Market values The recent implosion of the Farmer Jack chain has left the city of Detroit effectively redlined by major grocery chains. In the aftermath, we have to ask how much community-based farmers markets can do to fill the void. One promising example of what can happen is the weekly Northwest Detroit Farmers Market, which takes place 4-8 p.m. every Thursday through Oct. 25 in the parking lot of Bushnell Congregational Church (1500 Southfield Rd., on the northbound Southfield Freeway service drive, just south of the Grand River-Fenkell exit). The collaborative community project, spearheaded by the Grand River-Rosedale Development Corp., brings together a dozen or so vendors of organic and healthy food produce and products including Avalon Bread and upward of 300 customers a week, so far. The market ran 13 weeks when it was introduced last year and plans a 16-week run this year. And although the immediate appeal is to Bushnell's neighbors, organizers welcome visits from any and all in the name of nutritious food.
Fowl of flavor Chef Robert Stakits, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has opened the Rotisserie Xperience in Kingswood Square on the west side of Woodward Avenue, just north of Square Lake Road. His restaurant's specialty is rotisserie-roasted free-range Amish chicken and turkey, which is first brined and then injected with seasonings. We gratefully attest to the lip-smacking flavor and tenderness of the birds. Healthful food usually doesn't taste this good. The menu includes a few salads, panini sandwiches and some excellent sides, all reasonably priced. (Catering available.) At 43121 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-454-0707.
Eat the Page
Mridula Baljekar's Great Indian Feasts: 130 Wonderful, Simple Recipes for Every Festive Occasion (John Blake, $12.95) has several unusual Indian recipes, which are eaten at major Indian festivals. (But we could eat this stuff every day.) The slow-cooked lamb shanks sound scrumptious, and the prawn cake with a spicy prawn filling layered between omelets looks great. Roast turkey marinated in spice-laced yogurt is billed as a Christmas dish with an Indian spin. For those interested in the food of India, descriptions of the food's cultural significance abound.
A Tasty Beverage
Since 1918, Uncle John's Fruit House in St. Johns (out Lansing way) has been handling Michigan fruit in one way or another. Lately, Mike Beck and crew have been turning out some of the finest adult beverages available in the mitten state. Don't mistake the highlighter-green package of their award-winning apple hard cider for just another manufactured alco-pop. Perfumed with ripe orchards and gauzy hayride memories, the cider is plenty dry and a big swig is balanced by soft acid, a dash of powdery tannins and perfect bubbles. It drinks so easy you'll want to stock up.
Last week we hipped you to a grill that will hold more than you're apt to cook at one time. Absent buying one, you probably don't have enough grill to cook more than a slab or two of bones simultaneously. But, hey, a $15 rib rack will hold up to six slabs, and that's about 78 bones, enough to offer a respectable sampling of your barbecue skills. Having tried a couple of these, we can tell you they do work. We can also tell you that a nonstick model will make cleaning up a lot easier.
Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to [email protected].