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October 20, 2005 - Image 76

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-10-20

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Ferndale:Woodward & Nine Mile

isbeen called "The Next Royal
Oak," "SoRo" as in South of
Royal Oak, and "Metro Detroit's
up and coming hot spot."


But at the end of the day, there's
no "next" or "up and coming"
about Ferndale. Rather, its admit-
tedly dog-eared, but nonetheless
appealing business district bisect-
ing Woodward Avenue and (pri-
marily) West Nine Mile Road takes
its cues not from other neighbor-
hoods, but from the residents and
business owners who prefer life a
little less ordinary.

One caveat. Bring your patience —
and pocket change. The former for
the dearth of convenient parking,
the latter for the parking meters.


Along West Nine Mile, it's a snap
to feast like a king at any one of
the ethnic eateries where English
just may, in fact, be a second, even
third, language. The food's true to
its heritage, the service sprightly,
and the prices hard to beat.
Authentic Ethiopian cuisine is
the specialty at The Blue Nile (545
W. Nine Mile, 248-547-6699),
while those with a hankering for
the flavors of Asia make a B-line
for Bangkok Café (323 W. Nine
Mile, 248-548-5373), May's
Bangkok Express (254 W. Nine
Mile, 248-545-3929), Star of India
(180 W. Nine Mile, 248-546-5996)
and Nami Sushi Bar (201 W. Nine
Mile, 248-542-6458).
The scene is decidedly a little
more dressed up along the western
boundary of the business district.
The always bustling Assaggi
Mediterranean Bistro (330 W.
Nine Mile, 248-584-3499) and
sleek, cavernous newcomer Via
Nove (344 W. Nine Mile, 248-336-
9936) give the area a sophisticated
flair, what with their handsome

decor and flavorful, southern
European-inspired menus.
Thankfully, Nine Mile offers a
smorgasbord (pardon the pun) of
"in between" restaurants and cafés
to sup in style. They're not quite
for meals in a hurry, but they cer-
tainly won't break the bank.
Consider them those quintessen-
tial neighborhood haunts we
crave, whether we live around the
corner or not.
The granddaddy, or perhaps it
should be grandmommy, of neigh-
borhood haunts is Maria's Front
Room (215 W. Nine Mile, 248-542-
7379), a perennial Detroit-area
favorite for its homemade Italian
specialties; the buttery, crusty gar-
lic loaf will throw even the most
ardent Atkin's follower into a lath-
A few doors down, Josephine
Creperie and Bistro (241 W. Nine
Mile, 248-399-1366), earns kudos
for its dinner and dessert crepes, as

24 • October 20, 2005 • MainStreets

well as its smart Sunday brunch.
Across the street from Maria's
are the quirky restaurants-cum-art
galleries Angel's Café (214 W.
Nine Mile, 248-541-0888), and
Starving Artist (212 W. Nine Mile,
248-545-5650). Remember to bring
your creativity to Starving Artist as
each table is covered in white
butcher-block paper for diners to
indulge their artistic talents;
crayons are courtesy of the restau-
Woodward Avenue vies for
patrons with a cluster of restau-
rants just north and south of "the
Nine," many of which are leg-
endary in the region. Among
them are the always lively, always
consistent Como's Pizzeria (22812
Woodward Ave., 248-548-5005)
and Club Bart (22726 Woodward
Ave., 248-548-8746), with occa-
sional nightly entertainment and a
wildly popular Sunday brunch.
Also on Woodward are Danny's

Irish Pub (22824 Woodward Ave.,
248-546-8331); the Post (22828
Woodward Ave., 248-546-7678), go
earlier for dinner, arrive later for a
lively bar scene; toothsome Cajun
fare at Howe's Bayou (22848
Woodward Ave., 248-691-7145);
and the WAB microbrewery, as in
Woodward Avenue Brewers,
(22646 Woodward Ave., 248-546-
Two other establishments with
regional appeal are The French
Gourmet (23421 Woodward Ave.,
248-541-1200), where Francophiles
of all stripes will find a cozy wel-
come, and the Om Café (23136
Woodward Ave., 248-548-1941),
southeastern Michigan's definitive
vegetarian restaurant.
Ferndale's also home to some of
the most innovative, dare it be
called "high brow" diner food
around at Fly Trap (22950
Woodward Ave., 248-399-5150)
and Toast (23144 Woodward Ave.,

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