Real Detroit: Opening Day at Coaches Corner

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Originally printed April 5, 2011 in Real Detroit Weekly.

Opening Day in Detroit!

Baseball fans rejoice! The Detroit Tigers kick off their 2011 Comerica Park schedule on April 8 against the Kansas City Royals. Opening Day is a holiday around these parts. It won’t be difficult to find a party, but in between all of that partying, you’ll want to eat something.

Coaches Corner, located just minutes on foot from Comerica Park, is the spot for some pre-game grubbing. They open at 7 a.m. on Opening Day, so take the day off work and party all day long at Coaches. “It gets pretty crazy here – not a day for amateurs,” says General Manager Heather Raye. Bloody Marys (a.k.a., “breakfast of champions”) will be on special and will feature Michigan’s own Valentine Vodka. Badass Beer will also be featured for those not into liquor.

While not the most visually-pleasing space, Coaches has a feel to it like you missed a really awesome party the night before. The tables and floors are scraped, scuffed, and mismatched, and the ventilation system is in clear view, but it all works. Just like your cool uncle’s unfinished basement where he let you drink when you were 16.

Foodwise, there is nothing earth-shattering, but everything tastes good and is accessible. The focus is squarely on easy to eat bar fare and, before a game that is usually what the hunger pangs are yearning for.

If you’re with a group, The Dream Team platter is a ridiculous amount of fried goodness perfect for sharing. Chicken strips, “Stanley” wings, mozzarella cheese sticks, “Power Play” peppers, spicy queso bites, and onion rings are piled high on a silver platter. Yes, most of the items on the platter are run of the mill, but the queso bites – oh the queso bites.

Raye emphasizes that they’re excited about the zesty new menu item. Like a cross between nachos and a cheese stick, the queso bites are spicy cheese that has been rolled in jalapeno-seasoned tortilla crumbs and deep-fried. Shaped like little fireworks, these bites pack a punch.

They are so excited about the queso bites that they put one on their Grand Slam burger. There’s a little bit of everything on the Grand Slam: bacon, cheddar, queso bite, onion ring, lettuce, tomato and onion. The half-pound burger is cooked in house-made zip sauce. Even with that much on top, the charred beefiness still shines through and is nicely accentuated by the saltiness of the bacon and cheese, with a muted pepperiness from the queso bite.

Other burgers, sandwiches, salads, chili and even pizza are available for your pre- or post-game delight. Open until 2 a.m. every night of the week, the kitchen stays open until at least 1 a.m. With specials running for every single Tigers home game, why go anywhere else? Oh, and don’t forget to ask for a Tiger Bomb, a shot invented at Coaches Corner – it will get you cheering for the Tigers in no time.

More Coaches Corner food can be seen on our Flickr page.

General manager Heather Raye making Coaches Corner signature drink

Ziggy’s Cheesesteaks

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We recently visited Ziggy’s Cheesesteaks in Southfield.  Aside from the amazingly authentic food, Ahmed, the owner, is an incredibly nice and genuine guy who is willing to bend over backward for his patrons.

Pictured here we have Ziggy’s Famous Cheesesteak – fresh sliced ribeye, grilled onions, diced hot cherry peppers, and provolone.  On the side, Cheez Whiz fries topped with real deal Cheez Whiz.

We like a little heat on our cheesesteaks.  And for those who want truly authentic South Philly style, ask for “wit,” and your cheesesteak will be topped with Cheez Whiz.

See more pictures from our visit to Ziggy’s here.

Ziggy’s Cheesesteaks official website

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