Like we said in our last post, you’ve seen the DIA; you’ve waited a “while” for a pulled pork sandwich at Slows; you’ve bowled at the Garden Bowl and then gorged yourself on $2 slices of Sgt. Pepperoni’s pizza afterwards. All that’s fine, but here are five more must-see Detroit gems—all of which are only 10 minutes away from Marygrove College.
Le Petit Zinc
Maybe I’m an easy date, but I can’t begrudge any establishment that serves water in an old wine bottle and sells Coca-Cola in a glass bottle. I suppose it helps that their food, especially the crepes and coffee, is consistently good and that they employ waiters who, no matter how horribly I butcher the French menu, manage not only to figure out what I’m trying to say, but are congenial enough not to laugh or show me how it’s done in front of my wife.
Le Petit isn’t a new business, but it’s a bit off the beaten path, right on the edge of Cork Town. It’s trite and I’m sorry, but the best word I can use to describe the atmosphere is “cute.” If you go within the next few weeks, it’ll still be warm enough to sit outside next to the water fountain, but I prefer the intimacy of the dining room, the clang of the open kitchen and the sardonic banter between the chefs and wait staff. I will say that the waiters aren’t killing themselves to hurry up, so just sip your coffee, practice your French and chill.
Mon-Thu 10 am – 4 pm
Fri-Sat 10 am – 9 pm
Sun 9 am – 3 pm
Detroit Derby Girls
Women skate around in a circle, fall, push and body check each other at the Masonic Temple. I have no idea what the “rules” are, so don’t ask. What I do know is that any one of the derby girls could take me out even if they aren’t allowed to punch or pull hair like they do in the movies.
Tickets are $10 (or $15 when there is a double header). The usual stadium delights (beer, nachos and hot dogs) are available; then you can work off the calories at half time when they open up the floor for you to, of all things, hula hoop.
If you’re in college, you’re probably on a budget, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to dress like it. Lucky for you, there’s a secondhand clothing shop 10 minutes down the road called Regeneration (there are two locations, actually: one in Pleasant Ridge and one in Clawson). It’s a genius business model and Regeneration’s got the market cornered. Like vintage? They’ve got it. Looking for designer denim? They’ve got an entire wall of it for both men and women. They carry Michael Kors, Seven, Polo, American Apparel, you name it, so they manage to appeal to anyone who likes dirt-cheap, gently-worn clothes, but likes to keep their wallet portly.
The staff doesn’t hover, but they don’t ignore you either. And honestly, I don’t know how they do it, but I’ve never seen a single sales associate roll their eyes when I bring them three trash bags full of clothes I want them to buy. The closest thing I can compare the store to is a secondhand shop called Plato’s Closet. Unlike the latter, though, you won’t be appraised by teenage Beliebers while you browse.
If you want to spruce up your dorm room and you’re tired of watching your fifth IKEA desk disintegrate under the weight of a cup, hit the Cass corridor and you’ll find Mantra. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the setup and there’s no telling what you’ll find, but if you’re looking for an airbrushed velvet painting of PeeWee Herman (and who isn’t?), a gaudy, mid-century lamp with a two-tiered shade, or a desk that’s made out of trees and not sawdust, you’ve come to the right place.
Most people rave about Mexican Town restaurants like Xochimilco, but I prefer to spoil my dinner by hitting the Mexicantown Bakery first. The bakery is part corner grocery and part bakery and everything is CHEAP. Browse an entire wall of cookies, doughnuts and cupcakes and then wash it down with a Jarritos Mexican soda (you can never go wrong with their mango flavor). If you’re lucky, Jessica Hernandez, whose parents own the joint, may be playing a show in the loft upstairs.