Chef-owner Julie Wilson crafts a menu of upscale edibles for breakfast outings, dinner dates, and sneaky between-meal snacks, earning the praise of Metromix Detroit. Rather than hosting a messy late-night egg race, guests can throw a morning pancake party ($8.49) and frisbee-toss berry and chocolate-chip flapjacks into the mouths of fellow revelers. Salsa-dressed Tex-Mex burgers ($8.99) hula toward plates in deep-fried onion rings and grilled-to-order suntans. Create a square meal out of pistachio-citrus chicken with mashed potatoes and shredded carrots ($16.99), or triangulate toward stomach satisfaction with wedges of pita smothered in homemade hummus ($7.99). Combining a 10-ounce Angus steak with a tangy balsamic reduction, the eponymous Monroe Street Grill ($18.99) tastes much more delicious than the eatery's awning sign.
For more than 12 years, Rivalrys has charmed palates with a range of bar cuisine at its neighborhood grill. Along with soups made from scratch, chefs whip up classic bar bites such as chili-topped nachos, philly-style cheesesteaks, and six types of burgers with pretzel buns. Offerings from the breakfast menu wake customers up more gently than dreams about The Simpsons getting canceled, and daily specials such as Burger Mondays and Taco Wednesdays give them the chance to fill up while maintaining a budget.
The kitchen at Bashar’s marries Middle Eastern and American favorites, and the enchanting scents roll into the dining room—slow-cooking chicken shawarma, steak kabobs mingle, lamb chops, and stuffed grape leaves. Cooks flip burgers on the grill and roast platters of broiled tilapia or veal parmesan in the oven. Omelettes and other breakfast dishes are served all day long, to give diners more variety and keep underworked chickens employed in a tough economy. Bashar’s maintains a wide selection of bar beverages, from beer and carefully curated wine to cocktails that include dirty martinis.
The ovens at Mancino's Pizza and Grinderswork work overtime. They cook each day, turning out batches of the restaurant's signature breadsticks, hot meat-and-cheese-covered grinders on freshly baked bread, and, of course, specialty or build-your-own pizzas. The ovens' interiors breathe thermal life into concoctions whose histories stretch far back in time. Their grinders were born—according to Mancino's menu—on the East Coast during World War I, when Italian immigrants served hearty sandwiches to shipyard workers who were grinding off rivets for warships. Near the ovens, cooks cover spaghetti and lasagna in handcrafted marinara sauce using an old family recipe. In addition to hardworking ovens, the restaurant's new location boasts four large-screen TVs and an ice-cream bar to cool down well-heated palates.
Big Bear Lodge's culinary team can't light up a campfire indoors, but they do the next best thing by preparing their dishes over open flames. Inside, diners instantly catch whiffs of the six thin-crust pizzas chefs cook in a wood-fired oven, herb-garlic chicken rotating on a wood-fired rotisserie, or grain-fed aged Angus steaks searing on a wood-burning grill. More meat dominates the menu, from platters of pan-seared and oven-broiled Atlantic salmon, gulf shrimp, and bay scallops to bison, elk, and ostrich burgers made with grass- and grain-fed cuts free of antibiotics and hormones.
The dishes all pair with Big Bear Lodge's selection of bottled and draft beer brewed in-state, as well as thermoses full of alcohol-spiked ciders, cocoas, and coffees. There are nonalcoholic ways to keep warm too, from munching on plates of freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies to cozying up amid the restaurant’s log cabin decor. Beneath the dining room's honey-hued beams, nostalgic wall collages pay homage to the institution of camping, reminding guests of the ghost stories, s’mores, and forest-ranger ambitions they once had.
The former host of such harness-racetrack greats as Ramblin' Willie, Mack Lobell, and Shady Daisy, Toledo's Raceway Park ladles up a comprehensive couples' nightlife package of hearty dining and equine amusements. Contemplate your complimentary racing programs (and learn how to read them) as you sup from the gourmet feedbag of Crazy Horse Clubhouse's á la carte menu, featuring items such as the Raceway Reuben ($8.50) and the breaded, grilled Finish Line Chops ($12.95), both named for stallion chefs who originally concocted the recipes.