Featuring Good Food, Good Company and Lovely Views
Note: Here’s one of last summer’s most popular posts. Alas, it was buried on the food page. So today it occupies a feature spot on the Home Page. Hope you enjoy reading it and thinking about summer.
For our last stop (a reverse chronology here) in the city of Detroit, my husband and I sat in the window of Tom’s Oyster Bar on E. Jefferson. The flowers across the street in front of the General Motors Towers and the Marriott Hotel made for a pleasant view as we watched the traffic roll by on Jefferson Ave while we sipped drinks and waited for a late lunch. The aromatic clam chowder that arrived at our table was the best I’ve ever had: a thick roué, plenty of meaty clams, vegetables and thyme. A lot of thyme, but that is part of what made it so very good. The flavors melded perfectly.
Soon, a blackened grouper sandwich and an oyster po-boy, as we had ordered, graced our table with sides of tangy coleslaw and fat hot fries. Fish and fries were cooked to perfection, oysters lightly breaded and fried to a golden color. The grouper sandwich had the scent and blackening that made one want to bite into it immediately. We could have been in Apalachicola, Florida––a place we love to eat the local seafood, most notably grouper and oysters. The fish at Tom’s was that fresh and cooked well by someone who knows how to cook fish. My oysters came from Prince Edward Island, and if not the gulf, than Prince Edward Island is my next choice. Oh, I‘ve had great oysters from Galveston, too.
Before lunch we sat in the bleachers at the MISCA Swim Finals held at the Detroit Yacht Club located on Belle Isle. Belle Isle is in the middle of the Detroit River and most of the island is a city park. We drove by many families gathered for cookouts and picnics. At the Yacht Club our view of the river and the city glimmered in the sunshine. The Belle Isle Bridge is one of the premier sights in the D. I don’t see it often enough.
Because we were on a tight morning timeline, we began our day at the Royal Oak Farmers’ Market rather than at the larger Detroit Eastern Market. Both are first rate. We are more familiar with Royal Oak, and since we were transporting family members to the swim meet, this week we shopped the Royal Oak Market. Soon I hope to visit Detroit’s Eastern Market. The Farmer’s Market in Royal Oak (an inner-ring suburb close to the city) was overflowing with fresh vegetables. Corn, red leaf lettuce, Early Girl tomatoes, baby yellow tomatoes, carrots, golden beets, and Michigan peaches filled our bags along with goat cheese and John Henry’s bacon.
Be alert now, reader. Here comes maybe the most important info in this blog––the best, most economical breakfast in the D: an egg sandwich at the market. A fried egg and bacon on an English muffin with cheese priced at $3. I don’t know where they get the eggs, but I know that as a true egg sandwich lover, I pronounce this version one of the very best!
(And yes I know, no more fried food for quite a while.)
I offer this account of a recent day in Detroit in answer to questions that came my way while traveling in the Midwest over the past couple of weeks. A crooked former mayor, bankruptcy and neglected neighborhoods are real, but so is the pleasure of a day in the “D”. And next time: Eastern Market, the River Walk, Detroit Institute of Arts, Westminster Church, and a visit to one of the many restaurants I haven’t tried or haven’t been to in quite a while.
Tell us your favorite places in the city of Detroit. We need to know.
Here are the favorites of locals who responded on Facebook: DIA, Historical Museum, Suppino Pizza, Orchestra Hall, Eastern Market, Mexican Village, Opera House, Music Hall, Russell Street Deli, Comerica Park. Among these commenters DIA and Eastern Market were the most popular.
More comments are welcome!