Tag Archives: coffee

Homemade PSL

Homemade (and Cheaper) Pumpkin Spice Latte

One time I went over to my boss’ home for coffee and paperwork. The coffee she was brewing smelled so good, I thought it was some specialty flavored kind. It tasted richly of cinnamon and milk.

Then she let me in on her secret: it was just regular ground coffee but she added a few taps of ground cinnamon to the top of the coffee grounds before brewing. It was like drinking flavored coffee!

This year, with the presence of Starbucks around the corner from my apartment (and really anyone’s apartment in Manhattan), I’ve been drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes like I have $5 to spend on daily coffee.

They are a deliciously warm and remind me of good autumnal times. But let’s be honest, they are full of sugar, fake sugar, chemicals and cost a million dollars (not really, but they’re not cheap).

So even though I don’t think I’ll totally quit my Sbux habit, I have come up with an equally (although less syrupy-sugary-sweet) yummy version of the #PSL that I can make at home.

While I’ve been a devoted cinnamon-shaker ever since that morning when I learned my boss’ trick, I never thought about taking it to the next level in terms of adding AAAALLLLL the pumpkin pie spices.

So that’s what I did: after measuring out my ground coffee, I sprinkled a good amount of cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, a bit less of ginger and threw in some whole cloves (although ground would’ve been fine too) on top of the coffee, and brewed away.

The result was coffee that tasted like pumpkin pie! Without any added chemicals, syrups, sweeteners or sugar.

coffee, spouted cup, milk frother
coffee, spouted cup, milk frother

Now, you could just add milk and call it a day. Or sugar, or simple syrup if you like your coffee sweet.

But I took it a step further and warmed some milk up in a pot (not to boiling but almost) and transferred it to a mug with a spout (I have a special metal one for frothing milk but a measuring cup would do too).

warming-milk
warming milk

Using an aerolatte milk frother that we got for our wedding, and a technique I learned while barista-ing it up at my bakery gig, I added some creamy warm milk and latte foam to the top of my coffee ~ instant pumpkin spice latte!

So here’s the trick: either keep the frother near the bottom of the cup of milk and keep it steady to create some foam but also to generally steam the milk; or move the wand slowly up and then slowly back down to create tons of foam ~ more like cappuccino-style, less warm milk, more foam.

Maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon to top it off? And even if you don’t have the milk frother, just add warm milk to your pumpkin spice coffee, try it and let me know what you think!

Homemade PSL
Homemade PSL
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slice of crumb cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake…Updated to be More Delicious

Okay, by now you are so sick of hearing about sour cream coffee cake, as related by me in Sections 1 and 2 of this Epic Poem to Martha Stewart‘s Classic Crumb Cake.

But don’t quit reading quite yet! Because I’ve made some tweaks that have this baked breakfast cake getting even better!

Martha Stewart's Classic Crumb Cake
Martha Stewart’s Classic Crumb Cake

Tweak #1: Using the correct size pan. Duh. As you may remember, I didn’t think I had a 9×13 pan so I used a loaf pan instead. Well turns out I DID (insert Derek Zoolander voice here) have a 9×13 glass pan, and really I think that helped so much in getting a good cake to crumbly topping ratio going (i.e. more crumb topping please!!!)

Tweak #2: In the cake, I added brown sugar to give some extra moisture and richness. To do this, I straight substituted half of the called for white sugar with the same amount of light brown sugar.

Tweak #3: To amp up the flavor of the cake, I added cinnamon to the cake, and not just the crumb topping.

Tweak #4: The topping seemed really dry to me the first time around, so this time, I cut the amount of flour in half and cut the amount of butter by about a third, so that overall, the topping was damper. I kept the same amount of sugar though so that it would be proportionally sweeter!

Tweak #5: I ditched the knives I was using to cut the butter into the flour and sugar for the crumb topping and went with fingers – so much easier and quicker! I made sure that all the dry bits were coated with butter…or really that all the butter chunks were coated with flour and sugar…so that there wasn’t any dry powder remaining.

That’s about it! I found this version to be so much moister and sweeter, which is really what I prefer in my coffee cake. Unfortunately no new pics because I brought it to a party where it was basically all eaten, save for two pieces I had for breakfast the next day. It pretty much looked the same as the first time, except not as tall (due to the larger, shorter pan)….so you get the idea.

 

Martha Stewart's Classic Crumb Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake: Part 2

When we last left off, I had completely messed up my measuring of nearly all the ingredients in Martha Stewart’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. (Which by the way, when I look back, is actually referred to as a “Classic Crumb Cake.”)

I also decided to use a much smaller bread loaf pan instead of the cake pan the recipe called for, which I do not own and was not willing to buy specifically for this recipe (although which will probably be needed for many a future cake recipe).

sour cream coffee cake going into the oven!
sour cream coffee cake going into the oven!

The coffee cake was in the oven, smelling delicious (although that could have also been the vanilla-scented candle I had going in the apartment). But would be it be okay – taste and texture-wise? TBD.

After 40 minutes of baking and 10 minutes of cooling. I took the plunge and sliced in.

Unfortunately the center of the cake sort of deflated and got a sunken look in the middle. However the overall taste of the cake was pretty good, if not subdued.

coffee cake
coffee cake – note the sunken mid-section

It was very butter accounted for by the butter in all the batter, the topping and the heavily greased pan.

Although overall it was pretty good, a few changes I would make along the way:

  1. If using the same loaf pan again, I would add less flour to the crumb topping and more cinnamon for a bolder flavor.
  2. The cake itself isn’t very sweet, which is fine, but I might actually sub brown sugar in for the white sugar, for a bit richer taste.

And so, as to the measuring goofs? Well, I’m sure the sinking center was caused by some mis-proportion of eggs/leavening/etc. Also, I may be overthinking it, but I feel like I’m getting a little metallic aftertaste…perhaps slightly too much baking soda or the brand which I’ve been using :/

slice of crumb cake
slice of crumb cake
Latte Art NYC

6 Coffee Shops to try in NYC that aren’t Starbucks

#ButFirstCoffee emIrite?

Trying to be frugal and environmentally friendly, I typically make my morning coffee at home to go with my breakfast cookies (FYI all cookies are breakfast cookies). But I also love the inviting warmth of a good coffee shop: the cozy club chairs, mismatched china, pop music remastered into instrumental jazz, and strong espresso beverages.

And honestly, I do love a good Starbucks caramel macchiato or holiday bev too, but in New York, there’s an endless supply of other coffee shops to sample. Here are 6 to which I give two thumbs up, organized by neighborhood:

Fika NYC
Fika NYC Midtown

Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown West: Fika is a Swedish concept coffee shop with outposts all around town. The one I visited on 10th Avenue and 55th was light and airy with a huge glass wall looking out over the sidewalk, sleek white decor, sky-high ceilings and cool mod-industrial styled bare bulb lights (but not rustic-style fixtures…more like multicolored ropes draped from the tall ceiling with bulbs attached…IKEA chic if you will). The cappuccino was extra milky and creamy and the place was packed with strollers and laptop-ers. Oh, and I forgot to mention that their truffle selection looked amazing: flavors like quinoa hazelnut, peppermint lime, seawater caramel (yum!) and goat cheese (er, no thanks). [Mark – Take note for Valentine’s Day.]

Perk Kafe Murray Hill
Perk Kafe Murray Hill cappuccino and peanut butter cookie

Murray Hill: Perk Kafe on 37th and 3rd is a cozy haunt that I almost couldn’t find it was a bit hidden on 37th Street. The decaf cappuccino was a perfect balance of coffee and milk – not too bitter and not too creamy. The gluten free salted peanut butter cookie was also delish. Crumbly and a bit dry as a peanut butter cookie is wont to be with a good salt kick. This place is definitely a perfect neighborhood find with friendly staff.

Kava Cafe Meatpacking
Kava Cafe Meatpacking

Meatpacking: Kava Cafe offers up a deliciously well-balanced cappuccino (and also wine!) in a small, narrow space. Snag a sunny table in the front it you can manage, but otherwise the better bet may be a to-go cup, particularly on a weekend morning. There’s a second outpost in Midtown, and they offer punch cards for those looking to become regulars.

Bean & Bean NYC
Bean & Bean NYC honey latte

Financial District: Bean & Bean is a local chain with standard coffee offerings, as well as trendy seasonal drinks. I had a honey latte which was yummy although I’m not sure I could tell it was a honey latte versus a latte with sugar in it. Delicious nonetheless. The Financial District location was slightly tricky to locate on Broadway, just south of Rector near Trinity Church. Once we found it, I loved the tiny staircase, revolving door and dark minimalist interior. The staff was very friendly and I enjoyed sitting at one of the long wooden tables that appears to have been handmade or locally crafted.

Tribeca: Blue Spoon is an adorably tiny coffee shop with a little counter and a few small tables and chairs. Their drip coffee is as smooth and lovely as can be and the staff is seriously kind. They clearly care about the business and the customer.

Greenwich Village/NYU: Stumptown Coffee Roasters is yes, obviously a national chain with highly acclaimed coffee. But it is popular for a reason – because the coffee is good (and strong)! And this location is so quintessential coffee culture via The Village with the rustic/vintage/hipster/whatever you want to call it decor of light wood paneling (the back wall is drawers that look to be an oversized card catalog), brass accents, and a whole lotta mustaches, vests and suspenders.

Oh! And on those days when I’m actually staying home for my cuppa joe, beans from The Sensuous Bean on the Upper West Side are awesome! The shop is literally stacked with every origin, flavor or kind of coffee bean you could want!

So I know there are tons of other places out there that I still need to find! Send this caffeine addict your favorite local spots! 🙂

And Then You’re Like, “Ohmygod there’s ham in this”

Because who hasn’t been burned by the French love of “jambon” (ham)?  They sneakily slide it into everything without disclosure.  Think you’re getting a plain ol’ cheese pizza?  Well think again because their definition of “regular” pizza includes a hidden layer of ham beneath the cheese.  And maybe that’s just swell with you.  I, for one, don’t dislike pork products, but I’m not really a fan of ham, so I’m extra diligent when ordering sandwiches and other prepared foods in France.  Flashback to me as an eighth grade exchange student in Nancy (northeast part of France), staying with a host family that barely speaks English to my un-understandable French, very homesick.  I perk up upon learning that our French mom is going to make pizza for dinner, only to be unnerved by the hidden ham unearthed with that first huge bite.  Foiled again.  And so I ever so rudely proceed to pick off the ham (as inconspicuously as possible I might add…it’s not that I want to be rude, but I just can’t bring my 13 year old self to choke it down).

Flash forward to present day: I’m willing to take more chances with what I eat now and am of the mindset that if someone is preparing something a certain way, then someone must like it like that, and therefore there must be merit that ought to be tried, at least once.

Mark and I just got back from an amazing trip to Paris (one of my all-time favorite places, as you can read about in this older blog post), where we pretty much ate and drank ourselves to a 5 pound weight gain despite the marathons we were walking everyday.  In the midst of our culinary adventure, I tried a few things on the periphery of my comfort zone: namely fish ceviche and raw oysters.  Both were good, although I probably wouldn’t order a whole oyster platter for myself anytime soon.  But I’ll pick off yours.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat a fruit or vegetable (not including les pomme frites aka fries) the whole time.  There just wasn’t room in my stomach next to all the croissants, pains au chocolat, Nutella crepes, escargots, fromages, baguettes, coffee and wine.  Priorities.

There’s so much to tell and so many photos to show of our trip, so I’ll try to break it down over a few posts so as not to overwhelm you.  This post, as you can already guess, will be dedicated to our eating and drinking habits, which I was smart enough to generally preplan this time around.

Last time we went to Paris, I didn’t plan any meals in advance.  And we didn’t have any bad meals per se, but I think we could have done better with a bit of forethought.  For instance, a lot of restaurants are closed on Sundays and even some on Saturdays, so you have to make sure you know what’s what before stalking up to a locked door being disappointed.

This time, I did a ton of research ahead of time and made at least one reservation.  While I think this was the best approach, given the quality of meals we had, it was clear that other Americans had come across many of the same suggestions.  Which isn’t to say that these places were stereotypical tourist traps, which they weren’t, just that they are well-known to be great restaurants by the French, any everyone else.

I’m at a loss for the best way to organize my thoughts on this, so I’m just going to go with chronologically:

photo-59View from our apartment’s balcony.

Friday morning we arrived at our rented apartment in Le Marais (super cute studio with a balcony!!) to grab the keys from the cleaning lady before setting off to our first destination: Breizh Cafe just around the block, for traditional Brittany-style crepes.  We stood in the queue waiting for it to open, along with some other American and Japanese tourists (the cafe also has an outpost in Tokyo), before being ushered into the tiny dining room.  While the crepe itself was richly salty and buttery (I just got a plain buckwheat crepe with freshly made butter and Mark got a dessert crepe) and good, the service was fairly curt.  I think our server (who was one of the only people during the whole trip to respond back to me in English when I started speaking French) was annoyed that I ordered the cheapest crepe on the menu (which was still at least 6 euros for a buttered crepe thank you very much).  To me, this seemed the like the closest place to a tourist trap that we encountered on the entire trip, and I probably wouldn’t go back.  It also could have been that we were exhausted and jet lagged and generally grumpy.  Oh well, on to the next.

After a short siesta, we rallied for our 7:15 reservation at The Fish Club.

photo 3Started by the folks who opened the Experimental Cocktail Club (first in Paris, then in NYC and London), the Prescription Cocktail Club, and The Beef Club, The Fish Club, as you can guess, serves a lot of fish and seafood.  They do a Peruvian take with lots of ceviches and raw fish dishes.  Unbeknownst to us, the kitchen actually doesn’t open until 8, so we spent a lovely 45 minutes sipping on pisco sours

photo 2

and whatever this beverage served in some sort of gourd was (I can’t remember, but it was mojito-ish).

photo 5Everything was delicious, although Mark’s super-limey salmon stood out in my mind as buttery soft and perfectly sour.

photo 1  photo 4

Walking back to our hotel, we stumbled upon a wine bar called O Chateau, where we struck up a pleasant conversation with an American couple from California who were heading out the next day.  It was such a fun place that we ventured back another evening as well.

Almost everyday it rained on and off, and it always seemed that the sun would come out right after we had ducked into a cafe for a coffee or lunch, only to inevitably start raining again immediately as we stepped back outside to continue our walk.  Saturday was no exception as we found a cute bistro near the Musee d’Orsay (Cafe de l’Empire/L’Empire de Restauration) for some traditional steak frites and poulet roti (roasted chicken).  For dinner we chose the chain Léon de Bruxelles for some curried mussels and more frites a la Belgique.

After dinner, we made our way to the Experimental Cocktail Club: a semi-hidden bar with an interesting cocktail menu.  I guess “cocktail culture” has only made its way to Paris in the last decade or so because we were asked by our French bar-mate: “Isn’t this atmosphere so American?”  I guess the French go there to soak in that NYC feeling.  I was like “I guess???”  And I do guess, as compared to typical French cafes, a dimly lit speakeasy style cocktail bar is quite different.  We had a lovely conversation with a gal (also from California) who was in Paris for a few months working as a visual effects specialist on a movie shoot.  Pretty cool for her.

And of course we had to sample some Nutella crepes on the walk home.  (After many nights of sampling, we determined which stand on our street – rue Rambuteau – had the best ones…not too underdone, not too skimpy with the Nutella.)

Sunday we ventured through the 10th arrondissement to Holybelly for coffee – a cute (but way too hot to stay inside) coffee shop started by some Australians.  I got myself a flat white for our walk up to the Little Sri Lanka neighborhood, where we stopped for lunch, again only to have the sun duck behind a cloud when we were done.  There were many delicious-looking restaurants to choose from, and I couldn’t tell you the name of the one we chose, but as it started to really fill up with the lunch crowd, we knew we had chosen well.  I had a Sri Lankan biryani – a satisfying plateful of rice and chicken.

Being that it was Sunday, I had previously done some research to find a Thai restaurant in Paris’ “Chinatown” neighborhood for dinner, knowing it would be open on Sunday.  But seeing as we had just had some Asian flavors for lunch and didn’t want to make our way to the complete opposite end of the city, we decided on some traditional French cuisine, in which we really hadn’t indulged yet (unless you count the breakfast croissants and late-night crepes).  Reviewing our hosts’ suggestions, we walked through Le Marais to Bastille to a big brasserie, tuxed waiters and all.

photo 11 photo 12

Bofinger was the perfect choice for an early Sunday dinner, as it wasn’t yet too crowded, and we had a lovely seat next to a window on the second floor.  Mark started with some head on shrimp (another new thing I tried – shrimp head juice – which tasted good but I’m not sure about the look of it), while I finally got some (French) onion soup…you really can’t call it French onion soup in France…it’s just onion soup.  It was really really good – especially with the crusty, chewy baguette.  How come the baguette in France is so much better than those in the US?  And you’ll just pay a euro for it at the boulangerie, whereas a pretty miserable imitation is $3.50 at Whole Foods?!?!?

photo 6        photo 7

ANYway….I also got a dozen buttery escargots (snails that is) at Bofinger, and let’s not forget about the carafe of rosé wine which was the perfect amount for two people to split.

photo 8     photo 9

Monday we found some pretty delicious pizza (love how they use hot oil instead of crushed red peppers on their pizza…perfect for crust dipping) for lunch with the local business crowd (also love how business people will certainly have a glass of wine and a dessert cheese plate with their lunches).

For dinner, we went to Verjus’ wine bar.

photo 13      photo 14Verjus is a tiny trendy restaurant, started by some Americans I think, where it is crazy hard to get a reservation.  However they have an even tinier wine bar on the other side of the street that doesn’t take reservations.  We showed up right upon opening at 6, again to discover that the kitchen doesn’t open until 7.  No worries, we can amuse ourselves trying the various wines on the menu and chatting with the friendly bartender.  Our bartender/server was really the nicest young lady – she spoke back to me in French, even though she clearly spoke English very well, and we even shared a bit of an eye roll smirk at an extremely loud American couple behind us.

photo 15 I like how the etching on their glasses is of the small bar front facing the street.

I’ve decided I’m over trying to find completely hidden gems when eating abroad.  This Verjus place has been written up all over the place, and rather than trying to avoid the hype, I’m leaning in.  And to my benefit: the food was AMAZING!! So good; I ate pretty much all of it while Mark had popped out to find an internet cafe, and then ate more when we ordered another round for him.

photo 16Small plates of gnocchi and REALLY juicy and crispy fried chicken (which apparently they are known for). photo 17 Perfectly cooked steak, and vegetable dumplings in the background there.

Tuesday, Mark’s parents and aunt and uncle also came to Paris and we did a ton of walking and touring about.  By the time 5pm rolled around, we were all ready for dinner and Yelped a convenient brasserie near the Eiffel Tower, Le Campanella.  It worked out really well.  I got to order some frogs’ legs, and there were choices for everyone, from salad nicoise to chicken and steak frites.  And of course, carafes of wine.

photo 19 Frogs’ legs

Wednesday, our last day, we journeyed out to Versailles for the morning, and upon returning to the city, we went to my all-time favorite crepe stand/hole-in-the-wall Au P’tit Grec.  I almost didn’t recognize it along Rue Mouffetard what with their new bright sign, but the crepes were how I remembered, and my feta, tomato and lettuce savory crepe hit the spot.

Since we were leaving early the next morning, Mark and I met his family by their hotel near the Arc de Triomphe, where they had made a reservation at an upscale traditional French restaurant, featuring fairly bilingual staff and international business clientele given the proximity to the financial and government buildings.  Le Congres boasted a cool outdoor raw bar where they prepared the fresh shellfish (this restaurant is where I tried a raw oyster), and white linens, along with some attractive prix fixe options that included wine!

Feeling full from the last week of eating, I tried to choose something small: a dessert cheese plate as my main course and a chocolate mousse for dessert.  Well that completely backfired.  The server showed up with the cheese tray and when I asked how many came on the plate, she said three, but you can have a bit more.  As I was contemplating my selection, our main waiter came over and asked if I would just prefer an assortment.  Sure!  Well wouldn’t ya know, he came back with a huge plate with ten HUNKS of different cheeses.  Like pretty much whole BLOCKS of cheeses that you would buy at the store!  OMG.  It took me through the appetizers, entrees and desserts to make enough of a dent in the cheese so that it wouldn’t look as though I hadn’t touched it.  After all that richness accompanied by an entire bread basket (and an included glass of port which was surprisingly tasty), I had to cut the fat.  With some sugar.  So obviously I still ordered the mousse au chocolat – which was rich and dark and delicious.  Such a good meal.  And a good way to cheese myself out before going back home!

Phew – that was a lot of food.  But it was all SO GOOD.  I can’t even get over it.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had so many memorable meals in a row!  Time for my go to Paris coffee: un café creme.  Hold the ham.

photo 18  Café creme and the obligatory Orangina.

Ann Arbor Bucket List

Since I’m trying to get out and take better advantage of all that Ann Arbor and Michigan have to offer, I figured the best way to organize my adventures was to make a list.  Looooove lists.  And schedules.  And maps.  Okay, digressing.

In this post, I’m going to offer up the Michigan bucket list.  Restaurants, museums, cultural activities, outdoor adventures, etc.  I’m going to link back to any posts I may have written about these items, and check off anything that’s already been accomplished with an asterisk (*).  Please note that sometimes more than one of these items are discussed in the same post.  Going forward, as I write posts, I will reference back to the list and hopefully link accordingly and appropriately.  I see lots of linking and circular references in my future.

PLEASE OFFER SUGGESTIONS of things to do/see/eat that I can add!

Okay, here it goes, in hopefully some particular order:

Places to Visit in the State of Michigan:

1. Upper Peninsula

*2. Sleeping Bear Dunes

3. Mackinac Island

4. Frankenmuth

*5. Grand Haven

Cultural Activities in and around Ann Arbor/Detroit:

6. Belle Isle Conservancy and Aquarium

*7. North American International Auto Show – Detroit

*8. Dexter Cider Mill

*9. University of Michigan Museum of Art

*10. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

11. University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

*12. Concert at The Ark

*13. Movie at State Theatre

14. Movie at Michigan Theater

15. Concert at Hill Auditorium

16. Broad Art Museum (at Michigan State)

17. The Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art

*18. Ford Presidential Library

*19. The Henry Ford (Museum)

20. Greenfield Village

Sporting Events:

*21. Detroit Lions Football

22. Detroit Tigers Baseball

23. Detroit Red Wings Hockey

*24. UMich Football

*25. UMich Wrestling

26. UMich Hockey

*27. UMich Basketball

*28. UMich Gymnastics

Outdoor Activities:

*29. Kayaking

30. Botanical Gardens

*31. Kerrytown Farmers’ Market/Artisan Market

*32. Nature Walks

Food & Drink Related:

*33. Zingerman’s (deli)

34. Zingerman’s Roadhouse (bbq)

*35. Lab (coffee and pastries)

*36. (Espresso) Bar

*37. Sweetwater’s (coffee)

*38. Sava’s

*39. Isalita

*40. Aventura

*41. Bigalora

*42. Logan

*43. Lena

*44. Vinology

45. Cafe Felix

46. Gratzi

*47. Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery

*48. Slows Bar-B-Q (Detroit)

49. Traffic Jam & Snug (Detroit)

50. Mexicantown (area of Detroit)

*51. Liberty Street Brewing (Plymouth)

*52. Cliff Bell’s (Detroit)

53. Guns and Butter (Detroit)

54. Two James Distillery (Detroit) – Can someone please weigh in on this?  This is the first Detroit distillery since prohibition (and I think currently the only) and they have a club called the Corktown 500 for which you apply (capped at 50 people), get exclusive tours and discounts, and if you are a member you can go to a weekend WHISKEY MAKING CAMP!!!!  This sounds totally up my alley of learning new skills and interesting experiences.  Problem: to join the club it is $2,000!!! Ahhhh so expensive!  Worth it?!?!?!  Anyone think yes?  Anyone want to subsidize me?  🙂

55. Eastern Market (Detroit)

*56. The Lunch Room

*57. Vellum

*58. Pacific Rim

59. Try “Detroit-style” pizza – I had no idea Detroit had its own pizza style, which is square, and according to Wikipedia: “The square shaped pizza is the result of being baked in a square pan, which is often not a pizza pan.  Rather, industrial parts trays are often used, which were originally made to hold small parts in factories.”  Crazy!  It sounds like the anti-health food, as Wiki goes on to say: “The crust of a Detroit-style pizza is noteworthy because in addition to occasionally being twice-baked, it is usually baked in a well-oiled pan to a chewy medium-well-done state that gives the bottom and edges of the crust a fried/crunchy texture.”

60. Try a Coney Island hot dog (aka Coney Dog)

Other Areas of Southeastern Michigan:

61. Corktown (Detroit)

62. Heidelberg Project (Detroit)

*63. Royal Oak – Got a “butterbeer latte” at a local coffee shop that I found on Yelp called Bean and Leaf.  It was super sweet and delicious with some toffee/butterscotch flavor, however I was confused and dismayed by the coffee sleeve that read Zingerman’s Coffee…it’s everywhere…I don’t actually feel like I’m trying something new when they have such a monopoly on the coffee/bread/sweet treat market all across Southeastern MI.

*64. Troy – To be honest, when I wrote Troy, I meant the mall.  LOL.  The Somerset Collection mall in Troy is akin to Tysons Corner in VA.  There are actually 2 malls connected by a sky bridge: one with Saks, Neiman, Burberry and other posh stores (only one salesperson even approached me in Saks because I clearly was looking more bum-like than the regular ladies who lunch set and I was even wearing jeans and not yoga pants – in other words, stepping it up!); the other mall has Nordstrom (yay for a Nordy fix) and all the other regular stores you would expect in a mall.

Misc:

65. Take a ride on the Detroit People Mover

*66. Literati Book Store

Okay, I think that’s a pretty exhaustive list at this point.  Ann Arbor friends: what am I missing?!??!