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Thickening agents (10/6/2010)
Food Stuff (10/6/2010)
How's them apples? (9/29/2010)
Hot dog — Somebody brought to our attention Zack's, a hot dog stop with locations in Macomb and Clinton townships. We've never been, but some of their specialty dogs look pretty extreme. (Like a bacon slaw dog? For real?) Have a peek, at 18427 Hall Rd., Macomb Twp.; 586-329-3798; and 40097 Groesbeck Hwy., Clinton Twp.; 586-738-6152.
Art attack — Diners at Cass Cafe will be treated to a new exhibit on the walls. It's called "The Master, the Sefu, the Grasshopper," and it features work by Sabrina Nelson, Richard Lewis and Mario Moore. At 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400.
Monday, Monday — Feel down on Mondays? Royal Oak's BlackFinn American Saloon has deals that will help you stare down the week ahead. They'll give you 25 percent off all food and 50 percent off all bottles of wine between 5 and 10 p.m. Mondays. Those are pretty good deals, but this friendly neighborhood tavern always helps chase the blues away. It's just a little cheaper Monday nights. At 530 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-582-9460; blackfinnroyaloak.com.
Ireland, long known for its scenery, is fast becoming known as a culinary force, as evidenced by The Country Cooking of Ireland (Chronicle Books, $50). Colman Andrews, co-founder of Saveur magazine, delights us with 250 recipes and more than 100 photographs of the pubs, the people, the Irish countryside and the food, beginning with hearty soups, on to fresh seafood from the surrounding waters, and then to savory pies and numerous varieties of the staple, potatoes.
Along with the usual fruity #9 and hop-soaked Lucky Kat, Magic Hat's Spring Fever variety 12-pack contains a new seasonal amber lager, Vinyl, and an American wheat pale ale as their one-off Odd Notion. Though sweet and rich with malt flavor, Vinyl is a smooth beer fit for pounding into summer. Another easy drinker with a bit more wallop, Odd Notion melds the big creaminess of an unfiltered wheat beer with the floral character of dry-hopped pale ale. Spring Fever will last until late April.
A combination of function and style, albeit a rather simple style, at the same time sleek and contemporary, this bottle opener is an eye opener as well. The smooth handle — it comes in your choice of beech or walnut — holds a simple magnetized nail that hooks under a bottle cap. It may sound like a precarious operation, but the doodad can easily open a beverage with the flick of a wrist. To find stores that carry this for about $20, have a look at Areaware.com.
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