Manu and Ila Patel decided to share their recipes with others inside Krishna Catering & Restaurant. They stuff dosas (thin crepes) with cheese and vegetables and toss onions and jalapeños into uttapam (thick pancake) mix, creating dishes that helped the eatery earn the Best Vegetarian Restaurant award on the 2012 Detroit A List. Ila also blends Indian and Chinese flavors, dousing cheese cubes in Chinese sauce and sprinkling chili and soy sauces over veggies. Manu and Ila also cart their myriad dishes off site, catering weddings and celebrations held after passing court-mandated polygraph tests.
Carolyn Simon’s allergies and health issues first led her to discover the health benefits of a raw, vegan diet, inspiring her to use her more than three decades of restaurant experience to open Red Pepper Deli. While the menu includes hot soups, teas, and coffee, the focus is on healthy, raw recipes crafted from fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that are never heated above 118 degrees––a practice that helps each ingredient retain its vital nutrients and wrinkle-free complexion. The lack of Fahrenheit is made up for with flavor, as Carolyn and her staff prepare most everything on the menu from scratch, from the mediterranean pizza made with cashew cheese, red pepper, green olives, and seed bread, down to the shop’s salad dressings and ketchup.
With its deep-burgundy walls, heavy curtains, and crystal-draped chandeliers, What Crepe?s dining room hearkens back to Belle ?poque?era Paris. The scent of simmering crepe batter and melting cheese further imbues the bistro with an aura of authenticity. Chefs flip more than 50 sweet, savory, gluten-free, and vegan crepe varieties that have earned praise from the Detroit Free Press for their freshness and ability to be delivered through mail slots. Savory standout The Obvious garnishes chicken and caramelized apples with feta, while the Nutty Monkey blends banana and Nutella, then tops them with vanilla ice cream. In addition to crepes, dining companions can share sips of organic tea and the restaurant?s own blend of french-press coffee.
The outdoor patio on the Maumee Riverfront isn?t the only reminder of Forrester?s on the River?s location. Inside the main foyer, a rowboat full of poinsettias sits underneath a model sailboat suspended from the ceiling. The nautically themed entrance gives way to a spacious dining room where flat-screen televisions broadcast the latest updates on sporting events. With this happy commotion as a backdrop, the rich aroma of chef's steak-house cuisine wafts from tables and booths. To make those dishes, he draws upon ingredients such as Lake Erie perch, which flakes apart picturesquely when battered in beer and served alongside hand-cut fries. Steaks aged in the restaurant and cut by hand serve as a hearty foundation for pub fare including soft pretzels with housemade beer cheese.
Born in Jalisco, Guadalajara, Cocina De Carlos owner Carlos Mendez brings the zesty, flavorful cuisine of that region to diners' plates. He personally selects the fresh produce and high-quality meats that he and his team—many of whom are family members—use to craft handmade tamales, burritos, and house specialties such as halved, grilled pineapples stuffed with shrimp and cheese. They never use any frozen or canned ingredients, and will prepare gluten-free and vegan dishes on request. For a different taste of Jalisco, try one of the eatery's signature margaritas. “All margaritas are made with 100 percent agave tequila. The House and Jr. House margaritas use tequila from my hometown,” Mendez told a writer for Toledo Free Press.
Balance Pan-Asian Grille is a grassroots Asian-American restaurant. Their staff believes that every restaurant should be like theirs?one that serves from-scratch, healthy food made from fresh ingredients, noting that if customers wanted a microwaved meal, they wouldn?t go out to eat. The name Balance is a reference to restaurant's flavorful bowls, which contain a balance of proteins, carbs, and vegetables.
In the kitchen, Head Chef Jang, who worked for years at his parents' traditional Chinese restaurant, heats up the wok to create fusion recipes such as sweet butternut squash soup and vegan potstickers. He also cooks vegetarian and vegan dishes built on brown rice, salad greens, and tofu. Jang and his staffers often design their seasonal menus using fresh, farm-to-table ingredients, and they eschew any produce or proteins that are classified as genetically modified organisms or that have been handled by robots at any point during the harvesting process.