Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Veggie classic

Healthful vegetarian food isn't just for health nuts anymore

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 12:00 AM

You don’t have to be a health nut to enjoy Seva. Seva uses Avalon breads, from ciabatta to multigrain, trucked in daily. Entrées range around the world for their influences, without attempting to hit on dead-ringer authenticity; whole-wheat tortillas abound. There’s a North African couscous with tempeh, a sweet potato quesadilla, a spinach ravioli dish, and penne with portabellas and soy sausage. Sandwiches, soups and salads claim such inspirations as California, Thailand, Spain, the Mediterranean, tacos and the BLT (in this case, a tempeh-LT). Breakfast is served all day, using organic eggs. They make an expert omelet with feta, spinach and tomato, preserving skillfully the freshness of the folded-in ingredients, a must for a successful omelet. There are plenty of liquid reasons to visit Seva too.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Out of the park

How Bucharest Grill complements Park Bar in downtown Detroit

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM

The minimal and inexpensive menu is a loose blend of Eastern European and Middle Eastern, with an emphasis on ground pork dishes. In fact, more than half of the menu items contain ground pork in some form or another. But for a little more than $4, order chicken, beef or vegetarian shawarma wrapped in a pita. A few cents more buy you the enormous Bucharest shawarma, swollen with chicken, cabbage, pickles, tomato and fries, dripping with a delicious garlic sauce. It’s a triple-napkin wrap. Bring a pocketful of breath mints if you’re club-hopping afterward. An extra $2 gets you that mound of fries. One section of the menu is dedicated to “gourmet dogs.” Then there is the ground pork patty sandwich served open-faced over a fried egg and Muenster cheese! Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Carry-out, limited delivery.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back on the block

Moti Mahal brings Indian food back to Royal Oak

Posted By on Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM

The meal starts auspiciously with a couple of free papadams — crisp and strongly lentil-flavored — and three tasty dipping sauces. A mango lassi, seldom a mistake, is properly vibrant in color and flavor. The entrées are rich, perhaps due to lots of ghee? This was especially true of sag muttar paneer — peas and spinach with firm cubes of Indian farmer cheese, quite buttery tasting — and lamb Kashmir, to which Ullah adds almonds and dried fruit. Among the usual kormas, dhansaks, and tandoori specials, Moti Mahal offers jalfrazies and dupiazas and patias. Salmon masala gets “cooked with a carefully selected array of fresh tomatoes, onions and spices” — and it's smoky and rich.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The real deal

Aladdin brings authentic and affordable Bangladeshi fare to Hamtramck

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 12:00 AM

On the corner of Commor and Conant streets, in the extraordinarily diverse city of Hamtramck, there is not one dish on Aladdin’s menu that surpasses $8.99. In fact, a large mixed fruit shake costs more than any of the appetizers and even a few of the vegetarian entrées that include rice or naan. On the whole, prices hardly surpass what you’ll pay for a meal at a national drive-through chain. Vegetarians have all sorts of choices, from curries to fried homemade cheese with spinach or green peas. There are some dishes where lentils are the base and others with chick peas. Try some mushroom vegetable fritters with onions and hot spices, or sautéed okra. The variety is amazing and the most expensive dish is $5.99. There are three times as many meat and seafood dishes. The goat korma, braised in a yogurt base is creamy, subtle, deep and rich, with a touch of spice heat. The gravy was so delicious we wiped the last little bit out of the bowl with crispy and chewy naan. Open 10:30 a.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Credit cards accepted; free delivery.

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