Though the Coney Island dog has become synonymous with Detroit, some trace its origins even further back in America?s history. As the legend goes, Greek immigrants first brought the hot dog from New York?s Ellis Island to the Motor City, where they proceeded to make it their own by adding toppings such as beanless chili. Though its origins may be hotly debated, most agree that the Coney dog had little to do with Fort Wayne until the owners of Detroit?s Finest Coney Island began peddling the treat from their modest food cart. The dog soon proved so popular with locals that they were forced to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant, where they continue to capture the distinctive flavors of Detroit?s Greektown between two buns. The cooks at Detroit?s Finest follow a strict recipe when crafting their special hot dogs. The dogs themselves must be comprised of 80% beef and 20% pork and wrapped in an all-natural casing. Then come the toppings: authentic beanless Coney chili, mustard, and diced onions. Yet the Coney dog isn?t the only item on the menu?to create traditional loose burgers, the cooks simply swap out the hot dog for seasoned ground beef. Sweet and spicy root beer complements these messy entrees and honors Detroit?s history with a nod to the carbonation-powered engines that ignited that city?s famed heyday.
In order to permeate T8STE Tizzzzz’s congenial atmosphere with a perfume of sweetness and smoke, cooks slowly tenderize meats over hickory and oak before dousing them in housemade sauce. The eatery's soul food is among the best local eats, according to the Journal Gazette in 2011, and for a profile in the same publication, critic Ryan DuVall heaped praise on the restaurant’s burnt brisket ends, which spend 20 hours in a smoker.
The menu has a distinct Kansas City character, which is a result of owner Curtis Gregory's upbringing in KC. Rib tips and wings serve as alternatives to sandwiches overflowing with pulled pork or shaved brisket, and each plate can fill in with “fixins” of dirty rice or tender collard greens, or with thick slices of coconut pound cake.
Inside HoneyBaked Ham, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
To go with the meats, the kitchen whips up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato souffl?. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
Under the shadow of the Grabill water tower, Grabill Country Sales fills its shelves with a wide selection of groceries. Beside racks of spices and dry goods, flaky baked goods tempt sweet teeth with fresh apple and cherry pies or donuts made onsite. Their deli section is populated with turkey breast and sliced cheeses alongside carry-out side dishes, fish, ribs, and chicken cooked rotisserie-style so that it can be eaten from any angle.
For more than three decades, bowlers have settled scores atop the 56 glossy lanes at Pro Bowl West. Recently, the alley has been revamped to add flat-screen scoring monitors and new furniture, house balls, and shoes. Customers enjoy the new accouterments during open-bowling hours or lessons given by the experts at Charlie's Pro Shop. Exhaustion and rumbling tummies naturally steers patrons toward the Alley Sports Café & Grill, an old-timey diner that slings a popular pork-tenderloin sandwich. Other entertainment includes an arcade, as well as 21 flat-screen TVs, a dance floor, and six dartboards inside the Alley Sports Bar, a 3,000-square-foot space filled with the tunes of live bands on Saturdays and karaoke crooners on Thursdays and Fridays.
In 1952, Earl Myers and his son, Ed, built The Kitchen Table to create an eatery that combined hometown cooking with a friendly atmosphere. Now run by Rod Myers—Earl's grandson—and his wife, Mimi, the restaurant transports visitors back to the '50s with its original stools and countertop, which serves as a canvas for plates of classic diner fare and self-portraits painted in ketchup. Inside the kitchen, chefs simmer homemade soups, flip custom omelets, and transform ingredients into southern favorites such as country fried steak. They also serve smaller portions from a kids’ menu that, unlike the ability to see clowns, has no age limit.