Two nights ago, I caught the tail end of a Bizarre Foods in America episode where Andrew Zimmern was in Detroit. Well, since we live within driving distance of The Motor City, I have an immediate “this is my home town” kinda thing and I want to know…Where did he eat? What did he do?
I immediately set the DVR to record the next time the episode played. Last night I watched it.
Andrew Zimmern eats some of the funkiest foods I have never heard of, but he does it with a twinkle in his eye and a true, generous heart. I watched as he introduced us to The Eastern Market in Detroit. Of course, by the end of the episode, Khaled and I had already planned on exploring this shopping destination.
Andrew told us of a group of friends that formed The Detroit Mower Gang. The group of friends get together during the weekends in the summer, and beautify parks in Detroit that the city no longer has the funds to care for. They gather, mow, rehab the park and have a cookout.
Still in Detroit, Andrew gets a restaurant tour of the Best of the Best in Detroit Soul Foods. He goes to restaurants that have a good vibe about them and to die for foods right in the midst of the empty factories. Motor City Soul Foods, Cafe D’Mongo’s Speakeasy (which is a place I’d love to go and visit) and My Sisters & Me (they have the BEST cooked-from-scratch Banana Pudding according to Andrew.)
Then Andrew goes to Dearborn. Ta-Da! If you hear someone is going to Dearborn, you KNOW they are going to mention the Middle Eastern population, Arabic foods and the Islamic Faith. I’m so excited to see good press. SO THRILLED. Andrew was paired with a lovely Lebanese lady (whose name I can’t remember, and can’t find online) who gives him a tour of Super Greenland Market, a place I’d never heard of, and then she takes him over to Masri Sweets where he tastes the cheese Ataife and cheesy Kunafa. I watched the montage carefully, and saw that they did shoot some scenes at my favorite bakery Shatilla. But I don’t know why they didn’t try anything there. Maybe the tour guide didn’t shop there. They finished up the segment at the home of some family friends and he joined them for an Iftar. He mentioned briefly the significance of the Iftar, and led us to believe that it was the Eid Iftar.
I am always thrilled to see the Middle Eastern population, and in particular Muslims shown in positive, mainstream television. I knew I had to share it with you. There are video snippets here on The Travel Channel’s Video Website, an interview about the episode here on The Hub, and a short list of addresses to restaurants on the Fox Detroit write-up.
The episode doesn’t end there, but goes on to Hamtramck where Andrew and the city’s Mayor, Karen Majewski, stop off at a few eateries. One in particular served Ghost Chili pizza. I can’t even imagine.