Thursday, December 3, 2009


I love visiting Detroit, and don't get to do it nearly as often as I would like to. I'd also like to say that it's very nice spending some of our money in a city that is going through tough times. Tougher than usual, anyway.

But if I'm honest, going to Detroit is really all about ME. One, my best friend lives there. Two, it gives me that taste of Big City life that I miss since leaving New York. And Three, I always have the best time! (If you don't believe me, you might believe Ms. Lauren of Dear Golden.)

The photo above is from one of my favorite Detroit places,
the Dakota Inn, a German restaurant which has been operating in Detroit since 1933. So "Proper Attire" would mean a dirndl or lederhosen. Dakota Inn brings to the surface of my mind very old childhood memories of St. Louis German restaurants where the menus are printed with the Schnitzelbank Song.

Fittingly, I become very childish when it comes to Dakota Inn. When I go to Detroit, I have to visit it. And Stephani and Andy usually give in to me. It's not difficult. The German beer is fabulous. The food is delicious. The decor rules.

We were hoping the oompah band would be in house and that there would be dancing, but it was quiet the night we went. Until...

...this gentleman took on the piano! There followed lots of great music and even a fantastic group sing-a-long of the Schnitzelbank Song.

Another favorite place in Detroit is
jazz club Cliff Bells. Go to their site and read about the history of this place. Cliff Bells was opened in 1935 and the art deco interior is gorgeous. Much nicer than my blurry non-flash photos could capture.

(That's the recessed, lit ceiling at Cliff Bells.) The night we went, Grand Rapids' jazz trio
Organissimo just happened to be playing! We keep trying to catch them here in Grand Rapids and failing, so I love that we finally succeeded in Detroit, in a stunning old school setting like Cliff Bells. (Grand Rapids likes to tear down its old German restaurants and beautiful buildings to make room for things like hospital parking lots and TGIFridays, not that I'm bitter or anything...)



  1. HOORAY!
    great post. and guess what!?
    we are now looking at houses
    to buy...meaning we want to move to
    Detroit we like it so much! and
    you can get SOME KINDA house there
    for a song!

  2. Ah, Lauren, that is so exciting! Hope you guys find a great place. :)

  3. How fun! The German restaurant looks incredible! It reminds me of a place called Schmidtt's that I used to go to all the time (my favorite were the cream puffs) when I lived in Ohio!


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