Detroit Coney Dog Challenge

Lafayette and American Coney Islands

If you’re a Detroiter, you should probably stop reading now. You’ve likely already done the “Detroit Coney Dog Challenge,” and have strong opinions of your own as to which dog rules. I don’t want you getting all Snarky McSnarkerson on me for this long-overdue life adventure.

If you’re NOT a Detroiter, remember when I told you that the first food experience you should have when you visit is a chicken shawarma? I stand by that commandment, but I think the second thing you should do is the Lafayette vs. American Coney Island Challenge. Mind you, I’ve lived in Michigan all of my life, and have lived six blocks from Detroit for the last five years, but I hadn’t even done this until a few weeks ago.

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Restaurant Review: The Stand Gastro Bistro

My restaurant review of The Stand Gastro Bistro in Birmingham, MI was published for The Oakland Press last week. Jeff took me here for a fancy birthday dinner, and it did not disappoint. The chef was actually a substitute instructor at my culinary school, so it was a treat to get to see him in action. Well, see his food in action. Or something like that.

My entrée had FOUR types of seafood – Dover sole, beet-cured salmon, shrimp scampi and lobster sauce – and somehow, every single bite was a perfect harmony of flavors. I highly recommend The Stand for a special occasion dinner in the metro Detroit area.

Restaurant Review: The Stand Gastro Bistro in Birmingham, Michigan

Read my review of  The Stand Gastro Bistro for The Oakland Press HERE, and see the photo gallery HERE.


Piada Italian Street Food Giveaway

Piada Italian Street Food Giveaway

Howdy, Metro Detroit, Ohio and (some) Indiana readers – if you read my review of the Piada Italian Street Food chain, you’ll know that I totally loved it. It’s kind of like an Italian-style Chipotle. You get to pick pasta, a salad, or a wrap sandwich, and they fill it up with all sorts of Italian goodies for you. My favorite? The Calamari piada sandwich. Yes, calamari at a fast-casual chain. I know it sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it was SO yummy! I can’t wait to go back and get it again.

Why am I telling you about this another time? Because Piada sent me two $25 gift cards to give away to my readers, so two of you fine folks can check it out, too! Before you enter, check out the store locator to make sure there’s a Piada in your neck of the woods. There are several locations in Ohio, a few in metro Detroit (Troy and a soon-to-open Shelby Township location), and one in Carmel, Indiana.


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Restaurant Review: Piada Italian Street Food

My restaurant review of Piada Italian Street Food in Troy, MI was published for The Oakland Press recently. Piada is actually a fast-casual chain that started in Ohio. Despite my dislike of most things about Ohio, I was willing to give it a chance.

What fast-casual restaurant is not trying to be Chipotle nowadays? Piada is clearly following the Chipotle business model, with pasta bowls, salads and Italian wrap sandwiches instead of burritos and tacos. It’s working out pretty well for them. I had calamari, for like $6, at a quick-service restaurant and actually enjoyed it. Really, really enjoyed it. Color me surprised.

Piada Italian Street Food in Troy, MichiganRead my review of Piada Italian Street Food for The Oakland Press HERE.



Restaurant Review: The Ramos House Cafe

Restaurant Review: The Ramos House Cafe in San Juan Capistrano, CA

My husband, in-laws and I were in California last month for the wedding of a family friend. While most of our trip was spent celebrating the happy couple, we had one day to visit the San Diego Zoo (panda-monium!) and enjoy the most amazing brunch on the trip to the zoo. Our meal atThe Ramos House Cafe is one that I’ll always remember.

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Restaurant Review: Republica

My restaurant review of Republica in Berkley, MI was published for The Oakland Press recently.

To be honest, I had high hopes for this place, but in reality, most of the food was just OK. They do, however, serve one of the most ridiculous but amazing burgers I’ve ever seen: a burger topped with smoked gouda, bacon, tomato, a fried egg, a huge onion ring, arugula and srirachannaise (which is exactly as it sounds). So, there’s that.

Republica inside

Read my review of Republica for The Oakland Press HERE, and see the photo gallery HERE.