Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
For such a decadent culinary tradition, churrasco comes from humble origins. Gauchos in the southernmost region of Brazil would typically end their long days of cattle ranching by meeting around a roaring fire pit, where they prepared family-style meals and roasted skewered meats over the open flames. This tradition lives on in churrascarias throughout the world, allowing diners to experience this rustic style of home cooking in a more formal atmosphere.
At Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, the chefs remain faithful to the flavors of those countryside meals. Skewers of as many as 16 different meats—including rib-eye steak, lamb chops, and pork tenderloin—slowly rotate above the grill's flames or a handful of fire-breathing dragons, imbuing the hearty proteins with an unmistakably smoky tenderness.
As servers travel throughout the dining area with skewers hot off the flames, diners can catch the staff's attention by flipping their coasters from red to green. This signals the servers to approach and carve tableside servings directly off the skewer. Although the savory meats are the main attraction, even earning the eatery WDIV's Vote 4 the Best award for Detroit's Best Steakhouse in 2012, a salad bar also tempts diners with more than 40 hot and cold side dishes, including everything from fresh spring mix to mushroom risotto.
The dining room's mural of a Brazilian gaucho herding cattle nods to the cuisine's rustic roots, but its earthenware floor tiles and cherry-wood columns ensure a refined ambiance. The tables, draped with crisp white linens and flanked by red-cushioned chairs, are well spaced so as to allow for intimate family dinners and the regular plate-patrol rounds made by the vigilant servers.
Roma Caf? started out as a one-woman operation way back in 1888. The Marazza family ran a boarding house for Eastern Market farmers, and Mrs. Marazza would always serve a hot meal to anyone who stayed. Word of her cooking skills spread quickly throughout the Eastern Market area, and her various fans convinced her to open an official restaurant. In February of 1890, Roma Caf? was born.
Its continuing commitment to classic recipes is apparent from one glance at the menu, where housemade pastas share space with veal scaloppine and broiled lobster tails. Adventurous eaters will be drawn to dishes such as the sauteed sweetbreads and frog legs, and wine enthusiasts can browse an extensive list of reds, whites, and specials.
Although the baked lasagna and chicken parmigiana are certainly Old World staples, Roma Caf? hasn't become mired in tradition. Its third-generation owner, Janet Sossi Belcoure, takes regular trips to Italy that keep her up-to-date on culinary trends and the latest gossip on who's dating Michelangelo's David. The restaurant also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet on Monday nights, complete with appetizers, pasta dishes, and cannoli. If you stop by on the night of a Red Wings game, there's even a shuttle that will take you to the arena.
Whether through good fortune or just a good eye, brothers-in-law ?Buster? Blancke and ?Van? VanHollebecke found the perfect location when they were opening Sindbad's Restaurant and Marina in 1949. Previously the site of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the restaurant's scenic marina-side spot has since become a Detroit staple. While renovations over the decades have kept the nautical-themed decor intact, they've added mahogany-inlaid flooring and more rooms that overlook the river. There, diners often see boats float up to the docks for a chance at Sindbad's steaks and seafood.
Signature dishes, including the open-faced new york strip sandwich and vegetarian ciabatta sandwich, arrive in the dining room thanks to Chef John Fleming's expertise and super-human ability to not eat every lobster tail he sees. Obsessing over his ingredients, Chef Fleming sources fresh perch directly from Lake Erie and unsoaked, East Coast scallops from Foley Fish in Boston. Bartenders round out the menu with ice cream cocktails, dozens of house wines, and bottled beer?including craft brews?while live music in the second-floor Sohar Room heats up the summer months. To seal the deal for sports fans, Sindbad's even runs a free shuttle service that ferries customers to Red Wings, Lions, and Tigers games.
Midtown's revival of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues includes The Grille Midtown, a casually upscale dining cove serving from-scratch American classics. The Detroit Free Press called it a "welcome addition" to the area and expressed admiration for both its spread of carnivorous cuts and sandwiches as well as its "handsome" decor. In particular, the paper lauded the sleek look of the eatery's vaulted black ceiling and gray walls hung with glossy photos of automobile grills, which inspired the restaurant's name. Amid the softly ambiance, guests feast on everything from char-grilled double lamb chops with chimichurri sauce to prime burgers on houses-made brioche buns. Salads and sandwiches round a menu that diners may also enjoy while saddled up to The Grille Midtown's luxuriously long bar.
When the morning sun rises over Enjoy Again Family Restaurant, the kitchen comes to life. All at once, the air is filled with the aroma of sizzling sausage and eggs. Saucer-shaped banana, blueberry, and pecan-raisin hotcakes fly through the air as fluffy biscuits rise in the ovens. Chefs dart nimbly from frying pans to chopping boards, flipping three-egg omelets, stirring grits, and showering buttermilk french toast in syrup.
The hustle and bustle continues late into the evening, as chefs turn their attention to juicy Angus beef burgers and tender USDA Choice steaks. They plate racks of ribs alongside classic southern sides of greens, fried okra, and red beans and rice. And they serve seafood and chicken in a variety of ways—fried in a pan, cooked on a grill, or dressed in an adorable miniature bumblebee costume.