Vinsetta Garage

Located on Woodward, in Berkley, this garage turned restaurant prides itself on being the oldest car shop this side of the Mississippi River. I describe it as retro repair shop meets old school diner with a hipster feel. The menu consists of burgers, pies, pasta and some unique treats. The bad thing: Long wait times. The good thing: Once we did get a table, our service was great. Some things are just worth waiting for.

Here’s how they scored:

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites (wait time)

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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Josh went with a “Build Your Own” pasta bowl.

Coal fired chicken penne pasta with bacon pecorino cream sauce, house-smoked cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper, and spicy fried onions. The spicy fried onions were my favorite; they reminded of chopped fried onion straws with some heat. I honestly think any pasta bowl you ordered would be delicious, but we couldn’t stop eating this one. Creamy, cheesy, light, yet rich.

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I chose the Loaded Potato Pie

Redskin potatoes, house-smoked cheddar, cheese blend, garlic butter, shiitake bacon, chives, sour cream side. The crust was crispy and chewy and the pie was that perfect combo of potato and cheese. I just wish the potatoes were a little bit crispier because they were just barely done. The coolness of the sour cream was nice, but I don’t know about you, but with pizza, I prefer ranch dressing. You could imagine my disappointment when our server informed me that they didn’t have ranch. The pizza was a little on the dry side without any sauce so I just added Cholula Hot Sauce.

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The Wow Factor: Shitake Bacon. I ordered this on the side, since Josh doesn’t like mushrooms. If you don’t either, don’t worry. This topping tasted more like Rainbow Better Made Chips (ya know, the delicious burnt chips that are like gold). They were a little on the salty side, though.

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Faygo Rock & Rye Milkshake with Pop Rocks: Whaaaaaat?! Yes, I said it. It was amazing, delicious, and local. There’s something nostalgic about your favorite soda made into a milkshake. Who doesn’t like Pop Rocks exploding with each sip as well? I forgot how fun they were.

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When you leave a restaurant feeling like a kid again, that’s a good sign. Vinsetta Garage is serving some great grub with their unique brand stamped all over it. Parking is a little tricky, but they do have valet available. I’ve only tried to get a seat during dinner hours, so try lunch and see if the wait is any better. Get there soon and experience Vinsetta Garage.

Vinsetta Garage on Urbanspoon

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!

Hamlin Corners on Urbanspoon