Fressing With Fishman: Best Food In A Gas Station



By Ryan Fishman

I don’t always recommend dinner from a gas station … but when I do, it’s Mr. Kabob in Berkley. Yes, you read that right — tucked in the back of a Sunoco station at the corner of 12 Mile and Coolidge is one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in an area I’m confident boasts the highest per capita number of places to grab falafel or shawarma outside of the Middle East.

You don’t have to take my word for it. This summer, owner Sam Gulli’s family business was recognized by New York-based lifestyle website Thrillist as one of “America’s 13 Best Restaurants in Gas Stations.”

If you take the leap of faith and decide to top off your tank after you’re done filling up your car’s, you won’t miss with a single thing on the menu. Everything I’ve tried at Mr. Kabob, from their deboned chicken to beef kafta, grape leaves and mujadara has left me impressed. It’s also worth mentioning that for the price, their portions are beyond generous. I’m partial to their sandwiches — easy to eat on the fly.

Ryan_mr. kabobIn the event that you’re not so bold, today you’re in luck. Gulli just opened his first freestanding Mr. Kabob, sans gas station, in what used to be the Halo Burger on Big Beaver, just west of Crooks. The Troy menu builds on the already extensive menu developed in Berkley, adding build-your-own wraps and salads.


Mudgie’s Deli
Corktown’s Mudgie’s Deli, which also got some love from the Internet this year (named BuzzFeed’s Best Sandwich Shop in America), has wrapped an expansion project, reopening last month.

After acquiring its neighboring parcel on Porter Street, owners expanded seating, added an outdoor patio dining area, and made the carryout space more comfortable.

They’ve also reopened with a full service bar. Mudgie’s bar will be pouring daily until 9 p.m., with a happy hour weekdays from 4-7 p.m. that also features a rotating menu of beer and appetizer specials. The bar will serve as a self-described coffeehouse in the morning, with owner Greg Mudge planning grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches.


New Places

There’s a new bar and lounge now open at Greektown Casino & Hotel — Rock Bar & Lounge replaces the former Asteria, serving cocktails named after some of Detroit’s most famous streets and boasting a big beer selection.

Also now open is the exclusive MGM Grand Detroit Tunnel Club at Ford Field, where you can watch (if you’re a sadomasochist) the Lions as they run onto the field through a glass hallway in the tunnel before every home game.

As part of a $2 million renovation, the space was outfitted with a bar, tables and video screens ($19,000 will get you a two-ticket season package and access to unlimited food and all the soda you can drink. For booze, there will be a cash bar).


This And That

For a fall brunch off the beaten path, check out Sweet Potato Sensations on Lahser, just north of Grand River in Detroit. Like the name suggests, their go-to is the seasonally appropriate sweet potato. Every “Soul Saturday,” they’re serving up some amazing and unique dishes. Try the sweet potato pancakes or their amazing sweet potato chicken.

Watch for La Strada Cafe in Birmingham, approved late last month for a bistro license that will allow for the sale of wine and champagne along with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus from Zharko Palushaj, the man behind Tre Monti in Troy.


Mazel Tov …

To Steven Friedman, the 2015 Tam- O-Shanter Club Champion.

To attorney Mike Morse, who’s getting some well-deserved recognition for donating more than 23,000 backpacks to Detroit schoolchildren.

To Kat Hawkins, the new beverage director at Townhouse Detroit.

And a very happy birthday to Birmingham Mayor Stuart Sherman, attorney Ryan Berman and Avi
Davidoff! *

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