Spanning generations, Vivio's is an Eastern Market crowd-pleaser
By Mel Small
For more than 40 years, the Vivio family has been pouring suds and dishing out thick burgers to an unusually wide variety of neighborhood characters, tailgaters (shuttles provided) and produce shoppers from their venerable building in the heart of Eastern Market. Erected in 1892 to serve as a German community center, it soon became a tavern, placing it among the oldest structures in Detroit to continuously host a watering hole. Virtually all of the familiar items on the long menu are less than $10. Among the appetizers are five mussel choices, the most renowned of which float, along with celery chunks, in Bloody Mary mix, vodka and garlic sauce. Bottles of Vivio’s secret-recipe mix, which certainly perks up the sweet little mollusks, are available for purchase on-site as well as at specialty stores, along with their house-made mustard. The dinner-sized salads run the gamut from Jamaican jerk chicken to a large and crisp taco bowl harboring tangy ground beef tidbits mixed in with green onions, diced tomatoes and cheddar cheese, and accompanied by sour cream and a rather mild salsa. As for heartier fare, the burgers — cheese, bacon, Sante Fe, Cajun, bleu and the healthier salmon, veggie and buffalo — that come with a mound of slightly undercooked fries, rank among the city’s better renditions of that staple. To wash all this down, Vivio’s provides 12 beers on tap and 10 bottles, highlighted by Castello, a new-to-this-country, refreshing, light Italian lager ($3).
- Tags: Table and Bar, Dining