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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The best thing I ever ate

So what is the best thing you ever ate? For me, that’s a tough one. I know what I don’t like—I just will not eat offal. Sounds kind of like “awful”, doesn’t it?! I rest my case.

Eggs—not a big fan. But if you’re near Mae’s in Pleasant Ridge, get one of the benedicts. My favorite is the Hillbilly with fried chicken, melted cheddar, and an amazing sausage gravy served over homemade biscuits. Eggs are layered in there too, but there’s so much other stuff, I don’t really notice them. OK, that might be the best breakfast I ever ate.

At lunchtime, greater Detroit offers some fine burger choices. Foran’s and Bronx bars downtown, Miller’s in Dearborn, Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak and West Bloomfield. Locally, my vote probably goes to Red Coat Tavern for the Zinc Brasserie Burger—one-third pound of piedmontese beef, cheddar, expertly caramelized onions, applewood bacon and Dijon. Am I leaving anything out?  Maybe they add watercress and tomatoes too. Whatever. The burger is simply amazing. Requires a couple napkins to eat it. 

Other best lunches—Pizza—Buddy’s for Detroit deep dish, Biga for thin crust with amazing toppings. My current favorite sandwich is a Banh Mi—Vietnamese bbq pork that I get up at Que Huong in Madison Heights. 

The flavor and texture combination are incredible. There's the fresh bun, somewhat sweet tender pork, mixed with the crispy cucumber and carrots, and then BAM, a little jalapeno slice gives you just enough of a jolt to make you want to start all over again. In no time flat, I am done and wondering whether I should attempt another. I usually opt for some pho and bring leftovers home.

The best dinner I ever ate was possibly this four course affair over at Northern Lakes Seafood, in Bloomfield Hills. We started with seared scallops, then moved on to seared duck breast with blueberries, candied walnuts and roasted Bosc pear.

Our third course was a clever twist on “steak and eggs”-- a pepper-seared Bison strip loin atop a potato pancake and Detroit zip sauce. A quail egg graced the top of the incredibly tender steak. Perfectly seasoned and grilled medium rare, this buffalo steak was delicious and a flavorful alternative to beef. We paired it with a to-die-for 2005 Columbia Crest Reserve Shiraz. The wine was silky smooth with hints of berries, coffee, chocolate and spice. For dessert, we enjoyed a trio of crème brulee in shot glasses—Vanilla Bean, Maple and Chocolate Chili. A perfect end to a great meal.

Missing among “bests” are a couple dishes that my wife or I have made. Maybe that’s another post.  What’s the best thing you ever ate?

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