Revisiting Topinka’s Country House on Seven Mile Road.
Many folks never knew there was a Topinka’s in the New Center district of Detroit that was a favorite hangout for those who worked at the General Motors Building down the street on Grand Boulevard … So when the chance came to have one in another sector where the workers also went … along with oodles of others who made it a big family hangout, up another such spot opened on Seven Mile Road … Another biggie was born.
The owner of both called Al Balooly to run the new spot with him and they became owners of Topinka’s Country House on 7 Mile Road … or so the story went.
Many folks loved it there …with its comfortable bar attached to semi-circle tables every few feet, oak paneling, red leather and an occasional oil painting and good food.
An outstanding entrée I recall Topinka’s had on both the lunch and dinner menus was a terrific shrimp with Delray sauce … unlike most shrimp sauces, it was not red, but white … and appeared to consist of mayonnaise, horse radish, etc. … really making the crisp, French fried shrimp deliciously sing in tangy harmony.
When it opened, Topinka’s Country House almost immediately began doing a rush business … especially at dinner with its fine steaks, chops and seafood … People dined in comfort in the Fireside Lounge, Terrace Room or Lamplighter Alley … In addition, there were banquet rooms downstairs.
On another occasion, we tried its filet mignon dinner, and it was superb … Done exactly as Al Rhodes had ordered it … The prime rib he said was the equal of any he has had … and Al was a prominent food writer.
It is hoped that when this crisis is over (word is very favorable) someone will open another like the former Topinka’s … Trouble is it may be too crowded to get in!
IN THOSE DAYS, nobody had to gamble to see some great entertainment … At Al Siegel’s Elmwood Casino, just across the Detroit River in Windsor, were some of the best … Cab Calloway, Redd Foxx, The Treniers, The Four Freshmen, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstein and so many other show biz top box office fillers.
MAIL DEPT. … From Fran Herman … “Does Beans & Cornbread have just soul food?” … (No, owner Patrick Coleman is highly noted for American, Creole and Cajun dishes … Also, vegetarian.)
OLDIE BUT GOODIE … The gentleman’s dog had passed away. He was so attached to it that he went to his rabbi and asked if the rabbi would say Kaddish for his dog.
The rabbi said, “No, we only say Kaddish for humans, not animals. However, there is a new congregation two blocks down the street from here. You could ask them if they will bless your dog.”
The man thanked the rabbi and said, “Do you suppose they would also accept my donation of $75,000?”
The rabbi said, “Hold it! Come back! You didn’t tell me that the dog was Jewish!”
CONGRATS … To Ellen Markowitz on her 18th birthday.
Danny’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.