Afternoon veg-out Want to eat local, vegan fare from a kitchen that can accommodate your dietary restrictions, but you're too busy Thursday afternoon to head out to some locavore paradise? You might consider the Dunch Club, the brainchild of local food enthusiast Lindsay Jewell. She says the club's goal is "to use as much Michigan and Detroit produce as possible, which is healthier for our bodies and economy. This food is meant for healing, vegan and gluten-free." This week's menu includes adzuki-bean sweet potato and greens, a salad mix from Corktown's Brother Nature Produce with a vegetable and seed dressing, green and yellow string bean and beet salad with herb dressing. You can get all three items for a measly $7, with complimentary yerba mate for those who dine in. Carry out and delivery available at 313-312-4025, or make your dine-in reservation. It all takes place at 5101 Loraine St., just off Warren Avenue, a block west of Grand River Avenue.
Mexican tradeoff After four years of providing Mexican food to Hamtramck, Maria's Comida will be closing its restaurant to pursue salsa manufacturing full time. It turns out that the salsa, which we've featured in these pages before, took off so well that it provides a better opportunity for these local entrepreneurs. We wish them well. You can still drop in for a few more weeks, though, until 9 p.m. Aug. 18, at 11411 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-733-8406.
State of satisfaction We dropped in this week at Mudgie's in Corktown and found owner Greg Mudge hard at work smoking generous racks of ribs by the side of the building. No, Mudgie's hasn't gone barbecue; the ribs were ingredients in a Mississippi-inspired sandwich featuring pulled pork. In fact, the deli-diner is going through a list of sandwiches from all 50 states and serving a different one each week. Mudge says he's not going in any specific order, as some sandwiches would be inappropriate for the weather, so they should all be excellent, summery selections. Drop in and see what's cooking, at 1300 Porter St., Detroit; 313-961-2000.
Cooley gets cooler As part of its doc series on the most interesting men in the world, VICE Magazine recently featured Slows Bar-B-Q co-owner Phil Cooley. Along with his success as a restaurateur and entrepreneur, the piece notes that Cooley is also the founder of Ponyride, a space he has helped convert to a community studio and workshop for artists and small businesses. The coverage only entrenches Cooley's reputation as a firm believer in innovation and community involvement in Detroit. Congrats, Cooley.
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Vegetables, Revised: The Most Authoritative Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking, with More than 300 Recipes
by James Peterson
Ten Speed Press, $35
James Peterson started cooking in Paris in the 1970s, then moved on to doing photography, writing and teaching about culinary arts. Vegetables, Revised: The Most Authoritative Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking, with More than 300 Recipes begins with a primer on knife skills and cooking methods tailored specifically toward turning fresh produce into appetizing food. The heart of the book, though, would be the recipes, which often involve vegetables that may be unfamiliar, leading to the exploration of new flavors. Suggestions include using nasturtiums leaves in salads (yes, they're edible!) for a stunning and tasty presentation. Surprisingly, this is not a strictly vegetarian cookbook. Many dishes contain meat, even foie gras. Most, however, are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.
the works You gotta love ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutters, which produce maimed gingerbread men with missing body parts — arms, legs and heads. Gimmicky? You bet. Practical? For sure. Would you eat a cookie with a missing limb that has been replaced with tooth marks? ABC cookies could be a way to guard against sticky fingers. Just be sure to hide the cutters before anyone catches on. Pick up a set at Amazon for less than $10.