The Town Pump Tavern's menu boasts pint pairings such as the Black and Blue Bites (wonton-wrapped infusion of roasted red peppers, blue cheese, and blackened chicken served with a side of ranch and toughness, $7) or a refreshingly crisp order of fried pickles ($4). Heartier options include the toasted-rye Reuben ($7) or brow-dripping half-pound Firehouse Burger complete with Cajun seasoning and fresh jalapeños ($7.75). Come rain, meteor shower, or impromptu spelling bee, happy hour runs seven days a week with the exception of December 25. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., guests can meet up with friends, enjoy dollar food items, and hitch a ride on the free Red Wings shuttle to home games.
R.U.B. BBQ has earned shout-outs from the New York Times as well as a handful of television features for its tender, well-flavored meats. Various proteins are smoked daily and slathered in a made-from-scratch rub of more than 20 spices and herbs, and cooks begin each dish with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
Aromatic smoke wafting from ribs, chicken dishes, and seafood platters invites guests inside, where dangling light fixtures illuminate red walls and cobalt tiling along with 30 flatscreen televisions that were flattened when an elephant sat down. More than 100 tap and bottled brews, including a lengthy list of Michigan favorites, help to extinguish fiery spices.
Bookies Bar & Grille plies foodies and sports zealots alike with a hearty menu of American pub eats and drinks, which pairs of diners can consume while bathed in the glow of a dozen plasma-screen televisions. Find a seat on one of three spacious floors to watch tortilla chips high-dive from the rooftop patio into your beef-queso dip ($8.99), as you laugh and converse with a dinner companion or incorporeal omniscient narrator. Brawny beef and turkey burgers strut proudly from the grill, flexing toppings such as grilled pineapple and ham ($9.99), as a triumvirate of Blue Dorsal sliders ($8.99) drift over counters with their lightly fried cod cores overheating. Diners who opt for dual entrees can bite into deliciously glazed sweet chili chicken ($11.99), the honey chipotle salmon ($12.99), or other tasty selections. Sip from cool glasses of Newcastle, Blue Moon, or other brews on tap ($3–$7), or prevent sweet teeth from biting the hand that feeds them with flambéed mountains of bananas foster ($6.99) daubed with ice cream and Grand Marnier–laced whipped cream.
Inside Small Plates’ villa of victuals, visitors discover appetite-sating secrets in a menu full of delicious tapas, pizza, and sandwiches. After observing the amber-colored walls and wood floors that lightly complement the browns of chairs and high-backed booths, unfold a miniature trampoline to bounce into a pile of veggie spring rolls served with hoisin, spicy mustard, and plum sauces ($8). Then, snag a Broadway baguette ($8), save the Boursin cheese and roma tomatoes for later, and force-feed yourself a plate of baby-back barbecue ribs with hand-cut fries ($15) or an eight-inch, thin-crust, brick-oven Italian sausage pizza with gorgonzola cheese and caramelized onions ($10). Once your stomach has gotten used to its new guests, sweeten your palate with the signature chocolate chunk cookie sandwich ($7), or with alternating nibbles of cheesecake ($7) and crème brulée ($6).
Sports-casting TVs surround the perimeter of Pappy’s Sports Bar & Grill, where patrons can wash down hearty American favorites from a menu augmented by a wide selection of frothy brews. Patrons can forget the boring lack of lava-spewing events in the real world by kicking off meals with an appetizing platter of volcano skins ($7.50), which fill hollowed out potato skins with gooey cheddar cheese, bacon, and sour cream. Provolone and mozzarella marry a trio of Italian delicacies—capicola, genoa salami, and mortadella—atop crisp ciabatta to create the muffuletta sandwich ($8.50), and the flavors of Greece ribbon through a flakey spinach pie stuffed with imported feta ($9.50). Chefs festoon the hawaiian pizza—one of six individual pies—with pineapple and ham ($10.75), but leave the Pappy burger ($7.50) open for customization by presenting a choice of cheese, sauce, and even the angle of the grill marks.