2 Weeks in Detroit

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. 20140611-125035-46235522.jpg 20140611-125036-46236384.jpg 20140611-125037-46237225.jpg20140611-170503-61503569.jpg20140611-125034-46234592.jpg 20140611-125038-46238028.jpgAfter 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)

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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. 20140611-150531-54331735.jpgThe 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.
20140611-150535-54335340.jpgPossibly 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.
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20140611-150532-54332611.jpgSpeaking 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. 20140611-150534-54334454.jpgWe 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. 20140611-150536-54336167.jpgAfter 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. 20140611-150537-54337142.jpg

 

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.

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The Best Damn Kale Chips in the World

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Tried a bunch of kale chip recipes and was basically bored with them – until this one came along. They take some time to make but the finished product is well worth the wait. These are definitely our favorite road-trip snack, just wish we could actually get out of NYC before they are gone. And who knew that nutritional yeast was the new parmesan cheese? Send any of your favorite kale chip recipes my way!

Ingredients:
Big bunch of kale
2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 2 hours)
1 medium sweet red pepper
1/2 or more nutritional yeast
1/3 cup water
Sea salt
Cayenne pepper 

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Step 1:

Rip kale into pieces. Make sure your kale is dark green and of the curly kind. Check your local Farmer’s market for the best selection.

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Step 2: 

Blend soaked cashews, water and sweet red pepper into a paste (I Magic Bullet mine). Add a bit more more water if the sauce is too thick. The paste should be thick but not watery.

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Step 3:

Put the kale into a large bowl and pour the gooey sauce over the pieces and mix together (use your hands, it’s easier). Sprinkle in some of the nutritional yeast ( a healthy amount) and continue mixing. Make sure the pieces are well coated and then arrange on a canola oil-sprayed cookie sheet.

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Step 4:

Sprinkle the rest of the nutritional yeast on the kale along with the salt and cayenne pepper and pop into the oven for 25 mins at 350 degrees. Flip pieces over and continue baking in oven for about 10-15 more minutes (be careful not to burn them!) Once removed, let the chips cool on a paper towel (don’t put into a deep container to cool, or cover them or chips will get soggy). Make more and repeat steps 1-4 if you have enough kale to do so.

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AND TRY NOT TO EAT THEM ALL IN ONE SITTING — I DARE YOU!