Three different experiences… breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Greater Detroit area.
After having dinner with some fantastic colleagues last week, I realized that there were two other local posts I hadn’t yet written. One was about breakfast in Northville, and the other was about lunch in Farmington Hills. So, I decided to write a post documenting all three meals at different restaurants nearby.
My breakfast post takes me back to my favorite time of year – college football season! Last October, I was invited to attend the UofM game versus Illinois.
This was my fourth or fifth time at The Big House, but it was my first time doing a proper tailgate (and in freezing cold weather!). The morning started with a generous host simply refusing to take “no thank you” as my answer to his offer of a morning beverage. So…I started with this:
I was careful not to drink too much that day, even starting with a beer at about 11AM. Once we left his house, our group headed into downtown Northville for breakfast at a local fave – Rebecca’s Family Diner.
Rebecca’s is a casual, noisy, energetic, and simply cool place. By all accounts, it’s a great diner, so I decided to just allow our server to choose my meal. She came back with a hearty breakfast burrito – which totally hit the spot!
No need for anything else (there were veggies, potatoes, meat and cheese in the sandwich). I was full just from the sandwich!
We spent a few hours tailgating in the parking lot. I was able to meet up with an old friend of mine (tall, good-looking dude), instantly starting the rumor mill. I swear men are worse than women when it comes to gossiping!
And, then…we (and a hundred and ten thousand or so others) watched the Wolverines utterly embarrass Illinois. All in all, a very fun day!
Speaking of fun days, last weekend, I had a girls’ day out with two coworkers from Masco Cabinetry. The plan was to get pedicures (them, not me), head to Plum Market, and then grab lunch before we all went on to finish our weekends at home.
We had a great time exploring the market. Neither Jess nor I had been before, and Danielle just knew that two people who appreciate food as much as Jess and I do would enjoy this place. And, we did! Beautiful produce, organic meat, excellent wine selection, gluten-free everything, a large selection of Papyrus cards, outstanding service, and fresh flowers (2 dozen roses for $8.99!).
This is a place to go for supplementary groceries, not your full list, as it’s a bit pricey.
After hitting the market, and catching up over pedicures (and the most insane massage chairs I’ve ever seen!), Danielle took us to one of her favorite Chinese restaurants. You know that age-old rule…if an ethnic restaurant is full of ethnic patrons, it’s probably very good? Well, the crowd gave me confidence that Danielle had chosen a great spot by taking us to Hong Hua in Farmington Hills.
You can look at the menu and see that it’s pretty standard for a Chinese restaurant. I wasn’t craving anything in particular, so I asked our server to choose her favorite dish for me. Two funny things happened next: 1) Danielle looked at me like I had three heads!, and 2) our server asked me if spicy was okay – to which I replied “Sure!”. Our server responded with a big grin (basically saying…girl, you’re in TROUBLE!). Jess looked at me and actually said that…you’re in trouble, Ker.
We started off with Wonton Soup. Then, I was delivered the Shrimp in Szechuan Style.
While it did have a kick to it (lots of red chili peppers), it wasn’t terribly spicy. In fact, it was quite good! I didn’t finish the meal – as you can see, it’s huge! But, that wasn’t because it wasn’t tasty. The three of us walked out of Hong Hua quite satisfied. Jess even took home a few things for her husband, Bryan, who was at home watching all of our dogs.
The third part of this post had a less satisfying outcome. I had spent the last couple hours on Tuesday meeting with various designers from across Masco business units. We were figuring out how to keep everyone connected after they returned to their respective locations (and their day jobs!). It was a productive use of our time, and it was some of the most fun I’ve had at work recently. When the meeting coordinator (my former boss) asked if I’d like to join them for dinner, I quickly agreed.
I arrived a bit later than everyone else since I had to stop at home to walk my dogs in what was becoming a nasty snowstorm. When I arrived at our table, I didn’t even bother to peruse the menu. We were at Ristorante Caio, an Italian restaurant in Dearborn, and I felt comfortable handing over a blog card and relying on our server’s recommendation.
Throughout the evening, we had energetic, and really funny, conversations. However, the moment our plates were delivered, the conversation stopped and everyone dug right in! What did Sarah choose for me? A beautiful filet with a (rather large) house salad on the side.
The filet had great flavor to it. The Portobello mushrooms added a lot to the “best cut of meat” Ristorante Ciao serves (per Sarah and the chef). The only problem I had with it was that the meat was way overcooked. This beautiful filet was served well-done, and my stated preference on my card is medium-rare! I did end up letting the server know, and I also left a good portion of the steak on my plate as further evidence. I devoured the vegetables – the smashed potatoes were delicious!
Despite being disappointed by the chef’s execution of my meal yet again, I really did have a lovely time with the group! And, Ristorante Ciao does have a beautiful setting. It’s also close to home, and I’m sure I’ll give it another try.
And, there my friends, are three different experiences in the greater Detroit area. What are your favorite breakfast, lunch or dinner spots?