TAX BREAK — People don't normally long to return to the economic climate of 1933. (For obvious reasons!) But with a one-day deal from Detroit's Dakota Inn Rathskeller, the Depression never looked greater. For three hours, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., on tax day, Wednesday, April 15, the Dakota will run a tax-day lunch special, rolling their prices on Blatz beer back to 1933, when the beer hall and eatery first started serving Blatz. Wash down a hearty lunch with nickel-and-dime beer while Mike Montgomery tickles the ivories and all in attendance eat, sing and drink and chase away the blues. More information at dakota-inn.com. For reservations, call 313-867-9722.
BETTER BEST — In their May issue, the gourmets of Bon Appétit magazine have put together a travel issue that highlights some of the best culinary destinations in the United States — and not all of them are chi-chi. Their "bests" in Michigan included spots in outstate Beulah and Kalamazoo, but also honored the Hot Cheese Crunchy Chips from Detroit's Better Made Snack Food company on our own Gratiot Avenue. Now if we can just get them to wash it down with Faygo. ...
EAT THE PAGE
The sumptuous brunch spreads at restaurants tempt us with fruits, egg dishes, hash browns, corned beef hash, and sweet pastries. Gale Gand's Brunch!: 100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend's Best Meal (Clarkson Potter, $27.95) puts forth 100 recipes as stay-at-home alternatives to the crowds, lines and expensive tabs. A restaurateur and pastry chef, Gand shares her techniques and recipes for making these creations at home, including almond ciabatta French toast, breakfast burritos and, naturally, pastries.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Montepulciano is a hearty red wine grape grown through much of central Italy, and the principal grape in Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. This wine can sometimes be the best value in Italian red going. Thank local importers Eagle Eye for bringing in Piane di Maggio. Made from hand-harvested, organically grown grapes that are fermented with natural yeasts, it's remarkable that you can still get such a well-structured and balanced wine, deep ruby red and tasting of ripe blackberry fruit, for only about $10.
Mini sliders are perfect as appetizers or for a kid's meal at a summer barbecue. Sur La Table 'Slider' Mini-Burger Tools enable you to press the meat to fit the basket that holds 9 of the little patties. There is a cutter that cuts hamburger buns to size and the pictured basket that makes it easier to cook the meat without tending to nine patties one at a time. The rosewood-and-stainless set is available online at surlatable.com or at local stores for $44.95. Feed the bread trimmings to the birds.