On the corner of Nine Mile and Wanda Street, you can find a variety of street food and bar favorites all in one central location.
Detroit Fleat, a “food truck park and boozery,” is where I went to dip my toes into restaurant dining again. That hadn’t been an option since March 16, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order prohibiting on-site service in restaurants and bars — her effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. With the situation greatly improved in Michigan, she lifted the ban as of June 8.
I’ve been a fan of Detroit Fleat since July 2019, when owner-operator Katie Picard and manager Aaron Tye introduced casual, food truck dining at the eastern end of Ferndale. Three international food trucks are parked permanently for the season, with additional rotating trucks.
Open at 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday, the choices are Pita Post, healthy Mediterranean fare; Impasto Food Truck, Italian-inspired wraps; and Fleat Tacos, Mexican cuisine (but not on Sunday). Detroit Fleat’s permanent building, in a reworked Chinese restaurant, features a reclaimed wood and corrugated tin bar. The menu is “house street food,” such as sliders. Also open at 4 p.m., but 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the schedule includes Sunday brunch until 3 p.m.
On my first visit to Detroit Fleat this season, I followed the signs to wash my hands with a pump of hand sanitizer and wore a mask before entering the patio. I noticed most diners took off their masks once seated. Servers consistently wore theirs.
The patio has fewer, more widely spaced tables than previously. Additional seating is under the restaurant’s covered side porch or at parking lot level.
In front of each food truck, pavement markers indicate a safe 6 feet apart for waiting. My order at Impasto was a Sausage & Pepper Impasto. I ate the tightly wrapped sandwich in a park. The still-warm grilled pita was stuffed generously with Italian sausage and sautéed bell peppers and onions, then topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil. Delicious and filling. I took home half of it. More Impasto wraps include grilled chicken or spicy steak. For vegetarian tastes, try Margherita or Spicy Veggie, which has arugula, griddled tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onion, spicy giardiniera and spicy garlic aioli. I’ve several times enjoyed Impasto’s crispy Parmesan-Truffle fries.
If choosing Pita Post, I can recommend the vegan Falafel Boy and the best-selling Chicken Schnitzel.
On a more recent outing, my friend and I took a table indoors. I was comfortable sitting a distance from other diners and felt fresh air drifting in from an open door to the patio. We shared Street Taco Salad, a very good choice with fresh greens, black beans, corn, tomato, radish slices, crispy tortilla strips, cilantro and lime. It came with avocado vinaigrette. Instead of adding chicken or chorizo, we split Chicken Drumsticks with a Cajun rub, instead of Lemon-Pepper or Garlic Romano. Our sauce was Blue Cheese, rather than Whiskey BBQ, Ranch or Chipotle Pineapple Remi.
1820 E. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale
$$½ out of $$$$