Food Stuff 

Dakota Inn's Octoberfest, Olga's fundraiser and more

Beer, here  The Dakota Inn Rathskeller, Detroit's only authentic German bar, is offering an affordable Oktoberfest alternative for those who can't shell out air fare to join the millions of beer-lovers converging in Munich for the real McCoy. At the Rathskeller's fete, expect imported German beer, an "oom-pah" band for spirited sing-alongs, all set against a backdrop of wood-paneled walls with a massive mural for lyrical assistance. On Sept. 16, the Inn invites everyone for their Warsteiner kick-off party with a promo they say "will knock das boots off," with live music from 8 p.m to midnight for just $3. See or call 313-867-9722 to make a reservation, which they say "is a must."


Hero for a day  Olga's Kitchen is helping the fight to end domestic violence by contributing a portion of sales from their Birmingham location to HAVEN, Oakland County's center for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence and sexual assault. For one day only, guests can present a flier (which can be downloaded at and a percentage of their bill will aid victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The nonprofit organization is nationally recognized as a leader in preventing and treating trauma through community education and empowerment of survivors. While Olga's certainly serves up a tasty meal, this one will leave you with a grateful conscience as well. Drop in from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at 138 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham.


Vintage gala  Serious aficionados of the Mitten's fare and beverages will converge for the Crush Birmingham 2001 Wine and Food Classic. The culmination of a statewide series of events celebrating Michigan wine and food, the event also helps raise funds for the Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. Not only will guests rub shoulders with wine personalities and master sommeliers, but the experts will describe and recommend some of the year's most exquisite wine choices and pairings. Also, food pairings will be provided by staff from such restaurants as Tallulah, The Rugby Grill, Capital Grille, Toasted Oak, Cuisine, Forest Grill and more. It all happens the evening of Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Townsend Hotel, 100 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-642-7900; Tickets are $125 for young adults (21 to 30), $250 for general admission, $350 for patron admission, including a private Champagne reception.


Know of any upcoming food and wine events? Let us know! Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail


food/thought  For the inner chef, few things are more exciting than the discovery, exploration and ultimately the mastery of a new cuisine. Silvena Rowe's Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean (Ecco, $34.99) offers that opportunity, teasing our imaginations and our palates with flavors that are influenced by the foods of the Ottoman Empire. Using honey and cinnamon, saffron and sumac, scented rose and orange flower water, she creates mouthwatering dishes. The pink grapefruit, avocado and pomegranate salad with nasturtium flowers will rank among the most splendiferous looking salad you've ever seen. 


bottoms up  Soon, 6 million people will crowd a meadow in Munich, Germany, to consume enormous amounts of food and beer at the annual Oktoberfest. If you don't have the coin to fly to Europe, the next best thing is to pound multiple six-packs of Weihenstephaner Festbier while playing German folk tunes. It's a smooth and scandalously drinkable lager with a malty, full body and just enough hop bitterness for balance. "Extreme" beer drinkers might disparage its subtlety, but this beer is nearly perfect for long autumn drinking sessions.


the works  Here it is, sports fans: a personalized Detroit Lions chef's apron adorned with the team's logo and your name. You'll score big at game after game with this Williams Sonoma exclusive. It may not improve your cooking, but you'll look mighty cool at pre-game tailgates. Youngsters love to exhibit their enthusiasm and allegiance by wearing anything that displays their favorite team's logo, especially when Mom or Dad is sporting one too. In case your allegiance is misguided, they are available for other NFC and AFC teams.


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