You know how pi day is 3/14? (which makes this pi month). Well, today is Detroit day: 313 (for the area code). So this seems the PERFECT time to announce our next Motor City Kossacks meet-up: Saturday, March 22, starting at 6:00 PM at a venue TBD in downtown Detroit (see poll below).
In part, this meet-up is scheduled because we are overdue; we've not had one since early January. Of course, the horrible weather has contributed mightily to our delay. With luck, if that's what you call it, we are only an inch or two away from setting the all-time record for a winter's snowfall in various cities in SE Michigan. Whoo-hoo. If you like snow.
In larger part, this meet-up happens on 3/22 because Dave in Northridge will be in Detroit for a conference. And what better way to make cross-country travel worthwhile than to get together with some Kossacks??
We're aiming for the downtown area again because Dave is staying at the Ren Cen Marriott, and a downtown location is easier for him. Of course, it also helps us prepare for NN14 to visit a couple more good restaurants within walking distance of the waterfront. Given the weather, these are not really walkable from anywhere but the nearest parking lot or People Mover station, but those stops are close by to all of the choices.
These are the possibilities I'd like to suggest, but as you'll see from the poll other options may be nominated and argued for in the comments. All of them do offer liquor, especially beer, in abundance.
I have personal experience with three of the five restaurants, though some of that is likely out of date. Please feel free to visit the websites to see menus and get a better idea of each place.
Fishbones Rhythm Kitchen Cafe, 400 Monroe St. at Brush
Big, busy place, featuring New Orleans-style cuisine. Not inexpensive--though prices not given with online menus--Yelp says $11-30. Big menu, though, with lots and lots of less-expensive options. Reservations possible. My personal impression, might not be current: noisy, but pretty fun. Great catfish beignets (not sweet).
Golden Fleece, 525 Monroe St.
One of the very few remaining "original" Greek restaurants in Greektown. (Dare I say one of the few authentic Greek ones, too? Why yes, I do.) This is a hole-in-the-wall place, not pretentious, not fancy. The gyro meat cooks on a spit in the window. But if I get to put a thumb on the scale, at the moment I'd do it for this one. It is funkily, genuinely Detroit. I didn't say yet that it is inexpensive, but I suppose that info can be inferred. Reservations a possibility, by phone.
Grand Trunk Pub, 612 Woodward Avenue
Well, not so fast. This one looks good to me, too. And to a lot of others as well; it's probably the most highly-rated of the restaurants in this bunch. A big, varied menu, not too expensive, which includes many local items from bakeries and creameries in the area; a beautiful setting, in a rehabbed railroad ticket office in one of the regrettably rare 19th c. buildings in Detroit. And this might be the biggest selling point for some of us: they feature Michigan craft beers--over 170 varieties! Reservations possible for eight or more.
Jacoby's, 624 Brush St.
Jacoby's is another Detroit landmark, having made it through good times, bad times, good times, bad times.... It was founded in 1904, and as far as I know descendants of the founding owners still run it. Solid German food, but also salads, burgers, sandwiches, reasonably priced. No mention of desserts on their webpage. They do aim to please, so if it winds up in the running, I'd be happy to call for info about specials and treats. Reservations available.
Town Pump Tavern, 100 W. Montcalm
This one is a relative newcomer, opening in a refurbished building behind the Fox Theater a mere 18 years ago. (I'm not sure if the Ilitch family has any connection to it.) Good, reasonably priced menu options, including pizza.