>> Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29th. www.trafficjamdetroit.com
We miss The Greek tonight, he is in Washington D.C. for the Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
Traffic Jam and Snug, est. 1965, is a classic in Detroit. It is totally unique as it houses a bakery, brewery and Michigan's smallest licensed dairy. The Snug, no longer in operation, was a ice cream parlor for the women and children who were not allowed in the bar area at the time. This was for the men to have their pint in peace! We get lucky this evening and stumble upon owner Carolyn Howard, who gives us a behind the scenes tour! This place is huge. The kitchen/dairy/brewery areas are 10,000 square feet and the dining areas are also 10,000 square feet.
Scarlet and I both work in the food service industry where sanitation inspections are part of our job duties. I give TJ props for having a clean kitchen even with an impromptu unplanned tour. That say's a lot about a place. The vat where they make the cheese & beer is 500 gallons..it's huge, you could do a lap in it. They make 3 Michigan State Fair Blue Ribbon winning cheeses here: Cheddar, asiago and jack. This is one of the few places you get cheese made from raw, unpasteurized milk. The bakery is old-school cool, and they have had the same baker, Paul, for decades.
We start at the bar with beer and a cheese platter. We love the cheese, and I especially love the fig hazelnut compote. It also comes with a housemade dijon that is sharp and good. We try the Festivus, the pilsner and the weizenfest...all really good. We like the weizenfest the best.
The quote for the night is "help me, Elvis, I'm in a pickle!". Which is what they call the deep fried pickles. Coincidentally, Thad is wearing his Elvis glasses tonight...as his halloween costume. The fried pickles are good, but I feel I have to give a plug for the best fried pickles I've had, at the Brecon Grille in Saline.
Our server tonight is Brad. We like him, he gave good service and tolerated our shenanigans.
Scarlet, Thad and Lulu enjoy a bottle of Terra Andina Reserva 2008 Carmenere. I had to look up Carmenere. It is a wine, similar to a Malbec, which used to be popular in France. But the grapes are difficult to cultivate, so it has fallen out of favor. Now it is most widely produced in Chile.
We split a Greek salad, which was really good. The fried artichokes are a unique touch.
Master P and Thad both have the delmonico steak with twice baked potato and sauteed zucchini. They both enjoyed their dinners. Master P really loved the potato, which you can also get a la carte on the menu. I have the portabello mushroom soup and mac & cheese combo. The soup is a staple on the menu. I didn't much care for it, as it seemed to have globs of what I think was thickener or flour. The mac & cheese is decent, made with their cheddar and tiny shell pasta. Lulu and I both agree it is something like we would make on our stovetop at home.
Portabello mushroom soup and mac & cheese.
Lulu has the spinach lasagne. It is good, with a chunky marinara sauce. But she is so full at this point she can only have a few bites.
Scarlet has the lentil burger, with sweet potato fries. The burger is super moist, almost too moist. It is rather bland, and we wonder why not add some seasoning to the mix. Scarlet's exact description was "moist, cakey and bland". Strangely, the more condiments she put on it...the blander it stayed, like the patty actually sponged up any flavor! The fries are good, they are the ridge-cut chips. Thad regals us with a tale from his time in England where he had to eat lentils three meals a day. He is elusive on why or what he was actually doing there. A vow of poverty? Held captive by terrorists? Why did he have to eat only lentils three times a day? We will never know.
For dessert: Carlotta Chocolatta Ice Cream Cheesecake. Double chocolate cheesecake with coffee ice cream and house-made hot fudge sauce. Wow. The dessert menu is large here...you must save room for dessert!
The average rating among us is 3.5, but I took the liberty of bumping it to 4 D's (as you see at the top). The atmosphere and service was great. The food was hit or miss. Scarlet, however, did buy some baked goods and cheese to take home and has since said she wants to go back to do more shopping. I would also enjoy returning. I recommend the beer, the Greek salad, the cheese platter and dessert!
TJ's parking lot is shared with Motor City Brew Works. We have never been, so we check it out and sample their wares (read: Beers). We have yet another cheese platter (I swear Thad is never full). Their menu is full of gourmet pizza that I can't wait to come back and try.
Motor City Brew Works.
In the parking lot, is this awesome costume. Imagine this huge creature being worn by two people on a tandem bike!
This Friday we will be going to Pizza Papalis, the original in Greektown.