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November 28, 2003 - Image 114

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-11-28

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The Best Of Everything

Ole! The Fresh Way

For healthy, flavorful Mexican grill, Baja Fresh provides the zest.

recipe that contains no lard.
1 ho better than the people of
A fresh salsa bar has four distinct tastes made
that same country preparing
throughout the day from scratch ... and are
the food at an ethnic restau-
quite different from the usual run-of-the-mill
tastes that are at too many Mexican-style
Talk about authentic, it doesn't get much
better than this ... unless the vittles are,
Also important is the fact that all items on
maybe, made and served in that country.
the Baja Fresh menu are prepared before ones
This and the "fresh factor" are reasons
eyes ... Not before they are ordered.
why the four local Baja Fresh franchise own-
Produce comes daily from the Detroit
ers, Mike Versaci, Tony Versaci, Mike Lucci
Market ... and all containers in the
and Irwin "Itsy" Lieberman (son of the late
kitchens are labeled with the date
excellent restaurateur and caterer Sammy
which their contents are to be
Lieberman), are tasting success.
not used ... This, my friends, is
No cans, nothing pre-cooked, no microwaves, no
lard, no MSG, no freezer ... and operation is under
"Fresh Mexican grill" may be a relatively new term,
California health, safety and sanitation regulations,
but it refers to a unique cooking style that blends the
considered among the most stringent food-service laws
spirit of traditional Mexican cuisine with a new zesti-
in the country.
ness of fresh flavors ... There is no beating the combi-
No ground beef, either ... 100 percent USDA choice
nation of freshness and flavor.
flank steak with the fat trimmed as much as possible.
The newest local Baja Fresh will open expectedly in
About that cleanliness ... although the fellows talk
the new shopping complex that presently holds the
proudly about the California health laws ...
what counts here are the local ordinances
... They can be proud, too, of the fact that
each of their Baja Fresh locations here ...
12 Mile and H alsted, Farmington Hills;
North Adams, Rochester Hills; Telegraph
and 12 (Tel-12 Mall), Southfield; and
Maple and Coolidge (Midtown. Square),
Troy; Novi Town Center, Novi; Six Mile
and Haggerty, Northville ... have all been
scored in the high-90s by their health
department inspectors.
The managers are all required to take
courses in food protection ... and must be
food-safety certified ... General manager at
the Halsted Village location in Farmington
Hills, Steven Dubrinsky, is the son of Max
and the late Isabelle Dubrinsky.
Mike Versaci, Mike Lucci, Irwin "Itsyn Lieberman and Tony Versaci.
Much of the food has a distinctly differ-
ent taste than the usual The tacos are
not those hard-crusted types you receive at
Home Depot and Sam's Club ... on Northwestern
many places ... These are soft corn tortillas, prepared
Highway, southeast of Orchard Lake Road,
with choice of meat, poultry or shrimp, and the mix-
Farmington Hills.
ture of cilantro, salsa and other choice ingredients.
HE SAID THAT ONE DAY he would be back
Among the big sellers are its fish tacos ... with fresh
a restaurant owner ... and is true to his word.
tilapia lightly egg-washed ... and the wet burritos made
Georgizas, former owner of the Ram's
enchilada-style with chips smothered in cheese and
Lake Road ... and later manag-
served with sour cream and fresh pico de gallo salsa.
Daddy's in its West
Fresh Mexican food is, itself, of much interest ... The
Bloomfield heyday ... has taken over ownership of
fact that nothing lays around waiting to be added in
what he hopes will be another winner.
preparations is quite enticing.
Popular Angelo, with the big smile and cordial
The salsas are all handmade daily with ultra-freshness
is the new owner of Paparazzi in West
... The chicken is skinless and boneless breasts, mari-
Sugar Tree, Orchard Lake Road,
nated and charbroiled ... the USDA steaks are hand-
... which is converting into
trimmed and charbroiled.
with Italian dishes and
No refried beans ... Too much fat ... Only ones used
a smattering of Spanish and American fare.
are black and pinto, simmered daily from a special
It is presently closed for extensive remodeling ... and






will be called Angelo's Bistro ... Until the liquor license
is transferred, it may still have the Paparazzi sign ... but
Angelo's Bistro will also be displayed.
Reopening is expected to be sometime in December
... with one of the salad items called Angelo's Salad, an
exact duplicate of the huge Big Daddy's favorite, its
Tommy Salad.
THE TABLES ARE being turned on a former
localize whose party-giving fun events have been a
many-years lengthy string of happy doings.
Come April of 2004, Joe Cornell's 50 years of party
giving will be celebrated with a huge gala at Adat
Shalom Synagogue.
Proceeds of the happening, slated to hit over 500
people ... adults and children ... will be given to benefit
the Helen Rosenberg Chapter, City of Hope, in the
fight against breast cancer.
Helen was Joe's very popular receptionist for 20 years
at his dance studio that was originally on Wyoming,
opening in 1954, and moved to 10 Mile and
Greenfield ... She passed on in the late 1970s.
Joe now lives in Sherman Oaks, Calif. with wife,
Kathy, who worked with Joe before he sold his studio
... He is a Hollywood studio child instructor.
He was here recently to meet with the 10 people
that comprised the first meeting for this event ...
held at the Joe Cornell Dance Studio, now owned
by Steve Jasgur.
ON THE OCCASION of their 50th wedding
anniversary, Toby and Manny Chudnow tell about
their trip "in our time machine of 1953."
"Rabbi Morris Adler had his usual per-
son-to-person talk a week before the cere-
mony. We were married at Holiday
Manor, a Detroit-based kosher hall on
Wyoming near Seven Mile Road, with
Mrs. Sylvia Rosenberg, grandmother of
Jeffrey Rosenberg, Ada': Shalom caterer.
"In 1953, the Internet, FedEx, Japanese
cars, kosher frozen foods, canned gefilte
fish, Visa, ATMs and National Public
Radio didn't even exist.
"There were two shochets (men qualified
to slaughter meat). After which, the meat
still had to be made kosher. There were no
less than 18 kosher butchers. Hamburger
was 49 cents a pound.
"A new house in Oak Park was $14,000.
West Bloomfield was all fruit orchards. A
new Chevy, the number one seller, was
about $2,400. Dexter and Elmhurst was
the middle of the Jewish community. Adat
Shalom (then known as Adas Shalom) was the
end of the community and Oak Park was the 'new
Medina.' Some thought Livonia in the 1950s
would be 'Jewish.' Shaarey Zedek anticipated the
trend correctly.
"Ike Eisenhower was elected president. America
was in the midst of the Cold War. Russia was the
menace. Korean War was over. What was normal?
We didn't know what the future held for us or the
"So take heart, your future can be as surprising
as ours."
ONLY ON SUNDAY ... noon-8 p.m. ... That's
when Fox & Hounds on Woodward and Long Lake
Road in Bloomfield Hills, has its weekly "Traditional

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