want to experience small town quaintness and are hungry, stop in the Marine City Fish Company. Better yet I advise you to call ahead first or may not get a table at this tasty little gem of a restaurant.

Beer Beer and more Beer

Looking for something to do, and somewhere to go, Omar and I decided we needed to try the brewhouse that his barber recommended. You never know where your next awesome restaurant referral will come from. We headed to the Brown Iron Brewhouse in Washington Township, at 26 and Van Dyke.

The place when we pulled up was already rocking, lots of people, full tables and a full patio with fire pit. We managed to grab a couple seats at the bar, and began to look over the many tappers on the wall.  Imagine an entire wall full of tappers with an array of beer offerings from light lagers to unusual porters to ever so fun and funky IPA’s. The menu of beers changes daily and sometimes even hourly we were told.

They offer sample size beers in small snifter glasses from 1.50 to 4.00 depending on the beer.  You can also get larger sizes but whats the fun in that? We both ordered to start a Liquid double fudge Imperial Stout by Evil Twin brewing company, abv of a whopping 12%. The waiter, who was amazing said we don’t want to do that what we want to do is order that AND an Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break, which was a Doughnut Imperial Porter, with a abv of 11%. I love that! I love an educated beer server who knows his stuff and isn’t afraid to speak his mind!!

Both beers were really smooth. Dark, rich and chocolaty. The Liquid Double Fudge had overtones of a bittersweet chocolate while the Doughnut Stout was a bit smoother, with a bit more sweet overtones of brown sugar and a little smoother.  I was so full after that I couldn’t do anymore. So disappointing. It was like being in a beer wonderland. Literally any kind of beer for every palate! Omar ordered a Jaden James Peanut Butter Porter with a abv of 6.8%.  The beer indeed tasted like peanut butter. Omar loved it. He loves peanut butter in many things. Shakes, sundaes, etc.  I thought it was really gross myself.  But I have to hand it to the brewers, it did have distinct flavors of chocolate, coffee, and peanut butter. Like breakfast in a glass. Although this brewhouse doesn’t officially brew yet, they were in the process of adding tanks and will begin brewing their own beer soon.

The menu is really interesting, Although a BBQ/smokehouse with the menu weighing heavy with your standard BBQ fare, ribs, brisket, burnt ends, pork, etc., it had eclectic and interesting appetizers. I had to order the loaded potato egg rolls.  Egg rolls filled with a warm cheesy mashed potato filling, with smoked bacon, sour cream, green onions, dipped in a homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.  So unusual but they were so good!

We also ordmenuered the hot soft pretzels, which came with an amazing caramelized onion dip and spicy mustard.  We added by recommendation the warm beer cheese dip.  The pretzels were really good and that onion dip you could eat by itself, with a really big spoon!

We unfortunately started our journey here too full and too late but we will go back and are excited to try some of their other offerings. What a nice surprise to stumble into somewhere you had never heard of and feel you are transported somewhere else! We can’t wait to go back.  We give this place a million thumbs up!!

I have attached a pic of the robust beer menu – but remember it changes every day!!

Vivios Part Duex – Warren

In a previous post, Omar wrote about our visit to Vivio’s in Eastern Market.  How surprised we were to discover a great little restaurant we had walked by so many times before.  We found out they also have a location in Warren, on 12 Mile just West of Ryan.  Omar and I were looking for something new to do, and we enjoyed the Detroit one so much, we decided to check it out.

The restaurant feels much more like a bar than a restaurant, They had a live band starting in a few hours,vivios games on the TV’s (the owner is an obvious Pittsburgh Steelers fan because there was memorabilia everywhere and rumor has people just keep bringing him more stuff).

The Bloody Mary menu was more limited than the one in Detroit, so we each ordered just the classic Bloody Mary.  I have to say, if it was a competition, Vivio’s Detroit would win hands down.  We decided to order a couple things and split them to get a good representation of the menu. They said their pizza was amazing so we ordered that along with a burger and fries.  The burger was good. Juicy, the right bun, and served with really good fries.  The pizza however was rather disappointing.  It was frozen pizza-esque  and although was edible, it did nothing for us as far as wanted to repeat the experience. Lets just say the leftovers we took home did not get eaten, which is rare.

I don’t think I would return unless I was with other people who wanted to go. They did have a rather good craft beer menu, which was a nice surprise, but the food, nor the drink was really good enough to entice us back.  Not a bad, but a mediocre experience.

Sat down at Prickly Pear – good thing not ON one!

I decided to take a day trip to Ann Arbor to go check out Jamie (my daughter) and her boyfriend (Quinton’s) new apartment and take them out for lunch. They have a really cute apartment directly across from U of M, convenient for Quinton who is finishing graduate school there. Jamie is commuting to U of D Mercy where she is working on her Physician Assistant degree.  We decided to walk to main street, since almost everyone walks everywhere in Ann Arbor. An easy 400 block journey (kidding, just seemed like 400 blocks).  Ann Arbor is such an amazing town.  The energy in the air with all the students walking around and all the hustle and bustle.  Main street was just a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and eclectic shops. You can get a massage, buy some candles, and eat some Mexican food all within the same block!

We decided to go to Prickly Pear.  A southwest café, with a new age twist, with offerings for both carnivores and vegetarians alike.  As we were still in the Sunday morning brunch window, Quinton ordered the chorizo omelet.  An omelet made with cheese and chorizo sausage, with a side of fried potatoes.  Funny enough, the table next to us sent is back saying “it was not what they expected” but Quinton thought it was really good.

Jamie ordered a trio of tostadas.  They were supposed to served as one each corn & tamatillo tostada, avocado & cojita cheese tostada, and black bean salsa tostada, served with salsa verde, She however, got one with Portobello mushroom.  This make excite some but for Jamie since we both abhor mushrooms, was a huge disappointment, If you are going to substitute off the menu, let someone know.

I ordered the Beef Brisket burrito, served with a side of rice and beans. The burrito was really good, and what looked like a small lunch plate was so filling!

We also ordered chips and salsa and a side of guacamole. The chips were hot and fresh, the salsa and guacamole obviously made fresh, as they were both delicious.

The only complaint of the day, and completely outside the control of the restaurant was the bees.  We decided to sit outside on the quaint patio are to people watch, but were bombarded by bees.  Or should I say wasps.  Omar will correct me if I say bees. It just happened to be that end of the season bee loving time.

Lunch was great and a nice walk back to their apartment. I would definitely recommend a trip here when in Ann Arbor.  I want to go back soon, there are just so many places to see and visit!


The Great Mojito Challenge

So Omar and I headed to Bonefish Grill for our occasional Wednesday night Bang Bang Shrimp and Mojito/Manhatten night. Our favorite waiter Colin was tied up on the other end of the bar, and Steve, who we have never met asked what we were drinking, I ordered my standard Mojito, but asked that Colin, who was on the other side of the bar make it as his were so good.  That led to the great Mojito challenge.

My second drink, which I wasn’t going to have, had to be made by Steve, it was for good cause after all. Steve wanted to prove that his Mojito would be just as good, if not better than Colin’s. His drink was very good, light, refreshing, the right hint of muddled mint.  Colin, however, adds just a hint more lime, which I like. Both really good, but I think I have to give the award to Colin, who maintains his title of best Mojito maker, actually as best Old Fashioned maker as well.  On Old Fashioned, for those of you not knowing your whiskey cocktails, is a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding alcohol, such as whiskey or brandy, and a twist of citrus rind. His Old Fashioned are what Omar compares all Old Fashioneds to.

Omar and I have been trying a lot of new dishes at Bonefish.  The burgers are ok. Not unexpected as you are ordering a burger from a restaurant that specializes in fish.  Lately, I feel like I have been sticking to some bang bang shrimp and a wedge salad.  Just enough food to fill me up but not enough to make me feel like you have to roll me out.

The food here is always consistently good, and the staff friendly.  It is a nice date night to just go sit by the bar, nibble on some appetizers and engaging in some good conversation.

I have said it before, we both recommend Bonefish, especially for ½ off bang bang shrimp on Wednesdays.  Just don’t take our seats at the bar!!

Bonefish Grill Steve and Colin