Drinko de Mayo — No, it's not Mexican Independence Day (that's Sept. 16), but it's a date dear to Mexican patriots who prevailed over French forces in 1862. (There's a reason James Monroe told Europeans not to muck around in this hemisphere.) For many Americans, it's a day to casually slough off the other 364 days' worth of xenophobia and celebrate the rich culture of Mexico by crushing cheese-laden tacos and guzzling cut-rate "tequila." But discerning diners and drinkers know there's more to this celebration than a Mexican St. Patrick's Day. Chances are you'll find some of them at MEX in Bloomfield Hills this week.
In the days leading up to the big day, the bar will feature a special tequila cocktail. Ranging from $7 to $11, the specials go by such picturesque names as "The Dusty Sombrero" and "Yerba Buena," and shouldn't disappoint, given MEX's emphasis on authentic and exotic tequilas. (You might just also go for those $5 jalapeño-infused tequila shots.) But on May 5, expect an all-out pig roast. The pork will be served as a carnita, accompanied by chopped onions, cilantro, and diner's choice of tortilla, skinny beans, or salsa de arbol, $15 a plate. For $12.50, diners can get that fresh pig meat in tacos al pastor, featuring pork, onion, pineapple, salsa verde, and more. When the pig is gone, the specials are over, so come early; the eatery opens its doors at 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and from 4 until 10 p.m. MEX is at 6675 Telegraph Rd., Bloomfield Hills; 248-723-0800.
Road trip! — Things are changing (a little) in Little Bavaria, that timeless land of Bronner's Christmas Wonderland and the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus. Last year, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant did its first redecoration since the Reagan administration, turning its Roof Garten space into the Michigan on Main Bar and Grill. This year, an inviting patio will be open by Memorial Day, pleasantly situated on the southern side of the building. Expect seating for 50, a walk-up bar, and a custom dual-level fireplace for climate comfort. Drop in next month at 713 S. Main St., Frankenmuth; 989-652-9941.
Market open — This week marks the opening of the Downtown Rochester Farmers Market. Marking 16 years in Rochester, the opening day festivities will include free tote bags for the first 500 customers, live blues, enter-to-win contests, and more. And every Saturday, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m., the market's wares include such Michigan-made products as vegetables, fruits, flowers, container gardens, fresh cut flowers, herbs, and more. The fun happens 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 (and ends Oct. 31), at the corner of East Third and Water streets, Rochester; downtownrochestermi.com.
A home for pie — Congratulations to Sister Pie, whose brick-and-mortar location is finally established. It's been a labor of love that has lasted years for head pie lady Lisa Ludwinski. We first spoke with her in July 2013, when she was just getting her dream off the ground. Last year, while plans for the new bakery were in the works, she told us: "It's going to be a fully functioning retail bakery. We'll bake everything there — pies, cookies, breakfast pastries, pretty much the general pastry offerings. And then we'll do a light breakfast and lunch." Drop in 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, or 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, at 8066 Kercheval Ave., Detroit; sisterpie.com.
Day-tripper — We were pleased to see Saveur magazine declare Detroit a worthy destination for Midwesterners looking to sample what a "revved-up food scene" tastes like. The piece singled out a number of local establishments for praise, including Anthology Coffee, Rose's Fine Food, Eastern Market, Selden Standard, D-Town Farm, Torino, and Detroit City Distillery. Read the piece at bit.ly/1FkzvLt.
Get Twisted — One of our readers is a huge fan of Twisted Tavern, the former Boogie Nights. The joint opens at 4:30 p.m. seven days a week as a tavern; at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, it becomes a nightclub. It has a menu of small plates, including sliders, flatbreads, and house-made potato chips. But our caller was outraged that the joint didn't make our Best of Detroit list, testifying to the friendly staff and appealing atmosphere of the tavern and nightclub. Well, you heard it here. Take a peek at 22901 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 248-545-6750; thetwistedtavern.com.
A better Big Mac — Gold Cash Gold chef Josh Stockton and company have come up with a gourmet version of the classic fast-food hamburger, and it's on sale at their Michigan Avenue restaurant. It's two grass-fed patties, cheddar-onion-béchamel sauce, shredded lettuce, B&B-style pickles, on a house-baked seedless bun. The burger comes with house-made chips and goes for $13. Gold Cash Gold is at 2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-242-0770; goldcashgolddetroit.com.
Fat back — Good news for lovers of Fatburger, the California-based chain. The Woodward Avenue location has had a grand reopening. They're at 4501 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-0999; fatburger.com.
Two-wheeled tour — If you love bicycles, wine, and Detroit's new restaurants, don't miss next week's Fête d' Été, a summer wine tasting event at several hip restaurants, strung together with brief bicycle rides. That's right: Anne Amie Vineyards of Oregon's Willamette Valley is coming to town with what's billed as a "progressive bicycle winemaker dinner." Don't cycle much? No problem. Each ride will be casual, and the total tour covers just 10 miles and no leg is more than a 15-minute ride. Plus you'll experience MotorCity Wine, Selden Standard, Cliff Bell's, Wright & Co., Top of the Pontch, and you'll get a sneak peek inside the wine bar going into the old Milner Hotel, Vertical Detroit. All-inclusive tickets are $88 and comes with a Fête d' Été T-shirt. The bike? You'll have to bring that. It all happens at 6 p.m., Monday, May 11; for more information, search for the event at eventbrite.com or see bit.ly/1EwZkHz.
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