Do It For Detroit x Ima Noodle Bar x @PhoneBeforeFork

This article was originally written for the Detroit Jewish News Nosh Section and was published on November 1 2018.

Ima Noodle Bar – Pronounced Ema like mom in Hebrew.  

Situated on Michigan Avenue in Detroit’s oldest and historic neighborhood Corktown you will find the little gem of a modern style Japanese noodle bar called ima. Causal in its demeanor and unassuming in its exterior appearance, you may accidently drive by it the first time you go. Keep  an eye out for the sign adhered to the building at the corner of Michigan Avenue & Vermont Street. 

It’s totally one of those chef-driven restaurants with a boat load of soul & flavor stuffed into a 900 SF space.  Chef Mike Ransom puts a creative spin on serve signature udon noodle soups, rice bowls, curries and small plates. His recipes are foul-proof and provide you the consistency of your favorite new neighborhood joint.  The menu is friendly to the spicy friends, vegetarian or vegan friends, and even the gluten free friends.  Divided up by sections such as Snack + Share, Noodles, Rices and Add-Ons. If you are a picky plain person you could have a heyday of a meal just by choosing several add-on options.   

Let’s get straight down to it – the must- haves include the Jicama shell [Ima] tacos & Lobster Udon, and Golden Curry with Tofu.  Inside the ima tacos your lips will be graced with wakeme slaw, green chili hot sauce, toasted corn, shiso, and the added protein of your choosing (spicy shrimp, roasted tofu, garlic chicken, smoked pork loin, or avocado).  Even the obligatory green salad is elevated and is known as “goddess greens” aka baby romaine, radish, jicama, avocado, furikake, with miso goddess dressing.  The noodle dishes will have you slurping for joy! The  silky savory broths are made over night for a period of 12-14 hours. You can literally sense all of good vibes and energy that were put into making the broth.  The golden curry dish makes you go MHMM   at first bite as the silky warm curry delights you from the outside in.  The golden curry dish is bright and colorful with in-house pickled and root vegetables surrounding your protein of choice on top a mountain of steamed rice with nori and hemp seeds . Don’t be disappointed that the boombap does not have a hot stone bowl beneath it – it will be delicious!  

Lobster Udon

Whether you are first or last to order, you can guarantee the flavors and quality will remain. There is street parking available on Michigan Avenue. Ima is a wallet-friendly restaurant where you don’t have to sacrifice a high price for a highbrow flavor.  Open 7 days a week Monday through Thursday 11AM to 10PM, Friday and Saturday 11AM to 11PM, and Sunday Noon to 10PM.  

It’s a walk in style restaurant but you are able to make reservations for parties of 6 or more by calling. Get ready to make new friends because this spot hosts communal tables supported by industrial chic chairs as well as window seating with high top bar seats.  I would recommend to go with a smaller group of people. The popular restaurant is busting at the seams with customers since the day it opened in 2007. Ima Noodle Bar expanded to include an all seasons patio with picnic tables. Recently Chef Mike Ransom announced he will be opening a 2nd location in Metro – Detroit’s Madison Heights.  Go get out of the house and get yourself a bowl of noodles at Ima!  

Golden Curry Rice Bowl

Detroit is my hometown and I gotta rep – come and visit and you won’t regret ! xx Linz

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Do It For Detroit x Rose’s Fine Foods x @PhoneBeforeFork

This article was originally written for the Detroit Jewish News and their Nosh section.

Rose’s Fine Food is set up to be a long-time main stay on Detroit’s east side. Roses delivers an ultimate gourmet twist on typical American diner food.  Located on 10551 E. Jefferson @ Hastings St – there is a giant monument sign that you cannot miss. The free-standing building is adorned with a steel smoker out front emblemized with Roses’.  The Detroit chic diner occupies less than 1,000 square feet in turn leaving you with an intimate feel.   This may be in part to the welcoming staff whom of which all are knowledgeable, friendly and easy to converse with. You could sit and schmooze with them as if they were like old time friends!   

The tables are salvaged wood and chairs collected through the decades. Or park yourself at the diner counter on a leather swivel stool with a chair back. The mismatched vintage china flatware, mugs and cups are dainty and eclectic.  Live succulent plants along with house pickled kimchi, onions, and cucumbers line the floating shelves above the kitchen line.  It’s your classic open style kitchen dining experience. The overall feel of Roses’ is a nostalgic vibe with the absolute freshest ingredients.  

Upon entry to the space note the fresh smells of daily home baked items are inside an antique display case - definitely indulge in one of the items.  The most recent delectable dish I tried was a Rhubarb yogurt pie - feature in the photo. The items rotate along with daily drink specials such as lavender lemonade.  

The menu is fairly stable but does alter a tad per the season as Rose’s focuses on fresh locally sourced ingredients. Fun fact – one of the part time chefs is a full-time farmer whose urban farm about 6 miles away in Detroit.   The menu lends well to our vegan and gluten free friends as the menu denotes (v= vegan) and GF = gluten free options. Staple items are:  Grandpa Richard’s Pancakes (stack of delicious cakes made with organic stone ground flour, Michigan maple syrup and cultured butter), Staff Favorite 2.0 (a bowl of heirloom rice topped with maple bacon, mushrooms, house kimchi, avocado with a fried egg on top), and you can’t go wrong with one of the lunch sandwiches.  Don’t skip out on the variety of side dishes: Organic grits, toast, herby beans, grilled potatoes, and side of flapjacks. Fresh sides of meat you’ve got your applewood bacon, corridor sausage – pork or chicken. Corridor sausage is local product to Detroit. Maybe you’ve seen the Corridor Sausage deli in the Detroit Metro Airport or Ford Field. 

Blogging at Rose’s Fine Foods with the Staff Pick dish

Rose’s has a gravitational pull–one that instantly makes you feel like a regular. The 40-seat artisanal gem of a diner is best with a small group of 4 or less. It is also a great place if you are dining alone.  No stress about where to park – there is a lot with an ample amount of spaces. Like visiting any place in Detroit – don’t forget to put all items in your trunk or bring inside with you.  

The dynamic duo behind the origins of Rose’s Fine Food are Molly Mitchell and Lucy Peters. They are in fact cousins and named the restaurant after their common grandmother.  Next up for Molly Mitchell will be a polish inspired restaurant serving up perogies and more in Detroit’s West Village at the corner of Agnes & Van Dyke. Keep an eye out because this is a spot to track! 

You could pair a meal at Rose’s Fine Foods with a cruise around Detroit’s Bell Isle and a stop at the oldest aquarium in the nation. 

I always feel so inspired in venues where people are creating beautiful things – whether it be an atmosphere, a safe haven, a community or a dish of food. You feel the passion pouring out of everyone who works here. I am posting this blog post from Roses Fine Foods. As per the photo, I am creating content for a new post. Stay Tuned Lovers xx Linz