Food & Drink

Great meals off Grand River

A shortlist of restaurants in Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi


$=$5-$10; $$=$10-$25; $$$=$25-$50; $$$$=$50+


2Booli Fresh Mediterranean Eats 37610 W. 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-994-0614;; $$: For many diners, the lack of a liquor license is a deal-breaker. Farmington Hills' 2Booli addresses the problem with not only a full bar but a happy hour that lasts all weekday evening. They specially note their menu contains a "large selection of healthy vegetarian dishes." Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Bangkok Sala Cafe 27903 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-553-4220;; $: Attractive space seats about 60, serving solid entrées (gingery pad king is great) and dreamy house-made coconut ice cream. Dine in or carryout; handicap accessible; kitchen can accommodate dietary restrictions; lunch reservations recommended. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 2:30-9 p.m. Saturday; 4-9 p.m. Sunday.

Bombay Grille 29200 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-626-2982;; $$: Grilled items are prepared in tandoors, deep clay ovens heated by actual charcoal fires for better flavor. You can watch the grilling through a window in the dining room. Wine, beer and liquor are offered. A special lunch buffet is offered daily. Open 11:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. and 5-9:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. and 5-10:45 p.m. Friday, noon-2:45 p.m. and 5-10:45 p.m. Saturday, and noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Breakfast Club 38467 W. 10 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-473-0714;; $: Serious breakfasts: Eggs include omelets and quiche; flour-based fare includes pancakes, waffles, fresh strawberry cream cheese French toast and crêpes; spuds can come jacket-stuffed, hash-browned and even as potato pancakes with sour cream. Open daily 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 

Camelia's Mexican Grill 30685 W. 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-474-0902;; $$: Mexican food made from fresh ingredients, with a wide gamut of heat levels. Not just tacos, fajitas and burritos, but steaks, sandwiches and even some vegetarian choices. Hearty choices abound. Their chalupa platter specialty stuffs ground beef or chicken in three deep-fried tortillas with sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. 

Culinary Studies Institute at Oakland Community College 27055 Orchard Lake Rd., at I-696, Building J, Farmington Hills; 248-522-3700;; $: The Culinary Studies Institute at Oakland Community College does more than churn out aspiring chefs; it offers the lunch-loving public bargain meals that will effectively derail productivity for the rest of the afternoon. Open 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday.

Greene's 24155 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington; 248-474-7980; $: Charming old white enamel steel structure has spent more than 50 years serving old-fashioned classics. The menu tops out at $2.49 for a double cheeseburger. The hamburgers are small and very greasy, but flavorful. Open daily from 9 a.m-9 p.m.

Hong Hua Fine Chinese Dining 27925 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-489-2280;; $$: More like fine-dining than authentic Chinese, Hong Hua is elegant. The eggplant in chili sauce is excellent, as is the tasty, slightly sweet and crisped mu-shu pork. There's also a full complement of fried rices, chow meins and lo meins. Master Chef Peter Chan suggests the beef sirloin and king mushrooms with "Maggie" sauce. 

House of India 28841 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-553-7391;; $: A four-course meal for less than $13? Yes, it can happen here. For mild, try lamb dopiyaza (with whole onions); for hot, stuffed bhindi (okra and onions). Best bet: mango lassi (with buttermilk). Offers a massive amount of vegetarian options, including oven-baked eggplant. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; 5-10 p.m.

John Cowley & Sons 33338 Grand River Ave., Farmington; 248-474-5941;; $$: Nestled next to an old theater in downtown Farmington, most of the customers during the week at Cowley's seem to be dining rather than just drinking, and there is a lengthy menu ranging from salads with Tuscan beef to traditional Irish fare and American entrées. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday.

Kabuki 28972 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-538-0664; $$: Japanese and Korean specialties, including shabu-shabu and bibimbap. A wide assortment of sushi and sashimi is also offered.

New Sahara 29222 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-851-1122;; $$: Chaldean restaurants are subtly different. Expect pickled cabbage as a starter, plus some tomato-based stews. And their daily specials are Iraqi favorites. The wide selection of entrées includes pan-fried eggplant and tomato over kafta. 

Priya 36600 Grand River Ave., Farmington Hills; 248-615-7700;; $$: A sister restaurant to Priya in Troy, chef Sukhdev Singh specializes in various Indian dishes, but is especially talented with northern Indian dishes. Daily lunch buffet. Open 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m. Friday, noon-10:30 p.m. Saturday, and noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Ristorante Cafe Cortina 30715 W. 10 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-474-3033;; $$$$: The fresh pastas and veals are the real thing and the setting, aiming for elegance, does not disappoint. Open 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-10 p.m. Saturday, open for special events some Sundays.

Shangri-la Garden 27626 Middlebelt Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-474-8183; $$: Large parties fill the round tables, scattered across several rooms. They do serve plenty of dishes cooked to American taste, but less familiar dishes to Chinese taste abound as well. Try the chef's specials and the dishes labeled Shanghai-style.

Tomatoes Apizza 24369 Halsted Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-888-4888;; $: GQ Magazine said Tomatoes Apizza serves "one of the best 25 pies on earth," and the joint's "Naples Sampler" was recently honored by Food Network Magazine as Michigan's best pizza. Thin-crust, fresh-tasting, naturally cooked, garlicky, made-with-high-art pizzas rank with the best in the area. Pepperoni, salami, sausage, ham, crab, anchovies and bacon? Oh, man. ...

Udipi 29210 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-626-6021;; $$: The only vegetarian restaurant along a stretch of Orchard Lake Road that is home to several Indian places. Unusual and delicious dishes, including vada, a savory donut made of lentil flour and dotted with bright green cilantro, and dosa, a crêpe made of rice flour, filled to overflowing with tomatoes, potatoes and onions. Open 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-9:00 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, and noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday.


Ajishin Sushi & Noodle 42270 Grand River Ave.; 248-380-9850; $$: Yes, there's excellent sushi and even grilled fish, but soup lovers may rejoice! Ajishin's hearty soups are extraordinary. Their udon's base broth is developed from seaweed and fish and has so much umami flavor going on it's like a black hole for hangovers. Open 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Wednesday-Monday, closed Tuesdays.

Andiamo Novi 42705 Grand River Ave.; 248-348-3838;; $$$$: Not only does this spot offer the award-winning cuisine that has propelled the Andiamo mini-chain to its current success, it offers dinner theater as well. Call for upcoming shows. Entrées include the likes of risotto al salsiccia: creamy risotto simmered with sautéed sausage, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and Asiago cheese. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday, 4 p.m.-midnight Saturday, and 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

B.D.'s Mongolian Barbeque 43155 Main St., Suite 200; 248-735-1900;; $: You pick it, they wok it, you eat it. A winning formula that's fun for everyone. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Cherry Blossom 43588 W. Oaks Dr.; 248-380-9160; $$: Marble-topped sushi and yakitori bars, tatami rooms and conventional tables with settings in shades of blue, green and brown. The full range of Japanese fare offers diners an extensive choice. Hours vary between lunch and dinner, so call ahead.

Don's of Traverse City 48730 Grand River Ave.; 248-380-0333;; $: A spinoff of the original Don's in Traverse City, this wannabe '50s diner serves hand-patted burgers, shakes and malts, all accompanied by Elvis on the jukebox. Open 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

Moe's on Ten Seafood Grill 39455 W. 10 Mile Rd.; 248-478-9742;; $$: A simple formula: Take the freshest possible fish, prepare it to order, and complement it with a light salsa that doesn't mask the flavor. If you're in the mood for breakfast, be sure to get there before 3 p.m. daily. Open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

No. VI Chop House & Lobster Bar 27000 Sheraton Dr.; 248-305-5210;; $$$: As plush a steak and seafood house as can be found in the area, serving top-of-the-line fare in a darkly sophisticated setting. Open 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 5-9 p.m. Sunday.

Rojo Mexican Bistro 44375 12 Mile Rd., Suite G-147; 248-374-4600;; $$: Not just beans and rice here: They're skillfully mixing contemporary and classic Mexican dishes with an eye toward freshness and flavor. Their fajitas are made "Rojo-style," with options including mushrooms or shrimp. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday.

Shiro 43180 W. Nine Mile Rd.; 248-348-1212;; $$: Shiro attempts to balance the opposing cuisines of Japan and France — Japan with its stark simplicity, France with its rich excess. Open 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Friday, 5-10 p.m. Saturday, and 4-10 p.m. Sunday.

Steve & Rocky's 43150 Grand River Ave.; 248-374-0688;; $$: Desserts are some of the best features of this upscale yet casual fish place. Try the warm chocolate cake with ganache if you've got time to wait — it takes 20 minutes to prepare. Excellent salads. A lower-priced lunch menu makes it an affordable treat. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday.

Toasted Oak Grill & Market at the Baronette Renaissance, 27890 Novi Rd.; 248-277-6000;; $$: A hotel restaurant that's a cut above, such charcuterie as terrines, patés and rillettes are excellent, served among bare tables, a mirrored ceiling, vintage signs and posters. Don't miss out on their Sunday brunch. Open for breakfast 6:30-10:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, 7-11 a.m. Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Lunch runs 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Dinner hours are 5:30-10:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Special thanks to editorial intern Ryan Felton for his assistance compiling this column.

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