Side dish: News on Moo Cluck Moo, Milford Craft Beer week, Johnny Noodle King, and more. 

A better bun | Moo Cluck Moo, the restaurant founded on the principle that your burger, chicken, or milkshake shouldn't be crummy and full of additives, has something new. It's a gluten-free, low-lectin, high-protein, low-carb bun designed by none other than James Beard Award-winning chef Jimmy Schmidt. It all sounds quite high-tech; Schmidt has perfected "electrostatic effects in protein bonding" in order to devise the new creation, which is to be baked daily in-house at Moo Cluck Moo, featured with their burgers and sandwiches. They roll out the new bun on Sept. 19, after which the restaurant will be totally gluten-free in all menu items. What's more, diners at the eatery contribute to the living-wage movements, as Moo Cluck Moo pays its employees $15 an hour. You can have your bun and eat it too at Moo Cluck Moo's Canton (42126 Ford Rd.; 734-844-0000) and Dearborn Heights (8606 N. Telegraph Rd.; 313-562-9999) locations. To learn more, see

Toast of Milford | Michigan craft beer has simply exploded out of the gate in the last decade, with new brewpubs and microbreweries, an increasingly eclectic selection carried by major distributors, and a public that has discovered beer doesn't have to taste like sex in a canoe. (Google that last part.) Then there are the many local events and festivals dedicated to the craft beer movement that take place in the fall. Among them is Milford Craft Beer week, now in its sixth year, featuring seven days of locally brewed ales, lagers, stouts, and more. The week offers a full program of events taking place at Baker's of Milford, Palate, River's Edge Brewing Company, and the Milford Cinema, where The Michigan Beer Film will be screened. To learn more, call any of the venues, see, or peruse the Milford DDA's Facebook page.

Sit on it | We love a good tasting event, and if it's for a good cause, so much the better. Add an artsy silent auction and you have our full attention. Take, for instance, the fundraiser for the Northville Art House called "The Painted Chair." Attendees can bid on one-of-a-kind chairs created by local artists, with proceeds supporting programs and exhibits at the art house. But even if you're just going to look at the art, you can enjoy wine and cider, which makes sense when you consider the company shares space with Parmenter's Northville Cider Mill. The fun starts at 7 p.m., Sept. 18, at the Northville Winery & Brewing Company, 630 Old Baseline Rd., Northville; 248-344-2131;; tickets are $35 in advance at, or $40 at the door.

Miso hungry? | We spoke with Jacques Driscoll, owner of Green Dot Lounge and now Johnny Noodle King on the opening day of his "craft noodle" shop in Southwest Detroit. It was 20 minutes after the joint unlocked its doors and it already had a full house of some 40 diners, showing that there is a demand for the sort of eatery that is already wildly popular on the West Coast. The menu offered such delicacies as shoyu, shio, miso, tom yum, red curry, pho, and more, with sides including seaweed salad, octopus, torched mackerel, and house-made pork gyoza. Want a taste? Drop in at 2601 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-309-7946;

Pumpkins aglow | As we slip into the autumn season, all manner of fall beers and ciders will be crowding area beer coolers and beverage menus, from Oktoberfest-ready Marzen beers to Michigan-made craft ciders to fall seasonals and beyond. But one of the most interesting is Griffin Claw's Screamin' Pumpkin ale. It's a pint of beer from the Birmingham brewmasters, made with pumpkin and spices like so many other fall seasonals. What's really special about this brew is the special new packaging: It comes in a can that's designed to glow under black light. That's right: The orange, black, and green on the can take on an unearthly glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. It might be just the trick for that special room at your next house party. (You know, the one with the incense burning?) You can find Screamin' Pumpkin ale at better beverage stores, or at Griffin Claw Brewing Company, 575 S. Eton St., Birmingham; 248-712-4050.

Historic drinking | The Detroit Experience Factory is offering a bit of Oktoberfest fun this week, with their DXF Drink Detroit: Oktoberfest Edition. It's an event rooted in historic drinking, taking place in a neighborhood that, once upon a century, was Detroit's German-speaking quarter. The bar crawl will hit Detroit Beer Co., original German beer bar Jacoby's, and Grand Trunk Pub. It all begins at 7 p.m. Sept. 20, at Detroit Beer Co., 1529 Broadway, Detroit; tickets are $15 at; must be 21 or older to attend.

Old pearl, new shine | It looks as though things are swinging at Rockefellers Oyster Bar & Grill in the Grosse Pointes. Formerly Dylan's Raw Bar & Grille (and, before that, Tom's Oyster Bar), the eatery at Mack and Nottingham offers a menu of oysters, steaks, and more, often with live music. Get it while it's fresh, at 15402 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-626-5000. — mt

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