The Unexpected Adventure I Found in Detroit | Foodie’s Weekend Escape Part I


A few weeks ago, I headed out to adventure with Alaska Airlines for a Foodie’s Weekend Escape to Detroit! I went on a 3-day journey exploring best and most beautiful places and hidden gems. This recap is part 1 of 3 trips. More coming soon!

Sharing with you my top 5 favorites (and a few bonus spots!) in the design, breakfast, drink, art and dinner categories.

Waking up in a brand new city was the perfect way to start an early weekend. Detroit blew me away in more ways than one. I hope you enjoy, feel inspired, and have a chance to visit this gorgeous city soon with a flight on Alaska Airlines!

And….coming soon a Detroit- inspired recipe for Thai lobster chowder!

{Content is sponsored and opinions are my own.}

Design: Detroit Foundation Hotel

Staying at the Detroit Foundation Hotel was an incredible experience. The Apparatus Room was absolutely stunning. Every detail was on point.
In my opinion, it’s a design-lovers paradise with a broad array of texture, materials, patterns, beautiful artwork, original tiled ceiling, brass, wood, leather, fur and more. I thoroughly enjoyed the Belgian style waffles w/ preserved cherry , walnuts and maple syrup. Just the right amount of sweetness. They also have a fantastic pastry case at the coffee bar. Location is excellent.

Breakfast: Astro Coffee

I’ve officially decided that ALL foodie weekend escapes must begin with great coffee and the perfect breakfast or pastry.

Astro Coffee is a small locally-owned cafe in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood offering a changing menu of coffees from independent roasters throughout the U.S.
It’s a hidden gem with brick and chalk walls. Killer music and vibe. Also – it literally smelled like heaven as they make everything fresh right there behind the bar! Wanted to cozy up and never leave.
All in house made pastries, sandwiches, salads and more. The seasonal veggie fritata was a game changer – absolutely perfect with my flat white.

Drink: Bad Luck Bar

I had soooo many good cocktails in Detroit. This was hard ya’ll. I’ve decided Bad Luck Bar wins 1st place because their drinks were completely next level.
Sugar house, a Prohibition-style cocktail house “with a seasonal menu so they don’t get bored”, and Standby who offers an impressive 50 signature drinks were close seconds.

On the menu:

The Dream: Cinnamon-infused Power’s Irish Whiskey, breakfast cereal-infused cream, buckwheat honey, whole egg, Campari-powdered sugar (served in a milk bottle!!)

-Tasted creamy and smooth, definitely easy to drink but incredibly interesting. The bartender was such a firm believer in the whole egg (yes, I questioned it!) – he said it provided a luscious, velvety texture. I’m now a believer – was an unreal addition.

 

The Fool: Prosciutto-infused Plymouth Navy Strength gin, pistachio syrup, lemon, lime, egg white, soda and torched rosemary

-Definitely loved this. It was bright and citrusy, yet smooth. The smoking rosemary added another level to the experience and aroma. The prosciutto infusion added a level of saltiness. The pistachios on the rim added the perfect amount of texture to pair.

Sugar House

Ordered: World’s Strongest Man – milk-washed Cruzan Blackstrap rum, coffee and averna
Next time: Pirate Ship Ride – Barrel aged Long Road aquavit, spiced hibiscus, honey, lemon and lingonberry

Standby

Ordered: The Pretty Woman: tropical, smokey, bright Scotch, bold genever, passionfruit, lemon, Demerara , meleiti
Next time: Forest Fire- earthy, evocative, woodsy – Terroir gin, cynar, cocchi rosa, byrrh, rosemary tincture

Art: Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts, located in Midtown, has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. The experience was incredible, truly. It’s been a long time since I’ve visited such an impacting museum. Learned that the DIA collection is “regarded as among the top six museums in the United States with an encyclopedic collection which spans the globe from ancient Egyptian and European works to contemporary art”.

Detroit’s art scene as a whole is inspiring – you’ll see murals everywhere as you drive through the city. Reminded me of Berlin, Germany. Can’t wait to go back!

Dinner: Mabel Grey

Hands down, my best food experience in Detroit. James, who’s accolades include Top Chef Season 12 and more, hosted my stay and it was truly an experience, start to finish. Absolutely worth the drive – the restaurant felt tucked away and quaint. They offer a daily handwritten menu too – was all just completely perfect.

The locals say it might be the best restaurant in all of Michigan –

…James puts ALL his love into his food. You can taste it, you can feel it.

Enjoyed a beautiful spread of in season vegetables and seafood. The manila clams were absolutely life changing. The broth alone was an experience, but that paired with fresh clams was another level.

Finished off the evening with dark chocolate cheesecake with macadamia nuts, butterscotch, brulee banana and sea salt, paired with an Italian Liqueur. Possibly one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever tasted, and I don’t say that lightly.

On the menu:

Manila clams, house green curry, coconut milk, onion, cilantro, mint
Sunseed heirloom tomatoes, radicchio, charred sweet peppers, house ricotta, eggplant, marcona
Grilled octopus, greek salad vegetables, pickled grilled onions, garlic lyogurf
Wild apple saison: a local collaborative culinary remix drink that combines beer and wine.

 

Additional recommendations:

Gather 

The staff was incredible and the food was out of this world. Seriously. Don’t get me started on the whole roasted trout, rice, veggies, corn on the cob, charred wings, grilled pita, seasonal pesto and feta.

Just the perfect experience. Simple, yet detail was intentional on every level.

Roses Fine Food:

Bon Appetit rec so had to check it out for myself. It’s a quaint diner and total hidden gem on the side of the road just blocks from the waterfront. Ordered buckwheat GF pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup. Great bakery case of pastries made in house. Adorable feel, great staff.

Wright & Company:

Amazing atmosphere, great design, packed exciting vibe. Ordered the watermelon salad: feta cheese mousse, red onion, cucumber, champagne gastrique. The crisp, fresh watermelon with the whipped feta (what?!!). The flavor and texture pairing was off the charts.

Ima:

Absolutely incredible.

Ordered The Forest Udon: porcini broth, sesame tofu, smoked trumpets, rosemary, garlic oil. Perfectly balanced mushroom flavor. Bright with a crunch with the addition of Gomaae (type of Japanese broccoli).

Also tried The Golden Curry: silky curry sauce, root veggies, ginger pickle, topped with chili shrimp.

Next time: Boombap: fried egg, shiitake, slaw, cucumber, pepito chili sauce with the addition of ginger beef.

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