Pepino's food

Pepino’s recovers from fire better than ever.

Danny Raskin
Senior Columnist

A never-to-be-forgotten tragedy may still linger in the devastating remembrance of some … But thankfully in the hearts of those who experienced the almost-forgotten-by-now catastrophic fire, it is today only a yesteryear’s glimmer although too devastating to quickly forget.

However, life must go on … and so the very fine Pepino’s Food & Spirits Restaurant on Orchard Lake Road, Sylvan Lake, five blocks west of Middlebelt, celebrates the start of its 35th year … But with so many thanks to its customers, new and old, for their continued loyalty since that tragic happening … In fact, according to many, it may have oddly also turned into a form of blessing from those who have found it easier to find … and to regulars, a more spacious look in which to enjoy Pepino’s wonderful continental and New American food, excellent service and oodles of conviviality.

Carol Carson, Kathy Morley and Dr. Chris Hutchinson - woman with dark hair stands with her arm on a man's shoulder. the man is in the middle and another woman with light hair is on his right holding his other arm. They are all smiling
Carol Carson, Kathy Morley
and Dr. Chris Hutchinson Jackie Headapohl | Detroit Jewish News

From the ashes seems to have come, too, an even better Pepino’s, if that is at all possible … People continually tell me that dollar for dollar it is easily among the best dining to be had … And that is very good news to the ears of its three appreciative owners, Kathy Morley, sister Carol Carson and son-in-law Dr. Chris “All-American” Hutchinson.

A big reason why Pepino’s doesn’t open until 4 p.m. is its six chefs are prepping and cooking everything fresh every day … Fresh lettuce is triple-soaked and chopped, all dressings, soups, sauces, rice pilaf, potatoes roasted and chopped with fresh onion for Lyonnaise potatoes, meats roasted all day and stock for its fresh au jus and so much more daily before opening … Baking, too, its delicious homemade brown raisin soda bread along with prepping trays of its homemade garlic and cheese bread and also filling a dish with marinated white beans for the table … These are big reasons why so many people enjoy going to Pepino’s … Its menu with house specialties has not changed much in the past 34 years except maybe for specials that may be served … Whatever is new is put on as special offerings of that day only.

Pepino's food with a glass of wine behind it
Jackie Headapohl | Detroit Jewish News

Plus, the multitude of customers throughout the years … Pepino’s has been a favorite of many local personalities and numerous show biz folks who often are appearing hereabouts and had heard so much about Pepino’s.

For a restaurant like Pepino’s to be celebrating its 34th anniversary is a huge tribute to its goodness … Being almost the same as when it opened at the once- little A&P market and Town Pump sites in Walled Lake is a large commendation of its ongoing quality and quantity that are rarely duplicated …Yes, a splendid 34 years for a truly wonderful restaurant.

STRANGE DISHES at restaurants … How about oatmeal with chicken stock as a lunch creation or orange juice salad dressing … among the odd concoctions that have appeared at Hong Hua Chinese eatery on Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills.

THERE WILL ALWAYS be a shortage of good waitpersons in some restaurants until those hired with no experience are shown the right way to perform their important tasks … Those eateries that constantly hire without assisting servers are doing a big disservice to them, customers and themselves … Many good waitpersons were once inexperienced themselves until realizing how they would like to enjoy the visit if they were the customer.

ERRATA … Tony’s Deli is on Orchard Lake Road, Orchard Lake, not Keego Harbor.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … “Hello, Mom. Can I leave the kids with you tonight?”

“You’re going out? With who? A man who goes out with a divorced woman with children is a loser and a parasite. Poor children with such a mother. I never left you to go out with anybody except your father.”

“I just want to know if I can bring over the kids.”

“You go out with anybody and nobodys.”

“Goodbye, Mother.”

“Wait! Don’t hang up! When are you bringing them over?”

“I’m not bringing them over! I’m not going out!”

“If you never go out, how do you expect to meet anyone?”

CONGRATS …To Herman Kasoff on his 94th birthday … To Howard and Linda Nudell on their 51st anniversary.

Danny’s email address is

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  1. I didn’t find the Hong Hua oatmeal in chicken soup strange at all. It was different but healthy and tasted great. For the Hong Hua “Healthy Menu” orange juice was used as the “acid” in salad dressing. Again I found this to be different and interesting and great. But … I find everything at Hong Hua great !!

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