Monthly Archives: February 2010

Michigan Love: Slow’s BBQ

I can’t remember how long I’ve been reading Sillygrrl, or how I found her. But I love her short and sweet posts, and awesome photos. I’m also completely jealous of her crafty skills and will at some point get her to make me one of her awesome rings. Until then, let’s see what she has to say about one of the best restaurants in town, Slow’s. It’s won national accolades from Food Network, Bon Appetit, and a host of other publications.

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I’ve been vegetarian for eight years and if there’s one thing I miss, it’s barbecue. Sweet, salty, messy, delicious barbecue, but you can’t just slather sauce on a block of tofu, it doesn’t even come close.

So you can imagine my delight when I was introduced to Slows for the first time. It was in the fall, two years ago, I was hanging out downtown with my then-boyfriend when two of his friends picked us up (If you’re a reader of my blog, one of them was Jessica of Double Trouble fame) and took us to Corktown.


The restaurant is nestled in a block of rundown bars and vacant store fronts. It’s quite easy to walk right by the big wooden door as it doesn’t look like a door at all. Inside the restaurant is modern with exposed brick and wood paneling matching the front door.

Judging by the 2+ hour wait your find on weekends I’m sure the real meat bbq is great, but I’m all about the non-meaty deliciousness that is The Genius. Perfectly meat-like, fake chicken slathered in sauce, topped with coleslaw and pickles on Texas toast. And waffle fries! They have the best waffle fries! Excuse me while I drool on my keyboard.

Each table is loaded with 6 different bbq sauces, which I try every time I dine at Slows because I can never remember which is my favorite.

At every other restaurant I’m notorious for only eating half my meal to save room for dessert, but I have never managed to do this at Slows. Based on the amazingness of their fake bbq, waffle fries and mac ‘n cheese, I’m sure their desserts are equally as good, but I just cannot stop myself from eating my entire meal.

One other thing that adds to the fabulousness of Slows is the view. Now we’re not talking about oceans and mountains and beautiful city lights, no I’m talking giant, scary train station. It often reminds me of the pre-slime covered museum in Ghostbusters 2. It is enormous and run down and beautiful.

So if you learn nothing else about Detroit while Super Girl is away, remember this, while it may look like the city is wasting away, the spirit of the people is incredibly strong and there are absolute gems hidden within the rubble.

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Filed under Detroit, foodie, glass half full, love affair, Uncategorized

Michigan Love: Sports

Jenni is a new blog in my reader, and also a new real life friend! I was excited when she wanted to talk about sports, because that’s something I don’t spend much time on.

However, I must take issue with one key fact: she includes the Michigan Wolverines, but NOT the Michigan State Spartans (my alma mater). Since Ann Arbor is TECHNICALLY closer to Detroit than East Lansing, I’ll let it slide, especially since she found positive things to say about the Lions, and that’s tough to do!
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Hello everyone, I’m Jenni from absent minded. and the beautiful Supergirl has asked me to share some fun things about this beautiful city I call home. As you’ve seen over the past couple days Detroit is a fabulous city. But one thing that no one has yet to share with you is the one thing that makes Detroit stand out from all other cities on the globe (yes, I’m going worldwide here).
It’s our sports!
Yes, this little midwest city is full of lots of love for sweat and competition. And I must say that we’ve got the best sports teams in all the land. Yup, dare to fight me on this one. I may be a girly girl at times, but I’m one that loves her Detroit sports and will stand behind my teams forever. Yes, even the Lions. Here’s why…
Detroit is Hockey Town. Enough said. We breathe and bleed red (literally). We’ve won the most Stanley Cup championships of any NHL franchise in the USA and are third overall in NHL championships just behind the two Canadian teams (and we all know how those Canadian’s are with their hockey!).
Additionally, we have the longest streak of post-season appearances in all of American professional sports. We have had the honor of players wearing the red wing such as Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Ted Lindsey and Sid Abel. This is one team that not many other cities can rival.

Joe Louis Arena

This team might be one of my all time favorite Detroit teams. Mainly because I love outdoor sports and just adore drinking beers and chowing down on hotdogs and peanuts on a beautiful spring/summer/fall day.
But that isn’t the only reason the Tiger’s are an amazing sports team. One of the American League’s original eight charter franchises, this club was founded in 1894.
We’ve won four World Series (but not since before I was born in 1984) and ten total American League pennants (just one a few years ago in 2006!).  We have one of the most famous and recognizable logos next to the New York Yankees and had stars such as Sparky Anderson and Al Kaline play on our Detroit soil. And above all this, all these baseball boys look hot in their little outfits.

Outside Comerica Park

With a Tiger!

Now who couldn’t love a team that had the official “bad boys” on their team? Uh, not I! And our adorable mascot, Hooper, just makes the games 500 times more fun. Started in a high school gym in Indiana in 1948, this team moved to Detroit in 1957 as been home to many memories since then. Players such as Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Bill Lainbeer, Chauncy Billups, Grant Hill, and Dennis Rodman have all had the privilege of wearing the Piston on their chest.
Having won three NBA Championships, with the last in 2004, this team has a record of giving all they can. Although we have our good and bad days, this team is at the heart of Detroit’s finest.

Inside The Palace

So we might be the one and only team to never make it to the Superbowl, haven’t qualified to go the the NFL championship since 1957, hold the second longest losing steak in the NFL (with 19 games) and set the record for the first NFL team to never win a game a season ago – but gosh darn it, I still say we are going to win the Superbowl in the near future! I have high hopes for our fabulous Lions.
We’ve had 16 hall of famers grace our Detroit fields, such as Barry Sanders and Dutch Clark, yet still are one of the worst teams ever. Instead of dwelling on this team any longer just for you other sport city folks to rub in your NFL greatness in my face… I’d like to move onto my favorite Michigan sports team…
Hail! to the victors vailant; Hail! to the conqu’ring heros; Hail! Hail! to Michigan the leaders and the best… GO BLUE! Seriously, I love my boys in blue. Although we do have lots of other colleges in the state that try to compete with the Wolverines, nothing can stop these maize and blue players. Although we have like 500 great sport teams on this campus, my favorite is football.
The Big House, which houses 106,201 currently at every home game, is one of my favorite places to spend a Saturday. We hold 11 National Championships and have produced hundreds of players that have excelled in the NFL. I could run off statistics all day long but I’d rather just let the team do the speaking. So if you would ever like to make a bet on a Michigan game, I’m all for it.
Well, that’s all I got. This chick loves her sports and lives and breathes for my Detroit teams. Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear what you think. And don’t forget to shoot over to my blog and say hello… and Go Detroit!
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Great post, right? I loved the photos of the stadiums so much that I asked Jenni where she bought them. She told me she made them herself! Pretty fancy, no? Check out how she did it, here.

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Filed under Detroit, S is for sports, Uncategorized

Michigan love: Da UP, yah

Lauryn is a new blog in my reader. She’s incredibly sincere both in her writing and in real life. She’s also a great photographer, which you’ll see in her post.

It also appears she’s rather outdoorsy, as she’s chosen to focus on our Upper Peninsula, a.k.a. the U.P. Their accents are closer to Canadian than American, and their landscape is gorgeous. I confess I haven’t been to the U.P.  since I was little, so I don’t remember it. I’m glad Lauryn can share her perspective though!

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Well, Super Girl has invited me to talk to her wonderful readers about the State we call home and I couldn’t be more excited to do so!

Sadly, Michigan has gained a less-than-stellar reputation over the years. When hearing the name of our beloved State, many people only think of the violence in our major cities or our struggling economy. In fact, I’m pretty sure someone made a video about Toledo that boasts “At least we’re not Detroit!” Really dude? Not cool.

I was surprised to learn that a lot of people in the U.S. don’t even know that Michigan has two different Peninsulas, let alone what those two Peninsulas have to offer. What many outside our mitten don’t realize is that our State is filled with beautiful forests, breath-taking beaches, and an incredibly rich history. In fact, it is my personal opinion that the further North you go in this State, the more wonderful it becomes. Going “up North” is a vacation in itself.

As a kid my family went camping every summer with our cousins. Visiting beautiful parks, hiking through the woods, and swimming in our five Great Lakes gave me an enormous appreciation for nature when I was growing up, which is something I hope to pass on to my own children one day. Me and my camera really can’t get enough.

I honestly think that the experiences I’ve had exploring the northernmost parts of our State are what have me convinced that this will always be my home.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Michigan Love: The beauty of the D

Ria is the first Detroit 20-something blogger that I started reading. I remember being so excited to find someone who lived where I did. When I met her, I was even more excited to find she’s just as sweet and cute as she is on her blog. And we have a ton in common, like having birthdays one day apart! She’s lived in the metro Detroit area longer than I have, so she’s got even more to say about it’s fabulousness.

Check it.

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Detroit has never been something I say with disdain.  You know how some people say it and then act like they need to wash their mouth out or treat it as if it’s a leper and there is no way they want to be associated with it.  When I was young it was always met with excitement because it was an environment I only experienced on special occasions.  It meant we’d see big buildings and take the people mover.  My mom worked in the city and *gasp* commuted using the city bus!  Like many, we lived in the suburbs about 30 minutes outside the city.

I remember going to the Fox Theatre to see David Copperfield with my Grandma and Mom.  I remember watching the Thanksgiving Day parade in one of the banks overlooking Woodward.

Detroit, for me, was not a scary place.  It was where my mom worked and that made it glamorous all in itself.

The skyline on the night of our annual fireworks display. The Detroit river is to the left and GM's headquarters are in the center.

When I told my friends I was going to attend Wayne State University in Detroit I remember the look on their faces, like I might be part crazy, wanting to walk alone down “there”.  After I started school I would ask friends to come hang out in the city, some would balk.  It was then I realized that others had preconceived notions of the city I felt close with.  Clearly, I was a little naïve, I mean it’s a big city.  Big cities can be scary or intimidating.  Yes there are bums, homeless people, hoopdy cars, you know what I’m talking about.

Cars traveling down Jefferson Ave., one of our main arteries in/out of the city.

But these are the places that have so much culture and history.  Detroit has so much culture and history.  You can see a glimmer of what Detroit used to be in the pieces of brick that still make up some of the streets.  Even houses that would be considered fancy, if in another neighborhood.

So I spent my 5 years in college in Detroit.  I rollerbladed in Cass Corridor, I watched the Detroit/Windsor fireworks for the top of the parking structure on campus and I ate and drank at little gems in the city.  I witnessed the new Tiger Stadium being built.  I visited the Orchestra Hall for an assignment.  I sat in the Detroit Institute of Arts with my art history class (it was located across the street from campus).  I did interviews in the Crain’s Communication building.

In 2006, I left the city for another job.  I still miss the view when driving into the city.

Now it’s a treat to go to the city, like when I was a kid, though I haven’t rode the people mover (maybe I should put that on my list).  I’ve celebrated Red Wings victories (and losses) at Andrew’s on the Corner and Joe Louis. I’ve watched the 4th of July fireworks from the rooftop of my friend’s condo and saw freighters making their trips through the Detroit River to the Great Lakes.

There is something beautiful about Detroit.  I wish more people saw it, because if they did, maybe the city wouldn’t be the butt of so many jokes.

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Filed under Detroit, glass half full

Friday Foto FAIL

So I was suds-ing up in the shower this morning and it hit me. I hadn’t prepped my Friday Foto. I started to last night, but then planning guest blogs, putting out work fires, talking to my mom, and watching Grey’s Anatomy got in the way.

I vowed to grab my jump drive that had the photo I wanted to post and take care of it at work.

I toddled off to work and it hit me. Again.

I forgot the jump drive.

Rather than walking the 4 blocks home — in the cold — to get it, and rather than promising I will post it later tonight (knowing I have way too much to do), I decided to fess up and call this week a wash.

Blame vacation brain.

See you in a week!

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Filed under Friday Foto, travel

Cabo, Cabo, Cabo

In just five short days, I’ll be leaving on a jet plane for Cabo. Yes, that Cabo. The one on the very tippy tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The one that boasts highs in the upper 70s while Detroit struggles to make it to a measly 30 this time of year. The one that is featured in like every season of either Laguna Beach or The Hills.

Ah, Cabo.

This will be my first trip to a tropical locale. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS, but just never got around to. When DD and I started dating, I thought I’d finally found my travel companion, but it’s taken me two years to convince him. The first year, he couldn’t get away from work. The second year, we had to cancel the idea when the economy tanked. Better to save than sun.

Now, finally, there will be sun. And I suppose everything works out for the best. We’d originally planned on the Dominican Republic, but after Haiti, I’m a bit glad we’re not headed there. We’d also planned on an all-inclusive. But then we found a four diamond, luxury, non all-inclusive resort with a deal that seriously couldn’t be beat.

The trip is the only reason I still have a smile on my face this time of year. January and February are rough for me. My (undiagnosed) Seasonal Affective Disorder hits big time and it feels like spring will never come. Breaking up the winter with a little trip to warmer climates is the perfect remedy.

As I think about all the things I need to do before I leave, I get even more excited, but I also get just a wee bit worried.

Things that excite me:

  • My newly purchased sun hat. Because I don’t plan to get skin cancer while I’m laying poolside.
  • The feel of hot sun instead of winter sun, which looks pretty but does nothin’ to warm you up.
  • The books. I had a Borders spree and am stocked up on some great reads to keep me occupied.
  • The sand and its natural exfoliant properties.
  • Couple’s beach side massage?! Maybe…
  • Mexican food (see below for the counteracting worry)
  • Relaxation time with DD. Away from other commitments and other people. Our relationship is best/most intimate/happiest when we’re given some down time together. Like many couples, our lives are jam packed at home and our couplehood certainly takes a hit.
  • Resort wear. My bathing suits and cover ups and sun dresses have been aching to be worn!

Things that worry me:

  • Montezuma’s revenge. I’m stocked up on antibiotics to treat any cases of the queasies that I (or DD) get. I’m especially nervous about water because that’s all I drink and will be in all of my frozen umbrella drinks. While I know to stick with bottled water, I’m still totally afraid I’ll pull a Charlotte and accidentally open my mouth in the shower and be screwed.
  • The transfers. I get irrationally nervous about transportation to/from the airport in any strange city — especially those not in the 50 states. Airport transportation is not included in our reservation.  We’re supposedly all set, but until I’m ensconced at the hotel, I’ll worry.
  • DD’s time. I will successfully unplug from work. He, however, claims that this week is a critical week in a project he’s working on. A project that he didn’t know about when we booked the trip and something that just can’t be helped. Granted, I can sit on the beach without him, but as I said above, the relaxation time together is equally important as my own relaxation time.
  • The money. I’d planned to cash in my American dollars, but then heard from a friend that American dollars will get you everywhere. We’ll decide when we get there, I suppose. Also? Exchange rates confuse me. Hence why I spent nearly $500 on a Prada purse in Italy when I thought it’d be closer to $300 or $400.

While I’m away, this blog will be getting quite a lot of action. I’ve got some awesome guest bloggers lined up who are also becoming real life friends. They’re going to be sharing some of their favorite Michigan/Detroit things. You didn’t think I could stop the Detroit love just because I’ll be gone, did you?

In the meantime, there will be a Friday Foto before I leave. After that, I’ll leave this place in the capable hands of my fellow Michigan bloggers. Be nice and enjoy!

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), glass half full, list mania, travel

The evolution of cooking

Last week, I found myself cooking tofu for the first time. Sure, I’ve eaten it before, but it was my first foray into making it myself. As I was frying it up, I began to think about how cooking in my family has evolved over the generations.

It’s actually been longer than a week that I’ve been thinking about this. About a month ago, I visited my mother’s mother, and was fed her best fare: sloppy joes with canned green beans, pot roast with mashed potatoes, and hamburger and onion pizza from the local pizzeria.

Oh, and don’t forget the canned mandarins as the fruit serving. Ugh.

This is the typical menu when visiting grandma. My grandfather is an old school, meat and potatoes guy and my grandmother is an old school, eat on a budget, cook. I would never tell my grandmother that I can’t stand sloppy joes and that canned fruit and vegetables give me the heebie-jeebies. I am grateful that she invites me into her home and feeds me, horrific 1940s food and all. But, it’s also a good thing I’ve never officially become a vegetarian. I’d starve to death each visit.

Then there’s my mother. Her cooking is a vast departure from canned beans and pot roast. I grew up on frozen or fresh vegetables. Lots of fish. A healthy dose of meat, but an equally healthy does of vegetarian options. I love my mother’s cooking. I love her kitchen. She has every gadget imaginable, and all sorts of fabulous recipes stored away from years of cook books and cooking magazines. Her kitchen is the place we gather on a regular weeknight, chatting about our lives, or stand around in at holidays, munching on bruschetta and sipping the latest cocktail concoction she’s found in Martha Stewart Living.

She never really taught me how to cook, a Type A who always preferred to handle things herself, but I still learned all I know about food and cooking from her.

That doesn’t mean I’m a culinary whiz. When I first started out, macaroni and cheese was my only culinary feat. I was a master at boiling pasta and throwing some cheddar cheese on top. But that was about it. In fact, my lack of cooking ability was just one in a litany of reasons that my old boyfriend called it quits when I thought we’d be headed down the aisle someday.

If only he could see me now. Frying tofu. Testing out homemade cream sauces. Cooking with chorizo instead of hamburger meat. Trying things my mother never did and her mother never thought of. Finding joy in making dinner for DD and having him enjoy it.

I don’t plan on being Susie Homemaker like my mom. But I do plan on making a home — and a kitchen — in my own, modern way.

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Filed under family values, foodie, glass half full, Hmm, rambling nature, Uncategorized