Food Stuff 

EAST EATS — Say the word "buffet" and most people think of heaping trays of chicken legs and roasted potatoes. But at Fuji Japanese Buffet, instead of ham and yams, you'll find tempura and teriyaki chicken, baked octopus, kimchee and dim sum. You'll even find the Japanese hotpot with paper-thin slices of beef, shabu-shabu, next to a wall lined with nigiri, sashimi and a variety of sushi rolls. At 32153 John R Rd., Madison Heights; 248-616-8868.

FOOD BANK — No, not that kind of food bank! The bank is National City Bank, which is sponsoring the Ninth Annual Soup City Fundraiser, where you can sample the fare from some of Detroit's best restaurants while you groove to live music at Detroit's historic Gem Theatre. Proceeds go toward the Coalition on Temporary Shelter. It all happens 5:30-10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, with food, cash bar, raffles and musical entertainment on three floors; general is $35.

RING OUR BELL'S — Champagne’s Wine Cellars is opening their cellar door to multi-award-winning Bell’s Brewery for a mouth-watering and froth-filled beer-tasting event. Beer aficionados and amateur drinkers alike are invited to sample an array of brews consisting of some of the best in Michigan and the world. The Kalamazoo-based brewery will provide, among others, their Expedition Stout, which maintains a ranking of six in the category of Best Beer in the World. Some of the 10 other malt masterpieces available for consumption and modest inebriation hold four placements in the Top Ten beers brewed in Michigan. The beer tasting costs $7.50 per person and is from 4-6 p.m., Jan. 16, at 7007 Chicago Rd., Warren; 586-268-4900.


Michigan native son Grant Achatz, a member of the family that makes those great pies of the same name, is among the finest, most innovative chefs in the world. At his restaurant, Alinea, in Chicago, he does some of the most cutting-edge cooking there is. His dishes are said to evoke memories by reinventing flavors while delivering them in new forms and in exquisite presentations that look almost too good to eat. The recipes, with photos of each one, are detailed in Alinea (Ten Speed Press, $50).


Winter is the season for strong, dark ale. But why limit yourself, particularly when you can pour something like a Brasserie Blonde. It's Arbor Brewing Company's interpretation of Belgian-style blond ale, brewed with sweet orange peel and coriander. Though it has a considerable malt flavor it drinks quite refreshing and finishes with a hint of tartness and zest. Arbor Brewing started in 1995 as a downtown Ann Arbor brewpub and eventually expanded into their commodious Ypsilanti facility. Drop in.


In order to accurately duplicate the images of the dishes found in the Alinea cookbook, visit the restaurant's Internet store (, where you will find the service pieces — make that concepts — designed to enhance the presentation of these visual masterpieces, which make the food look irresistible. Click on each image to see how it is used by Mr. Achatz and his staff. The most creative among us might even be able to find novel uses in addition to those suggested.

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