Central Kitchen: In The Eye Of The Detroit Business Hurricane
The front door of Central Kitchen and Bar opens to face Cadillac Square, where years ago the Detroit Central Farmer’s Market was located. This is now the heart of the Detroit Business District once again, and hence, the Central Kitchen name.
Lunchtime proves to be the busy, high-energy time you would expect in this location for a restaurant with the capacity, warmth and menu of Central Kitchen.
Central Kitchen was on the Detroit News 2015 list of best new Metro Detroit restaurants right after it opened. With its industrial setting and hopping wait staff, this fledgling eatery takes on a bustling but laid-back atmosphere for business lunches and friendly meetups.
The menu is full of unusual attractive combinations, many of them dappled with spicy additions like wasabi, jalapeno peppers and curry. Even my macaroni and cheese side dish had a touch of heat, giving zest to a routine dish. The Baby Kale Salad with sweet Romano vinaigrette dressing was flavorful, filling and healthy. The Detroit Burger was another satisfying and surprising lunch item. The zip sauce and bistro sauce gave the burger its own identity. It was so good it would be hard to talk me into ordering anything else next time I come for lunch.
I definitely plan to return. Another dish I want to try firsthand is the fig flatbread, which was a recommendation I had to pass up this time. A girl can only eat so much!
I was urged by my waitress to try the cheese curds. Normally I am very adventurous, but I couldn’t bring myself to order anything with the word “curd” in it. I am regretting that decision since I’ve learned about the great reviews this dish has had from folks at a couple of nearby tables who didn’t hesitate to try it. Evidently, it is pretty darn great. Don’t make the same mistake I made!
A brief conversation with Thomas, the manager, reveals that the carnitas tacos and calamari are favorite menu items and that the food at Central Kitchen is considered “nerdy.” He also shared that Mike Duggan, who frequents Central Kitchen, usually orders the Turkey Burger that is stacked with avocado, Muenster cheese and Hungarian peppers. It’s spicy!
The interior decor is beautiful, although I am not a big fan of the multiple types of different lights and lamps hanging from the ceiling. Overall, the seating is comfortable and well-spaced, and the industrial look is chic and inviting. In Detroit’s growing restaurant scene, this place remains a preferred choice for many since it opened in 2015.
Central Kitchen and Bar
660 Woodward Ave.,
Suite 4A, Detroit
Review by Mary Meldrun, Special to the Jewish News