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December 20, 1991 - Image 70

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

LISTENING POST I

TRAYS
FOR ALL OCCASIONS
OUR
SPECIALTY

I BEST OF EVERYTHING I

The Decor Gives Away Secret
Of An Auburn Hills Restaurant

Remember . . . All Our Trays Include
A Beautiful Fruit Basket

DANNY RASKIN

Local Columnist

C

Cakes Custom Styled
To Your Specifications.

Oak Park

West Bloomfield

Bingham Farms

737-3890 967-3999 645-5288

MB MD • NM Ea am mi

MB MI

ALSO VISIT US AT OUR

CARRY-OUT ONLY ;

3637 MAPLE RD. AT LAHSERI
Birmingham

645-0300

ANY LARGE PIZZA OR
OTHER DISCOUNTS LARGE ANTIPASTO OR LARGE 1
111• NOT GOOD WITH
12 D2A6T-9AILL LOCATIONS GREEK SALAD WHEN YOU I
LCEOUxPpOirNeSsG00
I 31646 NORTHWESTERN HWY. PRESENT THIS COUPON UPON I
IT
VOTED
CHANNEL 2
I AT MIDDLEBELT
ORDERING,
CHANNEL 4

I

Farmington Hills

85 5,E4600

DINE IN OR CARRY OUT

41

L....it.... MB IN Ili MI

KUM Nrin
MINT
FIEE PRESS

II I. = 1.1 IN No =I .. imi Ell = MI MN III Ell III

' I GIFT CERTIFICATES

I

I

WORLD'S GREATEST BIRTHDAY PARTY!

I SALES

I

FOR 4 FREE QUA

I RE fAL
ON ALL
I COIN

I

I

OPER
\1ACRINES

I
I
I
I

I

I

1 Coupon Per Visit • Exp. 12-26-91

31005 ORCHARD LAKE RD.

I

626-5020

I

MON.-THURS. 10-9, FRI. & SAT. 10-10, SUN. 12-8

EARLY BIRD SPECIALS

4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

$7.95 to
$9.95

Complete
Dinners

Le Metro

Applegate Square • Northwestern Hwy. • 353-2757

70 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1991

oral-covered pins that
held together ships of
many yesteryears .. .
Three cannon balls dating
back to the 1700s are on a
wall . . . Authentic nautical
artifacts from Florida, net-
ting, deep water lobster traps
and 300 feet of tugboat rope.
By now you might have
guessed that Fran O'Brien's
Maryland Crabhouse on Op-
dyke Road in Auburn Hills is
very much a complete seafood
operation . . . But you're
wrong . . . or at least slightly
so.
Dan Dunsky and Al Wer-
thmann's operation, a mile
from the Silverdome and
seven miles before one gets to
the Palace, concentrates pret-
ty much on those sea rascals
that made palate-pleasing
history centuries ago.
Since crab is king at the
Fran O'Brien's Maryland
Crabhouse in Auburn Hills,
what better than having a
crab, or ill-tempered person
running the operation if only
for the sake of a story? .. .
However, sorry to say, it can't
be said for Dan Dunsky, plea-
sant 27-year-old son of Harry
and Bob Dunsky, who cap-
tains the little restaurant
with only 12 booths and four
tables in a strip shopping
center.
Even the man who said the
stone crabs at Fran O'Brien's
Maryland Crabhouse weren't
as good as those at Joe Muer's
was taken slightly aback
when Dan said it was an
honor to be mentioned in the
same breath as the long-
standing seafood restaurant
. . . Especially so since this is
only the first anniversary of
Fran O'Brien's Maryland
Crabhouse' which Dan had
operated five months as the
Robber Baron before closing
November 1990 to reopen
Dec. 4 last year . . . The fellow,
by the way, ordered seconds.
Folks will remember Al
Werthmann who now lives in
Florida because of his many-
year places here . . . Old Mill,
Mr. Tony's Submarines, An-
thony House, etc. . . . Al is
now a restaurant real estate
broker and part-time
manager at the Fran
O'Brien's in Lauderdale By
The Sea.
And how many sons do you
know whose main thought in
picking a location was to be
by their mother? . . . Dan
chose the Auburn Hills site

close to Harriet's Bobette
Shop, four miles away on
Huron in Waterford . . . His
day is made when he drives
by her store on the way to
work and stops in for a quick
hello . . . It's like a child's
dream come true.
Yes, there really is a Fran
O'Brien . . . He was quite a
football player for Michigan
State and Washington Red-
skins in the early '60s . . . He
and Al are longtime friends
. . . both attending Michigan
State together when George
Perles was also playing .. .
Dan is still trying to get Fran
O'Brien to come here, but the
Michigan weather just
doesn't ring the bell with the
ex-Spartan, who sent his son
Marty instead to help Dan
get his kitchen going the first
week.
Fran O'Brien's Maryland
Crabhouse is the fifth restau-
rant since the early '70s at
this location a mile north of
Square Lake Road and
quarter-mile from Bloomfield
Hills . . . Purple Pickle, Fran-
co's, Maxie's and Robber
Baron . . . The original Purple
Pickle coffee machine is the
only thing that remains
because of its ability to still
make such good brew.

Donna Wicinski is one of
the 18 talented and efficient
people who make up the
small staff at cozy, intimate
Fran O'Brien's . . . All have
been trained by Dan and
know the importance in help-
ing customers if necessary in
opening the crabs . . . Dan
even allows them to sit down
and eat with customers if in-
vited, just so long as they
have time without neglecting
others in their station .. .
Dan encourages friendliness
very much among his staff,
and customers appreciate this
no end.
Strings of colored lights are
all over the ceiling . . . gas-
light-type lamps with colored,
flickering lightbulbs are
above all booths . . . a life
preserver on the back bar is
from the M.Z. Hamilton of
Morgan City, La. . . . There's
an open kitchen . . . and
down-to-earth pleasantness.
So many people who go to
Maryland or Florida come
back here and wonder why
they' can't find crabcakes,
stone crabs, snow crabs
Ipswich, etc. . . . That is, un-
til they find out about Fran
O'Brien's.
While night managing
Shield's on Telegraph and 10
Mile, Dan took a daytime

restaurant management class
at Oakland Community Col-
lege . . . It taught him almost
everything necessary for the
restaurant game . . . how to
bartend, wash dishes and
even don an apron in the kit-
chen when needed . . . Fran
O'Brien's Maryland Crab-
house makes its own soups
and sauces, but Dan is noted
for more than just food . . . his
Bloody Mary mix is a
standout.
Table mats tell people how
to eat crabs . . . There are
some items on the menu that
cannot be gotten anywhere
else in Michigan . . . People
call to ask if there is a dress
code and Dan says yes, it's
come as you are or extremely
casual.
This is Fran O'Brien's
Maryland Crabhouse in
Auburn Hills . . . one year old
and already too small.
THE PRESSURE was on
. . . Thanksgiving dinner at
the home of Nate and Irene
Light . . . an occasion which

Fran O'Brien's
Maryland
Crabhouse is the
fifth restaurant
since the early
'70s at this
location a mile
north of Square
Lake on Opdyke.

she describes as "the best
holiday in the year for me
because they won't let me in
the kitchen."
Holiday graphics star
daughter Terri Cassels and
sister Susie Kamen were in
the downtown Detroit
Thanksgiving parade where
Terri and the instructors at
her school for cheerleaders
waved pompons in rhythmic
glory . . . Terri and Susie then
rushed home to help Nate
and Irene with the 31 guests,
largest yet to chaw on the
bird and goodies with titles by
Terri.
Everybody's name tag for
seating was a little basket
filled with Thanksgiving can-
dy . . . "If you want to be in-
vited next year, don't lose the
basket," said Irene, so nobody
took theirs home, making
sure they weren't kept off the
list.
It has nothing to do with
Irene's Thanksgiving Day
prowess because of happening
later . . . She looked at her
telephone and three numbers,
304, seemed to jump out .. .
Then, when Irene glanced at

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