Hamlin Corner

The girls at work decided to get together for dinner and Nina suggested Hamlin Corner. Located on Main in Downtown Royal Oak, Hamlin Corner is described as a sophisticated Sports Bar and Restaurant that recently opened a few months ago. What I liked about this place was it’s decor (black leather studded armless chairs with rich accents) and it’s locally inspired menu.

Mac & Cheese: Aged cheddar cream sauce topped with Better Made Potato Chips. As soon as I saw the Better Made chips on the menu I couldn’t pass this dish up (My mom also tops her cheesy potatoes with crunched chips so this really hit home). The chips created a crust that I had to break through, revealing molten hot cheesy pasta underneath. My favorite part was the wheel shaped pasta that was used. It was almost as if the chef took a childhood classic and matured it with the crunched chips on top. The cheese sauce was smooth, but almost too rich (I couldn’t finish it)!

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If you’re looking for a change from you’re usual stuffy sports bar, check out Hamlin Corner. It has a good location, nice dining area, and great food and brews that are decently priced. You also get a big bang for your buck! Don’t forget to support local businesses when you can!

It was good getting together with everyone, especially seeing Brynn (Kate’s 1 yr. old daughter). The Mac & Cheese should’ve been something she ordered, but she stuck with dipping her fries in ketchup and ranch, instead. She’s so big!

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Roast Beef Enchiladas

Thursday’s I go to Josh’s for dinner and his mom cooks some pretty creative dishes. I think secretly she is trying to make a good impression. Well Judy, the enchilada’s scored a spot on the blog!

Her dish is a mix of an enchilada (white girl style) recipe I passed on to her and her own special touch.

Side note: Judy makes the best Roast Beef

So when I tasted the enchiladas and realized that she married the two dishes together I got all giddy inside. Especially because the roast beef had a Barbacoa flavor (Barbacoa: Mexican slow-cooked meat) that really went perfectly inside an enchilada. I’m not sure if she meant to do that, but moms do amazing things even if it’s not on purpose.

Enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken or beef

1 diced onion

3 cans of enchilada sauce

5 bunches of diced green onion

1-2 packages of corn tortillas (Or flour if that’s your preference)

1- 2 packages of shredded cheese (Mexican or Muenster are the best)

Start off by browning chicken or beef (or if you’re like Jacki, you can do veggie or cheese enchiladas). I saute with onions and a half of a can of enchilada sauce then set aside. Next,  I dip a tortilla in some enchilada sauce and slightly warm in a skillet until it starts to sizzle and fry. Then take off heat and add meat mixture, cheese, green onions, spoonful of enchilada sauce and tightly roll. Place in a baking dish (9” x 13” glass works fine) coated with enchilada sauce (that way the bottom of the tortillas don’t burn or stick). Top with remaining enchilada sauce (should be at least one can), shredded cheese, and green onions for color.

****Instead of chicken or beef, Judy used the roast beef she previously cooked as the meat filling.***

Tip: Add as much cheese as you like.

Bake for about 25 min (or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned) on 350 degrees.

This recipes make about 15 enchiladas (depending on how fat you stuff them and how many you can cram into the baking dish).

roast beef enchiladas

Judy served her enchiladas with garlic toast (Hey, garlic toast goes with any meal). The roast beef was buttery, melt in your mouth tender, and fell apart when I took a bite. These enchilada’s were cheesy, gooey, and unbelievably delicious. They blew my recipe out of the water! This is my new favorite dish and really hits the spot. Serious comfort food!

Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Cafe

Josh and I went to Greektown for dinner Friday night and decided to head to Fishbone’s on Monroe St. in Downtown Detroit. Fishbone’s is known for Seafood, Sushi, and Steaks, but they also have a wide variety of New Orleans inspired dishes (if that’s your thing). On this trip, we decided to get pasta (of course) and sushi.

Spinach & Cheese Ravioli: Ricotta, Fontina & Asiago cheeses, fire roasted red pepper sauce. Our server described the red pepper sauce as a chunky red pepper sauce, similar to marinara. Josh being as creative as he is, asked for pesto cream sauce instead. Good choice, Boo! Instead of cooking the ravioli in the pesto cream sauce, it was served on the side, so we had to pour it over the ravioli ourselves. Strike # 1. The sauce was room temperature and the ravioli was slightly cooler so we told the server and she immediately took the dish back to be sauteed together and reheated. When she brought it back it was clear it was zapped in the microwave and not sauteed together as promised (The ravioli that Josh first took a bite of was in the same exact spot and the edges of the pasta were dried out). Strike # 2. It was fine because it still tasted amazing, but we just expected more from Fishbone’s and an $18 pasta dish. The pesto cream sauce was rich and smooth, with a hint of pesto. The dish had fresh sauteed spinach and red pepper on top which really impressed me after the microwave ordeal. The ravioli’s were more like giant pillows filled with cheese and if I wasn’t in such a hurry to consume these delicious creations, I would’ve laid my head right on them and went to sleep. Home run!

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Eel & Avocado Roll: BBQ Eel (cooked) and avocado wrapped in seaweed and rolled in cooked rice topped with BBQ eel sauce. This is my favorite roll! If I’m having a bad day, I just order eel and it comforts my soul and makes everything better. The sweetness from the eel and sauce really pairs well with the freshness and coolness from the avocado. If you like a crunch, get the Caterpillar Roll (Eel, avocado, and cucumber roll).

Tempura California Roll: Crab, avocado, and cucumber wrapped in seaweed, rolled in cooked rice, and deep fried in a tempura batter. The California Roll is safe, but classic and battering it in tempura gives it texture and a crunch! Some of the pieces weren’t consistent in size and tempura batter and the extra crunch ended up hurting the roof of my mouth. The freshness of the avocado and cucumber was a nice balance when dipped in salty soy sauce.

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Service was great and our server was awesome. Besides the attempted trickery with the microwave stunt, our experience was good. I would go back for the sushi, because it was decently priced and didn’t fall apart (Some rolls are made sloppy). Greektown is a great place to visit, but if you want something different than Greek traditions, then try out Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Cafe. They also have live bands on the weekend and except Greektown Casino comps!

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Wheat & Rye

Wheat & Rye is a local favorite known for huge stacked sandwiches and great drink specials. My parents went there when they were younger and it’s a place I’ve visited a few times. Of course, the Allen Park location has been revamped since back in the day, but if you’re looking for a neighborhood place to relax and watch the game, check out Wheat & Rye and grab a burger!

Mom and I met a couple of her high school friends, Robin, Marcia, and Greg (Marcia’s husband). Mom and I split the stacked ham sandwich (Yes, it’s big enough to share)! I remembered my dad telling me stories about how big the sandwiches used to be and how inexpensive, but this one was still a good size for around $10 including tip.

Stacked Ham Sandwich: Virginia Ham piled on an onion roll served with a kosher dill pickle. The ham wasn’t your average deli thin sliced, it was thick cut, caramelized edges, and delicious. The only thing I didn’t like was that it was a little dry. I don’t really care for mayonnaise, but a little horseradish would’ve put this sandwich over the edge. I settled for good old yellow mustard.

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The service wasn’t the best, but in my experience, bars and dives like the Wheat & Rye only have one or two servers/bartenders for the whole place so when it’s busy, your drinks will get neglected. I need lots of water when eating a salty ham sandwich, too. For a Wednesday night, the place was half full, but the Tiger’s were playing and it was all you can eat Spaghetti night! Check out the Wheat & Rye of you haven’t already for daily food and drinks specials. If you want a local bar that’s not too crowded to watch your favorite team, they have flat screens and Keno!

It was good to see you guys. Thanks Robin, Marcia, and Greg!

I have to go get ready for tonight, Josh bought me tickets to Dane Cook for my birthday ❤

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Sunday Football

On the menu:

Tap Pizza: Spicy tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, salami, roasted peppers, and grated Parmesan cheese. They were out of prosciutto so we got pepperoni instead. The pizza was good, but the bottom wasn’t as crispy as we liked. (The pizza came out pretty quick). The crust was my favorite: chewy and delicious!

Tap (located inside MGM Hotel and Casino) celebrates it’s 1 year birthday! Stop in for some weekly beer and food specials this September.

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Cheesy Cajun Dip:

Since I’m such a nice girlfriend and I love my boyfriend, I made his favorite: Dip! Perfect for any game day. I start by sauteing onions, scallions, red and green bell peppers. Once, soft add a half of block of Velveeta cheese and garlic powder, Cajun and red pepper seasoning to taste. I added about a 1/2 cup of Bush’s Baked Beans Honey with Cured Bacon for some protein and sweetness.

Tip: If you like it hot like I do, add more red pepper. You can also add or subtract any veggies you like.

It was cheesy and slightly spicy. You could really taste the Cajun which gave it a different flavor from your typical queso cheese dip. The beans were subtle and added a nice little sweet surprise (Josh’s idea, turned out to be a good one).

Heat until melted and creamy and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

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SideTrack Bar & Grill

Yesterday I met up with Lauren for lunch. She recently moved to Ypsilanti and took me to the Sidetrack Bar & Grill in historic Ypsilanti. Located next to the train tracks, (hence it’s name) Sidetrack has that great local pub feel with a huge menu.

Saisson appetizer: Light, fruity, and refreshing ale. Neither Lauren or I can remember who this beer is brewed by (it’s seasonal and not on the website menu), but it was still good!

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Irish Pub Egg Rolls: Ham & Swiss stuffed Dill Pickles hand wrapped into Egg Rolls. Whenever I see egg rolls on a menu, I have to try them, especially unique egg rolls like these. I liked that you got a piece of pickle with every bite. The whole grain mustard was a nice spicy compliment to the sweetness of the ham. Tasted like a grilled cheese recreated.

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The Hobo: Grilled Amish chicken, sliced avocado, tomato, lettuce, crispy bacon, cheese, served on a onion roll with sweet potato fries and creamy horseradish dipping sauce. I was disappointed that the fries were cold, but the tangy horseradish sauce made up for it. The sandwich was a little messy and ended up falling apart, but the Amish chicken was fresh and paired well with the cool avocado and crisp lettuce. I also didn’t care for the texture of the bacon: it was tough (probably from being overcooked) which made it difficult to bite into. However, the server proved himself when he brought out a pickle tray with an array of condiments when i asked for a side of pickles. Having an unlimited supply of pickles at my leisure makes me very happy! Nice touch.

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With a extensive list of brewed and bottled beers, the Sidetrack Bar & Grill is a great local place to grab lunch or have a cold drink. Check out the award winning burgers as well, with unlimited topping options ranging from a fried egg to goat cheese. If you’re looking for a good spot to host your shower or party, book your next event @ Frenchie’s right next door.

Sidetrack Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Longhorn Steakhouse

For my brother’s birthday he wanted steak, so we went to Longhorn Steakhouse. I’m not much for steak, but this restaurant is grilling up some really tender, delicious cuts of meat.

Wild West Shrimp: Battered shrimp served with spicy cherry peppers and garlic butter. The cherry peppers were a perfect sidekick to the battered shrimp.

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Renegade 8 oz Sirloin with steakhouse mac and cheese: corkscrew pasta with four cheeses and bacon. I ordered the sirloin medium and it came out more on the medium side which was perfect. It was slightly pink, but still juicy and succulent. This steak was wayyy better than the cuts @ Texas De Brazil. The mac and cheese was creamy, cheesy, salty, and a grand slam as well.

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If you’re looking for a good steak, Longhorn Steakhouse is the place to go. Take it from me, a girl who isn’t much of a red meat eater. Every bite melted in my mouth and I’m proud to say I finished every last bit.  It is a little pricey, but well worth the tender, tasty steak.

Tip: Join the email club for steak savings!

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