2051 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-446-9639; detroitgumbo.com
This black-owned family business was founded by Louisiana native Joseph Stafford in 1970. In 1982, it was purchased by Joe Spencer, who has kept this little gumbo shop going at the corner of Gratiot and St. Aubin. It's a spare, cozy place with a few tables, and most of the business is carryout. But don't let the small size fool you: Dishes are packed with flavor, and include not just gumbo and jambalaya, but soul sides and a Southern meatloaf dinner. The daily specials get more involved, such as Creole pepper steak, a fried catfish dinners, and Louisiana crab cakes.