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I was looking for something light to eat before choir rehearsal one Tuesday. I stopped by one of my favorite restaurants in Ferndale, MI - Howe's Bayou. Instead of getting what I normally get I decided to try the Perch dinner, with dirty rice, greens, and cornbread.

The perch was bread well and the portions were enough to leave me full but not feeling stuffed. 

I love hanging out at Howe's Bayou.

For several months I had been hearing about Basement Burger, not realizing it was right around the corner from Greektown in Downtown Detroit.

Basement Burger is a gourmet burger joint that allows you to pick your bread, protein, toppings, and fries.

I chose some of my favorites, Pretzel Bun, mixed greens, pineapple, caramelized onions, applewood bacon, with BBQ sauce. I also chose sweet potato fries that came with a cinnamon dipping sauce. 

The burger was very filling, however the dipping sauce for the sweet potato fries became a little overwhelming with the sweetness of sweet potato fries.

 

 

Lazybones is one of my favorite neighborhood hangouts. Each month they have a different monthly special. For June the special was a Pork Loin Burger with Poutine Fries (cheese curds and gravy on top of broasted potatoes).

After leaving West Palm Beach my journey landed me in Boca Raton, FL. I wanted to go to the Macaroni Grill, but they were closed, so I decided to go to Maggiano's near the Town Center Mall. 

My nephew and I both decided to be adventurous on this dining expedition. I selected the Pesto Perlini Mozzarella, which included Chicken Ricotta Meatballs, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Parmesan with Hand-Cut Fettuccine. My nephew had Linguine di Mare, which featured Lobster, Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, in a Spicy Tomato Lobster Sauce.

The service was awesome I am not a lover of cheese so the cook stated if I didn't like the dish, he would fix something else for me. However upon tasting the dish, I was very satisfied with my selection.

 

Pesto Perlini Mozzarella

 

Linguine di Mare

 

As I continued my stay in West Palm Beach I decided to have dinner at the Havana Cuban Restaurant. The unique thing about this place is they have a 24 hour walk up window where you can get food. 

So while my food adventures continued I selected FAJITAS DE CAMARONES, marinated shrimp sautéed with an assortment of onions and green and red peppers in a delightful brown sauce, served with plantains and yellow rice. 

The dish was tasteful and very satisfying.

 

 

Whenever I am in Florida, I like to seek out new places to eat. This time while in West Palm Beach my journey lead me to Relish. This a very unique concept, you have a choice of bread, protein, and relish. 

Since I'm on this trying new thing kick I'd decided to go with the CRIMP burger with sweet potato fries. The CRIMP burger is ground crab and shrimp made into a burger. At first I'm like I don't know but once I got it, the CRIMP won me over. 

 

CRIMP burger

My niece and nephew gave me a Granite City Gift card and I decided to use it at the location in the GM Building in Downtown Detroit (the Renaissance Center for the old heads).

Normally I get the Pulled Pork Sandwich, but this time I wanted something different so I went with the Broad Ax Stout Braised Beef short ribs, horseradish mashed potatoes, and petite green beans. 

When the plate first came out I was like, this ain't enough food, but to my surprise it was very filling. The short ribs were tender and the horseradish gave a great kick to the mashed potatoes.

I closed the evening with dessert a chocolate cake that had layers of moist chocolate cake, silky chocolate frosting, served with whiskey butter and whipped cream. The cake was too much to eat after the short ribs, so I took some home so that I could savor it later.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Chocolate Cake 

 

I had heard a lot about Punch Bowl Social in downtown Detroit, so one Saturday afternoon I decided to give them a try. The waiter explained that they were an upscale version of Waffle House (that kinda scared me because I'm not a huge fan of Waffle House). 

The place is a fun place to hang out at with a bowling alley, karaoke, and various other games to play.

I decided to try the Cubano, tender belly ham, cocoa dusted pork, pickles, mustard cream and home fries. 

For a Saturday afternoon lunch it served it's purpose, hope to go back and play some of those games.

One Saturday afternoon decided to take a drive to Chesterfield, Mi to have dinner at Twisted Rooster. They have 2 locations in Michigan as well as other restaurants that have a saying, "Committed to the MITT". 

I decided to have one of my favorites, Tower of Ribs, which includes a pound of slow braised ribs, tossed in Twisted BBQ Sauce, topped with Fried Onions and waffle fries.

The meal was well worth the drive.

Normally I will take a picture of the sign or the menu at a location, but this time I didn't and I don't remember the name of the restaurant. The food was pretty good Battered Shrimp, coleslaw, fries and an ice cream chocolate chip cookie. I know I was near a beach in California, it was cold and I walked down a hill that felt like a mountain climbing back up. 

 

 

While out shopping in LA I decided to try Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ. Because of the location in a mall my GPS had me all over the place looking for it. But when I found it and walked in and saw the Smoker in the entrance I knew I was in for a treat.

I decided to go with the 3 meat entree, which included Beef Ribs, 1/2 BBQ Chicken  and Brisket. For my sides I went with turnip greens and potato salad along with one of the best yeast rolls that I've had in a long time.

I cannot be in Los Angeles and not stop at Roscoe's Chicken'N Waffles. It's something about that Smothered Chicken and Waffles that is a must have for me. Got off the airplane and went straight to Roscoe's can't wait to get back. 

 

 

One of the most popular truck stops in Michigan is Tony's in Birch Run. They are known for giving a pound of bacon with your orders. While on a weekend get away with one of my nephews we stopped at Tony's. I ordered an all meat omelette that included a pound of bacon with sausage and ham. My nephew ordered a salad with grilled chicken. 

 

The service and the food are truck stop quality but the experience is well worth the trip.

 

All meat omelette 

 

That's a lot of bacon!!!!

 

Grilled Chicken Salad 

Brother Juniper's is a cozy place for breakfast. Billed as the Best Breakfast in Memphis, this friendly location is known for Food, Family, and Community. Their back story starts on the West Coast and journey's to Memphis.

I decided to go with the build your own omelet, I had spinach, chorizo, ham, and red peppers along with potatoes, biscuit and maple syrup. My nephew decided on the Open Faced Salmon Omelet with cheese grits and biscuit.

Great place for food with great service. 

http://brotherjunipers.com

Create your own omelet

Open Face Salmon Omelet 

 

 

I'm a lover of Soul Food so when I discovered that Memphis had a location called 99 Cent Soul Food Express I was excited about trying the location. Located near the Lorraine Motel the atmosphere is very quaint and the owner Nash is very friendly. The concept is all the sides are 99 cents and the meats are desserts are various other prices.

I decided to have two smothered chicken thighs, cornbread dressing, rice with gravy, and yams. For dessert I had peach cobbler. The chicken was seasoned very well and the cobbler tasted like it was made with fresh peaches. 

This is a great place with awesome service if you're looking for good Soul Food in Memphis.

http://99centsoulfoodexpress.com/

 

 

 

 

The owner Nash and I 

 

 

 

 

Many people know the Neely name from the Food Network Show. Little did I know that Pat Neely's uncle Jim was the first Neely to have a restaurant in Memphis called Interstate BBQ. With close to 40 years in business Interstate BBQ is one of Memphis go to places for Ribs.

I decided to try the 2 meats with the beef brisket and pork ribs along with a side of potato salad and baked beans. The portions were generous and the meat was very tender. I can see why Interstate has been around for so long!!!

http://interstatebarbecue.com

 

 

Staks has only been opened 15 months and they have been recognized for being one of the fastest growing business in the Memphis area. After tasting the food I understand why. 

You order at the counter and the food is brought to your table in a very timely manner. I decided to go with the Cinnamon Roll pancake and chicken sausage, my nephew went with the pancakes with strawberry's cooked on the inside and bacon.

The next time trying Staks I have to do the cook your own pancakes. The experience looks like it will be great.

Cinnamon Roll Pancake

 

 

Strawberry Pancakes

 

 

One of my co-workers recommended that I try Marlowe's while in Memphis, so I decided to give it a try. Myself along with three other drove passed Graceland and entered into Marlowe's to experience this historic location open since the 70's. I had read the backstory of how the owner moved from Philadelphia to Memphis and originally started an Italian Restaurant but later decided to change it to BBQ.

I had the pleasure of meeting the original owner who is now retired and the current owner his son in law Phil who runs the place. 

Our waitress Jamaica was really good and the gift shop was a lot of fun. (Oh yeah and the pink cadillac outside was real cool)

I decided to go with the BBQ Spaghetti with green beans corn fritters and deep fried dinner rolls, my dining partners had the BBQ baked potato, fried okra, smoked mac and cheese and a slap of ribs. We all left full. 

http://www.marlowesmemphis.com/index.php

Green Beans and Corn Fritters 

BBQ Baked Potato

 

 

Slab of Ribs

 

At the end of my tour of the STAX Museum, I asked where should I go for Memphis ribs, it was recommended by several of the staff that I try Payne's. From what I was told Payne's was featured on a recent episode of "This Is Us". When I pulled up to the place and walked in and saw the Cash Only Sign, I have to admit I was a little nervous but since it was recommended by locals I figured why not give it a try. I decided on ribs, hot link, cole slaw and baked beans with a grape soda. 

While eating the cole slaw I had to ask what it was made with and the answer was mustard instead of mayonnaise, a different twist but it was still good. The ribs were tender, the hot link had some kick to it and the baked beans were perfect.

When in Memphis Payne's is a must.

 

 

 

While hanging out in TN, and looking for someplace to eat we found Jim 'N Nicks BBQ. The ratings looked good so I figured why not give it a try. They started with some muffins that were addictive I could have ate the muffins and called it a night. I decided to go with 2 meats Ribs and Brisket along with 2 sides Baked Beans and Potato Salad. All were great choices, the ribs and brisket were tender and smoked very well, and the Baked Beans had a very great flavor to them. I'm glad I decided to give Jim 'N Nicks a try.

 

 

 

I saw Arnold's make Chicken and Dumplings on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. I have been trying to get their for years but they were always closed by the time I was free to go (the hours are 10:30 - 2:45). This time things worked out in my schedule that I was finally able to make it and on the day they had Chicken and Dumplings. 

For my sides I went with turnip greens (yes I smashed the cornbread in the greens) and green beans. The dumplings were cooked to perfection with a little kick of pepper and the chicken in the dumplings was also seasoned well. My son went with the Catfish, hush puppies, green beans and mac & cheese. 

This was well worth the years of my waiting and I look forward to going back again.

 

 

 

When I travel I like to check out places that are not chain restaurants. I had heard really great things about Miss Shirley's in Baltimore so I decided to give it a try. Located in downtown Baltimore near the Inner Harbor, the placed was jammed pack with people sitting outside waiting on a chilly Sunday afternoon. It took about 30 minutes before I was seated however it was worth the wait. 

I decided to go with the Benne Seed Chicken 'N Waffles - fried buttermilk boneless breast of chicken pieces & a honey mustard aioli drizzle on waffles with Peppadew- Jalapeño butter dusted with Cajun Spice. 

I left Miss Shirley's Cafe full and satisfied. Make sure to check it out when you're in the Baltimore area.

 

I stopped by the Crab House in Warren MI to have lunch and the owner gave me a freshly cooked neckbone. I have to admit that I never tried neckbones before, but I'd figure it's free why not. I was impressed the meat was tender and the seasonings was really good. Make sure to stop by the Crab House and check out their $7.00 daily specials, you will enjoy yourself.

I had been craving some wings from Sweet Water Tavern in downtown Detroit. When I decided to go get the wings, I couldn't resist the Saturday Special, Jumbo Fried Shrimp, BBQ Ribs, Sweet Water Chicken Wings, Collard Greens, with Mac and Cheese. I must say that was all I ate on the last day of the 2016.

I had a free appetizer that I needed to use before year end at Black Rock. I figured since I'd be in the area doing Christmas shopping why not take advantage of my free appetizer. Upon arriving I was surprised at how many people were eating at Black Rock on a Tuesday afternoon, however they were able to get me a seat. 

For my free appetizer I went with the Andouille Sausage with peppers and onions. For my entree I had the New York Strip Steak with green beans and a sweet potato. 

Several of my friends don't like having to cook their own food, I think it's a great experience.

 

 

 

 

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