On the Road Eats: Detroit(Suburbs) and Ann Arbor

I have something to share with you.

I have to find the local spots.  And I knew heading to the Detroit suburbs and Ann Arbor would cause me to spend some time finding the right spot for one dinner and two lunches.  Turns out I got a second dinner too!

Cafe Thai
img_0729Call and request an early hotel check-in.  Take the bus to Hertz, choose a car and while I wait in line to check out, call Cafe Thai.  Order lunch to go and let them know I will be there in 25 minutes.  Head towards Southfield and they will have lunch ready to go.  Check in at the hotel, eat quickly and head to my client meeting.  Same routine for many years if I have to head to the suburbs after an early flight.  Always Cafe Thai.  And still my favorite Pad Thai to date.

Voyager
I read about a restaurant in Ferndale, a 15-minute drive from my hotel that was named one of the top restaurants in the country.  Nothing fancy, just great seafood.  And they were right.  I could have sat at the bar and ate for hours.

Monahan’s Seafood Market
I have never been to Ann Arbor so of course I had to drive through the campus, see the stadium and find some good food.  I happened upon Kerrytown while looking for Monahan’s not realizing I was in the right spot.  On this particular day, there was a farmer’s market and the vendors pointed me in the right direction.  I walked into the Kerrytown Market and Shops and found Monahan’s.  Order at the counter, hope you can find a table or seat at the counter, and wonderful fresh mish is delivered via paper plate.  They had an amazing butternut squash that day and I could not resist a cup of the clam chowder.  Awesome experience!

Zingerman’s Delicatessen
Apparently Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor institution.  When I told someone I had just returned from Ann Arbor, their first question was if I stopped by Zingerman’s.  I was happy to be able to say yes.  And I must admit it was a neat place with multiple buildings and experiences.  I didn’t really have a plan for a meal before heading to the airport but at the last minute decided I should get something before heading back to the Detroit airport.  Corned beef on rye and some rugelach.  The drive took less than an hour which was a bit difficult with this great sandwich on the seat next to me waiting to be eaten but I made it through security quickly, found a quiet spot to chill for 30 minutes and enjoyed my final meal of this trip!

 

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On the Road Eats: Cincinnati, Ohio

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I got lucky.  I was able to fly into Cincinnati rather than Dayton for my recent business trip which saved me over 40 minutes in commute time.  Of course I went to Chowhound to get recommendations for dining and booked a stay at the newer Renaissance in the city.

Senate
Yup, Triple D filmed here but that was not why I wanted to visit.  I like the OTR area and they had poutine on the menu.  So of course, I started with the short rib poutine and had a pork belly grilled cheese.  Super rich food so I didn’t finish all of it but a great spot to try. They are known for their hot dogs so I guess that will be next time!
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Jean-Robert’s Table
I was told that this was one of the better restaurants in town and they were right….the atmosphere was casual and it was a short walk from the hotel.  I was dining with a colleague that is great to do the foodie thing with(he was with me in Austin for a trip last year).  We decided to share the two appetizers – escargot prepared in a classic style and the Foie Gras with peach(both specials for the night).  Both were delicious.  For my meal I ordered the skate wing the keep things a little lighter rather than the lamb or steak special. We both enjoyed the meal and decided to skip dessert and head to Graeter’s!

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Graeter’s
There was a line out the door and my colleague had never been.  Last time I was here I tasted the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip so I recommended he try that…after all, it is their most popular flavor.  I had to try the Salted Caramel.  The weather in Cincinnati was super comfortable compared to Texas and it was the perfect way to end a long day of travel and meetings.

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Green Papaya
We had a meeting northeast of the city and I wanted to eat somewhere close by rather than have to walk and deal with downtown parking.  I asked at the Renaissance for a recommendation and Green Papaya was mentioned.  Great Thai food…I’m in.  It was not as good as Cafe Thai in Southfield, MI but it was just as good if not better than some spots I visit here in Dallas.  Another great meal in Cincinnati!

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Frida 602
Flights were delayed.  And now I had two hours to do, hmm, eat.  I had already driven to the airport once to drop my colleague and decided to stop in Covington for dinner, just on the other side of the river from Cincinnati.  I had done a little homework and saw that Bouquet was written up as one of the best restaurants in the Cincinnati area.  But I walked by and decided last-minute to try something brand new.  I wanted tacos, I guess I missed being home.  I arrived at Frida 602 with colorful picnic benches, artwork and tables.  I was one of three tables to be there early but the place started filling up and I know why.  The food was great.  I started with the Al Pastor tacos and the amazing server was great to order me a single brussel sprout taco, the highlight of the whole night.  Brussel sprouts, chickpeas, peanuts all on a taco…..fantastic!  I ended with the Tres Leches dessert with toasted marshmallow and headed to the airport happy.

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Renaissance Downtown Cincinnati
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Out of all the Marriott brands(excluding Ritz), I love Renaissance.  They just feel more like me.  The interior of the hotel makes me a little happier and the boutique feel is not like a standard chain hotel.  From this hotel, I was able to walk to both of my client appointments, dinner, ice cream and I felt safe.  I will be back the next time I am in town!

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On the Road Eats: Houston

I have something to share with you.

Back to Houston for more client meetings and two great meals!  Thank you to OpenTable for making reservations so easy!

Osteria Mazzantini
Right next to Caracol in the galleria area is Osteria Mazzantini.  I kept reading that they were closing so I was very happy to have the chance to eat here.  If you have not been, GO NOW.  The meal started with toasted focaccia with olive oil and herbs and butter.  I ordered the executive lunch which included a choice of appetizer, salad or soup and then an entrée.  The scallop crudo was amazing, I almost wish I could have it once a week.  The Bolognese was wonderful, a bit peppery, but still wonderful.  If I had any room left, I would have had dessert.  I left this restaurant very happy!

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Songkran Thai Kitchen
I love Thai food so I was excited to see this new restaurant posted on Eater Houston. On my way from one client to the next I made a quick stop with my colleague and had a great lunch. They start the meal with soup and a salad and then we shared the Pad Si-ew and the Pad Thai.  I will definitely recommend this to others if they are in the area.  If they happen to be full, try Etoile next door!

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