Michigan Food Finds


A new job relocated my family to the suburbs of Detroit. Even though this was a great opportunity, moving 700 miles away from friends and family required some convincing on my husband’s part. So, when we landed in Detroit for my first trip to Michigan, he took me right out to eat. Smart man.

We drove right from the airport to a place called the Clarkston Union Bar and Kitchen. Not kidding—right off the plane to lunch in Clarkston. I enjoyed eating and drinking there from the very first visit.  They have a creative menu of well-made food and a slew of beers on tap. And now, almost 15 years later, I have had the pleasure of seeing the opening of four additional Union Joints.


Rice Bowl with Battered Fish

The latest delicious eatery is called Honcho. And, lucky for me, it is also right here in the Village of Clarkston. Honcho is a mashup of coffee house and Latin Street food. They are open in the wee morning hours for house roasted coffee and freshly baked pastries. Then a full spread begins at 11 a.m. with yet another clever menu highlighting the flavors of many cultures. I enjoyed their take on a rice bowl that had Asian inspirations with jasmine rice, nori and kimchi which I topped with Honcho’s battered smoky tilapia and a fried egg. My lunch mate had an arepa—a cornmeal patty—stuffed with shaved caramelized Brussel sprouts.

We have since made Clarkston our home enjoying the balance of country living and urban access. I believe Honcho’s eclectic menu will fit right in to this Detroit suburb.

—Pam Aughe, R.D.

Michigan Food Finds


Fungus Amongus Pizza


Even though I’ve lived in Michigan over 14 years, I still consider myself a transplant. I can expertly navigate our southeast Michigan roads and give my opinion about where to eat the best Coney. Though, one of my favorite foods still resides back on the east coast—pizza.

When I first moved here, my pizza choices were limited to chain locations serving conveyor belt cooked cardboard pizza or this unusual deep square pizza. Neither choices were a familiar pizza option or fit a craving for my traditional pizza. What I’m talking about is the New York style pizza which can also be called Neapolitan or brick oven pizza.

Fast forward a few years and my pizza craving arrived in Detroit. You know who I’m referring to—Supino Pizzeria next to The Eastern Market in Detroit. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Supino’s traditional New York thin crust foldable pizza is the taste and smell of pizzeria memories.  Determined to find similar pizza shops, I keep on looking. Come to find out, there are others. One has been cooking brick oven pizza for years but, would rather be known for their beer.

Motor City Brewing Works is the 2nd oldest brewery in Michigan creating some of the best hand crafted beers around. No surprise to this beer aficionado but, not everyone is a fan of local, craft beers (I know, hard to imagine). They also have a lovely little menu of brick oven pizza. You can build your own shareable 10-inch pie or choose from some of their cool concoctions. I shared the Roasted Pear and Fig topped with very generous quantity of gorgonzola crumbles. And, yes, I had a beer because how can you not?


Roasted Pear and Fig Pizza

One of the newest locations for pizza is Pie-Sci in the Woodbridge neighborhood in Detroit. Really not new, I come to find out; they have been a Sunday pizza pop-up at Woodbridge Pub for over five years. Pie-Sci’s claim to fame is creative pizza topping combinations with catchy, creative titles. We tried the Mosta-Spicoli and the Fungus Amongus. The Mosta-Spicoli was like eating an Italian Sunday supper on pizza dough. Pretty terrific and might be my new favorite. The Fungus Amongus was full of mushrooms and cherry tomatoes that just popped with seasonal freshness.

I will forever be a thin crust, New York style pizza girl. Though, I know, everyone has their own personal favorite. Where is your favorite pizza joint in Detroit?

—Pam Aughe, R.D.

Fresh & Casual


Chickpea Kitchen Bowl

Local and seasonal eating has finally hit the mainstream public interest and is taking a hold of the food industry. The expectation for wholesome, fresher fare is being embraced even by national chains like Chipotle and Panera. These fresh casual chains are serving customized, nutritious, high quality ingredients in more of an upscale environment. Being in charge of creating your own meals has spread to our local restaurants as well. Two fresh casual chains in southeast Michigan are Estia Greek Street Food in Troy and Chickpea Kitchen in Sterling Heights.

Estia Greek Street Food is a Greek inspired build-your-own pita, bowl or salad. I chose to build a bowl with a base of Estia’s Greek quinoa then added char-grilled chicken, oregano broth, hummus, spinach, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and a house made purple cabbage salad. Being able to pile on the veggies makes this super healthy as well as delicious. Estia also makes all their pita and rolls in house so they are warm and fresh. As with many locally inspired food joints, the décor is made from repurposed and reclaimed brick and wood from the southeast Michigan region. If you are in downtown Detroit, check out their new midtown location in the food court at the DMC.

Chickpea Kitchen in Sterling Heights is a fast and fresh Middle Eastern spot where you can create your own bowl or shawarma with your favorite toppings. Again, I made a bowl with a base of cracked wheat topped with marinated chicken, spinach, chickpeas, pickles, torshi (pickled turnips and cabbage) and garlic sauce. I love that they offer a whole grain choice along with the white rice pilaf. They also serve a house made unsweetened mint tea next to the fountain sodas.


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Estia Greek Bowl

I’m so pleased that there are local businesses serving high quality food with fewer processed ingredients. Share with me your favorite local, healthy eatery.

—Pam Aughe, R.D.