ROYAL TOUR — If dining on Royal Oak's Main Street weren't an enjoyable enough experience, a local group has added an additional benefit: structure. The Royal Oak Tasting Tour takes diners on a jaunt through that town's culinary hotspots, including a farmers' market, Southern-style BBQ, a modern Chinese tea house, lots of chocolate and much more. It's $35 per person; Saturdays at 11 a.m., and it closes out its season this month. For info, see tinyurl.com/432u2w.
NEW SPOT — What does it say that downtown Detroit has a Mr. Pita and Papa Romano's? The co-branded space set up shop in the Compuware Building last month, and the ribbon-cutting even drew Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos Jr. At last, the final pieces of our downtown dining scene seem to be falling into place. Online ordering at mrpita.com or paparomanos.com; at 107 Monroe St.; open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
EAT THE PAGE
Nick Malgieri keeps on baking. His latest book on the subject, The Modern Baker: Time-Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes and Cookies ($35), offers 150 step-by-step recipes designed to guarantee success for everyone from novice to expert. Most of these savory or sweet yeast bread, quick bread, muffin, pastry, dough and batter recipes describe how the dish should appear start to finish. The color photos, especially of the finished products, highlight scrumptious looking treats you'll want to try.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Jake Barnes, the narrator of Hemingway's first major novel, The Sun Also Rises, drank a Jack Rose cocktail in Paris while waiting for Lady Brett Ashley, presumably a scene mirroring Hemingway's own life. It was the 1920s, and drinks made with fresh citrus were the norm. A mixture of 1-1/2 ounces of Laird's Applejack, 1 ounce lime juice and 1/2 ounce grenadine, it's pinkish, sweet and tart, with a slight burn and hints of Granny Smith. It's a pleasant sip amid falling leaves, and a far more profound drink than the common "appletini."
Here's just the thing for the office prankster. No, there are not three teacups stacked here, but merely one crazy cup that should alarm anyone who sees you pour in some Chai, thinking that you probably don't realize what you are doing — and there is going to be a mess. Made of durable, white, dishwasher-safe porcelain, the mug is 4-1/2 inches tall, 3 inches in diameter. Pick one up for $12.97 at www.sporks.com.Send food-related news two weeks in advance to Food Stuff, Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 or e-mail email@example.com