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Archive for the ‘restaurant’ Category

Finally Plymouth’s beloved Burger Spot has re-opened.  It was closed for months for “remodeling” but there was actually a change in ownership.  The remodeling did occur and the place looks quite nice, but the temporary closure was more than about just aesthetics.

A few of the things that made the Burger Spot great remain unchanged.  The hamburgers taste about the same and the french fries are delicious as always.

But, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, more has changed than remained the same.  First, there is only one (1) type of true hamburger.  You get a choice of standard toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions.)  Gone are the dozen or so varieties of (beef) hamburgers the classic Burger Spot used to carry.

Second, salads and similar menu items have disappeared entirely.  There are a number of different sandwiches but I didn’t pay much attention to that side of the menu.  I went to the Burger Spot for a burger, not a sandwich.

Third, while there is only one hamburger, there are three other types of “burgers,” e.g. vegetarian and turkey.  I accidentally ordered the Greek Burger, thinking it was a beef hamburger with feta and tzatziki sauce.  I bit into it to discover that it was a vegetarian burger — clearly marked on the menu as such; my fault, not the restaurant’s.  While I wanted beef, I must admit that it was the best vegetarian burger I’ve ever had! By miles!

The limited menu is disappointing.  I think the new ownership, in my opinion, has changed one of the key things that made the Burger Spot the best.  But the menu that they do offer, though limited, is very good!

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Many of my friends are up in arms about the smoking ban which took effect statewide on May 1.  They do not object so much about the elimination of smoking from bars and restaurants but are bothered by the perceived governmental intrusion.  I’m a believer in less being m0re when it comes to government, but I have to say that the smoking ban is long overdue.

More to the point, the smoking ban is a godsend for many of us non-smokers.  In the last week I’ve been to three (3) bars in the City of Plymouth that I avoided in the past because of the heavy smoke: Hermann’s Olde Town Grille, Doyle’s Tavern and Ironwood Grill.  I, for the first time, was able to enjoy a drink or two in these places without stinging eyes and burning lungs.

I have no data to back this up, but it appears that the smoking ban has had little or no negative impact on these businesses.  All three places were bustling when I was there.   Hermann’s, in particular, was packed Saturday night.  A few smokers drifted in and out on occasion to smoke out on the sidewalk, but I heard no grumbling or complaints.

For my wife and me, the ban has brought us back to the pubs.  I expect we’ll continue to hang out more in town now that we can do so in relative fresh air.

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Twice now I’ve had shish kabob at Red Olive (Ann Arbor Road between Main Street and Sheldon Road) and it is the best I’ve ever had, hands down.  It’s extremely tender, juicy and full of flavor.  It would be hard to make better stuff on your own barbecue.

If you like kabob I can’t recommend Red Olive highly enough!

http://www.redoliverestaurant.com/

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On Thursday, April 15th, from 6 p.m. to midnight, there were be a pub-n’-grub crawl in downtown Plymouth, which will include these bars and restaurants:

  • Ironwood Grill
  • Penn Grill
  • Sean O’Callaghan’s
  • E. G. Nick’s
  • 1999 Tavern

The cost is $5 per adult for buffets at all five pubs, a T-shirt & raffle ticket.  Raffle proceeds will benefit local charities.

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Next Sunday is, yet another great Plymouth event, the Great Lakes Regional Chili Cookoff.   Set to take place on October 4 downtown Plymouth, this is the 14th annual event.

There are two categories of cook-offs.   Private cooks bring their own recipes and compete head-to-head to see who makes the best red chili, green chili and salsa.  Samplers will be able to participate in the “People’s Choice” voting.  Judges will also select their favorites.

Additionally, there is a “Restaurant Chili Challenge” set to take place that day from 11 am to 5 pm in Kellogg Park.  Last year’s “People’s Choice” winner was 1999 Tavern and the “Best Judged” chili was made by The Picnic Basket.  I remember them both and they are excellent chilis.  In fact, The Picnic Basket still sells their award-winning chili (you can get it by the gallon.)

For those of you that are interested in motorcycles, there is also a bike show taking place downtown simultaneously.

For more information, check out the event’s official website.

http://www.greatlakeschili.com/

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We eat out quite a bit, perhaps more than we should.  But the good thing is that we get a chance to sample a lot of different restaurants and inject a little bit of money into the local economy.

A place that has become something of a new favorite is Leo’s Coney Island, on Ann Arbor Road, between Haggerty and Lilley.  There is no shortage of “coney islands” or family diners that serve a coney island style menu (Greek and traditional American dishes) in the Detroit area, including in and around Plymouth.

Leo’s, though, is set apart from most of the pack.  Most importantly for us, it’s non-smoking.  Too many restaurants of this style are still in the dark ages and allow smoking.  For many of us non-smokers who are sensitive to air quality issues (due to asthma, allergies), non-smoking dining is the only way to eat.  Leo’s is also new, clean and very bright.  It has nice, big windows, allowing you to eat, read whatever by natural light.

We’ve also liked the food quite a bit.  Can you get better Greek food?  Probably.  But you’d have to go down to Greektown and spend double the money.  All the prices are fair and some items are even noticeable less expensive than other area restaurants.

Something I really like about Leo’s is that its owners show their pride in being part of the community.  Jerseys from the three local high schools, Plymouth, Canton and Salem, are hung on the wall.   There are blown up historic photos of Plymouth which cover an entire wall, giving the place a local flavor.  That’s extra-nice since Leo’s is a chain.

If you’re looking to try something new and want an omelette or a gyro or a really good salad, check out Leo’s.

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The newest restaurant in Plymouth, located on the north side of Penniman, between Harvey and Main Street, had its grand opening the other day.  My family had a chance to eat there and we enjoyed it.

The food was good.  I had in mind that this was a straight-up Greek restaurant (because I didn’t notice “Mediterranean” in the name) and had hoped for a larger variety of Greek dishes.  But, what it doesn’t lacks in Greek cuisine it gains in Lebanese or “middle eastern” food like hummous, grape, falafel, etc.  I had a Greek salad with Gyro meat and really enjoyed it.  My family seemed to like the chicken kebob sandwich and the chicken fingers (for the kids.)  Everyone loved the french fries.

If you’re looking for a fantastic dine-in experience, this is not the place.  Although there are tables and counters at which you can sit and eat, it’s not really a sit-down restaurant.   I was a bit disappointed that the music, hip-hop and other top-40 radio stuff, was on and blasting.  That’s not my idea of dining music.  Everything, though, was otherwise clean and adequately comfortable.

I did appreciate the very good service we had.  The staff treated us very well.  I’m sensitive to customer service issues of late, but was pleased that the staff seemed genuinely interested in being friendly and making sure we were taken care of.  That makes up for other deficiencies, if you will.

Prices seemed fine to me.  It might be a shade expensive compared to some other places, but it’s hardly outrageous.  It’s less expensive than the Greek restaurants in Greektown.

I suggest you get their food to go.   You’ll enjoy it.

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