As a Michigan native, I am so excited to share my weekend in Detroit with you.
I visited in early March from Thursday to Sunday to attend a conference at the Westin Book Cadillac, a gorgeous historic hotel that was purchased by the SPG group and renovated. I didn’t take any pictures of the hotel itself but the architecture is stunning, I couldn’t help but stare at the ceiling in the ballroom during the conference talks. The decor throughout the hotel is also lovely, and the service was top notch. I would love to return for another weekend with a bit more relaxation, a sleep in their heavenly bed, and maybe a visit the the spa.
Since we were right downtown Detroit we did our fair share of eating. I follow several Detroit-based food bloggers on social media, as well as Detroit restaurants and companies so to say my list of places I want to try is long is an understatement.
When we arrived downtown our first top was for a late lunch at the Hudson Cafe. Recommended by several people, we heard they are often packed for breakfast so we aimed for a less busy time. I had an omelette with chorizo and veggies, served with perfectly crispy potatoes, and my friend had the Voodoo eggs benedit, with poached eggs atop corn cakes topped with a spicy sauce. The benedict was definitely the winner of the two dishes, but the star of the meal were the cinnabun pancakes that came on the side, topped with cream cheese frosting they were as rich as a cinnamon bun!
Late that evening after our conference presentation we went to Greek Town. Still not super hungry after our huge and late lunch, I opted for a Greek Salad from The Golden Fleece. Visiting Greek Town was a childhood favorite anytime we were downtown for an event and the food never disappoints. I snagged a bite of the Gyro meat and it was fresh and delicious even at a late hour. We couldn’t leave the neighborhood without a stop at Astoria for pastries. We took a box of baklava varieties to go and enjoyed them throughout the weekend. No trip to Greek Town is complete without a white box with a red string full of pastries.
Friday was a big day for us. We had breakfast and lunch at the Book Cadillac with the conference. Our plated lunch of chicken, polenta cake with peas, and vegetables was delicious and again the service at the Book Cadillac was just wonderful. By the end of the day were exhausted and ready for happy hour so we headed downstairs to Roast, one of Chef Michael Symon’s steakhouses. My mom had tipped us off to their popular happy hour and we enjoyed the $5 house Spanish Rioja and some amazing truffle fries.
From there we headed to a Latino art exhibit opening in Midtown, it was small but really fun to see some of the local art scene. After the art show we walked a couple of blocks (the low temperature played a large part in our dinner decision!) to Seva, a vegetarian restaurant. After some more wine and the appetizer special, a cucumber and feta dip, we enjoyed a wide variety of entrees. I had the cilantro-peanut stir fry with tons of vegetables served over brown rice, it was packed with flavor and I loved the crunchy peanuts on top. The enchilada special and peanut-kale salad were also delicious.
For our final stop of the evening we headed back downtown for drinks at Townhouse, a trendy eatery with a gorgeous atrium bar only a few blocks from our hotel. We didn’t try any food but they have a huge and eclectic menu with everything from burgers to sushi, it seemed like a good spot to please everyone. We sipped on drinks at the bar while a DJ spun live music, we much preferred the atmosphere in the atrium compared to the main restaurant. I had La Mula with tequila, honey, lemon and ginger beer, it was good but super tart and took me a long time to drink. I had a sip of a couple of other house cocktails and the basil smash with gin and tons of fresh basil was delicious, it would be perfect for a warm summer evening.
On our late day downtown we slept a bit late then took an Uber to Corktown for breakfast at Detroit Institute of Bagels. This was probably my favorite thing I ate all weekend, I just can’t resist a really good bagel! I had a rosemary olive oil bagel with lox, capers, red onion, and seriously amazing lemon zest cream cheese. We all devoured our bagels with some much needed hot coffee. I loved the style of this spot that was filled with couples, families, solo diners, and groups of friends all grabbing Saturday morning bagels. This would be a regular spot for me if I were local.
We decided to walk off our bagels by heading back to the hotel on foot and took a short excursion to The Farmer’s Hand, a “woman-owned artisanal pantry, market, & kitchen” filled with local produce, locally-made food and goods. I completely fell in love with this little shop and hope to go back and try more of their food. We grabbed some sweet and spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Coffee Roti Milk Buns that had just been dropped off by Detroit-based food blogger MyThy of Mighty in the Mitten. We even got to meet her! It was a pretty successful morning.
After more conferencing (yes I did make that a verb), we took a quick walk over to Mike’s Kabob Grille in The Chrysler House. It’s right next to Dime Store, which was packed, but I would highly recommend- I’ve only been twice but loved it both times! We split veggie combo platter which was loaded with mjadara- seasoned lentils, grape leaves, falafel, tabbouli, fattoush salad, and plenty of hummus, baba ghannouj, and garlic sauce to go along with it. It was exactly what we wanted and less than $15, total win.
Our last stop of the day was for appetizers and beer and Griffin Claw about 30 minutes north in Birmingham. We tried the fried mac and cheese bites which came with an interesting sweet berry dipping sauce that somehow worked and some Asian-style wings. They were perfect with our late-afternoon beers.
We rounded out our weekend with Detroit with some time in the suburbs, including coffee at Honcho in Clarkston (my hometown), one of the Union Joints.
Needless to say it was a busy and really delicious weekend in Detroit. I can’t wait for my next trip to the city. What should I try next?