I Won’t Tease – Our Review of Eddie V’s

I must apologize, this is a very late review dating from the summer. Eddie V’s opened on Metro Parkway in June 2017 and right away became a hot spot. There is complimentary valet parking, but if you don’t feel like surrendering your car or tipping you better arrive early. Jen and I have gone there a few times, usually at happy hour and like to sit at the bar. The bar area opens up to the outside and there is ample seating around the large oval shaped bar. The happy hour menu is extensive but will add up quickly. Jen and I saw our favorite bartender, Colin who we met when he worked at Bonefish in Troy. Colin is a master mixologist whom we feel makes better drinks than the other bartenders at Eddie V’s. Its not that the others aren’t good, it is just that Colin’s concoctions are always very consistent.

I have ordered their oysters on the half shell a few times and they did not disappoint always tasting fresh and juicy with the right amount of briny goodness.  The lobster wonton which I understand is no longer on the menu was incredible. Now what’s not incredible is the Carpetbagger. This appetizer, is two fried oysters with seared tenderloin and blue cheese with bread crumbs. Dry, flavorless way too much breadcrumbs no wonder the South going thru the Reconstruction hated them, they were right. Sorry couldn’t resist it, you history geeks out there will get it. Now back to the good. The crab fried rice is an incredible side dish that is big enough to split and despite being a bit too salty (at least according to my beautiful Jen) bursts with buttery crab flavor that will tantalize seafood lovers and dare I say people who say they are not fans of shellfish.

I must say of the 5 or so times we have gone there, we have only eaten dinner entrees once. I had an Alaskan halibut dish which was very enjoyable but quite pricey at $36. Jen had the 8oz filet, tender and tasty but not worth the $40. Look, I understand eating out is expensive, but when I shell out a lot of cash, I want to be blown away by the food and frankly I wasn’t.  I was however, blown away by the dark chocolate s’mores dessert. Yes that is as good as it sounds.

I do recommend you try Eddie V’s but sit at the bar on a nice sunny day with the sun and light breeze at your back. Its expensive, but overall an enjoyable experience and tell Colin we said hello.

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.

Vini, Vidi, Vici, Vivio!

My beautiful Jen and I always try to go to Eastern Market a few times a year. We always come back with a ton of tomatoes that we share with my folks. This year we decided to eat at Vivios. We heard that the place has good food and is famous for their Bloody Marys. Now this place is not easy to get into,it is always packed from breakfast until they close. They had a hostess outside with a podium taking reservations, so we put our name in the queue and walked around until they called us 30 mins later.

Well they didn’t call us as planned cuz they were so busy,but said we could sit at the bar so we did. Now it is a friendly place with all kinds of people,from families with little kids to groups of friends waiting to be seated,and this was all before noon!

Jen and I scoped out a place at the bar and promptly sat down. We were greeted by a friendly bartender who said they were changing kitchen from breakfast to lunch so we would have to wait about 15 mins to order lunch. However the bar was open so we ordered some cocktails,two bloody marys. Jen ordered the classic which had spicy vodka which they infuse on the premises. It also had a pickle slice in it. Now mine had spicy vodka a pickle slice with a smoky paprika sea salt rimmed glass. But wait there is more. It also had a large toothpick straddling the glass that had some prosciutto and cheese flanked by two jumbo shrimp. Yeah who needs lunch now? We tried each others drink and deemed them both wonderful concoctions fit for a king and queen.

We decided to each order a sandwich and split it. Jen ordered the Dinty Moore and I ordered the muffalata. The Dinty Moore was really tasty with ooey gooey cheese. The Mufalatta is usually a sandwich common in Nawlins (New Orleans). It is Italian meats and cheeses and an olive tapenade served on a round hollowed out bread. Now the sandwich was good but not great,I think I couldn’t get past the fact that it was not on the right bread. Either way we enjoyed ourselves and would return again. For those of you who do not wish to travel to Detroit, they have a location in Warren on 12 mile between Ryan and Dequindre.

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Das pancake ist gut!

I recently tried an apple German pancake recipe that I saw on Facebook.  If you like sweet breakfast it will make your morning. I have seen these before in places that specialize in breakfast like the Pantry. So I wanted to try it out first on my daughter.

The recipe is very easy and I followed it but both Sami and I thought it needed more apples and flavor. However she ate it all anyway. It puffs up nicely like a cinnamon sugary souffle.

My advice would be to add at least one more apple and more cinnamon and brown sugar as well.  I did so when I cooked this for my beautiful Jen the next morning. She thought it was very tasty but could have used a little acidity. I agreed a small squeeze of lemon juice would have really elevated this.

So, instead of spending 8-9 dollars on pancakes, make this yourself and tweak the recipe as you like it. A simple breakfast treat that will have people thinking your a star in the kitchen.  Auf Weidersehen, herren und damen.

First pic is my pancake, and the second from the original Facebook post.

You can see the Facebook video HERE.

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Eruption of Flavor

Last night I went with my beautiful Jen to Volcano Sushi.  Now I like sushi and sashimi but I am hardly an expert.  This little gem of a restaurant is in Shelby Township behind Outback on Schoenherr Rd. It is very small, seats maybe 40 people and that includes the sushi bar seating as well. The one bad thing about this is that every time the door opens, you feel the cold.

The menu is not very big and they seem to specialize in sushi rolls, many authentic but also others that cater to a more American palate, containing cream cheese, avocado and fake crab. They also offer a variety of wines and some of the classic Japanese beers such as Kirin and Sapporro.

Jen and I ordered the gyoza appetizer and decided to split Bento Box B as an entree. Now gyoza are pork dumplings that are steamed and then gently sauteed after. These are like pot stickers. These were great, really tasty with a flavor I have tried to duplicate in my own kitchen and have fallen short. Certain Asian spices I have had before yet somehow are still not familiar to me.

Before our main entree came, we were served a bowl of Miso soup and a small salad with a peanut dressing. I ate the soup and Jen ate the salad, although we tried both. Now, for those who don’t know what a Bento Box is I will elaborate.

A Bento Box is essentially a compartmentalized tray with different foods in it. The Bento we ordered, had 5 pieces of California roll, 5 pieces of spicy tuna roll and 5 of another roll as well (sorry the name escapes me). There were also 2 shrimp fried dumplings and 4 large pieces of melt in your mouth sashimi. The sushi was very tasty but the sashimi was truly delightful. So delicate and smooth,very subtle almost creamy texture. As great as I described it Jen still wouldn’t try it because its raw, but its wonderful.  Jen and I walked away full from a tasty meal that cost only $21 for the two of us. Now all of you go and eat there and I promise you that you will say Domo Arrigatto for recommending this to you.

Let me tell you what’s at steak.

I took my beautiful Jen out to Mortons steak house last night for her birthday.  We have been there several times before, usually for corporate parties and always enjoyed ourselves.  We were seated promptly and the server came over right away with bread and water.  Jen ordered a Mojito which she said was good but a little too sweet (kinda like me). I ordered something called the last word.  This was a concoction of three different alcohols, that was pink and served in a stemmed glass that little girls would use for a tea party with their stuffed animals. Had I known this no way would I have got this drink!

The loaf of bread served was hot and fresh and oniony, like a larger lighter Kaiser roll. Very tasty.  Jen and I both ordered off the summer special menu.  This allows for an entree, a salad, a side and a dessert.  Jen and I each ordered a house salad, a 6 oz. filet and Key Lime pie for dessert.  Our only differences, were in the potato dishes. Jen ordered sour cream mashed and I ordered Lyonnaisse potatoes. Jen ordered her steak mid rare and I ordered mine rare.  We also upgraded our steaks Oscar style (topped with asparagus, lump crab in a Bearnaise sauce).

The salads were large but rather un-inspired, just lettuce some crumbled egg with dressing. That’s it, no wow factor here.  The potatoes were just ok, nothing special.  Lyonnaise is just a fancy way of saying spuds sauteed with onions. The sour cream mash was better, but if your gonna charge people 13 dollars for potatoes when ordered a-la carte, they should be special.  These were not. Now for the steaks.

Both of our steaks were super tender, juicy and cooked perfectly, nothing but praise from both of us.  The Oscar topping was equally delicious, except for a tiny bit of cartilage in Jens, otherwise very good. Dessert is a mixed review, I really enjoyed it but Hot Jen felt that the crust on the pie was burned.  I did not. I thought it was good, although Bahama Breeze has a better key lime pie I enjoyed eating Jens’ dessert as well.

Look, I know places like these are expensive, and I don’t mind dropping serious coin on a super stellar meal, however this was only good, not great. I like Mortons and I will go back, but as of my most recent experience, Ruths Chris is a better steak house.  One more word, when ordering a cocktail, be careful, bartenders are trying to get to fancy and sometimes the drink doesn’t work.  That’s why my next drink was a Martini which Morton’s makes very well.

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When your palate needs a massage, go to La Saj!

On Friday, I took my Beautiful Jen to La Saj Lebanese Bistro.  We have been there a number of times and never had a bad experience.  We always order the family combo for two and take food home on every occasion.  Even before you place your drink order, the staff is placing hot fresh pita bread and garlic dip on your table. This dip is so garlicky and awesome there is no need to worry about vampires, ever!  Love it!  Next they bring salads, Tabbouleh, hummus and Babe Ghanoush,which is a creamy smoked eggplant dish.  Now just imagine all this food with the bread before our entree is out yet, we are already full.

The entree consists or rice pilaf, grilled veggies, shish kabob, kefta, chicken kabob, grape leaves, falafel and fried kibee.  A lot of food for 30 dollars, so much so, we eat it for lunch the following day.  For the most part dinner and service was nearly flawless except for the following:  The  salad is good (my dad’s is way better) but needs more of the Bulgar wheat in it.  The grape leaves were kinda listless and flaccid. The taste was good but not exceptional and they needed to be firmer. All the meats were cooked to order and beyond flavorful as was the falafel and kibee.

For those of you who have not tried Mid-Eastern food, because you think its weird and can’t pronounce it, this place is very novice friendly and caters to the American palate. The food is great and plentiful and the service has always been good as well.  However, if your idea of great ethnic food is Taco Bell, then please stay away from La Saj because we will be more than glad to take your seats.

When you are feeling crabby, go to Red Lobster.

This past Saturday, I took my kids to Red Lobster (Lakeside Mall location) for dinner. Now I know what your thinking, I usually avoid the big chain restaurants (Ruby Tuesdays, Olive Garden, Fridays and Chili’s).  I just don’t like those places, the food is never as good as it looks on the commercials and the foods taste is the height of mediocrity.  But Red Lobster is different, I like their food and Saturday was no exception.

We arrived at 530 and the place was very busy with a 20-25 minute wait.  I suggested to the kids, we sit at some open seats in the bar area so we as to skip the half hour wait.  The server greeted us and took our orders.  My son and I each ordered the ultimate feast (crab legs, shrimp and lobster tail) and my daughter, a combination crab Alfredo and crab legs.

Our food came quickly and looked great.  I could see the fascination in my sons eyes as he gazed at the crab legs. After showing my children how to crack the legs, we all dove in. The bartender/servers at the bar area were very busy, but were on top of everything, bringing extra napkins and refilling our beverages. Great service and great food equaled a great dining experience for us. Now of course Red Lobster isnt cheap and I know its not a 5 star seafood restaurant, but it was very enjoyable and my kids left wondering when we were coming back.  Don’t worry I said we will.

Big Beaver Tavern, get off at exit 69!

My beautiful hottie aka Jen and I were in the mood for bar food in a casual relaxed atmosphere. We found such a place, Big Beaver Tavern.  Its a place where anyone can feel welcome, families, couples, older folks as well as guys who want to watch the big game on any of there multiple televisions.  The menu has classic bar fare as well as a few upscale specials such as Mahi Mahi.  Our goal was that American classic burger, brews and some type of fries.

Our server came over very quickly and presented us with menus as well as a beer list.  You have to like any place where the first beer on tap mentioned is Atwater Vanilla Java Porter.  That’s all we needed to see, because that happens to be one of our favorites, so we ordered two.  The server was very knowledgeable, because when Jen asked  if the fries were battered, she replied yes they are. We said we’re glad you told us because we don’t like battered fries.   Finally, someone who understood what those are! I told her I would have the 4 alarm burger with onion rings and she replied,”You do know are onion rings are battered don’t you”? Love the sass, made me chuckle.   Jen ordered potato skins and a patty melt.

The skins came out first. Nothing fancy just potato, cheese and bacon with sour cream. Jens patty melt was big and looked like it was cooked to order. I tried it and I thought it was good.  Now my burger and onion rings came out with Jens entree.  The onion rings were good and crispy.  Now my 4 alarm burger, had pepper jack cheese, habanero sauce and sliced jalapenos. Sounds hot, but I wanted hotter.  I made Jen try it and she said it was too hot for her, but either way, it was a good burger.

In conclusion, Big Beaver Tavern isn’t a fancy eatery nor is it a corner dive.  It is exactly what it’s trying to be, a nice causal place for a simple meal and a good beer.  I don’t think you will be blown away by the food, but you certainly will not leave there disappointed either.  Jen and I will be back.

Ruths Chris, a birthday wish

My beautiful Jen took me out last nite for a birthday dinner to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Now I have never been there but always heard good things about it.  Jen made reservations for 7:15.  We arrived at 7:05 and were promptly seated.  The server, came over quickly and took our drink order. Jen ordered a Mojito and I ordered a chilled Martini with 3 anchovy stuffed olives.  When the drinks came they were exactly the way we liked them. My martini was strong yet smooth and the anchovy olives were chock full of salty goodness.  Now even though I do not like Mojitos, I tried Jens drink.  The mint was super fresh you could smell it from across the table, as if someone just picked it from a garden.

When it comes to ordering at an upscale steak house, one has to be careful because everything is usually a la carte. However, they had special three course dinner where you can order a starter, an entree, a side and dessert.  So we both ordered this. Jen and I both ordered Caesar salads to start with. Jen ordered a filet and mashed potatoes and I ordered a ribeye  with creamed spinach. The dessert that came with the meal was strawberry shortcake. But because it was my birthday, I would be allowed to upgrade my dessert free of charge.

The salad was quite large and very good indeed. The dressing was just a wee bit tangier than I like, but Jen thought it was perfect.  When the steaks came, the server, Christine said that the plates would be hot because the steaks are cooked at a temperature of 1800 degrees. 1800 degrees I said, that’s almost as hot as her as I pointed to Jen. The sides were plentiful enough to share. The potatoes were smooth and creamy with the right amount of garlic.  The creamed spinach was good but I felt could’ve used a little more salt. Jen disagreed with me, she thought they were perfect. The steaks were cooked exactly like we wanted with exceptional flavor and tenderness.

Surprisingly, Jen and I were both full and still had dessert coming. As I mentioned before, Jens meal came with strawberry shortcake but I upgraded mine to the chocolate duo.  This consisted of a chocolate lava cake and small side of chocolate mousse. As I confirmed my dessert order with Christine, I told her to make sure the chef makes my dessert as sweet as Jen.

My dessert was fabulous, so rich and decadent, just oozing chocolaty goodness.  And the presentation was equally whimsical,with happy birthday written on the plate with chocolate syrup.  To sum up, Ruth’s Chris may be pricey, as any fine dining establishment is but definitely well worth it.

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