Well….. sorta. More like two weeks in a weird suburb of Detroit. I was in Michigan for work, shooting cars for one of the big manufacturers. I was figuring I’d be working in a post apocalyptic wasteland for two weeks, but it turned out to be very different. I ended up being in the middle of an industrial park, surrounded by strip malls and Olive Gardens. After being in town for a few days and talking to some locals, my crew and I started venturing out into surrounding neighborhoods of and found some really great places. Probably the most entertaining was a place called The Masters. A golf-themed restaurant that served flaming cheese and had an amazing lounge act named Gordie who sang me Private Dancer. (Please excuse all the crappy food photography, iphones are horrible in low light)
In Royal Oak, we went to a sushi place called Ronin. The place was slammed on a friday night, and the food was good, but it was really the cocktails and upstairs bar that was impressive. It would fit right in in Brooklyn and had a cool factor that I wasn’t expecting to find in Michigan. The cocktail menu had a drink made with Woodford Reserve bourbon and cold brew coffee, if it just had some bacon in it, it would be everything that I truly love in the world in one glass. The 5 course tasting menu at The Forrest Grill in Birmingham was pretty inventive and impressive. Birmingham is apparently “where the rich people live”. The stinging nettles soup and the panna cotta were the highlights.
Possibly my favorite place we ate was One Eye Betty’s in Ferndale. This place was almost enough to make me want to up and move to Detroit. It has one of the most extensive menus of Whiskey’s I’ve ever seen ($3 Buffalo Trace on special!) but the food was all amazing. We ordered almost every appetizer, the best were the pork belly poutine, the bacon with a side of bacon, and the brussel sprouts were some of the best I’d ever had. I had a steak and a ridiculously good kale salad on the side. I could live in this place, but I think I’d be 100lbs.
Speaking of bacon… about halfway through our shoot I found the best catering company ever. They were better than most of the caterers that we have in NYC, I begged them to come back with me. Everyday we had custom omelets and fresh fruit and veggie smoothies, among an assortment of other deliciousness. They made praline bacon one morning for us. I think I ate about a pound of it. We did venture into Detroit for dinner one night and went to Michael Symon’s Roast. It was a very meaty meal, but probably one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. We had the bone marrow appetizer and the beef cheeks perogies as well, both were phenomenal. After eating so richly for almost two weeks, we finally picked up some fresh cold press juices from Drought. The packaging was amazing and it provided some much needed nutrients.
Over all I was quite surprised by Detroit and the surrounding areas. I left wishing I had more time to explore the city. It seemed like there was much more to the city then common perception would lead you to believe. Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely the parts that look like a war zone, but there’s more to the city than meets the eye and it was interesting to get to experience a city I’d otherwise never think to go to.