Side Dish: Five things going on in Detroit dining this week 

A solid foundation — We all know that a Paczki Day full of eating paczki and downing shot after shot of jezynowka can take it right out of you. That's why Hamtramck Moose Lodge #1670, the little lodge with the big heart, is offering the right way to start the day with a special Paczki Day breakfast, featuring an egg soufflé, kielbasa, and paczki, and more. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Hamtramck Moose Lodge #1670, 9421 Conant St., Hamtramck; $5 per person.

King me — At POP, the upstairs pop-up joint at Checker Bar in Detroit, Top Chef Detroit finalist Jesse Knott will be throwing a Detroit Delhi pop-up, featuring his take on Indian, Kashmiri, and other South Asian cuisines. This rag hits the streets Feb. 11, so there might still be time to inquire about his upcoming Feb. 12 dinner, which starts at 7 p.m. There's more lead time, though, for the Feb. 19 dinner, put on by pop-up outfit the Cooks Crossing, a dinner featuring chicken bone broth, beet root consommé, sweet potato rosti, shrimp pierogi, and cured spicy sausage. For more information see the bottom of the webpage at

Squeaky wheels — The construction of the M1 rail is causing some unwanted problems for small-business owners up and down Woodward Avenue. One place that's really feeling the squeeze is Zef's Midtown Grill, at the corner of Willis and Woodward, on the same block as the Majestic Complex. Owners Val and Kol Gjurashaj say cars simply don't have the access to the restaurant they used to on Woodward Avenue. "It's just the construction, really," the Gjurashajes say. "We're right on Woodward, Willis is completely closed. We're just locked in right now. We have one way: Willis to John R." While it is a source of frustration to the Gjurashajes, they understand they're not alone, adding, "What can you say? This is something all of Woodward is going through." That said, Midtown motorists looking for a place with a full menu of gyros, chicken, stir-fries, steak hoagies, and more can access Zef's by driving on John R to Willis, then taking Willis to Woodward. A small lot behind Zef's is usually full, but street parking is sometimes available. So if you've ever been curious about the fare at Zef's, now would be a good time to sample it. It's important to support these local businesses as they deal with the trials of "progress" — so they can remain in business and reap the rewards the big project promises. Zef's Midtown Grill is at 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1210;; delivery available.

Art of glass — Over at the Glass Academy in Dearborn, they have inventive nights that mix glassblowing with, say, beer. On the second Wednesday of each month, it's coffee. Enjoy free coffee while you watch live glassblowing demonstrations from featured monthly artists. It runs 6-9 p.m. at 25331 Trowbridge St., Dearborn; 313-561-4527; and click Coffee Nights on the Classes tab; tickets $10.

Piling it on — Congratulations to Hot Toppings Burgers, over at Schoolcraft and Greenfield, for celebrating one year in business. If you haven't been to this extreme hamburger joint on Detroit's west side, it's worth a visit. They have a menu of more than 50 burgers, with such inventive names as "The Trill," "CB 10," the "Big Bambino," and the "Oh Shit." They're at 15539 Schoolcraft Ave., Detroit; 313-272-8677.

Topping off Zenith — The Zenith, the hip, quirky, cool restaurant and bar in the Fisher Building is switching things up, freshening its menu, and expanding. Co-owner Melissa Jasper says the menu changes are no big deal, as they tweak the kitchen's offerings every few months, but the additions sound intriguing. Additions to the menu include "Funkadelic Fries," sweet potato fries with a brown sugar-Tabasco glaze, spicy pecans, and sour cream. They've added a veggie quesadilla, four more poutines, and a new burger called the "Smorgasburger," with Angus beef, house-made barbecue sauce, fried onions, blue cheese, and plum tomatoes. A server told us, "It looks absolutely delicious." Also, starting at 9 p.m. on Feb. 13, the Zenith is expanding into the basement area with a new karaoke bar called the Wrectory, which will feature heavy metal karaoke. Jasper tells us, "We also have some bands coming up. I'm letting people suggest to us how else we can use the venue. So far, I've had people suggest a drag queen show, a comedy club. We'll see. Right now we're open to anything. "Have ideas? Send them to Or just drop in to scream the lyrics to "Aces High" at 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-972-1135;

Know of any food or drink news? Let us know! Email or call 313-202-8043.

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