There are plenty of places that I visit that I have no connection to, and no leads to food and fitness experts. When I was in Detroit I realized that I had nothing, just warnings from everyone who had heard I was going there bouncing around in my head. I spent my first evening in my hotel room, too scared to go out after dark, and researching people in the area who might be of interest to speak with. During my research I came across the Food writer for the Detroit News, Kate Lawson. Kate writes several food columns covering everything from cooking trends to local professional chefs. It was last minute, I felt guilty as I hit send on my email requesting to chat with her about the local food scene.
The next morning as I was preparing for my day my phone rang, a very strange sound since most of my communication is via email and text. Upon answering I was met with the friendly voice of Kate Lawson. Luckily for me it wasn’t just her voice that was friendly Kate was so excited and supportive of my journey and eager to meet with me to chat. When I told her I was headed out to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn she encouraged me to reach out to Jesse Eisenhuth the Director of their food service and catering. This turned out to be a wonderful suggestion and I ended up spending several hours over the following two days with Jesse, learning about their approach to food. I can’t go into too much detail as I am busy writing a blog post about that experience, so sorry, you will have to wait.
Kate and I made a plan to have lunch and a tour of the Detroit area, she picked me up at my hotel and within moments of being in her car I knew I had connected with the right lady. If she had provided me with nothing it would have been just fine with me because every moment with Kate was a good time. I felt as if I had known her for years, conversation was easy and the afternoon enjoyable.
We went to a small restaurant in Mexicantown for an authentic taco lunch followed by a visit to a popular deli called Mudgie’s, located in a hip brick building in the historic Corktown neighborhood for dessert. Yes, we had dessert, though we had a small lunch in anticipation of this move. We shared the decadent “Sweet Ruth” which is a homemade bread pudding apple waffle cooked to order and topped with amazing horchata ice cream and butterscotch caramel. I can justify this because this divine desert was made with local ice cream and caramel sauce, ok a bit of a stretch but at least it was a high quality freshly made choice.
We finished our tour with a stop by the Detroit Mercantile, a well merchandised store filled with so many amazing things including an owner who used to live in Spokane (my hometown) and had only good things to say! Win win!
Kate had to get back to work so she dropped me off at my hotel. We said our goodbyes had a nice hug and Kate told me she thought I was “Berries”, which I have never heard before but am going to assume is a good thing.
In regards to all the scary things I heard about Detroit, I am confused, I found Detroit to be a cool city. I don’t know all the politics around its economy but I do know that the downtown core has plenty of charm and friendly people. Given the chance I would return again!