A warm-up Founded in 1994, the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company celebrated the grand opening of its first location in Detroit last week. The mid-city location is at Woodward and Alexandrine, and serves organic, seasonal and fair-trade coffees; breakfast fare and outdoor seating are also available. Get your caffeine fix 7 a.m.-4 p.m Monday and 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (closed Sundays) at 3965 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-9627.
Crêperie creep What Crêpe?, the Euro-intimate café that has already enjoyed three years of success in Royal Oak (317 S. Washington Ave.; 248-629-9391), opened its second location in Birmingham with a ribbon-cutting on July 2. The menu features more than 50 crêpes — from sweet to savory to vegetarian and vegan — and is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, at 172 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-792-5634.
Beer on the road Beer and baseball go hand-in-hand for many Tigers fans, so, naturally the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. is heading to Comerica Park to celebrate this traditional pairing. To commemorate the company's 145th birthday, fifth generation brewers (and brothers) Jake, John and Dick Leinenkugel are traveling the country to talk brewing with fans and offer selections of their well-known craft beer. Their Airstream trailer will hit Detroit on July 16 and will be at Comerica Park during the game.
High, high, high If you're planning a classy night out, we say go big or dine in. Why not venture to the highest hotel restaurant in the western hemisphere? Located on the 71st and 72nd floors of the Marriott Hotel in the Renaissance Center, the award-winning Coach Insignia is an ideal high-class splurge. The menu is classic, centered on snazzy steak and seafood dishes, but new this summer is the chef's table, a fully customizable dinner experience created through a unique collaboration between the chefs and the guests. Just give them 48 hours' notice and you can help design every course of the meal for you and your party — even have wine paired appropriately with each. It's pricey, though: The cost of "going big" starts at $70 per guest. The chef's table is available 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
New Mexican The brand-new Qdoba Mexican Grill in Bloomfield Township is the 22nd in eastern Michigan and the first of five new restaurants planned for the area in 2012. Qdoba newbies can become acquainted with, and subsequently addicted to, generous burritos filled with fresh and flavorful ingredients, while longtime patrons can make sure everyone knows how the name is pronounced. Fast, affordable, incredibly tasty, and very welcome. Look for the shiny red letters at 42967 Woodward Ave. at the corner of Square Lake Road and Woodward Avenue.
Know of any upcoming events related to food, drink, dining or gardening? Let us know! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 313-202-8043.
Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Barbecue
Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe
Chronicle Books, $22.95
If you're born into a family of serious barbecue people, you learned how to master the basics — meat, fire and smoke — before you could read. If, however, you weren't so lucky, there's Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe's Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Barbecue. The chapter "Tools and Techniques" describes the various pits, or grills, and why to choose one over another, as well as the different charcoals and woods that are the basis of that smoky flavor. Lampe covers rubs, ribs, other pig parts, birds and fish, sauces and some noteworthy sides like bacon and blue cheese coleslaw and "the world's greatest banana pudding." Class is in session!
the works Not everyone likes to gnaw corn directly from the cob — although it's hard to understand why. If that's you, you should grab an Amco One-Step Corn Kerneler, a nifty device that simplifies the process of separating the corn from the cob in one quick motion. Merely put the narrow end of the corn through the hole in the device and push down, allowing the stainless steel blade to cut the kernels, leaving them inside the tube rather than on the counter or the floor. Separated kernels aren't just good for finicky guests, they are called for in everything from succotash to Cajun maque choux. With this nifty tool, when the recipe calls for corn off the cob, it's easier than ever to use fresh, seasonal corn.