Saturday, January 16, 2016

Johnny Noodle King in Detroit

Courageous when it comes to trying different restaurants in Michigan, nothing brings me more satisfaction than exploring places with unique concepts. This Saturday by recommendation, I ended up at Johnny Noodle King.  Known for their specialty noodle dishes with an authentic flair, the time had come for me to pay a “Taste Test” visit.   

Located on Fort Street in Detroit, from the point of entry, you can't help but immediately inhale with a smile.  The aroma in this spot is deliciously sinful.  The "Turn Around Time" is spectacularly managed. Greeted by a very nice host, which in turn introduced me to my server who escorted me to the dining area provided with ice water, and a menu all within five minutes, I thought to myself, “JNK can’t be beat when it comes to being punctual.”
Starting off with a cup of green tea with lemon and honey, I scrolled the menu up and down attempting to make my mind up. Finally my decision was made and I selected Bowl PHO GA-11.  Made with Rice Noodles consisting of scallions, bean sprouts, cilantro, basil leaf, and Jalapeño, it was topped off with a chicken thigh served in a bowl large enough for two individuals to share. 

Stirring the broth around with my spoon prior to tasting, the blend of herbs combined together smelled amazing however in my opinion lacked flavor. My chicken was bland and my noodles were too soft. Although I was disappointed with my food choice, I was highly impressed with their customer service. Do I do plan to give Johnny Noodle King another chance? Absolutely. Will I ever order PHO GA -11? Most likely not.


Monday, December 21, 2015

LIQ-TROCITY by Cheraee. C

They say that everyone in life has a story and main character Chisel Simmons indeed does. From once being "the man" due to playing basketball overseas; to having the looks that any woman would kill over just to be in his acquaintance, this guy from anyone's peripheral vision seem to have it all.

Unfortunately in life, things can change in an instant.   After enduring a severe physical injury during a game, the life he once knew was gone. Unable to cope with his misfortune appropriately, Chisel accrued bad habits which resulted to his life taking a downward spiral.

To make matters worse, Simmons was indeed in a dead end marriage to a woman he despised. They say in life, we as humans unintentionally select our mates based upon what we see or are exposed to as children. Due to having an estranged relationship with his mother which consisted of a lot of verbal abuse, Chisel for the most part, did not trust women and visualized them all as sexual objects. Physically his wife, Haze Hilton, met his expectations. Sadly she and his mom possessed similar characteristics and traits.

As the plot unfolds, I'd come to find, that these two as a couple combined are the love recipe for disaster who I deem responsible  for the capital "S" in front of the word scandal.  To the continuous lying to one another and constant back and forth tactics of betrayal, the conclusion of this book will leave your mouth agape for a minimum of a week.  Excellent job authoress Cheraee C. on teaching us all what not to look for in a mate.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Public House in Ferndale Michigan

This beautiful fall day, I was in search of some great brunch. Due to running errands on the west side of town, and looking through tasty food pics on Instagram, I decided to give the Public House in Ferndale, Michigan a try.

Felling a bit anxious and tense due to being in constant motion this Saturday, I was instantly calmed by the scenery. Taking a seat towards the bar, I heard music playing.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  Knowing for sure that the sounds were not coming from an I-Pod music device, instantly, I smiled at the object to the right of the bar on the shelf due to it taking me back to my childhood days. Yes people, the sound of real music was being played on a record player.

Chatting with the bartender, I was informed that on certain days of the week, customers are allowed to bring albums from their personal collections to be played while they eat. Thinking to myself, “how cool is that and could it possibly get any better?” hopefully the food would complement the scenery along with various vinyls played.

Deciding on what to start off with, I selected what caught my eye on social media, “The Waffle of the Week.” Topped off with walnuts and applesauce, I took a few bites and put it to the side for later. It was indeed tasty yet, I was saving room my next selection. We’ve all heard of “Green Eggs and Ham” however, “Purple Eggs” are indeed a rarity.

Skeptical of trying the “Salmon Toast and Pickled Eggs,” in this case, “Slightly Colored Violet Eggs” prior to opening my mouth for the first bite, I thought to myself, “what have you gotten yourself into?” My response, something delightful.  The salmon cream cheese combination was a pure delight and did not take long for me to devour it all.

Almost full however, not quite there, I decided to order one more thing on the brunch menu prior to throwing in the towel.  Forgive me for not remembering the name of this entrée yet the picture below says it all. Consisting of beef brisket, red skin potatoes topped off with sunny side up eggs and sliced scallions, I had never tasted something so mouthwatering. In fact the only thing better was the opportunity to eat all three together due to how it was served.

People if you haven't gone to the public house in Ferndale my only question is what are you waiting for?  Although there are several more weeks left in the year 2015 thus so far, they’ve got “The Food Lady’s” vote for best brunch in the south east region of Michigan.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Pasta Bowl in Detroit

Restaurants in Midtown and Downtown Detroit are popping up so fast even I can barely seem to keep up.  Having absolutely no complaints about seeking and looking for the latest new and authentic cuisine’s to try, the word had gotten out  about a new restaurant located on West McNichols cooking and serving up savory delicious food choices with one heck of an outside of-the-box theme.
Opening this past summer of 2014, the place I'm referring to is known for downhome cooking however, not soul food.  Dispelling the myth that African American chefs are only masters of soul food cuisine, Detroit's Pasta Bowl has proven to the city that this indeed is not the case. Specializing in Italian food, all of their authentic features are made with the freshest ingredients.   From the selected entrees made with either cream sauces or fresh tomato marinara, all are filled with flavor yet none are made nor prepared with salt.

Having a love and strong passion for family and friends, every title of each Italian dish is named after a person the owners admire and highly look up to.  Known as "Little Italy in the Hood", their infamous spinach and seafood selection made with a cream sauce is to die for.  I personally can’t seem to get enough of the "Spaghetti Sandwich".  Made with multiple layers of garlic bread, spaghetti, and cheese, this choice on the menu indeed brings out the inner child in me. For those as of yet who've not patronized Pasta Bowl in Detroit, be sure to do so. I guarantee you'll leave one happy camper.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Punch Bowl Social on Broadway Downtown Detroit

Summertime in Detroit is always amazing.  With all of the positive transitioning taking place, downtown is definitely the place to network, mingle, socialize and yes of course, eat.  Several weeks ago, I along with friend of mind decided to try out one of the latest entertainment and food places to open its doors the later part of 2014.

Parking my vehicle on Broadway, I could not help but to admire the setup, structure, and architecture of one of Detroit’s new arrivals. For a moment, I thought I was downtown Chicago. The elevated windows allowed everyone to feel the summer breeze blown inward.  People had the choice to either eat inside or out on the patio while listening to the music being played inside.  Tables were reserved for birthday celebrations, friends and family gatherings, and of course dinner dates.   Who would’ve thought that all of this excitement would be taking happening at a place that provides bowling?  I am here to tell you that indeed it was.

Entering the Punch Bowl Social, I personally couldn’t help but to smile. The scenery and positive vibes upon arrival were both indeed contagious. Ordering a cocktail at the bar; I requested to be seated outside to soak up some of the gorgeous weather. Our waiter, a very fun and energetic individual, escorted us outside to the patio area.  For an appetizer, we started off with the Sweet Cilantro Wings.   Although the aroma of the chicken was mouthwatering, it was indeed deceiving.  I was most disappointed with the bland flavor and taste.  Even with additional sauce requested, it did not help much.

Thinking to myself “who could possibly mess up chicken,” I moved on to my next food choice under the “Share Plates” selection.   Deciding to take a categorical risk, I ordered the “Cauliflower Nachos.”  Having tried my fair share of various nachos with unique toppings in the past; this feature consisted of cilantro, crema queso fondito, a choice of chicken and pork, and of course cauliflower.   Assuming I had made another bad choice, I was wrong.  The combination of cauliflower, chicken, and creama queso was indeed a huge hit.  The flavor of the cilantro gave this dish exactly what it needed to meet my approval.   I was most pleased with this selection and would indeed order it again.

 People if you haven’t’ paid the Punch Bowl Social a visit, what are you waiting for?  Even if you don’t’ bowl, get on down there and enjoy yourselves before the hot season comes to an end.  


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baker's Keyboard Louge

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, located on Livernois is indeed one of Detroit’s historical monuments.  Jazz musicians such Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Colloway, and the legendary Miles Davis have all performed and entertained at this club that opened its doors in the early 30’s. To my surprise, after conducting research, I’d come to find that Bakers started out first as a sandwich shop in 1933, and began booking musicians in 1934. Making this discovery, I asked myself, “could this explain their solid reputation for serving up amazing down home soul food cuisine that comes often highly recommended?” 

Entering the lounge, you’re immediately taking back to a time when music was at its purest. Sitting at the bar with mutual friend, I asked to see the menu.  Due to frequently patronizing the lounge, I knew they had a reputation for making some of the best fried perch fish in the city. This day I was in the mood for a little turkey however; not prepared the traditional way. Sipping on my cocktail, I decided on their Turkey Chops and a double order of their signature greens with tomatoes and onions.

Once my plate was handed to me, the one word that immediately came to mind was, "wild!" The aroma of the food immediately awakened the senses of my taste buds.  As I prepared myself to put the "smash down" on this “mega plate” I thought to myself, "I hope everything taste as good as it smells." My greens as usual were fresh and not over powered by salt.  Prior to tasting my first chop, I was concerned about the possibility of them being overcooked and dry. After my first bite I was sold! They were crispy, moist, and some of the best chops I've tasted in a while. I was thoroughly satisfied with my experience at Bakers this day and highly recommend that everyone give them a try.  After-all the lounge was initially known for making great sandwiches prior to providing musical performances and lives entertainment.




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles

With so many new places to eat popping up all over Midtown; one new restaurant on the northwest side opened its doors this past winter of 2015. Located on Livernois, rumor has it that people from all walks of life residing in Detroit are swarming like bees to honey to experience the taste of Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles. 

Owned by Detroit Lion Ron Bartell, I received recommendations from many individuals requesting that I pay a visit. With Social Media playing a big role, and many Detroiters flooding their Insta Gram time lines with the delectable southern cuisine food items; it was indeed time for me to see what the KCW buzz was really all about.  After-all, Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan had even approved.

Waiting on the rest of my dinning party to arrive, I used my spare time to peep out the magnificent scenery.  From the picture of the first African American President of the United States smoking a cigarette towards the bar, and the legendary Rap Group Run-DMC displayed on the multi-colored brown and red brick wall towards the dining area, the art work inside of the latest restaurant to make the Avenue of Fashion is most alluring.  The Marilyn Monroe portrait indeed makes a sight for sore eyes and compliments the state-of-the-art gorgeous lofty surroundings.

Anticipating the arrival of our final party member, we were squired to our table by our host and menus were provided with glasses of ice water by our server.  Making up our minds up about what to order was indeed a challenge due to the ongoing stares and pauses made at the “Waffle Combos” and “Southern Comforts” selections passing us back and forth to other dining room guest.  Members of our party decided on the following; the “Bam-Bam” consisting of a fried drumstick, thigh, with waffle choice included, the “Shrimp and Grits” made with scallions and bacon served over cheese grits, and the “Belle Isle Basket” which includes the choice of fried shrimp or catfish filets with a basket of chips. Finally, it was my turn to order and I decided on the red velvet waffle, three wings, and cheese eggs as my side item.  Known as the “Big Red”, this breakfast dish indeed fits true to its title.  I was most pleased with the portions provided.    

The chicken was piping hot, delicious and seasoned to perfection. The red velvet waffle was so rich and sweet that I devoured the majority of it without any syrup.   My eggs were fluffy, moist, and flavorsome.  I was thoroughly satisfied with my meal.  People, if you haven’t given the latest southern breakfast cuisine spot to hit the block of Livernois, it’s a must you give them a try.  You’ll need to exercise some patience and prepare to wait; however, I guarantee it’ll be worth your time.