Hotel: Courtyard Detroit Southfield Would I stay again? Yes. Standard Courtyard. I have stayed here numerous times over the years. Easy access to the highway and local restaurants.
Lunch: New Seoul Plaza
Would I dine again? Yes. Service was great and there were many options. There is also another restaurant inside the building for Korean barbeque.
Dinner: Zao Jun
Would I dine again? Yes. The plan was to visit Adachi in Birmingham but as usual, I lost track of time and got caught up in emails. Zao Jun is the same restaurant group but more casual and easy for me to bring my laptop with me.
Would I dine again? Yes. After a great Peruvian experience at Tanta in Chicago, I read about Culantro and decided to try it. I had a great lunch and headed to the airport.
Hotel:Element Detroit at the Metropolitan Would I stay again? Yes! They had a great lobby area where I was able to work in front of the fire and offered a happy hour in the evening. Plus, there were many great restaurant options within walking distance.
Lunch:Parc Would I dine again? Yes. It was a short walk from the hotel, had a great salad and the service was great.
Dinner:Wright & Company Would I dine again? Yes. There was a group of us for this trip so we tried a lot from the menu. All was good!
Hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites Detroit Troy Would I stay again? Maybe. I normally stay in Southfield but based on my client’s office location, I decided to stay in this area. The hotel was a standard Fairfield.
Would I dine again? Yes. Read Eater and saw that Ima had opened close to my hotel so a quick ride from the airport and I had a good, casual lunch while I prepped for my meeting.
Dinner: Mabel Gray
Would I dine again? Yes. Yes again. They offer a tasting menu for $65 and as a solo diner, it is the best experience to sit at the bar and try numerous items. I ate, I read a book and I had a couple short conversations. I would return often if I lived here. If you visit, they are closed on Mondays so plan accordingly.
Mabel Gray menu
Oysters hot and cold
Potato and mustard green soup
Lunch: Cantoro Italian Market & Trattoria
Would I dine again? No. Not as a solo diner. The food was good but lunch was super quiet, the restaurant was not busy and it would probably be better for a dinner with the family if I lived there.
I have to find the local spots. And I knew heading to the Detroit suburbs and Ann Arbor would cause me to spend some time finding the right spot for one dinner and two lunches. Turns out I got a second dinner too!
Cafe Thai Call and request an early hotel check-in. Take the bus to Hertz, choose a car and while I wait in line to check out, call Cafe Thai. Order lunch to go and let them know I will be there in 25 minutes. Head towards Southfield and they will have lunch ready to go. Check in at the hotel, eat quickly and head to my client meeting. Same routine for many years if I have to head to the suburbs after an early flight. Always Cafe Thai. And still my favorite Pad Thai to date.
Voyager I read about a restaurant in Ferndale, a 15-minute drive from my hotel that was named one of the top restaurants in the country. Nothing fancy, just great seafood. And they were right. I could have sat at the bar and ate for hours.
East and West Coast Oysters
Monahan’s Seafood Market I have never been to Ann Arbor so of course I had to drive through the campus, see the stadium and find some good food. I happened upon Kerrytown while looking for Monahan’s not realizing I was in the right spot. On this particular day, there was a farmer’s market and the vendors pointed me in the right direction. I walked into the Kerrytown Market and Shops and found Monahan’s. Order at the counter, hope you can find a table or seat at the counter, and wonderful fresh mish is delivered via paper plate. They had an amazing butternut squash that day and I could not resist a cup of the clam chowder. Awesome experience!
Apparently Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor institution. When I told someone I had just returned from Ann Arbor, their first question was if I stopped by Zingerman’s. I was happy to be able to say yes. And I must admit it was a neat place with multiple buildings and experiences. I didn’t really have a plan for a meal before heading to the airport but at the last minute decided I should get something before heading back to the Detroit airport. Corned beef on rye and some rugelach. The drive took less than an hour which was a bit difficult with this great sandwich on the seat next to me waiting to be eaten but I made it through security quickly, found a quiet spot to chill for 30 minutes and enjoyed my final meal of this trip!