Food Stuff 

Fest's fare— OK, so TasteFest has officially become CityFest. But that doesn't mean there won't be tasty things in the offing at next week's festival. They have a lineup of restaurants that runs from American Masala to Zumba Mexican Grille, all serving some of the very best food that Detroit has to offer. Stop by July 4-8, at Woodward Avenue and Grand Boulevard, Detroit.

Sample the hills — You'll have a chance to sample Auburn Hills restaurants at the 8th Annual Taste of Auburn Hills festival Thursday, June 28. Participating restaurants include Alfoccino, Beaner's Coffee, Bistro Bourdeau, Chartwells-Oakland Center, Chili's, Costco, Hoops Food, Sports & Spirits, Longhorn Steakhouse, Montana's Cookhouse, Mountain Jack's Steakhouse, O'Malley's, On the Border, Palace Grille, Post Bar, Starbuck's Coffee and TGI Friday's. Sponsors include DaimlerChrysler, Palace Sports and Entertainment, Baker College and Health Plus. There will be a silent auction to benefit local community nonprofits, with bidding on items ranging in value from $25 to more than $100. In excess of $7,000 worth of auction items have been donated. Bidding will run 4:30-7:30 p.m. Taste tents open 5-8 p.m. In the Village Center on Squirrel Court at Riverside Park, Auburn Hills; $15 adults, $5 youngsters 5-12, kids under 5 free, group discounts available; for more information, call the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce at 248-853-7862 or see


Eat the Page

A common trait among serious barbecue aficionados is the ability to talk trash to the guy at the next pit, whether he's your neighbor or a competitor at Memphis in May. Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe (Rodale Books, $19.95) is the perfect primer. With a chapter on Michigan's own Billy Bones, one of barbecue's living legends, as well as several recipes from other famous pitmen, this is a fun read for anyone interested in 'cue.

A Tasty Beverage

As sushi and sake have become mainstream in the United States, choices abound. Sake, a rice wine, was once a mysterious beverage in this country. Now, it is available in many varieties and styles. Take Rihaku Dreamy Clouds, for instance. It's a "nigori" sake, deliberately somewhat unrefined and partially unfiltered, which adds to its complexity. Some claim it has umami, the elusive fifth taste that joins "hot, sour, sweet and salty," satisfying you while leaving your taste buds yearning for more. It is smooth and slightly fragrant, not fruit-forward like grape wines, but a new flavor sensation for the palate.

It Works

How can you get through summer without roasting a whole pig? There's nothing more delectable, but it is a production — usually an all day or all night ordeal. The La Caja China Web site ( alleges it can be done in less than four hours with their pig roasting grill, which will cook a pig (up to 70 pounds), 16-18 whole chickens, 4-6 turkeys, 8-10 pork ribs slabs, 8-10 pork shoulders or any other type of meat or fish. This bad boy will make you the most popular guy in the neighborhood or a hero at your next family reunion.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to

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