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.


Peking-a-Boo House

Peking House is our go to restaurant when our company goes out and we are hankering Asian food. We have even catered it in for a few events. Peking House has been suffering recently with the addition of a new parking structure just North of the restaurant. It has been a mess for months, making the restaurant hard to access and parking a pain. I have heard rumors they may close, albeit temporarily while they are under fire.

The restaurant is kind of nice, with a lazy susan style table, where food can be shared and passed easily. Meals start with Chinese crackers and a sweet, sour and spicy dip, which is pretty decent. Eggs rolls are ok, not my favorite, and usually brought with spilled (and very hot) Asian mustard. The wonton soup is good, but comparable to most Chinese restaurants in the area. Good, but nothing special.  I personally find their food just, well, meh. My coworkers rave about the chicken with string beans and black beam sauce, but I have not tried.  The dishes I have tried fall into the mediocre category.

Peking House is one of those places you will go to, may go again, but won’t rave about nor will you feel compelled to tell all your friends. Go there if you are nearby, but don;t go out of your way for.

Back to Sedona

Ah, back a Sedona Taphouse. I already told you about  the ambiance, the taps, the beer, the menu. Read HERE.

Did I mention That your sides are blues or greens? I had to ask what that was. Your choices are blue corn chips, or a green mixed side salad. OK, so that makes sense!!

I met up with a friend of mine, Mary, and Sedona Taphouse was a nice mid point to meet, and Mary had never been. You have to watch this place those, the menu is odd. The food is on the front page of the menu, and the back page looks like just wine and cocktails, but look carefully, and there is also more food in the bottom corner.  Under the martinis and dessert, lies small plates and sandwiches. That is where I found what I would be ordering that night. I opted for the Prime Rib Sandwich. Typically, I shy away from french dips, or steak sandwiches of any kind because they are usually tough and gristly. This sandwich however did not disappoint. Ordered sans mushrooms, the sandwich came with caramelized onions, fontina cheese, horseradish sauce on an artisan roll and served with natural au jus. Choice of blues or greens, I got greens. I think my only complaint here is the lack of fries, or dare I say tots? LOL. The food is good, ambiance pleasant and waitstaff friendly and efficient.

My flight:

Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Stout Scotland – Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Stout, abv 7.4% – This English Stout is dark, very dark and complex with hints of oak, chocolate and vanilla. Feel is light for a stout beer.

Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Brew – NY Imperial Stout – abv 11.5% – An American Double/Imperial Stout. The commercial description is “The Roman Empire had a certain “je ne sais quoi” – festive food culture, extravagant architecture, and spectacular live entertainment. Some might argue the Emperors were brutal, mad, and hungry for power, and the people vain when taking baths and working out all day. Listen – that’s still all part of the secret Imperial ingredient – keep it cool, clean, confident, arrogant, and flamboyant. Forza Imperiale.” This beer is strong, with overtones of almond, strong coffee and dark chocolate. Has a boozy edge to it, with a whiskey like kick. A good sipping beer but to heavy and too boozy to drink to much of.

Greenbush Brewing Company Jeeze O’ Petes – MI – Dry Irish Stout abv 10.5% – Another chocolaty yummy beer (do you sense a trend?) with a smooth texture and minimal carbonation. Dark and drinkable. Like a good after dinner Irish Coffee.

Paw Paw Rye Anna – MI Barrel Aged Chocolate Stout** abv 7% – Stone Brewing Company’s Milk/Sweet Stout. The “Rye” barrel aging didn’t really come through on this beer, and had some cherry undertones I did not care for. Yep, definitely too much cherry for me.

**this beer is now retired




I Did Not Shake My Shake!

Shake Chocolate Porter is brewed by the Boulder Beer Company. I had the pleasure to try this beer and will order out any chance I get.

This beer, with a fairly low 5.9% abv is dark and aromatic, with flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee and caramels.  This beer uses chocolate wheat as well as cacao nibs in their brewing process to make a very creamy smooth mouth feel.  This beer is brewed year round and has won the silver medal in the 2015 US Open Beer Championship  and the Gold metal in the 2014 World Beer Cup – Chocolate Beer category.

Hanging with the Ladies and Johnny Black

Met some old friends at Johnny Blacks Public House in Sterling Heights. Well, my friends weren’t old, well not older than I am (ugg). We all used to be neighbors what seems like a million years ago. It’s funny how you meet up with people you haven’t seen in a long time, and it seems like time never passed.

Johnny Blacks has a feel of an upscale sports type bar, with many TV’s, high top tables and an upscale menu. They even have a small outdoors area you can sit weather permitting.

The menu has a large selection of small plates, sliders, salads, appetizers (including loaded tots, my new favorite) and a full entree selection.

I ordered the sliders with fries and was a bit disappointed when the fries turned out to be those darn battered fries. At least these were seasoned. The sliders were fairly good, on mini bricohe buns. A bit dry though.

They had a fairly large beer selection. I opted for my go to Atwater Vanilla Java Porter, which I already told you all about, many times.  🙂

Overall atmosphere is cheery, friendly and efficient service.  I would definitely go back again, and try something different. Like the loaded tots! A stand by local hangout to make one on your stops.

Mmm… Johnny Cakes

Omar and I decided to grab a quick breakfast before jumping into another home project.  It seems that’s all we have had a chance to do lately! We decided to try Johnny Cakes Cafe’, in Troy on John R just South of Long Lake.  I had read reviews quite some time ago about the great breakfast, but this was the first chance we had to check it out.

The menu has an eclectic offering of really different breakfasts.  And if your name is Johnny Cakes, you assume they have a large selection of pancakes, which they did not disappoint. Yes I know Johnny Cakes are cornbread, but “cakes” make you think pancakes, so…. ranging from Lucky Charms pancakes (the special of the day) to red velvet, oreo, futopia and more! An interesting collection of Eggs Benedict, “shillets” and crepes, this place was a foodies wonderland.

Our waitress, Vickie was friendly, attentive and offered great suggestions. I ordered the Huevos Rancheros, to which Vickie suggested I put the Ranchero sauce on the side because it was hot – and let me tell you, Vickie did not lie!! Wooo Baby that was spicy!  Crispy hash browns, topped with oozy cheddar cheese, topped with freshly grilled corn tortillas, more melted cheese, all topped with two perfectly cooked over easy eggs. You cut into the eggs and the warm yolks just pour onto the crispy tortilla, and with the hash browns, a touch (just a touch!) of the Ranchero Sauce, and a bit of the sour cream and guacamole, gives a bite brimming with savory deliciousness. It was truly  a symphony of flavors.

Omar ordered the “2 and 2”. 2 eggs any style and 2 pancakes, any flavor AND hashbrowns.  Omar decided to try the peanut butter and nutella (pictured below) and the Resee’s Peanut Butter Cup. What he didn’t know were the pancakes were the size of  your head, we expected two small side pancakes, we didn’t expect the works of art that was brought to the table.  Vickie apologized that the chef accidentally made the peanut butter and nutella as pecan and nutella, she profusely apologized as our actual order would take a bit longer and asked that we take the “mistake” so it didn’t go to waste, humm OK, twist our arms!!

I am not kidding when I said the pancakes were a work of art, and delicious too. They were a bit of a sweet overload for breakfast. Almost seemed like desert pancakes if there is such a thing!

We also had to order the “homemade corned beef hash” on the side. Don’t judge our piggishness. Omar and I are corned beef hash snobs, and after making our own for so long have a hard time finding anything more than canned dog food out, but I digress. This corned beef hash was most definitely homemade. Tasty, but in our opinion needed more corned beef, and maybe some onions. But definitely in the running for best corned beef from a restaurant.

Look at that pancake below! Swirls of peanut butter and nutella in an edible masterpiece!

Our suggestion – go to Johnny Cakes. TODAY. OMG you won’t be disappointed.  The meals are a bit expensive but well worth it.  Our bill for two was about $30 but we feasted. And had leftovers.



Sedona is a Beautiful Place This Time of Year!

Sedona Tap House opened on Big Beaver in Troy.  The place sounded great, promising a large variety of craft beers as well as cocktails and wine.  The beer list did not disappoint. Hundreds of beers available for the tasting, and tasting we did! We sat at the bar, and the restaurant offered a cheerful murmur and casual ambiance. The wall was lined with beer taps, and a large variety available by bottle. The menu was rather eclectic, with offerings such as goat cheese and tomato jam bruschetta.

We started the meal with Desert Fire Jalapenos, 4 halved jalapenos, stuffed with Stuffed with 4 different cheeses, wrapped in bacon wrapped with a chilled lime cilantro sauce. They were pretty good, but as with these “fancy” restaurants seemed scant on the plate.

Omar continued just with appetizers, opting for the Prince Edward Island Mussels which are prepared with Tomatoes, red onions, garlic and a lemon basil sauce. He said they were very good, and I would just have to take his word for it – blecch.

I ordered the Salmon Asparagus Salad which the menu describes as broiled Atlantic Salmon, organic greens, asparagus, feta, walnuts, tomatoes, dried cranberries. House made lemon balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was good, and plentiful enough. Salmon cooked well, and not fishy. An overall nice salad. But what really matters is the beer!

Beers on our flights included:

Ellison Tiramisu Coffee Stout 8% apv – a dark brown creamy stout, with aroma of vanilla, coffee, caramel, chocolate a bit of coconut and dark roasted malts. Very drinkable, not too heavy and overall very good.

Osker Blues Breckenridge Bourbon Barrel Aged Ted-Fidy 12.9% abv : Rich chocolates and vanilla, lots of malt. Oak and bourbon very dominant. Very full bodied with great “barrel” feel.

Cake Walk Vanilla Cream – Right Brain 3.8% abv – A light cream ale infused with vanilla bean. A very light, drinkable beer, similar to cream soda.

Saugatuk Barrel Aged Blueberry Maple 6% abv – Notes of berry and maple in this lighter stout beer. Blueberry takes a back seat to the maple, which isn’t my favorite. A very sweet beer.

Crankers Aphrodisiac Chocolate Pomegranate Stout 8.4% apv – very dark, overtones of chocolate and a hint of fruit. A nice contrast of flavors and overall good beer.

Perrin Damil in Distress 10% apv – Looks similar to root beer, this Roggenbier style beer has sour smell, but overtones of malt and rum (as it is a rum barrel beer) easy drinking.

Odd Side Ales Mango IPA 6% apv – ok, an IPA and you know I wouldn’t normally order this, but sounded intriguing with the mango. A sweet start to the beer, has a bitter aftertaste that is indicative of an IPA. Not my favorite, and wouldn’t order again.

The Brewery So Happens it’s Tuesday 14% apv – an American Double/Imperial Stout – dark and tasty, with hints of bourbon, molasses, vanilla, oak, chocolate and malt. Very boozy with the highest abv of the day.

Overall a great experience and would go again! Just use the app to make reservations, which gave is a table in no time, otherwise prepare for a long wait!

It Was Our Destihl-y

Allison had her onsite visit and interview at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Science. We stayed overnight at the TownPlace Suites by Marriott. The hotel was nice and very accommodating. Parking was a bit difficult, you have to pull into a nearby parking structure and call by pressing a button on the ticket stand.  We rang and rang with no answer and wound up actually having to call the hotel to buzz us in.  Once we got the hang of the “system” it was much easier. After her interview for potential entrance into the Fall semester we visited Deshtihl Brewery with my niece Amber who already attends University of Illinois.  Deshtihl was recommended by the hotel staff who said the food was great and beer plentiful.  They tout themselves a Gastropub, They are an interesting place to visit. They are trying to be “fancy” but seem to be one of those pretentious restaurants where ingredients are randomly added to food to make it sound more “gourmet”.

Dishes include such items as Chorizo stuffed dates, fennel sausage and date pizza (they use a lot of dates. Dates must be fancy) and Weissenheimer Chicken. Now that’s a mouthful. Nothing on the menu really jumped out at me. I ordered the Ancho Chicken Salad sans blue cheese. The salad had lettuce, ancho spiced chicken, avocado, black beans, white cheddar, red onion, diced tomatoes roasted corn with a ancho lime ranch dressing.  The salad was ok. Toppings rather sparse, dressing good, but the salad itself was not huge.

Amber ordered the BBQ pulled pork two ways. It came on a plank, with pork a couple of ways, pulled and ribs. Served with lemon corn muffins and a chipotle coleslaw. She said the dish was good, not great. She didn’t eat much of it, so I think it wasn’t spectacular.

Allison ordered a spicy squash and cashew cream dish served over squash noodles.  The dish started out ok, with some interesting flavors of coconut milk, basil and a “cashew cream sauce”. It was very spicy and not an easy dish to finish.

They had quite a few beer choices, and some interesting fruited beers. Amber, not yet 21 didn’t drink and I ordered a simple red beer. It was again, an ok beer. I think OK is my ultimate review of Deshtihl.  I don’t know if I would ever even go there again.  As Allison has since been accepted into the fall program, I am sure I will find myself in Urbana-Champaign again, but may not revisit Deshtihl.

It’s Nacho Average BBQ Joint

We spent a work birthday lunch at Lockhart’s BBQ. I know I post a lot about my “work lunches”. Don’t judge, or be jealous, I work for a great place that celebrates everyone’s achievements, even if it is just the anniversary of being born.

Lockhart’s BBQ is typical of Royal Oak businesses with the industrial open ceilings, but has quaint wood tables, just the right amount of required neon and relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.

They always have a plethora of on-tap beers. Local breweries as well as others.  We were discussing our love for the new Sanders bumpy cake beer, brewed by Old Nation Brewing Company, when lo and behold we see it on their extensive menu. They had about 10 beers I would have loved to try, and many more (IPA’s) I did not care to, but as it was a work day and my company isn’t THAT forgiving, I stuck with water.

I have had their BBQ in the past, and although it is pretty good, I still prefer Clarkston Woodshop. Lockhart’s is nice for its location, and food is ok, but if I need to pursue amazing BBQ I head to Clarkston.  I do like Lockhart’s serve pickled and spicy onions, peppers and of course pickles on the tables, which are good with a zing and a kick.  This day, I decided to try something different and order the Smoked Pork Nachos. They make their own chips by flash frying flour tortillas and top with smoked chopped pork, cheddar and monterey jack cheese, onions, tomatoes and jalapenos all drizzled with BBQ sauce. They had me until the BBQ sauce, which I ordered without. Good choice, although the nacho’s needed something as they were very dry. By ordering the sauce on the side, I was able to try a variety of their sauces that they have readily available on the tables, which include the vinegary Carolina Gold, the Sweet, blended with root beer and grapes, the Traditional with tangy molasses and the Fire on the Red, cranked up with cayenne, chipotle and habanero.  The “flash fried” chips, when you use the flour tortillas just seem to have a powdery, dry flavor. Although crisp and light, they lacked that corny goodness you get with a real corn tortilla chip. I actually enjoyed the BBQ sauce on the nachos. I didn’t think I would, but it worked.

I would definitely go to Lockhart’s again, but I don’t think I would order the nachos. Not a fan of flour tortilla chips, and to me really brought the toppings down. Stick with the meat and the sides, order a tasty beer and tell them Jen & Omar sent you. They will have no idea who we are, but you will kind of feel like a big shot by saying it.

I Must Be a Coco-Nut?

beerI saw this beer while shopping the other day, and as the gloom of a Michigan winter was weighing heavy on my soul, I needed something to remind me of summer. To remind me of what sunshine felt like, the sweet smells of coconut sun lotion and the taste of a cool frozen cocktail by the pool.

Porter Rico beer is brewed by the Arcadia Brewing Company right here in our wonderful state of Michigan. I would like to say some poetic description of how the beer fuses the tastes of Cacao and Coconut into a liquid exotic tropical island adventure, but in reality to me, it was like a good chocolaty porter and coconut sun tan oil had a baby. A weird, disturbing baby.

I tried to like this beer but could get over the taste of what I can only imagine coconut sun tan oil tastes like. Yes, it did take me back to my wild impetuous youth, where we would coat ourselves in Hawaiian Tropic and lay out on a bed of aluminum foil, but even with the fond memories I just couldn’t love this beer.

I think you either like this beer, or don’t. I was one of the don’ters.  I did not meet anyone as of yet who has LOVED it, although my most likely inevitable son-in-law, Quinton liked it.

This beer has 5.5% alcohol by volume, and is brewed with real coconut, bittersweet malt and chocolate. It is one of Arcadia’s seasonal beers for 2017 so get it while you can. I say try it, you might like it. I however, am sad to say I won’t be buying again.