Seven Buzzworthy Spots to Grab a Bite in Detroit

Whether you’re planning a visit to the North American International Auto Show or have a day downtown on your radar later this year, Detroit is brimming with culinary hot spots to help you refuel.

Detroit Skyline at night

Photo by Instagram user @joshtallyphotos

So, after you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the Cobo Center or any other attraction unique to the Motor City, make a pit stop at one of these seven spots that are putting the restaurant scene in the 313 on the map.  Antietam – 1428 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48207 For a feast fit to remember, look no further than Antietam. An experience at this downtown restaurant offers you French cuisine and other mouthwatering entrées. From market greens to whitefish and leg of rabbit, you won’t go home hungry, or unsatisfied, after enjoying a meal at Antietam. Bobcat Bonnies -  1800 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 Bobcat Bonnies, a gastropub which opened last August in Corktown, looks to “provide high-quality, inviting service within a fun and welcoming atmosphere, while serving upscale food at a friendly price”.  The fun atmosphere exists in part due to the arcade games in the back of the restaurant. From Captain Crunch french toast to bruschetta burgers, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Dime Store – 719 Griswold St. #180, Detroit, MI 48226 Dime Store is an American Brunch Bar in downtown Detroit that earned its claim to fame specializing in breakfast, lunch and booze. From hot omelets, to savory sandwiches and salads, the Dime Store menu is a unique blend of scratch-made traditional favorites and creative combinations.

Beer Taps at HopCat Detroit

HopCat Detroit

Gold Cash Gold – 2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216 Gold Cash Gold considers themselves “farmstead fine food with a nod to the South, rooted in old world tradition.” – but don’t think that GCG isn’t still uniquely Detroit! Visit the restaurant for lunch or dinner, or even to enjoy a few drinks with friends. Between the southern cooking and hospitality, you may never want to leave. HopCat Detroit – 4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 This Grand Rapids hot spot has made its way to Detroit. The HopCat staff prides themselves on serving great food, and even better beer. From pilsners to IPAs, HopCat is already a popular destination among Detroiters and those traveling to the city. Rated one of the “Best Beer Bars on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate, you’ll want to check out what’s on tap when you venture to this new bar that opened its doors in late 2014.

Bowling Lanes at Punch Bowl Social Detroit

Photo via punchbowlsocial.com

Punch Bowl Social –1331 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226 Punch Bowl Social opens its doors to those who seek an establishment with an old-school feel. Besides the delectable menu options and craft beer offerings, Punch Bowl includes karaoke rooms, darts, shuffleboard, ping pong tables, and to its namesake – bowling lanes. Punch Bowl is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or just a night out on the town. Selden Standard – 3921 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 Selden Standard aims to bring friends together to share a meal born through local flavors. Selden Standard’s atmosphere and dining room are rustic and casual and invite you to come as you are. If you’re looking for great food, great company and a good time, don’t miss Selden Standard. Did we miss one of your newest favorites? Let us know! 

5 Indoor Staycation Destinations Around Michigan

Going on vacation is an incredible way to recharge. Studies suggest that taking a vacation is good for your health and can help boost your happiness, particularly when it’s cold outside.  While weeklong getaways to far-away destinations are popular, Michigan offers incredible staycation destinations that aren’t too far from home. If you need some ideas to get started, we’ve put together a few suggestions for your own Pure Michigan staycation. Waterslide at Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth has a ton of attractions that are appealing to all ages. Bring your family and stay at the Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark. It offers great accommodations and suites perfect for larger groups. The waterpark  is mid-Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark and has over 50,000 sq. ft. of aquatic fun. There is no shortage of activities for everyone to enjoy. In addition to the pool area, Mushroom Grille concession area and locker rooms, the new Atrium Waterpark includes: A six story family raft ride, action river, The Super Loop – a thrilling 6-story speed slide, zero entry pool with water geysers, water basketball, private family cabanas and large family hot tub. Even if you don’t enjoy the water, there are still  activities to partake in such as the expanded arcade with games that will keep you and your family entertained for hours.  If you’re more concerned about what food is available, fret not. Eat your fill with traditional All You Can Eat Family Style Chicken dinners at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth or visit the Marketplace for delectable goodies. Z Chef’s Café, located in the Marketplace, offers a unique dining experience as well. outside view of MGM Grand Detroit MGM Grand Detroit For the adults looking to get away, step inside MGM Grand Detroit for a whole new world of gaming and luxurious accommodations. There are over 90 table games and 4,500 of the latest slots and video poker to choose from. It’s easy to get recharged by staying in one of the 400 luxury rooms and suites. For restaurant fare, there is no shortage of options. Three signature restaurants from Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina provide an upscale experience. Add to that their creative new tapas concept, Palette Dining Studio, and a quick serve area, Breeze, and you’ll never be tired of the food. For those who want to relax and rejuvenate, IMMERSE Spa is a great way to unwind after a long day of fun. There is even a personal spa concierge who can help you design a custom body treatment! If you decide to stay at MGM Grand, don’t forget to go out and explore Detroit! There are many must-see destinations such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Campus Martius and the Charles H. Wright Museum. Waterslide at Indoor Waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City Take a trip to Traverse City with your family and have blast at Great Wolf Lodge! There are many accommodation options including suites with whirlpools or even a KidKamp suite, which includes a private tent for your children to enjoy. Of course, you can’t visit Great Wolf Lodge without splashing in the waterpark! With over 38,000 square feet of splash-loaded rides, slides and pools you’re sure to find a favorite. It features eight waterslides, five unique pools, a multi-story interactive tree house, and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket. However, there are even more fun activities on land. Grab a wand and battle a dragon in MagiQuest or get an ice cream-themed manicure at Scooops Kid Spa before gathering your family in the Grand Lobby for nightly fireside Story Time. There’s plenty for the adults too with a full-service Spa, fitness room, and plenty of shopping and dining options like Camp Critter Bar & Grille or indulge in pizza at Hungry As A Wolf. Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark on Boyne Mountain Rip Zone surf simulator at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark on Boyne Mountain Your trip wouldn’t be complete without playing in the arcade with over 50 games and a redemption counter providing awesome prizes. After you’ve worked up an appetite grab a quick bite at the Snack Shack or fill up with a full menu at the Apres Ski Pub, both located inside the park.  And if you don’t mind the cold, Boyne Mountain is an excellent skiing location.Even further north is Avalanche Bay!It is the largest indoor waterpark in Michigan offering huge amounts of water fun no matter your age. Centrally located at the heart of Boyne Mountain Resort, this waterpark is always 84 degrees and open all year ’round, making it the perfect vacation destination. Avalanche Bay features six exciting water slides, including the park’s newest thrill, The Big Couloir – a ProSlide SuperLOOP with the steepest drop in the industry, as well as a Rip Zone surf simulator, Splasherhorn Mountain interactive play structure, lazy river, children’s pool, relaxing hot tubs, and many other unique waterpark attractions. Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire Shanty Creek Resort has activities all year for any season. During the spring and summer, you can play 72 holes of championship golf on four different courses. Right now in winter though, it’s the time to ski! Shanty Creek has 53 ski runs on two mountains, Schuss Mountain and Summit Mountain, along with 30km of cross-country skiing, a 6-lane alpine tubing park, winter sleigh rides, and Michigan’s most awarded terrain parks. You can also bike or hike in the resort’s 4,500 acres or explore the single track of nearby Glacial Hills trail system. There are over 400 lodging choices including hotel guest rooms, suites, condos and private rental homes so you are sure to find the right fit! There are other amenities available for the whole family to enjoy including indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center and wellness spa, tennis courts, and now FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf. What staycation destinations did we miss? Tell us below!

Seven Michigan Eating Challenges That Are Sure to Make You Hungry

Order up! Michigan may be known for its beautiful scenery and outdoors, but Michiganders know all too well that the state boasts some of the best restaurants around. While many of these hometown spots offer delectable classics, a few others bring something far ‘bigger’ to the table.

We rounded up seven eating challenges across the state that are available to try year round. So prepare your stomach, and mind, for these gargantuan Pure Michigan food feats.

The Dog Central Challenge
Dog Central, Mount Pleasant
If you’re heading to Mid-Michigan, ask around: Many of the Mt. Pleasant locals will know about the famed Dog Central Challenge. Dubbed as a test of both mental and physical toughness, challengers are tasked with taking down three foot long hotdogs with chili and two toppings, a bed of French fries, stack of onion rings and a 20 oz. fountain pop to wash it all down. If you complete the challenge, your determination earns you a spot on the Wall of Fame. But be warned! Losing the challenge earns you a spot on the Wall of Shame

Other Dog Central challenges include: most hot dogs eaten in two hours, most hot dogs eaten in one half hour, and the Ghost Chili Challenge (three hot dogs with ghost pepper chili)

DCchallenge

Photo courtesy of Dog Central

Lumberjack Club
The Grill House, Allegan
Do you have what it takes to join the Lumberjack Club? This 42oz Top Sirloin is not for the faint of heart. The record time for eating this monstrous steak is 5 minutes and 26 seconds, but you get one full hour to take on this mountain of meat. Don’t worry if you can’t finish it in under an hour – you’ve still had a wonderful steak dinner, and now you can have a tasty steak and egg omelet for breakfast!

50-Wing Challenge
The Winter Inn, Greenville
Every Sunday, challengers are invited to take part in the famed 50-wing challenge. You’ll have one hour to eat 50 of the Winter Inn’s delectable wings in the hopes of earning a plaque to put on the Wall of Fame. If you’re able to finish the challenge, you’ll receive a Winter Inn t-shirt, $15 gift certificate, and, of course, bragging rights as the wing champion.

Big Bambino Burger
Stucko’s Pub, Marquette
If you’re looking for a burger challenge, look no further than Stucko’s Big Bambino.  This mammoth one-pound burger is topped with a quarter pound all-beef hot dog, three slices of bacon and three slices of American cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato, pickle spear and one pound of fries, this majestic sandwich will bring even the burliest-burger lover to their knees.

Hellfire Hat Trick 
Mallie’s Sports Grill and Bar, Southgate
Spice-chasers head to Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar in Southgate, a Detroit suburb, to take on the “Hellfire Hat Trick.” Eat 1 hellfire burger, 6 hell fire wings and 1 bowl of hellfire chili in 30 minutes or less with a 5 minute burn period. Complete the Hat Trick and win free burgers for a year or a $100 Mallie’s gift certificate. This challenge is so hot it was even featured in USA Today Travel’s list of America’s spiciest eating challenges. 

Also available at Mallie’s – a burger challenge even more mammoth than the Big Bambino! The 10 lb. Monster Burger Challenge dares the largest of appetites to finish it all in 2 hours or less and it’s free. Plus, you get $100 and your photo on Mallie’s Wall of Fame!

Photo courtesy of Mallie's Grill n Bar

Photo courtesy of Mallie’s Grill n Bar

Burrito Challenge
Sabor Latino, Ann Arbor
If you’re looking for a challenge in Ann Arbor, take a trip to Sabor Latino for the hearty Burrito Challenge. You’ll come face to face with a triple-size burrito stuffed with beans, rice, you choice of meat or vegetables, lettuce, cheese, habanero-onion slaw, and topped with sour cream, guacamole and cheese. If you finish the burrito, you’ll earn a $20 gift card, your picture added to the Burrito Challenge Hall of Fame Facebook page and Sabor Latino will pick up your bill.

Have you conquered an extreme Michigan eating challenge? Do you know of any others to add to the list? Tell us! 

Interested in learning more about places to eat in Michigan? Head over to Michigan.org/dining for more delicious Michigan made entrees.