Wheel base The good people at Ferndale's Woodward Avenue Brewery have put together an event called the Ferndale Truck Stop. It's a kind of food truck rally and pop-up beer garden, taking play along East Troy Street between the WAB and the Emory. Food trucks will include El Guapo Fresh Mexican Grill, the Mac Shack, Treat Dreams ice cream, the People's Pierogi Collective, Big R BQ, Ned's TravelBurger, Taco Mama and Motor City Franks, and the beer tent will host brews from such breweries as Atwater Brewery, Short's Brewing Company and the WAB. It all happens Saturday, June 23; free; well-behaved dogs welcome.
Red meat Steak chain Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse has opened a new location in Birmingham. But they've taken pains to make the Detroit-area location special, naming a dry-aged Waygu steak after Calvin Johnson ("the Megatron"), and with other menu items named after such local sporting heroes as Steve Yzerman, Barry Sanders and Ernie Harwell. Expect urban sophistication and creative preparations of classic cuts of meat. It opens nightly at 4:30 p.m., and reservations have been sold out for the first two weeks, so calling ahead is advised. Hyde Park is at 201 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-594-4369; hydeparkrestaurants.com.
Taking the pie You have to admit: Buddy's Pizza stands the test of time. This time last year, Detroit City Council declared June 23 to be Buddy's Pizza Day in Detroit. To celebrate the occasion this year, which also happens to be the mini-chain's 66th anniversary, the creator's of Detroit's original square pizza will be offering customers special appreciation cards that are good for one large pizza per month (July through December) at $6.60, with each additional topping only 66 cents. Just stop in anytime between June 23 and June 30 to pick up your card and see why the Food Network named Buddy's Pizza one of the nation's best five pizza places. Also, keep a lookout for the upcoming Great Lakes Pizza Collection: five pizzas named after our beloved waters, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Buddy's original location is at 17125 Conant St., Detroit; 313-892-9001; see buddyspizza.com for eight more area more locations.
Hail to the chef Congratulations and good luck to certified master chef Brian Beland, executive chef at Country Club of Detroit, who will battle it out with three other chefs for $5,000 and the national title of U.S. Chef of the Year on July 16 in Orlando, Fla.
Know of any fun upcoming events related to food, beer, wine or gardening? Let us know so we can help spread the word. Just call 313-202-8043 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Eats: The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook, with More Than 200 Recipes
Ten Speed Press, $25
If he hadn't before, Robb Walsh has now established himself as the consummate authority on the foods of the Lone Star State. Texas Eats: The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook, with More Than 200 Recipes (Ten Speed Press, $25) defines the cuisine, with tales of the immigrants and locals, including recipes and photos that illustrate their influence. Part One is an exploration of the indigenous seafood: fish, crab, shrimp and oysters, often reflecting Texas' Cajun heritage. Old World Flavors speak of the German belt and Czech Texas. There is, of course, Tex-Mex, and even a chapter on cowboys from India. And, naturally, they include recipes for barbecue and chicken-fried steak.
the works Want to try your hand at chicken-fried steak? You need to pound the meat flat and to tenderize it. Sure, you can do it with a beer bottle or a rubber mallet, but it might not do the job as well as this reversible number that we found at Williams Sonoma. The teeth on one side stretch the meat as they puncture it, and the other side flattens it so it will cook uniformly. Here's another idea. Flatten some marinated boneless chicken breasts the same way you do for the steak. Roll them around some pepper jack cheese and wrap them with bacon secured with toothpicks. Pop them on the grill. The praise will do you proud.