How green was my alley — Though not strictly a culinary phenomenon, we note with interest the new "green alley" built behind Motor City Brewing Works. As midtown tipplers know, that trip from the Bronx to Motor City can be a dreary trip around a big, fenced-in parking lot. But a brand-new byway now connects Motor City to Second Avenue, thanks to the brain trust over at the Green Garage. A "green business incubator," the garage's husband-and-wife team Tom and Peggy Brennan worked with the brewery to establish an alley planted with native greenery, new lighting and runoff controls for rain. In fact, the brewery intends to use the site as an herb garden for food from its kitchen. Drop in for a peek at the alleys of the future.
Noodle time — What with taco trucks, lunch clubs and other part-time culinary enterprises, is it any surprise there's an eatery offering noodles one day a week? That day is Monday, and the purveyor of these noodle dishes is Neighborhood Noodle, which was scheduled to open this week. The tempting options for this week's menu included Malaysian yellow noodles with crispy wontons, Vietnamese vermicelli with imperial rolls, and sir-fried Korean glass noodles with mixed veggies. Here's the deal: You can place your orders from Tuesday through Sunday via the spot's website, neighborhoodnoodle.com, and then pick it up at their shop near Trumbull and Warren in Detroit, 5-10 p.m. Mondays. The endeavor of an out-of-town entrepreneur who was drawn to Detroit by an interest in urban ag, here's a business plan that's not just new, it's positively novel.
Bell's swells — The Drink Detroit Happy Hour comes this week to Cliff Bell's. Not only will you have the chance to try Cliff's new happy hour menu — with classic shrimp cocktail, fish and chips, beef volauvent, calamari and more, all between $2 and $6 — but the first drink is on us here at Metro Times. That is, between 5 and 7 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 26, at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.
Bacon explosion — The national freak-out over how good bacon tastes seems to have hit a high point, with those crunchy slices showing up in everything from chocolate bars to high-end cocktails. Well, baconophiles, next weekend is the time to have your party. Sept. 4 has been dubbed National Bacon Day. Instead of lecturing you on the horrors of sodium nitrite, we'll just wish you a happy one.
Considered by some to be the world's best chef, Ferran Adrià provides insight into the methods and techniques he uses to operate one of the world's best restaurants. A Day at el Bulli (Phaidon, $39.95) is less a cookbook than a guide to the inner workings of the phenomenon that Adrià has created. This tome is graced with 1,000 photographs illustrating the intricate details of each day's efforts. Inserts explain everything from the history of el Bulli to the creative methods to what happens between a restaurant and its guests. The recipes will challenge and reward the best chefs among us.
Autumn is nigh, and our favorite Magic Hat seasonal based variety 12-pak, Night of the Living Dead, is on beer store shelves now. Along with the always solid #9 and Hi.P.A. is their new one-off "Odd Notion." It sports aromas of banana taffy, dry meadow and a hint of unripe apple. Light and silky it finishes with a swell of clove. This is perhaps Magic Hat's easiest drinking one-off ever and would work as a regular seasonal offering. Just as good is the malt laden, cherry wood smoked Hex. All of them quality hayride drinks.
Competent home chefs often treasure their pots and pans, shelling out plenty of money for quality product. And such cookware mavens naturally will want to keep their stuff organized and orderly. Enter the Lynk Professional Lid Storage Slide-Out Tray, which helps organize lids, baking sheets, cutting boards and pots and pans by storing them vertically, making them more accessible than they are when they're stacked on top of one another. No more trying to drag the pan on the bottom of the pile. Simply slide out the tray and pluck out the pan. Available at chefscatalog.com for $40.