April 06, 2017

28 under the radar Detroit brunch spots you should have tried by now

We love brunch in the Motor City, but sometimes the restaurants with the most hype end up having long lines that are unbearable. These spots have just as delicious brunches, and some of the restaurants on here have brunch and you may not have known about it.

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When you're feeling chicken: The Block; 3919 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-0892: Since they started serving brunch in January, the brunch menu has already garnered crowd favorites, including a take on chicken and waffles (featuring fried chicken wings that are not breaded yet still crispy, served with sautéed pears). The chicken is the star of the show here: The Block's Ultimate Bloody Mary even features a chicken wing garnish. Brunch is served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Photo by Jacob Lewkow.
When you're feeling chicken: The Block; 3919 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-0892: Since they started serving brunch in January, the brunch menu has already garnered crowd favorites, including a take on chicken and waffles (featuring fried chicken wings that are not breaded yet still crispy, served with sautéed pears). The chicken is the star of the show here: The Block's Ultimate Bloody Mary even features a chicken wing garnish. Brunch is served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Photo by Jacob Lewkow.
What manor of brunch is this?: The Whitney; 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700:
Brunch doesn't have to be a weekend thing. Detroit's Whitney serves the mid-morning meal all week long from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with options as sumptuous as the three-course lumberman's brunch, which includes a smoked salmon custini, a 12-ounce Delmonico steak served with three eggs, greens, and potatoes, and spicy blackberry and peach crumble served a la mode. Other options include a king crab and shrimp salad sandwich, chicken and waffles, and a shrimp and lobster omelet. Prices are not as outlandish as one might expect from a fine dining establishment, ranging from $11 for a Caesar salad to $29 for a seafood saute made up of shrimp, scallops, lobster, and pasta.
What manor of brunch is this?: The Whitney; 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700:
Brunch doesn't have to be a weekend thing. Detroit's Whitney serves the mid-morning meal all week long from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with options as sumptuous as the three-course lumberman's brunch, which includes a smoked salmon custini, a 12-ounce Delmonico steak served with three eggs, greens, and potatoes, and spicy blackberry and peach crumble served a la mode. Other options include a king crab and shrimp salad sandwich, chicken and waffles, and a shrimp and lobster omelet. Prices are not as outlandish as one might expect from a fine dining establishment, ranging from $11 for a Caesar salad to $29 for a seafood saute made up of shrimp, scallops, lobster, and pasta.
Brunch in the City of Tomorrow: Granite City Food & Brewery; 699 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-519-1040:
Yes, the stylish but casual craft-beer dining concept has now blossomed into multi-state chains like Granite City, but those paying attention will note that the GC folks take their brunch seriously. It's a buffet-style affair, running 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays, offering everything you'd expect, from waffle, omelet, and carving stations to soups and salads to chef's features. They sling Bloody Marys made with their own signature mix, as well as four kinds of Mimosas: regular, mango, raspberry, and blueberry.
Brunch in the City of Tomorrow: Granite City Food & Brewery; 699 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-519-1040:
Yes, the stylish but casual craft-beer dining concept has now blossomed into multi-state chains like Granite City, but those paying attention will note that the GC folks take their brunch seriously. It's a buffet-style affair, running 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays, offering everything you'd expect, from waffle, omelet, and carving stations to soups and salads to chef's features. They sling Bloody Marys made with their own signature mix, as well as four kinds of Mimosas: regular, mango, raspberry, and blueberry.
Heavenly huevos: The Emory; 22700 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-8202: 
When it opened 10 years ago, one of the owners had said the promise was "to make really simple food, really good, and overdeliver in any way we can." For an example, see the brunch menu's huevos rancheros: two crispy corn tortillas layered with black bean spread, a generous dose of sautéed peppers and onions, eggs sunny-side up. That and a creation from the well-stocked Bloody Mary bar have ensured many happy mornings in Ferndale.
Heavenly huevos: The Emory; 22700 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-8202:
When it opened 10 years ago, one of the owners had said the promise was "to make really simple food, really good, and overdeliver in any way we can." For an example, see the brunch menu's huevos rancheros: two crispy corn tortillas layered with black bean spread, a generous dose of sautéed peppers and onions, eggs sunny-side up. That and a creation from the well-stocked Bloody Mary bar have ensured many happy mornings in Ferndale.
When you want the big buffet approach in the burbs: Beans & Cornbread; 29508 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-208-1680: 
A dose of mid-morning slack can even be had in soulful Southfield on Sundays. The 11 a.m.-2 p.m. brunch draws a goodly after-church crowd, but those in jeans or jogging pants are welcome too. It's a big-buffet approach, with mac and cheese, catfish, fried chicken, waffles, peach cobbler, pancakes, eggs, and a full bar.
When you want the big buffet approach in the burbs: Beans & Cornbread; 29508 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-208-1680:
A dose of mid-morning slack can even be had in soulful Southfield on Sundays. The 11 a.m.-2 p.m. brunch draws a goodly after-church crowd, but those in jeans or jogging pants are welcome too. It's a big-buffet approach, with mac and cheese, catfish, fried chicken, waffles, peach cobbler, pancakes, eggs, and a full bar.
When Mom and Dad are picking up the brunch check: Gandy Dancer; 401 Depot St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-0592: 
If longevity is proof of quality, the big Sunday brunch at the Gandy Dancer has solid proof of excellence, as it has been going on for at least 20 years. It takes place in the gorgeous setting of 1880s Michigan Central Depot, a historic brick and granite structure converted to a restaurant almost 50 years ago. The rotating brunch menu can include made-to-order omelets, fresh Belgian waffles with bananas Foster, Cajun salmon, and carved roast beef and ham. A full bar ensures everybody starts the day with a smile. Brunch is served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.
When Mom and Dad are picking up the brunch check: Gandy Dancer; 401 Depot St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-0592:
If longevity is proof of quality, the big Sunday brunch at the Gandy Dancer has solid proof of excellence, as it has been going on for at least 20 years. It takes place in the gorgeous setting of 1880s Michigan Central Depot, a historic brick and granite structure converted to a restaurant almost 50 years ago. The rotating brunch menu can include made-to-order omelets, fresh Belgian waffles with bananas Foster, Cajun salmon, and carved roast beef and ham. A full bar ensures everybody starts the day with a smile. Brunch is served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.
When you're feeling chicken: The Block; 3919 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-0892:  Since they started serving brunch in January, the brunch menu has already garnered crowd favorites, including a take on chicken and waffles (featuring fried chicken wings that are not breaded yet still crispy, served with sautéed pears). The chicken is the star of the show here: The Block's Ultimate Bloody Mary even features a chicken wing garnish. Brunch is served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Photo by Jacob Lewkow.
When you're feeling chicken: The Block; 3919 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-0892:
Since they started serving brunch in January, the brunch menu has already garnered crowd favorites, including a take on chicken and waffles (featuring fried chicken wings that are not breaded yet still crispy, served with sautéed pears). The chicken is the star of the show here: The Block's Ultimate Bloody Mary even features a chicken wing garnish. Brunch is served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Photo by Jacob Lewkow.
BLTs for LGBTQs: Aut Bar; 15 Braun Ct., Ann Arbor; 734-994-3677; autbar.com: 
The Aut Bar caters to the LGBTQ communities and their friends, families, and allies. Functioning as a restaurant and a bar, the second level is 21 and older only. And, since 1986, there's been a popular Saturday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and Sunday brunch (10 a.m-3 p.m.). Here, Mexican specialties are standouts, including breakfast burritos, huevos motulenos, and Saturday's $5 huevo ranchero special.
BLTs for LGBTQs: Aut Bar; 15 Braun Ct., Ann Arbor; 734-994-3677; autbar.com:
The Aut Bar caters to the LGBTQ communities and their friends, families, and allies. Functioning as a restaurant and a bar, the second level is 21 and older only. And, since 1986, there's been a popular Saturday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and Sunday brunch (10 a.m-3 p.m.). Here, Mexican specialties are standouts, including breakfast burritos, huevos motulenos, and Saturday's $5 huevo ranchero special.
Where you can brunch like royalty: Cafe Muse; 418 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-544-4749:  Sometimes a place can be a brunch destination without ever seeming to use the "B" word. The menu is breakfast and lunch, and prevails from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering such brunch direct hits as stuffed French toast, vanilla bean waffles, steak and eggs, and mushroom scramble with Boursin and truffle oil. Add specials that change weekly and the potations mixed up at the full bar, and you have the makings of a brunch of champions.
Where you can brunch like royalty: Cafe Muse; 418 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-544-4749:
Sometimes a place can be a brunch destination without ever seeming to use the "B" word. The menu is breakfast and lunch, and prevails from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering such brunch direct hits as stuffed French toast, vanilla bean waffles, steak and eggs, and mushroom scramble with Boursin and truffle oil. Add specials that change weekly and the potations mixed up at the full bar, and you have the makings of a brunch of champions.
Find the French inflection: French Toast; 40370 Five Mile Rd., Plymouth; 734-335-6533: 
Think about what's best about French inspiration — rich sauces, zigzags of chocolate sauce sprinkled with powdered sugar — and feast your eyes on that brunch menu: crab cakes Benedict, ham and Brie omelet, smoked brisket hash, eggs cochon, lobster mac, beignets with chocolate sauce, and much more. Brunches are a la carte and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Find the French inflection: French Toast; 40370 Five Mile Rd., Plymouth; 734-335-6533:
Think about what's best about French inspiration — rich sauces, zigzags of chocolate sauce sprinkled with powdered sugar — and feast your eyes on that brunch menu: crab cakes Benedict, ham and Brie omelet, smoked brisket hash, eggs cochon, lobster mac, beignets with chocolate sauce, and much more. Brunches are a la carte and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.