Food Stuff 

Great granola, new Mexican and more

Grains of truth — Detroit's Simply Suzanne granola company was one of the vendors showcased at last year's "Home Slice" event at Eastern Market. Since then, the business has continued to grow, finding a niche with its sweet and savory granola. Next month, the brand will hit the shelves of Michigan Meijer stores. Those already familiar with the quality mix will likely want to try the new flavors: dark chocolate and coffee. Haven't had any yet? Want to support a local company? Want all-natural, handcrafted, small batch granola with whole-grain rolled oats? Well, now you know!

You scream! I scream! — The good people at Hudsonville Ice Cream in outstate Holland — Michigan's largest manufacturer of branded ice cream — want our readers to know about their spring and summer limited-edition flavors. They'll be available in grocery stores throughout Michigan, and they include Chocolate 'n' Cherry, Strawberry Shortcake, Peach 'n' Raspberry Twister and Red Velvet Cake. The company uses Michigan ingredients whenever possible and has been a household name in western Michigan for 85 years. To learn more, see hudsonvilleicecream.com.

More Mexican — Last year, Cantina Diablo's opened in the former Rosie O'Grady's (175 W. Troy St., Ferndale; 248-808-6633). And our readers went for this purveyor of Tex-Mex cuisine in a big way, voting it the Best Mexican Cuisine in Oakland County. The restaurant, with its blend of stick-to-your-ribs fare and frosty drinks, is already undergoing an expansion, with a new location opening June 1 in Royal Oak, on the southwest corner of Main Street and 11 Mile Road, in the former location of Memphis Smoke. This spacious, two-story 10,000-square-foot restaurant, with indoor and outdoor dining, is sure to draw more Mexican enthusiasts. For more info, see diablosgrandopening.com.

Season's brew back — Fans of Motor City Brewing Works' Summer Beer may rejoice. It's back and will be here all summer long for your drinking pleasure, available by the pint, as a 6-pack, or by the growler, case or keg. The delicious American-style wheat beer has a refreshing, citrus-like fruitiness. Sample a bit at Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-832-2700.

Food/Thought — Morgan Murphy may just coax you to venture out on a road trip through the South to explore its dives and try the specialties that she reveals in Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous (Oxmoor House, $21.95). Traveling through 17 Southern states from Alabama to West Virginia, she covers the legendary joints and uncovers some new discoveries. If you're anywhere within 100 miles of Henderson, La., head to Pat's Fisherman's Wharf for a taste of crabmeat-stuffed snapper Patrick, photo and recipe included.

Bottoms Up — Produced from fresh, sound, ripe plums and aged in oak for eight years, Serbian-produced Navip Slivovitz is a quality fruit brandy fit for drinking straight up. Traditionally connected to Central and Eastern Europe as a drink used at all important rites of passage including birth, baptism, military service, marriage, divorce, death, etc. — it's also scientifically proven that slivovitz can make a hole in your stomach while feasting on more food than is appropriate. At 100 Proof, Navip "slivo" blooms well in the upper torso and it smells something like a ripe, boozy honeydew melon.

The Works — Summer vacation begins any day now. How can you keep those kids occupied and happy day after day? One solution is Williams Sonoma's exclusive Cars 2 Cakelet pan. They'll love creating Disney-Pixar racer Lightning McQueen or Tow Mater, Francesco Bernoulli, Finn McMissile, Luigi, Guido, Fillmore and Shu Todoroki in the nonstick pan using the provided recipe. When they're out of the pan, simply dust them with powdered sugar or go all out and customize them with colorful frostings. They'll look too good to eat, but the kids will make them disappear.

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