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.
Pretzelmaker knots up homemade ropes of golden goodness daily, pairing its sweet and salty treats with a bevy of refreshing beverages. Stop-and-go shoppers can refuel with classic salt- and butter-slathered pretzels ($2.35) that pleasantly pair with a number of dipping sauces ($0.65 each), including sweet caramel, icing, tangy honey mustard, and others. Teenier mouths and mitts can wrap pint-sized parts around mini salted and unsalted pretzel bites ($4.25 for a regular size). If desired, braided treats can be dusted with cinnamon sugar for no extra charge or wrapped around plump rolls of hot doggery for a Shih Tzu-envied, Doberman-approved pretzel dog ($3.35).
Every day at 4 p.m. along Monroe's North Dixie Highway, a tradition is observed that spans almost nine decades. That's when the chefs at Joe's French Italian Inn chop up squid sourced from the East Coast, bread it, and make it talk in a funny voice. Supplemented with garlic and white wine sauce, that calamari might usher in the Lake Erie yellow perch—a local specialty served lightly breaded and sauteed—or it might complement the prime rib, a longtime favorite at the restaurant thanks to its blend of seasonings and hours of slow cooking. Like the European flavors in its name, Joe's French Italian Inn maintains a deft balance between surf and turf throughout its menu. The restaurant also caters to younger appetites with an always-available kids' menu.