Monday, March 2, 2015

Detroit's Cooking Rennaissance

Who says you have to go to a gourmet restaurant for unique food presentation?

The world has been hearing a lot lately of all the new restaurants going up in Downtown Detroit (in cool old spaces).  And many are impressive, most need reservations, some are too fancy, ALL are too expensive.  

No need to go downtown for me though - my darling 87 year old neighbor makes me lunch/dinner twice a week – regularly.  He used to own a chain of businesses around Detroit for over 40 years and just retired two years ago (yes – at 85 and rather reluctantly I’d say).  

He’s got a little time on his hands now and I’m a beneficiary of that time.  

Of course, we were also beneficiaries when he owned his stores too, since he made ice cream and other treats – you never knew something called Pistachio Ice Cream could be so good, until handmade blocks were delivered to your house in a plain white box…. I miss his stores – oh my gosh and the rum balls – wow, yeah, without an industrial kitchen – there are no more sweet treats.

But, without his stores, he is has since became a mad chef.  

So, from sweet to savory we have made the change – and quite frankly, it’s a surprise every time.

The phone will ring and the ETA of when lunch/dinner will be ready is relayed to me.  Very important fact – don’t be late and show up when he says to.  This man did run a chain of stores; you don’t mess with the boss. 

When you get there, you may or may not be told what is on the menu, sometimes it’s a secret and he will ask when you are done if you liked it.  Last week we had Ox Tail, but he didn’t want to tell me, because then I might not like the sound of it.  What?  Like I would ever tell him I didn’t like anything – my personal lunch system might stop and who wants that?

I tried to cook for him once, all I got was criticism – lesson learned, the food only goes one way – from him to the world. Check. Got it.

So back to the surprise factor, he was feeling especially creative with the above – the presentation goes above and beyond what you would expect from a meat loaf – yes that is a sausage in the middle.  He was a creative genius whipping up sweet treats in his last life so why not transport that creativity to his new hobby?  Funny – yes.  Endearing – definitely. 

Oh and his Chicken Cacciatore – by far my favorite – next to his hand caught trout.  Hubby leans towards the ribs.  

Man, do I live in the best neighborhood or what?!?