At Your Mothers, feel-good pub fare keeps bellies balanced as patrons slurp down selections from a wide range of beer and spirits that lurk behind a bright wooden bar. While keeping an eye on the sports game, comrades cluster around baskets of twice-fried buffalo wings, licking one of 17 sauces—including six barbecue sauces and five fiery hot sauces—off their own fingers and friends’ faces. In addition to chicken sandwiches and burgers topped with bacon or olives and feta, the kitchen turns out grilled slabs of ribs tossed in house barbecue sauce. Thick pizzas, made with small-batch doughs and topped with family-recipe sauce, include a roasted-garlic-and-portobello variety and a caribbean chicken pizza, lightly garnished with jerk seasoning after being reeled in from Jamaican waters.
A hearty appetite is encouraged at Clancy’s Irish Pub, where a champion burger challenge bates mouths to down a 5-pound behemoth burger and a full pound of fries in less than 45 minutes. Only three customers have ever succeeded, and their pictures reside on Clancy’s wall of fame as a testament to their steely reserve and superhuman jaw strength. In addition to holding photos of these championship mugs, Clancy’s butter-hued walls come stippled with golden brown, as if prophesying the deep-fried goodliness of the menu’s jalapeño poppers and cheesy mozzarella sticks. Amid the glow of neon beer signs and flat-screen TVs, tables load up with pints from the bar’s selection of more than 50 brews, as well as pub classics such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and the cheese-and- bacon-slathered chicken Dubliner. After two-handing a signature Jack Daniels chicken sandwich, guests can partake of weekly events such as beer-pong competitions, trivia, and DJ dance nights.
Piper's Alley pairs a varied menu of made-from-scratch pub fare with almost 40 beers from around the world, including a variety from Michigan. The lunch specials—unlike sautéing a credit card—can please both one's palate and wallet; try the veggie melt with provolone cheese ($4.95). Meanwhile, the half-pound Alley burger ($8.99) bathes in a mix of marinara and guacamole before enrobing itself in four different types of cheese, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, and applewood-smoked bacon. Marinated grilled chicken fajitas step to a stage of warm flour tortilla, sidekicked by an entourage of shredded cheese, sweet onions, tap-dancing bodyguards, and bell peppers ($10.99). Made-from-scratch cheesecake ($4.99) delivers a sweet finale to the meal. Alongside universal favorites, the beer menu showcases many of Michigan's brews; fill up a glass with the Mackinaw pale ale from the tap or sip on a bottle of the Bell's Seasonal.
Cuisine Type: American, pub style
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 25?50
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Deep-dish pizza and salads
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery/Takeout Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: No
G Willies Bar & Grill's most popular offerings may be its deep-dish pizzas, which arrive tableside loaded with toppings such as shrimp, crab meat, and alfredo sauce, or covered with BLT ingredients and mayo. But according to Owner Barry Ludvigson, patrons would be remiss to overlook the soups and chili. The chef whips up housemade soups from scratch every day along with a Hog Wild bourbon chili that has won awards in local contests and from the chef's best friend. The kitchen staff also fries tortilla chips and pairs them with a spinach-cheddar-jalape?o dip and flame-grills thin-crust pizzas.
Guests nosh on the creative bar food during trivia nights, euchre tournaments, and karaoke sessions. Occasionally, G Willies hosts tap takeovers, when different craft breweries fill the pub's kegs with their signature brews.
The self-proclaimed home of the $1 draft, Dooleys Tavern keeps 20 beers cascading from their taps. Those suds complement the chefs' pub food, which includes American tavern classics such as half-pound burgers and up to 50 chicken wings doused in a choice of four sauces. The draft beer house also concocts American dishes with an Irish twist such as corned-beef sliders and a pizza filled with mashed potatoes and topped with bacon and red onions.
Seven nights a week, Dooleys’ three locations keep guests entertained until 2 a.m. on an outdoor patio, in a room full of classic bar games, and with plenty of HDTVs showing the game. The trio of taverns also accommodates up to 100 guests for private parties. Additionally, the Mount Clemens location pairs feasts with sidesplitting routines from standup comics in Carmen's Showroom.
Strings of colored lights twinkle from the rafters of Gator Jake's Bar Grill Patio, where walls of retro neon and pressed-metal signs lend the dining room a vivacious vibe. The menu brings creole and southwestern perspectives to the table, providing etouffees, steak-fajita subs, and barbecue chicken monterey to complement a glass of Beringer wine, a specialty cocktail, or a beer called Guinness, Killian's, or Corona. Wall-mounted flat-screen televisions broadcast major sporting events as the sounds of clacking pool balls, whirring darts, and songs from the jukebox and periodic live entertainment fill the air. Open until 2 a.m., Gator Jake's—which took third place in the 2011 Detroit A-List's race for Best Sports Bar—welcomes patrons to stay for a late-night birthday party or celebrate the opening of a foreign stock exchange far, far away.