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Great Lakes Coffee

In downtown Detroit, the same spirit of renewal that turned abandoned factories into artist studios is feeding another micromovement centered around food. The city’s small group of pioneer chefs has spawned a flurry of exciting new restaurants, with microdistilleries and urban farms following close behind. And, next year, this gastronome revolution goes mainstream (haters might say lamestream) when Motown gets its first Whole Foods.

Stoking and sometimes poking fun at the city’s kinetic culinary scene is Gourmet Underground Detroit, a troop of foodies led by two restaurant critics, Evan Hansen and Todd Abrams. They host picnics and potlucks, blog about restaurant openings and school disciples in how to home-brew kombucha. The group has its sassy side, taking pleasure in mocking Yelp reviewers and trashing Michigan’s favorite seasonal ale, Oberon. “We can be contrarian, edgy,” Hansen says.

In choosing their favorite new places below, Hansen and Abrams list not only where to eat in Detroit, but often when, explaining that — between pop-up canteens, food truck meet-ups and seasonal markets — some of the city’s best food is here today, gone tomorrow.

Komodo Kitchen Hansen and Abrams say this once-a-month roving Asian-fusion supper club stands out from the glut of similar setups with subtle aromatics and striking flavors. It’s hosted by a trio of restaurant vets, one of whom hails from Indonesia.

Green Dot Stables The underground gourmands appreciate the $3-per-item menu concept here — mostly sliders but also kale salad, poutine and lots of other delectable small bites. 2200 West Lafayette Boulevard; (313) 962-5588;

Schnäck This once-a-month German-food pop-up, run out of the cramped Supino pizzeria, delights in pork, pretzels and beer. 2457 Russell Street;

Great Lakes Coffee Shop Opened in July by a local microroaster, this coffee bar serves not only coffee but also inexpensive, atypical and small-scale-production wines. 3965 Woodward Avenue; (313) 831-9627;

Tashmoo Biergarten. This outdoor beer hall on the east side serves only Michigan brews. Hansen and Abrams suggest trying one of the oak-aged ales by Jolly Pumpkin and going now, during Oktoberfest. 1416 Van Dyke Street; (616) 862-8834;

Detroit Eastern Market The historic bazaar — open since 1891 — began a seasonal, Michigan-centric Tuesday market last year that’s focused on incubating local start-ups. The city’s food trucks converge there on the last Tuesday of every month (through October). 2934 Russell Street; (313) 833-9300;

Click HERE to read the full article in the New York Times!


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