Food Stuff

Good dogs— The frankfurters may be humble at Livonia's Penalty Box bar, but if you are a devotee of the dependable dog, you can have one for a good cause: Westlander Brett Rau is fighting throat cancer and his family is facing the attendant financial challenges. National health care initiatives notwithstanding, you can join his family and friends for some emergency fund-raising, with live music, raffles and grilled dogs, Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Penalty Box, 28121 Plymouth Rd., Livonia, noon-9 p.m.; $5 donation.

Gourmet 'cue — The folks at Five Lakes Grill called to remind us that they'll be part of the "Milford Memories" celebration Aug. 10-12, when Main Street in downtown Milford will turn into a pedestrian fair. Five Lakes will serve gourmet foods and beers from a big tent in front of their restaurant on Main Street the whole weekend, with live music 8 p.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Just how uptown can barbecue get? How about house-made sun-dried-tomato-and-basil sausage and peppers, and barbecued pulled pork with housemade pickles, ketchup and mustard? No doubt they hope their high-class fair fare will draw diners in for their seasonal summer menu, with everything from pan-seared breast of Indiana duckling over a salad of organic mizuna to a tasty, simple New York strip. At 424 N. Main St., Milford; 248-684-7455.

Last lunch— After 79 years of serving the area, Bloomfield Hills' Fox & Hounds Restaurant will host a final lunch celebration Aug 10, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The establishment will serve dinners only until its final day of business, Aug. 31. Stop by one last time, before the hunter is finally home from the hill. At 39560 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-644-4800.

Eat the Page

In the past we've praised Cook's Illustrated magazine, whose food chemists' detailed studies of the recipes, products, cooking methods and utensils lead us to some of the best renditions of all kinds of dishes. In Cooking at Home with America's Test Kitchen, (America's Test Kitchen, $34.95), the companion to the public television series, there are chapters covering seafood, paella, curries and, for summer, grilled pizza, grill- roasted pork loin and even an alternative — pulled chicken. Desserts include German Chocolate cake and deep-dish apple pie.

A Tasty Beverage

Jolly Pumpkin's small, cinderblock microbrewery located in downtown Dexter isn't exactly a farmhouse. But then it's the style of beer they're touting, not the building it came from. Weighing in at a low 4.5 percent ABV, Bam Bière is a miraculous glass of abundance. Underneath a frothy white head this well-hopped ale throbs with the tang of lemons and the punch of spice and straw. Named for the brewer's Jack Russell terrier, the potation made the list of America's Top 25 beers according to Men's Journal. Besides all that — it tastes really good.

It Works

Do you find that grilled foods, even those cooked over charcoal, taste too similar? Do you yearn for the flavors that were the result of foods cooked over a campfire built of mixed hardwoods gathered from the woods surrounding your campsite? Check out cedar grilling papers. These thin sheets of cedar – other woods can be found as well – are first soaked in water to prevent them from igniting, then wrapped around your ingredients and placed over the fire. The food is infused with the flavor of the wood, rendering tasty morsels with little fuss. They work equally well on gas grills.

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

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