Subscribe! | Twitter | Facebook - Be my friend on Facebook and Twitter | Cooking, Restaurant Reviews, and Molecular Gastronomy

Detroit Graffiti & Street Art

Sintex Graffiti

Many days, we cruise Detroit for fun. Old architecture, historic churches, and very colorful graffiti begs for attention at every turn. I realize not everyone can make it downtown, or even to an urban setting, so live vicariously my friends. I am starting a new section on MiraUncut showcasing some of the best Detroit architecture, graffiti and art. Have a tip on some killer street art? Drop a line at mirauncut[at]gmail[dot]com.

xx mira.

Hot Taco Detroit – Detroit

Hot Taco Detroit

Hot Taco Detroit is the latest addition to the Mexican taqueria scene in Detroit. Or so they would have us believe.

I was excited to hear a new Taqueria opened behind the Fox. I trailed off into dreams of no more wondering where to grab a bite before the game, some late night taco drive byes, delicious bites of savory tacos, a new hang out…and then I went there and woke up. Brutally.

Hot Taco Detroit

Let me start off by saying, I have no issue with this place not being “authentic” Mexican. I enjoy concept restaurants with twists and interpretations on classics. It keeps it exciting. If you want “real” tacos, you drive down Vernor to El Nacimiento. Simple.

The place has a sleek modern design. A stainless steel counter and bright red wall are what you notice first. What I noticed second was how much clutter they had behind the counter. Herbs in plastic containers stacked on shelves, pots and pans, organized chaos.

Hot Taco Detroit

I understand going for a modern minimal look, but make sure you have enough room to hide everything else from your guest.

Hot Taco Detroit

On a side note, they have rotisserie style chicken they sell for $7. Not so Taco if you ask me. If you felt like my side note was random, that’s how I felt about that chicken being sold there. Random.

Anyways, on to the “tacos”. I included quotation marks around the word ‘tacos’ because if it kinda looks like a taco, and you call it a taco, it does not mean its a taco!

Hot Taco Detroit

They have been super busy apparently because they were sold out of almost everything. So, I ordered two veggie tacos ($3 /taco) and a veggie burrito ($6). Easy right? How hard can veggie tacos be.

Hot Taco Detroit

Well, she (the person that runs the front), proceeded to put this white glop on the tortillas. When I asked her what it was she said it’s rice. I didn’t say anything. Then came some black beans, cheese, and huge hunks of onions, red onions mind you, and sloppily cut tomatoes. Then the cilantro, which was whole and some sort of garlic salsa and sour cream. This is then wrapped in aluminum foil. Yes, aluminum foil.

Hot Taco Detroit

Please take a close look at the picture above and tell me, does that look like a veggie taco to you? Boiled plain flavorless white rice has no place on a taco, unless you call it The Porridge taco.

Hot Taco Detroit

The whole thing was messy and gross and tasted nothing like a taco. All you could taste after was red onion, for hours mind you.

Hot Taco Detroit

On to the burrito. First two bites were of empty tortilla, the next bite after contained a cilantro leaf with stalk that pulled up everything behind it and caused it to fall down my shirt. Sigh. I had given up on the place by then, but was hungry and decided to give it a few more bites in hopes that maybe it would get better.

Hot Taco Detroit

No such luck. Here is a cross section of the burrito. Seriously guys, look at it. That doesn’t look right! Where is the refried beans, the spicy rice, the delicious salsas? What is this the deal with this liquidy white rice stuff on the left?

Hot Taco Detroit

If you think I am overreacting give it a go. Waste some $$.

My main grievances: Other than the gross mushy white rice, nothing was cooked to order. Everything was pre made and just slopped onto a tortilla from hot plates. I was actually offended by the food that was served. It had no flavor, and they have no idea how to make a taco. It wasn’t even half decent. I would save my money and head to a taco truck. At least their taco is actually a taco. Hot Taco is not so “hot” and not so “taco”.

Hot Taco Detroit on Urbanspoon

Supino Pizzeria – Eastern Market – Detroit

supino

It’s highly unlikely you have been to Eastern Market and not had pizza from Supino’s. If you have not had this delicious slice of heaven, you have sinned. Go straight down there, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

If you are expecting an actual Italian restaurant, or a “restaurant” for that matter, you are mistaken. It’s a small joint with rustic tables and a view into the back. It has a large communal table, and smaller more intimate ones.

supino long

The decor is minimal, colorful and eclectic.

supino ceiling

The Supinos menu is pretty concise, always the sign of a good place I think.

IMG_8980

We went for a large Primavera (tomatoes, artichoke, eggplant, onion, spinach, mozzarella $17).

IMG_8981

You can watch your pizza being made. The dough is stretched thin and thrown in the air before being pulled on to a wood paddle and sent into the inferno.

IMG_8983

Supino’s pizza is a thin one. And by a thin one I mean anorexic model type. Actually, a model would be jealous of how thin it is. It is even thinner than a NY style pizza. That just makes it so much more awesome. You won’t be in a doughy coma after.

IMG_8994

It must be nice when you can shop for your veggies across the street (Eastern Market).

IMG_8992 IMG_9001

I always love their pizza. The Primavera is a white one aka no sauce, and I like it that way. The mozzarella is  perfect, the spinach a nice basil replacement. My one itsy bitsy complaint is that toppings were too minimal and not every slice has some. That is only because I love it so much and want more of that creamy eggplant and tart artichoke. Can you blame me?

Supino’s, there should be haiku’s and poems written for your pizza.

Actually, here is a haiku I made up to wrap:

Supino’s pizza
Detroit’s sinfully thin crust
Oven to belly

Supino Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

The Whitney – Detroit

The Whitney

The Whitney has been a Detroit landmark since it was built in the 1890’s. Its a majestic sight and a glimpse into the old world of Detroit and the neighborhood of opulence that used to exist on Woodward. It has since been turned into a restaurant and I have been wanting to eat there for a while, if nothing else to see the inside of this glorious mansion.

The house is huge and the best part of eating there is being able to tour it after. You can walk around and explore all three floors. Each room gives you a glimpse into the life of the previous owners with the amazing Tiffany glass windows and the gorgeous wood and plaster details.

The Whitney

We went for lunch on a Friday. It was moderately busy, and they actually use the many rooms as different dining areas.

The Whitney

I’m a bread snob. I admit it. I like to get high on carbs. I feel like the bread sets the tone for the meal. If something as simple as bread is not executed properly it is a foreboding sign. Sadly, the bread bombed. I suppose it was an attempt at garlic bread. It was hard, cold, and oily.

The Whitney

The Caesar Salad was good. Fresh lettuce and properly dressed. I will note one thing, I was expecting silverware and plates reminiscent of the era. Not the square, white, modern plates that were served.

The Whitney

I skimmed the menu. I wanted something comforting. Something warm and lux. It was a cold day outside, and I needed to feel human again. I chose the Lobster Mac n Cheese ($23). It was a good plate of food. It was huge, I couldn’t finish it. The lobster was salty and was a bite of the ocean, a little over cooked though, and it seemed to be added on top as an after thought.

The Whitney

Sam had the Pasta with, Peas, Rosemary, white Cream Sauce over Fettuccini ($13). I am very sorry to say, it was bland, flavorless and uninspired. I know its a simple pasta dish, but it was sent out with no salt or flavor whatsoever. I get frustrated when simple dishes are overlooked. This plate could have been creamy and great. I get more flavor out of instant pasta from a rice-a-roni box.

The Whitney

Our friend “T”, ordered the  Orange Glazed Chicken with Garlic Polenta Honey Mustard Braised Carrots ($17). She said it was some of the best chicken she had ever had.

The Whitney

For dessert, we chose all three that they offered ($7 each). The creme brulee was the best and the only one worth ordering. It had the perfect crust, and was creamy and perfect. I always get an Amelie moment anytime I eat it. Maybe that adds to the magic.

The Whitney

The cheesecake was thick, and the crust too hard to cut through with a fork. I didn’t like it. Whatever happened to light fluffy pieces of cream cheese heaven?

The Whitney

The carrot cake was light and moist. The frosting a great consistency. I just thought it was way to small. It needed to be double the size.

The Whitney

After dining there and touring the mansion after, I have to say, you need to eat at the Whitney at least once in your life, just for the experience. The food could be improved, but it wasn’t bad. Maybe their dinner menu has more to offer and I believe they are known for their brunch. The mansion itself is gorgeous. I am so glad it is still around, and I hope it stays for around for centuries.

Wasabi – Korean & Japanese – Detroit

Wasabi

Wasabi is located on Kirby just east of the DIA in Detroit. The word “Wasabi” automatically makes you think of sushi, and Japanese food. Add Korean dishes to that and you have a restaurant I definitely want to eat at. Asian food is very mysterious to me. Sushi is the most straight forward in my book. So, anytime I get a chance, I like to eat something Asian I have not before.

What made it even better was the coupon I found. More food for less money. Can’t beat that.

We started with some appetizers.

Wasabi

Shrimp Goyoza Shrimp dumplings, deep fried ($4.99).

As anyone will tell you, I’m a sucker for fried dumplings. Crunchy and hot, just the way I like them.

Wasabi

Agedashi Deep-fried tofu in tempura sauce ($4.99).

Sam was not fond of these. I believe men do not like mushy textured food. I liked it. Firm on the outside, creamy middle and salty finish from the sauce.

Wasabi

The ubiquitous Miso soup, and ginger salad. Nothing revolutionary. Taste was ok. I have had way better miso and salad.

Wasabi

I can’t remember the name of the dish I had, but it was a Korean soup. It had zucchini, tofu, and egg among other things in a great spicy broth. It was pretty good and my mouth was on fire just the way I like. I could have done with the veggies being cooked a little longer.

Wasabi

Sam had the Hot and Spicy Shrimp from the Korean menu- Shrimp, and vegetables in a hot and spicy sauce ($14.99).

He loved it. Spicy, smoky and all around comforting.

Wasabi

The sushi coming out to the tables looked fantastic with a great display of knife skills. I had the Caterpillar Roll – Spicy Tuna wrapped with sliced of Avocado and Masago on  top. It was really good. Not as spicy as I usually like, but still very good.

Wasabi

For dessert, we were pretty stuffed and just had these ice cream balls. It was green tea and strawberry. They are wrapped in a rice paste of sorts that is chewy and good. These were fun to eat. The strawberry was the best and sells out fast.

The restaurant itself is cozy and small with a modernesque look with aluminum touches. We had no issues with the service or waitress. Although, I do have to mention, I have been there again recently and the owner or manager made the dining situation uncomfortable with him yelling at the waitress and the sushi chefs. You could tell everyone was on edge with him there.

I would still recommend this place. Food is great, with a large selection. They also have Bibimbab’s, which is always a “hell yeah”. Have you eaten here, or do you have a Korean or Japanese restaurant in the area you would recommend?

Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Iridescence – Motor City Casino – Detroit

Iridescence Detroit

Iridescence is a restaurant perched atop the hotel section of the Motor City Casino. I was excited to dine there since I have eaten several times at rival MGM Casino restaurants Wolfgang Puck and Saltwater and I wanted to see how it stacked up. One of the draws to Iridescence is the great decor and the views overlooking the river and the  Ambassador Bridge.

IMG_8819

We were seated within ten minutes of our reservation, and while waiting we enjoyed live piano music in the lounge area. Upon being seated the first thing I noticed was the grand floor to ceiling wine rack. Each row is automated and rotates to deliver the required bottle of wine to the bottom for dispensing.

Iridescence Detroit

After ordering, we were delighted by an amuse bouche sent out by the chef. It was a nice chunk of crab. Wasn’t super seasoned, just simple and clean tasting.

Iridescence Detroit

Our friend Mike had the special appetizer that day. Hamachi crudo –  in foie gras, cranberry-elderflower compote, granny smith apple, cucumber, popcorn shoot ($14). I had a bite. It was good, the apples quite interesting. I was not a fan of the cucumber because it made it too watery. A version with less seeds might work better.

Iridescence Detroit

Next, the tomato soup that was poured at the table. The plate first came out with a cube of tomato covered in greens, then the tomato soup was poured over it. It came with mini grilled cheese finger sammie.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly so far. And then one thing pretty much ruined our night. We waited and waited and our entrees had not come out yet. It was an hour and still no food. It was really bad. We noticed it was not just us though. Looking around the room was lots of disgruntled faces. Not too many happy campers at this point.

Needless to say my husband Sam had quite had it and called over the floor manager. At first he seemed a bit surprised and taken aback by our complaint. He didn’t say much and walked away and then came back. He had gone to check our reservation time (8:30 pm). At this point he said that while we had ordered multiple courses, our wait was not too over but it was still more than should be. Mind you it was 10:00 pm at this point and I was fuming, but bit my tongue. So, he said that the appetizers were on him and on that que the plates came out.

After he walked away, we were very unhappy to be honest. Not that we wanted anything or to get “free” food, but, we did not feel it was handled well. It didn’t feel sincere, and it definitely wasn’t an apology. More unfolds after our dinner…

Iridescence Detroit

I had the fish chowder ($24). I have to say, despite the huge and almost unforgivable time misstep, this is one of the best dishes I have had all year. Fish, clams, salmon, shrimp, sticky sweet rice and this deeply flavored and slightly salty in a good way broth. I could eat it all over again. It was superb. It almost redeemed the whole night for me. Almost.

Iridescence Detroit

Mike had the Yellow Perch breaded in Better Made potato chips ($23). This too was a deliciously cooked fish. I was also surprised at the amount of food on the plate. Usually places like this give you a sliver of fish.

Iridescence Detroit

Sam had the Roasted Atlantic Salmon with risotto ($23). It was cooked perfectly.

We were very happy with the food, but to be honest we were eating while still upset at the way the situation had been handled.

At some point during the meal, the manager finally noticed we still were not happy, and he finally cracked a smile, gave a real apology and was very friendly and said something along the lines of let’s end the meal on a sweet note and enjoy dessert on us. Finally, a real apology.

Iridescence Detroit

For dessert we tried three things. Mike ordered the apple pie with cinnamon ice cream ($7). It was quite good and not overly sweet. The apples also still had a bite to them just the way I like it.

Iridescence Detroit

I ordered the Candy Sampler ($12). It was whimsical looking but fell short. It was more dessert than “candy” and the execution on some parts was just not there. The best part was the Vernor’s float, and I am not even a Vernor’s fan. I loved the pop rocks on the rim of the cup and you could actually drink via the twizzler. It was fun and I was expecting something more whimsical.

Iridescence Detroit Iridescence Detroit

Sam had the Key Lime Pie ($7). It came with mango, basil and lemon sorbet. The basil was fantastic. So fresh and the perfect bite to end with.

Iridescence Detroit

Overall, the food was great, and better than I expected. I understand that sometimes kitchens can get overwhelmed and you could see the Chefs mad at work in the back. However, looking online at some other reviews it seems that the long wait for food has been a common issue. They need to fix this issue as it was the only issue we had and quite unacceptable. So, for now if you would like to dine there I would suggest to go at a time that is not usually as busy as Friday night, hopefully your wait won’t be as bad at that time. I would love to hear your thoughts. Is a long wait made up for by great food?

Iridescence on Urbanspoon

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Warning: Unknown: open(/home/content/52/5587052/tmp/sess_k5qd595t3361uucci6mdeqke81, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct () in Unknown on line 0