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July 06, 2006 - Image 87

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-07-06

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

BEST OF EVERYTHING

Value Packed

Pepino's in Walled Lake marks 22 years of dining distinction.

W

ith much talk
about inflated and
depressed economic
conditions, more emphasis than
usual in dining at restaurants is
placed upon value received.
So whenever a restaurant
comes along where that value
includes almost all the essentials
necessary for a good dining-out
experience, the opportunity is
priceless.
Value received has been like a
by-word statement for a place like
Pepino's on Walled Lake Drive,
just west of Pontiac Trail ... Now
celebrating its 22nd anniversary,
Pepino's has amassed an enviable
reputation for wholesome good-
ness that rounds out to a com-
plete meal at reasonable prices.
Not just the food, but also
unexcelled service by most of a
waitstaff that could hardly be bet-
ter ... The good waitpersons at
Pepino's do much in reminding
customers of those good spots
of yesteryears, where the servers
took center stage every night.
There is the constant convivi-
ality of a one-time Darbys, too,
where people met others and
relaxed in the atmosphere of
many smiles.
Pepino's is the epitome of con-
sistency in its food ... The qual-
ity and preparation never change
... Since it opened, April 23, 1984,
Pepino's chef Keith Couch has
been a kitchen stalwart ... At the
beginning, he worked with co-

owner/chef Joe Bernardi
and was then trained by
Joe to carry-on Pepino's
excellent food and value
traditions.
It is estimated that
since opening, more
than 1.25 million
people have enjoyed
a Pepino's experience
... In those 22 years,
more than 27,000
gallons of delicious marinated
navy beans, served before meals
with hot garlic bread, have been
soaked and house-broiled at the
restaurant ... Its original rainbow
trout signature dish, developed by
Joe while its executive chef, has
seen about 900,000 orders filled
by him and Keith, along with
145,000 pounds of lamb chops,
70,000 pounds of frog legs, etc.
The numbers sometimes
astound even those that made
them, prepared in a compact
17x19 kitchen housing the same,
almost 100-year-old mahagony
walk-in cooler used in the old
A&P days at the Pepino's locale.
Along with menu items and
those not on the menu, like calves
liver and onions, daily specials
are big sellers ... Tuesdays, short
ribs; Wednesdays, chicken pot
pie; Thursdays, yellow fin tuna;
Fridays, beef brisket; Saturdays,
prime rib.
When it opened, Pepino's was
a six-day-a-week operation ...
Six years ago, it went to five days,

dinner only ...
Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday, 5-9:30;
Friday and Saturday,
5-10.
Co-owners Helma
and Joe Bernardi
spend well-deserved
retirement months in
Florida, while their
daughters, hostesses/
managers Kathy
Kwiecinsky and Carol Carson,
along with daughter-in-law Judy
Bernardi, graciously greet and
seat people in the three rooms
totaling 112 seating.
Years ago, Les Gruber, co-owner
at the former London Chop House
in Detroit, used to say, "Give the
customers quality and more than
they order and they'll be back" ...
Like the free-pour terrific shots of
booze ... So its bartenders, like
Jose Reyes, looked the other way
and made conversation ... The
result was usually almost a free-
poured double shot.
The large drinks at Pepino's are
also unbelievable ... Bartenders
Ray Kwiecinsky and the others
mix about 280 martinis a week,
which total almost 265,000 since
opening, along with 80,000 mar-
garitas and untold numbers of
other drinks.
That philosophy by Gruber
pretty much sums up the prem-
ise upon which Pepino's stands,
except for the prices ... The
drinks are well above what the

SPOSITA'S
RISTORANTE

Restaurant

Fine Italian Dining in a
Casual Atmosphere

Italian Cuisine

248.476.0044

For the
month of
July, take an
additional
10% of

your claire bill

if your name is

Carol

not ,nlid .i111
am other ofTer

Of

OUR NEW HOURS

Buy any dinner entree and receive 1
$6N off the second dinner entree

Salads, pizza, sandwiches andribS,for 2 . excluded:

One coupon per table

Expires: 7/31/06

Farmington Hills • Corner of Grand River & Haggerty Road
Auburn Hills • 1 I /2 miles south of the Palace of Auburn Hills

I I

1129070

Sposita's Michigan perch dinner is
a good buy at $17.95, coming with
antipasto tray, soup, cottage fries
or mashed potatoes, vegetable,
pasta with meat or marinara
sauce and bread basket.
CONSTANT RUMORS
of restaurants for sale have and
always will be around ... So when
you hear about a place being on
the block, check first for verifica-
tion before passing the word ...
And remember that almost any-
thing is for sale at the right price.
CONGRATS ... To Linda
Kunin on her birthday.
NEXT TIME he is invited to a
Jewish affair, Ron Asmar, owner
of Vineyards on Northwestern,
Farmington Hills, will probably
shy away from dancing the hora
... Ron and wife, Maggie, recently
attended the bar mitzvah of Evan,
son of his former Detroiter friend,
Steve Zucker, now living with wife
Mojan in Scottsdale, Ariz. ... At
the synagogue, Ron proudly wore
a tallit and yarmulke and was hon-
ored with opening the Torah ark.
Later, at the Doubletree Hotel
reception, Ron discovered his
future aversion to the hora ... A
male guest grabbed him to join
in the traditional Jewish dance,
leaped high in the air and came
down on Ron's foot ... Result was
two broken bones that now have
his foot in a cast. ❑

Danny's e-mail address is

dannyraskin®sbcglobal.net .

-1
OFF
10%
ITOTAL FOOD BILL

(MON-THURS. ONLY)
PLEASE PRESENT THIS COUPON TO
RECEIVE DISCOUNT!

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK!

"Any Event" Catering • Banquet Room Available

00

standard calls for ... and the food
far beyond many add up to a very
complete experience of restaurant
value received.
THE NAME may be remem-
bered by some old-timers from
the years-ago golden days of
radio, but few can recall a res-
taurant with better dining buys
than at Fibber McGee's on Pontiac
Trail, just west of Beck Road, in
the Wixom Shopping Center.
Quality entrees that come with
premises-made soup du jour or
salad, potato selection, vegetable
and bread loaf ... Steaks that
are all Angus and USDA Prime
... center-cut sirloin, 10 ounces,
$10.95; 16 ounces, $12.95; 20-
ounce porterhouse, $15.95; 16-
ounce T-bone, $12.95; broiled
salmon, $10.95; fish and chips,
$7.95 ($6.99 on Fridays); lake
perch fillets, $9.95.
Kids under 10 have $4.50 vari-
eties that also include fries and
soft drink.
Fibber McGee's seats about 100
on two levels, and includes full-
bar service ... Open seven days,
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.;
Saturday, noon-1 a.m.; Sunday,
noon-9.
AMONG THE BIG sellers
at Sposita's Italian Ristorante, 14
Mile, east of Farmington Road,
West Bloomfield, is a huge favor-
ite takeoff on how the Kingsley
Inn in Bloomfield Hills used to
serve them years ago ... Baby
perch with the skin removed ...

Monday-Thursday
4pm- "I Opm

L

ONE COUPON PER CUSTOMER • EXPIRES 07/31/06
(NOT VALID ON HOLIDAYS)

NEW LOWER PRICED
LUNCH MENU FRIDAYS ONLY

Friday
I1am-11 pm

Saturday
4pm-1 1 pm

Sunday
3pm- epm

33210 W. 14 Mile Road

In Simsbury Plaza
Just East of Farmington Road
West Bloomfield

(248) 538-8954

July 6 • 2006

47

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