Things are hoppening in Detroit. Just pop in to one of the dozens of downtown bars and sample for yourself. Cathryn and I did just that, the other day, after dropping off family at the airport. We planned on eating in Greek Town so I parked the car in the lot at the corner of Munroe and Brush. Right next to the parking lot was a place we knew as Marilyn’s on Munroe, that is now called the Firebird Tavern.
We liked the place right off the bat, with its turn-of-the-century dark wood bar and tables, and tin ceiling. Lisa greeted us at the bar, offering a list of craft beers, adding that anything local was half price during happy hour. They had a tasty selection of bottles and draft to choose from, and she happily let us sample a few before ordering.
Chris introduced himself next, taking over for Lisa. He explained their menu to us, pointing out their new charcuterie board. His salesmanship paid off and we ordered the appetizer to nibble on. It was good and fresh, and about half the price of what’s offered at other places we’ve been to.
The beer and food tasted like more. Cathryn suggested we spend the night so we booked the nearby Atheneum through Hotels.com. Having no baggage, we mooched whatever toiletries we could from the front desk. After checking in we parked the car and jumped into the hotel shuttle bus (we like to walk, but it was freezing outside).
After discussing our bar agenda with the friendly driver, he suggested the Grand Trunk Pub, only a few blocks away, on Woodward. Again, it was our kind of watering hole. Donny greeted us when we bellied up to the bar, and he let us sample the craft beers. He also filled us in on the history of the building which originally housed the ticket office for the Grand Trunk Railroad.
The vaulted ceiling gave the feeling of sitting in a church cathedral. The beautiful wood moldings still sport the GT crest. After Donny went through the menu with us, we settled on splitting the best Ruben sandwich we’ve ever had.
Moving on, we walked back to Brush Street looking for Jacoby’s Biergarten, but it was closed for renovations. The Sweetwater Tavern is within crawling distance, but they didn’t have any draft taps, and we were still hopping. Not wanting to stroll too far in the frigid weather we walked around the corner to the Old Shaleighleigh.
The staff wasn’t nearly as friendly as in the other bars we’d visited and they served our beers to us in plastic cups. I think they were gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day, but really? After a quick beer there we walked back up Munroe towards our Greek Dinner. We were almost there when we stumbled across Pappy’s Bar & Grill. The service and beer there were nothing to brag about.
Almost next door is the Parthanon Restaurant. We were pretty well beered out by that point so we ordered a bottle of Retsina and split our favorite Greek foods. The saganaki, Greek salad and a leg of lamb were all done perfectly. We saved dessert for the sweet shop a couple doors down.
Figuring we’d had enough for one evening, we headed back to Fishbones for a nightcap (the restaurant is attached to the Atheneum, our hotel). Cathryn did something I’d normally do and ordered one last appetizer for the night…the alligator bites. No wonder I woke up with indigestion in the middle of the night.