Dining in Detroit, MI
You guessed it. Mike's is famous for one thing: ham. It's the main ingredient in each of the four menu items: ham and eggs with toast, ham sandwich, split pea soup, and ham and bean soup. Carved from the bone on-site, the ham at Mike's is so delcious that each ham sandwich is garnished with a slice of ham. Served on a fresh kaiser roll with pickles and mustard, the ham sandwich is the star at Mike's Famous Ham Place. Though the soups aren't famous, both are super creamy and partner well with the ham sandwiches. There's nothing better than dunking a ham sandwich in a ham broth based soup. Everything about Mike's Famous Ham Place--its location in an industrial section of Detroit, its stools and standing room, its simple ingredients, and its fuss-free meal presentation--is a reminder of Detroit's working-class roots.
The Detroit area is home to one of the nation's densest Arab-American populations. As a result, middle eastern cuisine is served up at thousands of restaurants in the area. The recipes at all of them are similar and often identical, but the food at Al-Ameer stand out. Even though it is located thousands of miles from where its cuisine originated, Al-Almeer manages to produce dishes with amped up authenticity. Among the mouthwatering appetizers: tabbouleh, grape leaves, and as-good-as-it-gets hommous. Al-Ameer also offers a full range of middle eastern salads, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts as well as fresh juices and smoothies. Whether you grew up eating middle eastern food or you want to try it for the first time, put Al-Ameer on your agenda. Even picky eaters will find something new to love.
Opened in 1997 in Detroit's Cass Corridor, Avalon International Bread is a symbol of the city's recent efforts to rebrand and refocus. Committed to the improvement of the environment and the community, the bakery uses 100% organic flour and locally-grown produce. The other ingredients they use are organic and Michigan-made whenever possible. Avalon's business philosophy is based on Buddhist principles, which puts the well-being of their employees and customers first. Open for breakfast and lunch, Avalon offers everything from coffee and scones to sandwiches and soups. A favorite spot for people who live or work nearby, Avalon also attracts customers from the suburbs of Detroit. The health-conscious and environmentally friendly products are worth the commute as well as the high-end prices.
Voted "Best Soul Food Restaurant" by the readers of the Detroit Metro Times for 8 years in a row, Beans and Cornbread dishes up some of the best food Detroit has to offer. Instead of the typical bread and butter, meals at Beans and Cornbread begin with a basketful of sweet potato muffins. Both the lunch and dinner menus feature a wide range of southern food favorites, including jerk chicken, Cajun pork chops, and gumbo. To sample your choice of three traditional southern side dishes, order Beans and Cornbread's vegetarian plate. Collard greens, mac and cheese, and candied sweet potatoes are popular choices. After the meal head next door to Sidebar, Beans and Cornbread's wine and martini bar, for a Kool-Aid martini.
Owned by former Detroit Redwings star Chris Chelios, Cheli's Chili is the perfect place to experience two of Detroit's heaviest cultural elements: sports and comfort grub. Located in the center of Detroit, Cheli's Chili is a popular spot to gather before and after games and events. Comerica Park and Ford Field are within walking distance, and Cheli's provides shuttle service to and from Joe Louis Arena. Cheli's is famous for its deliciously simple chili, which comes in three varieties: original, chicken, and vegetarian. Traditionally topped with cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and sour cream, Cheli's chili can also be garnished with jalapenos, salsa, and guacamole. For a quick carb fix after and exciting game, order the chili over spaghetti. Not in the mood for chili? Cheli's menu, which features a full range of typical bar food, including potato skins, buffalo wings, and burgers, is the perfect compliment to its well-stocked bar.