Food

Yeah, baby! Ernie’s Market serves up massive eats and millions of smiles.

by Jeff Lily | Photo ©2014 Bernie Laframboise

You’d be forgiven for driving by Ernie’s Market without giving it a second glance, if you stumbled upon it at all. Located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Oak Park near the border of Ferndale, the building itself is simple and nondescript, brown brick and white lettering sitting on blacktop with beer signs in the windows. If you went by after business hours, you might even think it abandoned.

Go by most days around lunch, though, and you’ll find a curious thing: People lined up, out the door, sometimes around the corner, waiting up to an hour to get inside. The reason? That humble exte- rior, Clark Kent-like, hides a super man inside.

Meet owner and sandwich man extraordinaire, Ernie Hassan, who’s been here just shy of sixty years, wielding his meat slicer and ear-to-ear grin, feeding bellies and hearts alike. Ernie does things a little differently (and a lot better) than anyone else.

“Hey, Baby!” Ernie shouts to the next person in line. “How ya’ doing, dar- ling?” He greets everyone, regardless of age or gender, the same way.

He’s somewhere north of 70, white hair tucked under a battered cap, beaming a smile that could melt an iceberg in ten seconds flat. He shoots the breeze for a minute, because whether you’ve been coming for 20 years or this is your first time, Ernie wants to know what’s happening in your life. He offers his fist for a bump, then gets down to busi- ness.

There’s no menu at Ernie’s. “The customer is number one.” Ernie says. “I want them to tell me what they want.” Rough guidelines are the $3, $4, and $5 sandwich (one meat, two meats, or three meats, respectively), but things tend to morph in a wonderful way, and always to the customer’s advantage.

“Is there anything you’re afraid of?” Ernie asks, when it’s my turn. I tell him “Things that go bump in the night”, but he’s talking about food. I select an onion roll as the base, tell him I want a $5 sandwich, and put it in his hands.

He stoops over his slicer and starts running a ten- pound block of colby through it with the manic energy of a man half his age. Four slices. Then provolone. Then comes the meat… ham, turkey, salami, piling comically higher and higher. All the while, Ernie keeps up a constant stream of chat- ter, telling jokes, spinning yarns, and talking to the others in line, now eight deep behind me. No one’s in a hurry, though, and everyone is smiling and having a blast.

Ernie loves a crowd, and everyone knows they’re going to get the same careful attention.

“I’m going to give you some pepperoni, too!” Ernie shouts, yanking a huge stick of it from the cooler. “You’ll like this! Who loves ya, baby?”

“You do.” I say.

“Ernie does!” Chorus the others in line. “Yeah, baby!” Ernie answers.

He hands the sandwich over to one of his assistants, who piles on tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, cucumber slices, bell pepper slices, banana peppers, mayo, mustard, oil… and “The Love”, Ernie’s own blend of spices. Ernie picks up the sand- wich, which is now approaching the size of a bowling ball, and deftly wraps it in wax paper. I promise to return later for an in- terview, pay my $5 (cash only, please) and walk out. Behind me, Ernie is asking after the sister of a regular, chatting up another about his mother. He knows everyone, and talks to all the newbies too, learning their names and their stories so he can treat them with the same warmth and concern when they return.

I park my car on a residential street, roll down the windows, and have a picnic. I hadn’t had breakfast, and I’m definitely not going to need anything before dinner. It’s fresh, simple, and very, very delicious. I find out later that Ernie also does great veggie sandwiches, serving up things like sliced apples, radishes, and other goodies for those who don’t want meat. Like the rest of his ingredients, the details vary from day to day, but you’re guaranteed to get your ingredients fresh, and freshly- sliced, on the spot.

I return at five, just as Ernie’s helpers are packing up and leaving. Ernie locks the door after them and sits himself on a carpeted pad atop an old radiator, king of the world.

“My dad bought the market in 1955.” He recalls. “It started as a grocery store. My dad turned it into a meat mar- ket.” He points to the original meat locker, with its oak door and brass handles, still intact behind the sandwich counter. He takes me back and demonstrates the bal- ance beam scale, also original to the store, once used to weigh sides of beef. Ernie started off young as a stock boy and ca- shier, just helping out his father. “When my dad ran errands, the people from the neighborhood would come in the store and sit with me, to make sure nothing bad hap- pened.” He recalls with a smile.

When the meat business declined, “we sold beer and wine.” When Ernie took over the store, he started selling sandwiches.

“The store would be full of students” from Ferndale High, Ernie explains. “They were hungry. They wanted to eat. So I made them sandwiches. They’d yell at me if I screwed up, and we went from there.”

It’s safe to say it’s been a good long time since Ernie screwed up a sandwich. He’s won WDIV’s “Best Sandwich in Metro Detroit” honor every single year since 2008, as banners hanging at the front and back of the store commemorate. The store’s walls and the shelves above its coolers are decorated with articles about Ernie and awards given to him. Oak Park Citizen of the Year. Awards from the City of Fern- dale. Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. There are many more. Ernie isn’t shy; he loves the attention.

“What is this?” He says, waving his arm, taking in the totality of the place.

“A local institution.” I reply.

“No.” He shakes his head vigorously. “It’s home. That feeling, in the community, is why I’m here.”

I ask him how the neighborhood has changed over the years. “It’s gotten better.” He says instantly. It’s been great to watch things change, he says, to see the revival of Ferndale and Oak Park and Hazel Park, all of the different festivals and func- tions and fun. “The high school football team is good, too.” He grins. “The excitement of a community. Know what I mean, baby?”

Where does he get his energy?

“From you.” He says emphatically. “From the people. We’re all in the same canoe.”

Ernie reaches under the counter and pulls out an old index card file box. In the old days, he explains, regular customers had a card with their weekly tab. On payday, someone would come down and settle up the bill. Ernie tells of a former customer who recently dropped in for a visit after many years away.

“Bet I still got your card.” Ernie told her. The woman didn’t believe it, so Ernie pulled it out… and discovered that they owed 25 cents.

“I’ll pay it.” Said the former customer. “No, you’re not. Your husband will.” Ernie said. She informed him that her husband had passed away.

“I told her, when I see him…” He pointed toward the ceiling, the big grin spreading its joy. “He’s gonna’ pay it!”

Here’s hoping Ernie doesn’t collect on that debt for a long, long time.

Whatever your views of the afterlife may be, one thing’s for certain… Ernie’s Market is a little slice of heaven, right here on earth.

Nah. Make that a lot of slices, piled high on an onion roll. With pickles and extra mayo, please. Oh, and don’t forget the love!

Ernie’s Market is located at 8500 Capital Street in Oak Park.
Open Monday to Friday 10 to 5, Saturday 10 to 3, closed Sunday. Phone (248) 541- 9703.

If slightly happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you have to look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

Tucked away off Woodward Avenue just south of 7 Mile Road, on Goldengate Street, lies a colorful, graffiti-covered little home adorned with a serpent-painted stone wall, an ample tree house, and bonfire pit, all settled seductively in the front lawn. It’s an unexpected part of Detroit to find a place like this, yet there it stands, drawing eyes like a magnet.

A bohemian-looking man puts the finishing touches on the artfully painted rock wall, while a small child twirls her hula-hoop nearby. Faint sounds of someone playing the piano come from inside the house, and an aroma of delicious home cooking wafts through the air.

I found myself here, at the collective of urban legend and local revolutionary Dr. Robert Pizzimenti (better known as “Dr. Bob”), proprietor of the Innate Healing Arts Center and Goldengate Café. Dr. Bob is a well known staple of his community, functioning as a doctor of chiropractic medicine (after 25 years of practice, Pizzimenti prefers to call himself an unwinder), holistic healer, community activist, and counterculture provocateur.

He specializes in helping individuals become agents of their own healing by emphasizing the importance of balance between the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the self and consciousness. Over time, Dr. Bob’s place grew from a simple chiropractic office with a small kitchen featuring a raw juice bar to fully-functioning vegetarian café and healing center that offers auriculotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy, massage, reiki, yoga and meditation, as well as bulk traditional medicinal herbs and herbal remedies.

Dr. Bob tells an unlikely story of how his healing center came to fruition. He explains how he opted out of the lifestyle of suburban comfort to open his practice in a less traditional location in the midst of urban decay, homelessness, and crack addiction. “Two years out of college, I already knew I wanted a healing center. I had lived in Ferndale and Royal Oak and even sent my children to Waldorf schools, but I couldn’t afford anything on that side of 8 Mile.” Taking the less traditional path, he bought a humble dwelling on the now infamous Goldengate Street and built his healing center out of nothing.

“Community helped put this place together, I did not really have any money at the time. It was just me and the crack addicts. I felt strange putting a healing center together with crack addicts, but I had no judgments against them. I gave them money to help build this place and figured they were going to do what they would do.”

There are many abandoned homes on Goldengate street occupied by squatters, mostly artist types who have transformed this neighborhood into a counterculture paradise of sorts. Most of the homes are artfully decorated with beautiful graffiti and adorned with found objects such as glass bottles and other decorative objects reminiscent of the Heidelberg Project. One home even has a whimsical slide affixed to its rooftop. Most of the squatters have also pitched in to start a large and thriving community gardening project.

Pizzimenti owns his home on this street as well, and is slowly buying up the abandoned lots and homes adjacent to his property. He bought the lot directly behind his home and turned the wreckage into a surprisingly serene wooded area featuring a remarkable bullfrog pond. At one time Pizzimenti also had an abundance of animals that roamed free on his property including pigs, chickens, peacocks, and goats. He explains the animals were living harmoniously in the community until the city sent ten police cars to take them all away. He jokes he is “trying to start a
revolution, one chicken at a time.”

The café is delightful and offers gourmet vegetarian food. It supports local farms and has daily specialty items that are sure to delight your body and nourish your soul. It is run by one full-time employee, named Evelyn, who currently squats in one of the abandoned homes in the neighborhood with her musician husband. Suddenly finding herself homeless one day, she explains, “Someone pointed us to Dr. Bob’s house. We had never met him before. He took us in and let us put everything we own in his living room and we stayed the night. He asked if we were willing to move into an abandoned house and fix it up. We said absolutely. We cleaned it up bit by bit and come to find out; it’s a gorgeous house with beautiful hardwood floors. It’s a work in progress and we plan on purchasing it in an auction for $500.00.”

While telling her story she served an array of delicious home cooked vegetarian food. I sampled homemade potato and leek soup, tree bean nachos, and nibbled on the most wonderful cornbread I‘ve ever had. Every Wednesday night, the community of Goldendate Street comes together and coalesces at the bonfire pit in the front lawn of the healing center for a weekly drum circle. Pizzimenti describes the event as a type of healing. He explains, “The drumbeat represents the heartbeat of the mother and people come to burn fire, light incense and sage to cleanse the space and each other. The drummers come, and the idea is we communicate non-verbally. When the drums are played, the magic happens. People come: hulahoopers,
fire-throwers, and musicians, too.”

The center conveys a blissfully creative vibe bustling with an array of interesting characters. While Dr. Bob is treating his clients in his office, Evelyn is busily cooking and serving homemade food in the kitchen, a teenage boy is plucking away at the keys on the piano in the foyer, a sizable dog sleeps lazily on the couch, while a grandmother teaches her three young granddaughters to knit at the cozy booth in the café while they wait for their food. It’s a diamond in the rough. A place, once discovered, you will not want to leave.

The Healing Arts Center is open every day at 8 A.M. until 8 P.M. Walk-ins welcome. Golden Gate Cafe is open Monday through Saturday 11 A.M. until 8 P.M. www.innatehealingartscenter.com/chiropractordetroit/. 18700 Woodward Ave; Detroit, Michigan 48203, south of Seven Mile; 313-366-2247.

If something happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

0 1399

The existence of pizza that can satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians is something Mike Lambrecht, owner of Nick’s Pizza, is out to prove. Lambrecht opened the second location of Nick’s in Ferndale in November of last year.

The first location is in Hazel Park and was opened in 1962, just nine years before Lambrecht started working there in 1971. “I was running the store for three years, where the owner had other interests…he always promised that one day he would sell it to me.” Lambrecht said.

In 1980 the owner asked Lambrecht if he wanted to purchase the restaurant. With a loan from his father, Lambrecht bought Nick’s Pizza and made his father his business partner. “This has always been a family-oriented business,” Mike Lambrecht said. Lambrecht’s kids worked for him growing up and his brothers did, too. His wife, co-owner, and daughter-in-law currently help at Nick’s Pizza, continuing the family tradition. “With family you expect more.” Lambrecht said. “You drive them much harder than what you do with someone else, and it’s probably not fair. I think other people, a lot of times, they look at it to the point where family members get special treatment and it’s not that way. They actually have to work much harder.”

Lambrecht has carried over his signature style pizzas to the Ferndale location and added a few new ones to satisfy Ferndale’s craving for vegetarian pizza. “What we have found in this location, that is much different than the Hazel Park location, [is] a lot of vegetarians,” Lambrecht said.

“So what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to change the menu somewhat to be a little bit more vegetarian- friendly.”

Lambrecht said he wants to give vegetarians more topping options than the usual vegetables, so he added spinach, fresh basil, green olives, roasted red peppers, and more to the menu shortly after opening. One out of three pizzas made at the Nick’s Ferndale location is vegetarian Lambrecht said. Nick’s also offers gluten-free dough for those suffering from food allergies.

Nick’s was opened in Ferndale because the contract lease for its Hazel Park location is in negotiation, and the outcome is uncertain. So Lambrecht decided to open a second location in Ferndale in case the contract isn’t renewed. “We figured it’s still close enough that we would have name recognition. A lot of people in the area know who we are, a lot of people don’t know who we are. But I figured that would be the first step,” Lambrecht said. If the Hazel Park location does close, Lambrecht said he’d try to service Ferndale and Hazel Park residents as best as he could from the location at Nine Mile and Hilton.

Even with two locations, the food is still the story at Nick’s. The top sellers are the regular round pizzas and Nick’s Super that includes pepperoni, ham, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and bacon. Nick’s Pizza offers round, square, and thin crust pizza in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes. Nick’s flavor crust selections are butter, garlic butter, parmesan, Cajun, and sesame. Pizza topping choices are Italian sausage, ground beef, hot peppers, pineapple, anchovies, black olives, chicken, feta cheese, onions, ham, pepperoni, and more. In addition to homemade pizza, Other menu options include pizza turnovers, Nick’s stix, salads, subs, grinders, sandwiches, cakes, and cheesecake.

Lambrecht said he still loves pizza after all these years and eats pizza three-to-four times a week. His favorite toppings are pepperoni, bacon, and banana peppers.

Nick’s Pizza is located at 745 E. 9 Mile Rd. on the northwest corner of Hilton. For more information visit www.eatnickspizza.com or call Nick’s Pizza in Ferndale at (248) 584-3125.

If slightly happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

0 1277

A recent article in the Detroit Free Press named one of Ferndale’s own as Restaurant of the Year. Torino, a small restaurant located on the corner of 9 mile and Bermuda Street nestled underneath the Lofts on 9, is unobtrusive and sleekly modern.

Its special air of low-key sophistication is just one part of a dining experience unlike any other that the Detroit area has to offer. Open Tuesday through Saturday, the only ordering decision that patrons have to make is whether they would like a wine pairing with their meal.

The Free Press article has garnered welcome attention to the modestly-sized restaurant. “We’re very pleased, it was a lot of hard work to get through the past year. We’re very happy to get some recognition,” said Ian Redmond, beverage director for Torino. “It’s a lot of fun to watch people change their preconceptions about this type of dining.” He went on to say that: “We planned it as a slow build from last May until this Fall, so it’s all working out. We were pretty busy before, but this will put us over the edge into being consistently busy.”

Torino’s steady climb to success has been fueled by the rapport of the people involved. Incredibly enough, this high-achieving team was created mostly through serendipitous introductions, compatible personalities, and people evincing a desire to improve.

“I knew no one here,” admits Garrett Lipar, the chef behind the picturesque and delectable dishes. He was introduced to the owner, Noah Dorfman, through a friend of the family. The same fortunate happenstance occurred for Redmond, who answered an ad almost a year ago. When asked about his kitchen staff, Lipar said, “They had the passion to better themselves but didn’t have the direction to do so, which was a great equation for me. I built them up the right way. We took things very slowly from February to May; it took a while to get things going and really hone in on what we do.”

Everyone fell into place, creating a harmonious work environment. “We’re here together every day, watching each other learn and evolve,” Lipar says. He adds, “I just empower them. I give them the tools to do their job, and educate them the right way. Everyone here has their own identity but very similar styles.”

Each course that Torino offers is a unique blend of obvious culinary skill and subtlety. The menu is transient, changing each week, and is composed of an “amuse,” five courses, and an after dinner coffee. The “amuse” is a single-bite delight that introduces and showcases the chef’s approach to the evening’s cuisine. The tasting menu is usually posted in advance on the website, allowing patrons to have an idea of the key flavor notes in each dish.

When asked about the changing menu and drink list, Redmond stated, “It keeps us on our toes, it keeps us learning new things.”

The inspiration for these dishes is credited largely to the products themselves. “We let them dictate how the menu unfolds. Their shapes, their lines, their contours, their smell, their taste, their sugar content…” It’s obvious that Lipar, a man with vegetable tattoos gracing his forearm, could wax poetic on the natural beauty of the foods he works with. He has final say of everything that comes out of the kitchen, but admits that, “Sometimes it’s more me, sometimes it’s more my team. There is the vision I have for things, and then other people taking that idea and running with it. We get together and brainstorm.” An important element of the success of the restaurant seems to be teamwork. “I surround myself with good people. Whether they are knowledgeable about this or not, they are good people, and they have a passion for life,” Lipar said.

Years spent working in some of the best restaurants that New York and Chicago had to offer helped Lipar to build his style along the way. “I learned balance in New York, and being more adventurous while in Chicago.” He then decided to travel abroad and work in a Stockholm restaurant called Frantzen which he credits with helping his style mature. “It was a place that had a tasting menu format, similar to what we do here, and it really opened my eyes to doing things differently.

There’s no gimmickry involved; it’s just a beautiful product, very cleanly presented, no extra sauces,” he explained, his passion evident in his voice.

When asked about the challenges of introducing a new style of dining to the Detroit area, Redmond answered that it was convincing people that they are going to like new things. This covers not only the food, but also the wines. “People drink what they drink, and they eat what they eat, without realizing that when it’s matched it’s a whole other level. I like being able to turn someone on to something new,” says Redmond, who is in charge of picking out and buying all of the wines, beers, coffee, and tea at Torino. He writes the lists, inventories, and creates the wine pairings, although the bartenders help craft the cocktails lists.

Space within the restaurant is a commodity. The kitchen is little more than a narrow corridor, where the chef, the sous chef,

line cook, pastry chef, and dishwasher engage in an intricate dance each evening. The seating area is only 9 tables and a bar that can fit a dozen patrons. Due to limited seating capabilities, anyone interesting in sampling their untold delights for the palate would be wise to make a reservation. Additionally, since the kitchen is so small and all of the ingredients are ordered fresh, it is possible that there may only been enough food to serve guests that are expected.

Allergies and dietary restrictions have to be noted in advance so that the kitchen staff has time to buy special ingredients for an alternate version of the menu. Near the door, beside their smiling hostesses, is a purveyors list that informs guests of where the high quality ingredients are gathered from. “I have access to a select group of products that other people don’t even get to see. We have some of the best from the best purveyors, farmers, and foragers in the nation,” Lipar asserts.

The best part, according to Lipar, is “I get to live my dream. All I want to do is cook. I’m happy to be here with the people that I have. I’m lucky.” When asked if he had anything further to say, Lipar responded, “No, I’ll just let the food speak for itself.”

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

0 1461

Ken Schramm, owner of Schramm’s Meadery, comes from a long tradition of family farmers who’ve been growing food and feeding the people of Michigan for generations. Continuing in that tradition of providing Michiganders with something nourishing and delicious, Schramm followed his passions and opened a meadowy.

Serving a drink that Forbes Magazine called a “Top Ten Food Trend” in 2011, Schramm’s new venture isn’t the pursuit of a crazy whim, but rather the results of a lifetime of love and dedication to the craft of making mead (along with the blood, sweat, and tears of his daughter (Alyson) and wife (Jean).

For the many who may be unfamiliar, mead is a flavor-dense beverage made of fermented honey, fruit, yeast, and spices. Through it is sometimes called honey wine, it is a different species altogether than wine or beer. “Mead is a unique beverage because of its origins in honey,” Ken said. “Every other beverage is based on a product that is essentially limitless. If you need more barley, you just plant another field. If you need more honey, you can’t go plant a field of bees.”

Though he may not be able to plant a field of bees, he is relentless about finding the best honey; which leads to the most delicious mead.

His reverence for using the best quality ingredients comes through, most especially, with his signature mead: Heart of Darkness. He grows the fruit himself and it is “lovingly” hand-harvested and mollycoddled to maximize the flavors.

But whether it’s the exclusive (and expensive) Heart of Darkness or the other meads on the menu at Schramm’s, Ken strives to “make meads so good that when you get done drinking them, you’ll be haunted by the flavor.”

His first experience making mead was 25 years ago, and he says he’s “been hooked ever since.” Aside from his own meadery, Schramm also participates in the larger mead community as well. You’ll find him listed as the author of The Compleat Meadmaker, published in 2003, that has been instrumental in promoting mead awareness to interested readers. The book has sold over 60,000 copies and is considered the seminal text for mead making hobbyists and professionals. Schramm is also one of the founders of the Mazer Up — an international mead competition for mead makers that takes place annually in March.

After all these many years of participating in the mead community, Ken has finally secured his own meadery right here in Ferndale. It’s in this very modestly-sized space that Ken makes 200-gallon batches of mead, and does all of the bottling, tasting, and selling. The tasting room at Schramm’s is as unpretentious and approachable as the mead itself; the steel mead-making tanks are visible from any seat at the bar or at any one of the dozen tables inside.

That particular space was one of the many reasons Schramm chose Ferndale as the home for the meadery. “(Ferndale is) a great combination of both customers and a storefront that I could have right on Nine Mile. It has a supportive city government that really welcomed me with open arms,” he said.

Michigan also happens to be one of the hotbed states for mead making and, for that reason, local customers are more familiar with mead and other craft beverages and are excited to give them a try.

Schramm’s staff members are also very knowledgeable about all of his products and share his passion for helping customers enjoy mead. First time visitors are encouraged to taste and sample several different meads. Schramm’s also serves savory canapés and platters as well as sweets with recommended mead pairings. The meadery has recently added a trivia night on Wednesdays and they are having a holiday gala for members of Schramm’s Mazer Club on December 8th. In addition to special invitations to parties and events, the Mazer Club participants receive discounts on selected mead, merchandise, and early access to seasonal releases.

And if you want to spend locally for the holiday season, they have The Compleat Meadmaker, a variety of hats, T-shirts, and hoodies, plus two special gift baskets that feature Schramm’s mead and other goodies, many of them made in Michigan.

Schramm’s Meadery is located at 327 West Nine Mile and open Wednesday through Sunday. The Tasting Room can be reserved for private tasting parties on Monday or Tuesday.

For more information, call 248-439-5000.

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

0 886

Although the Bosco has been a popular Woodward bar for over 16 years, recent renova- tions are working to make it one of the most memorable Ferndale nightspots.

A newly renovated space, combined with a new kitchen and grill, gives visitors an entirely new standard when meeting for a casual drink. Guests can enjoy a specialty mixed drink in the calming and beautiful lounge area, and their spacious patio section (equipped with heaters) is a scenic place to enjoy an evening any time of the year.

Jay Noonchester took over the bar as owner three years ago, and has spent his time there reinventing the Bosco experience. Working with his carpenter father, growing up has given Noonchester a unique hand- crafted vision for the bar. Gorgeous reclaimed wood from the family’s Howell barn mix with colorful neon lights — giving off a soothing mix of old and new. The ceiling lights change color and direction in a fun, fluid movement, moving the atmosphere from a chill lounge to a high energy night club. Custom-made candle-lit wooden tables and bar top makes Bosco feel cozy and welcoming — a perfect place for a conversation.

The Bosco is much more than a beautiful space, though. Offering an array of musical talent as well as nightly specials, there is always something fun happening inside. As bartender Julie explains, “There really is something here for everyone. We go from a relaxed pre-dinner lounge, to an acoustic crowd drinking wine, to pouring shots for the late night crowd.”
The bar is as accommodating to the soothing Ben Sharkey Quartet as they are with loud electronic music. With a constantly rotating schedule of artists and DJs, there is a sound for everyone’s tastes at the Bosco.

The most exciting update to the Bosco is the addition of a grill and kitchen providing a tasty menu full of plates that are perfect to share. Chef Steve Hromek has worked with Noonchester to design a kitchen capable of his varied and delicious delicacies for both vegetarians and carnivores alike. Hromek’s inspired menu is accessible yet gourmet; everything is made in-house and fresh.

The two-man team in the kitchen works hard to change your perception of bar food.

The smoked salmon crostini has incredible house-smoked salmon prepared fresh and is perfectly paired with cucumber, crème, and capers. Seared sea scallops will melt in your mouth and leave your taste buds in wonder. Your favorite comfort foods — including spinach dip with freshly made chips — have an added twist of gourmet flavor.

The Bosco will soon become your favorite dessert spot when you try their decadently delicious Sweet Tooth menu. There will always be room for the house made mini elephant ears served with a homemade apple cider glaze. Cider donuts are available year round. The deep-fried Oreos can be a meal on their own. The oversized cast iron cookie and slices of specialty cakes are all served with Treat Dreams ice cream. The Bosco desserts make for a perfect late night date; share an oversized slice of cake chased with a specialty martini for the tastiest night imaginable.

In addition to the new menu, the Bosco offers an array of drinks. Specialty martinis include everything from dessert mixes and coffee drinks to your classic blends — each looking almost too good to drink. The Boo Berry, a local favorite, has fresh blueberries mixed with blueberry vodka and coconut rum and juices — a perfect blend without being overly sweet.

The Bosco always features Michigan- made beers and liquors on special. An extensive wine list is available, as well as a long non-alcoholic beverage list including specialty coffees and Italian sodas.

The Bosco is conveniently located at just north of 9 Mile Road on Woodward with a parking lot in back. Its proximity to the Magic Bag makes it the perfect place for a drink before or after a show. Follow them on Face- book to stay updated on their special events, deals, and great menu items.

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states connected to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

0 833

Call it a second helping of space, and one which tastes pretty delicious so far.

Ferndale’s Treat Dreams, which opened to spectacular local fanfare in August 2010, recently made a significant business decision to expand its location at 22965 Woodward Ave. The result? A dining area that is about triple its former size, as well as a kitchen area twice as big as before. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it? “We’re so busy in the summer,” server Brie Todd says. “We needed more room.” It’s a move that’s paying off, says Treat Dreams owner Scott Moloney. “A popular saying is that ‘I’d rather be lucky than good,’ and I feel that way about being lucky enough to have my business in Ferndale,” he says.

The Treat Dreams staff closed its original store and began the expansion and renovation project on February 18th. The project was complete on March 15th, just in time for an eager crowd of ice cream lovers on the cusp of springtime weather. The project cost around $50,000, and involved taking over PakMail’s space, the business which was located next door. (Pakmail has moved two blocks to the north, to 23241 Woodward.)

The decision to expand wasn’t made on a whim, Moloney explains. “Actually, there were a couple of reasons we decided to expand the store,” he says. “The obvious one was to have more dining space — we essentially tripled the amount of dining space and seating for our guests. The prior space became very crowded during the April–September season on a normal day, and in the event that we had a birthday party in the store, it took up almost all of our seating. In addition to our expanded inside seating, we also plan to have outdoor cafe seating in front of our original space and the expanded space (on Woodward), and also to have additional seating on the side of the building on Cambourne.”

Equally important in Moloney’s decision was the desire to give his servers more space to work their magic in the kitchen. And for anyone who hasn’t tried Treat Dreams’ homemade ice cream, there’s a lot of magic going on. Seriously, who ever thought to make an ice cream flavor out of Swedish fish? Not to mention other exotic ideas, which include pistachio wasabi, chocolate-covered potato chip ice cream, hot jalapeno, lemon basil, and purple yam, to name a few.

“The new kitchen space will allow us to add more freezer space as our business grows,” Moloney says. “Prior to that, our walk-in freezer would be packed to the ceiling between the ice cream that we sold in the store, plus the growing number of scoops and ice cream sandwiches needed for our expanding event business, plus the ice cream that we needed to store to our growing wholesale business to local restaurants (now up to about a dozen restaurants in the Detroit area). The expansion will also allow us to add a potential second retail location in the Detroit area, and have the production remain in Ferndale.”

There were also some extracurricular concerns that went into the decision to launch the project. “The expanded space also allows us to host our popular Kids Camp program as well as our after-hours adult ice cream-making parties — Treat Dreams After Dark — without getting in the way and interrupting our normal production needs in the kitchen,” Moloney says.

All in all, he says, everything’s been peachy. “So far, I am thrilled with the reaction of our guests,” he says. “My biggest fear was how it would be received by our existing client base. It was quite a radical transformation, both in terms of the size of the expansion as well as the makeover, and you are always nervous when you mess with something that is already successful.” Although still a relatively young business, Treat Dreams already has the feel of a place that is a community mainstay. “I feel blessed to have been embraced by the local community,” Moloney says. “It feels like we have been a part of the Ferndale community for much longer than the almost three years that we have been in business. I like everything about the town and residents and businesses (in Ferndale). The support that Ferndale has given me is nothing short of amazing, from working with the city — great to work with, always accommodating — to the residents — incredibly supportive of small independent businesses, and always embracing of the unique flavors we do — to the local businesses, that we have been proud to partner with.”

Todd says that most of the regulars who frequent Treat Dreams have been thrilled by the recent expansion. “People are always so positive when they come in here,” he says.

Oak Park resident Jenn Jamal says she wishes her family could hit up Treat Dreams more frequently. “Our family loves the creative flavors at Treat Dreams, and the quality of the ice cream is amazing,” she says. “As an added bonus, we like that we’re supporting a local business.”

Treat Dreams is open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays,
from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
again on Sundays. Email Moloney at treatdreams@gmail.com.

If some happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states coupled to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

0 1642

There is no doubt that Ferndale offers some of the best nightlife in all of the Metro Detroit area. And one person who has helped bring the area from a dilapidated downtown to an essential hangout is Chris Johnston. He and his partners are responsible for such cornerstone spots as the WAB (Woodward Avenue Brewers), The Emory, The Loving Touch and even the DIY Street Fair. Their ideas, creativity and efforts have helped shape downtown Ferndale as the suburbs go-to hangout spot. We sat down with Chris to find out more about why he chose Ferndale for his businesses and the DIY Street Fair, and how he got into the business in the first place.

Ferndale Friends: How did you get into the line of work you’re in?
Chris Johnston: I was a musician trying to make a go at that business. All of the beating my head against the wall made me believe that starting a microbrewery in a sleepy little town with not a lot going on sounded like a fantastic idea. Thanks to my ability to put forth a pretty convincing argument for just about anything, I got my girlfriend, Krista – now my wife – and my brother Grant – unbelievably still my brother – along with another childhood friend, Brian Reedy – still my friend but we’re no longer in our childhoods – to come along for the ride. Looking back on it, it still seems pretty ridiculous. But that’s what makes things exciting.

FF: Why did you choose Ferndale to open up the microbrewery? Did you grow up here?
CJ: No, I grew up in Birmingham. My mom is still there in the house I grew up in with my three brothers. Family is really important to me. When we decided to open up, we searched all over the area for a location, focusing on Royal Oak because it was just starting to get popular. There weren’t any buildings of the size we needed available, so we ventured into Ferndale. I always had fond memories of the city. Instantly we knew it was the right place, as it felt like it was a blank canvas, which I view as a good thing. In many ways it still feels that way, as it seems like any kind of business from the heart could come in here and get a fighting chance.

FF: What do you think it is that makes Ferndale so unique?
CJ: People that live here are proud of their city, and for good reason. I think there’s a tremendous sense of self associated with the city of Ferndale. I feel like it’s a positive place. Life can be challenging. This economy can be challenging. I like the feeling that we have here that we’re all in this together, whether that’s working with the city, the police, DPW, fire or standing in our driveway talking to our neighbors.

FF: How did the idea for the DIY Street Fair come about?
CJ: We started the DIYSF to be a city event that could benefit as many people and businesses in this city as possible. I sat on the DDA Board for a while and had an inside ear to dissent regarding events: there was always some group that felt left out or was unhappy with each event. I’m not saying we created some utopian event, but that was our goal. For the record, you have to have those events that don’t please everyone. For example the Dream Cruise. I think it’s a very valuable event for the city, yet a lot of people cruise out of town when it happens. I’m a people-pleaser by nature. Listening to complaints really gets old quick for me.
FF: And do you think something like the DIYSF could really take root in other communities?
CJ: I wish I could say yes, but DIY fits Ferndale to a tee. The amount of creativity that is in this area is so inspiring. DIY came after all of that was already here. And, at the risk of sounding unpopular or closed minded, I don’t get that same sense of creativity from many other communities.

FF: What does it mean to you to see all of your endeavors become so popular in Ferndale?
CJ: This is a great opportunity for me to inject this in this conversation: Our businesses, and whatever success and popularity they have now or forever, is a direct result of the four partners involved in them, as well as the amazing people that we work with. DIY Street Fair happened because I had an idea and called on some really creative people who I was lucky enough to be able to convince to help organize it. I’m really good at starting conversations, making introductions and then finding a sandwich and thinking about the next thing. I can see how it takes a lot to work with me, and I’m really lucky anyone does.

FF: Why do you think people come to Ferndale?
CJ: People like Ferndale for the same reason they like DIYSF: You can walk 20 feet and be pleasantly surprised by the next thing you see. It may be completely different yet there are common threads that weave through it all of integrity, expression and optimism.

FF: Chris, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. We wish you continued success.
CJ: Thanks to Ferndale Friends for being a great conduit for this community. It’s a great way to get to know what makes people around us tick.

The DIY Street Fair, sponsored by the Woodward Avenue Brewery will take place September 14th-16th East of Woodward and South of Nine Mile. Admission is free. For more information visit http://diystreetfair.com.

If slightly happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

0 947

It was a sad day for many Ferndale residents and eatery buffs alike when Bart and Todd Sparks, owners of Club Bart, announced they were closing their doors last Summer. The eclectic little establishment right next door to Dino’s was known for their good food, tasty drinks, friendly staff – and that funky stage that was uniquely positioned behind and above the bar, where musical and comedic acts would strut their stuff most nights of the week.

But this isn’t an obituary. It’s a birth announcement!

For some time now, people driving or walking by Ferndale’s main intersection may have been wondering just what mysterious plans were being cooked up behind the closed doors of 22726 Woodward Ave.
The answer? The John D Bistro, which could be open as early as mid-February if all goes well.

At the moment, the interior of the building is being renovated, but the handsome exterior arch of the front door sporting the name “John D” seems to be a sign of good things to come.

Another sign? The restaurant industry is apparently firmly stamped into owner Eddie Farah’s DNA. His father is the owner of one of the many Leo’s Coney Island eateries, and his cousins and uncles own restaurants, too (including Ferndale’s very own Anita’s Kitchen as well as Le George
in Northville and Ike’s Family Dining in Sterling Heights). “That’s all we do,” Farah says of his family. “We do restaurants.”

Farah, a Royal Oak resident, says taking ownership of the property at 22726 was a logical step to take. He says he’s been hanging out in Ferndale for quite some time — he’s a big fan of Magic Bag and Woodward Avenue Brewers, in particular — and he happened to share a mutual acquaintance with Bart Starks, the former owner of Club Bart. Farah says he found out from this acquaintance that Starks was getting ready to retire Club Bart. “So I took a look at it, and we made a deal,” he says. “You can’t beat the location. You’re in a great city; you’re in Ferndale. You’re on Woodward in Ferndale, so you can’t beat that. Ferndale is up-and-coming. It’s hip. And people know their food.”

Farah is less than eager — “as of right now” — to discuss what the John D Bistro will offer on its menu. “It’s modern American,” he says. “I’m
just going to leave it at that. Right now, I really don’t want to leak my menu.”
Then, this tantalizing clue: “The food is going to look delicious, and it’s going to taste delicious,” he says. He adds that he’s got the beer covered, too. “I’m planning on doing Michigan craft beers on my tap,” he says, making specific mention of Bell’s and Founders.

For the folks who loved the aforementioned stage that stood behind the bar at Club Bart, fear not. You’ll see it again. “I kept the stage,” Farah says with a laugh. “I actually made the stage a little bit bigger. The stage is going to have a dual purpose: I built it out so it’s also a lounge up there. So when I don’t have live entertainment, people can sit up there and drink and eat there. We’ll have cool lighting, and it’s going to be a cool place just to hang out. And then when I have live entertainment we take the tables down, we take the railing off, and then we can have good bands playing up there.”

Naturally, since it hasn’t opened yet, the John D Bistro is looking for some employees. Anyone interested in working there is encouraged to send
their resume to resume@johndbistro.com. So how long do we have to wait before the John D Bistro opens its doors to offer eager customers a taste? Not long, Farah says. “We’re getting close to finishing construction,” he says. “We’re just waiting on that, and a liquor
license. It should be pretty soon.”

As soon as a little more of the winter is behind us, go strolling up to 22726 Woodward Ave. (look for the arch!), and bring your appetite.
It sounds like Ferndale has another great restaurant coming!

If slightly happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What humanity talk about “viagra stories“? The most essential aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

0 1444

If you’re looking for the hardshell- ground-beef-shreddedcheddar- lettuce-with-sour-cream taco at The Woodward Imperial when it opens this Spring, forget it! This ain’t your father’s taco joint.

Nor will it have an atmosphere like any snotty places further north on Woodward. Instead, The Woodward Imperial will be a fun, family- and community-friendly eatery and bar with a new twist on tacos, said Jeff King, one of the owners with Perry and Sharon Lavoisne and Amir Daiza.

Rather than the fare that one would get at the national taco chain, The Woodward Imperial will serve “authentic, California- style, open-face street tacos,” said King. There will be seven varieties, including beef, chicken and veggie,” on soft corn tortillas. But no fish tacos. “Those are coastal,” explained King, referring to the country’s two coasts.

Other offerings include sides, such as beans (but not refried), corn, and madeto- order guacamole. However, King was quick to point out, “It’s not a Mexican restaurant. You won’t get the typical fare you get at a Mexican restaurant.” And everything will be fresh. “We’re using local purveyors for everything we can get our hands on.”

With seating for 135, the restaurant is furnished with handmade oak booths, tables, benches and barstools—all made by King. The walls are charcoal and light grey, and King and his partners are in the process of seeking artwork. There won’t be a lot of TVs either. An area in the back of the restaurant will have four for folks who want to watch the “big game” with their meal. Otherwise, the place is set up for socializing.

“TVs detract from social interaction,” said King. “I want a sense of community.” To promote this, the restaurant has two communal tables in the front of the house. “It’s part of the experience of being with people, talking.” King added that at the communal tables, he can accommodate parties of up to 20, unlike other restaurants that may have to push tables together or break parties apart because they can’t seat such a large group.

Located at the site of the former Post Bar, The Woodward Imperial will have the same distressed wood floors, which have been carefully refinished by King. “Everything else is new,” he explained, but “I want people to feel like we’ve been here 75 years. I want (the restaurant) to feel like a place your grandfather took you to.”

The Woodward Imperial will have a full bar and programmed music representing a variety of artists and styles. Garage-style roll-up doors are installed at the front and back of the eatery, which will give diners the option of eating inside or out in nice weather. But even for those who eat inside, they’ll still get the feel of eating outdoors. “I always wanted to do roll-up doors,” King explained.

A native of Fresno, Calif., the now-Berkley resident came to Michigan in 1993. A former bass player in a band, King, the son of a father in the military, said he was raised “all over—Europe, both coasts, Texas, many states.” In terms of education, he took some classes at If you’re looking for the hardshell- ground-beef-shreddedcheddar- lettuce-with-sour-cream taco at The Woodward Imperial when it opens this Spring, forget it! This ain’t your father’s taco joint. Northern Virginia Community College. He’s been married to his wife, Suzanne, for nine years.

In his spare time, the former nightclub and bar owner and head of security at St. Andrews Hall in downtown Detroit enjoys summertime activities, golf and anything automotive.

King and his partners chose Ferndale for The Woodward Imperial because they “like the diversity of Ferndale; it’s an up-and-coming growth city.”

“Ferndale actually was our first choice,” said King, “but it took a year to find the right property. We really like the clientele here, foot traffic and attitude. City officials have been very helpful— providing me with the right information and helping me move my project along,” he explained.

When it opens, The Woodward Imperial will have 18 employees, including a chef rather than a cook. Asked why a chef, King explained, “because of the uniqueness of our dishes.” The key elements that will drive the business are quality, consistency and customer service. “You won’t see employees texting. We’re interested in getting back to what good service should be.”

In choosing the name, the partners “didn’t want anything that screamed Mexican restaurant,” King said. They decided on Imperial because that’s the last beachfront in California before reaching Mexico. However, he was quick to explain that The Woodward Imperial “is not a stereotypical California beach bar.”

King said The Woodward Imperial will be the partners’ flagship, and they plan to open more restaurants. “We’re honing our concept. We will open our next location in 18 months (in Michigan).”

King wants the community to know that The Woodward Imperial is not a corporate operation. “Our employees won’t be wearing uniforms. This is a corner, community establishment.” He explained that he and his partners want to be part of the community, getting involved in festivals, youth activities and maybe even sponsoring a Little League team. “What’s important to us are families.”

He hopes to have some promotions or specials, but they haven’t been determined yet. Reservations won’t be necessary, unless there is a big party, then he requests that diners call ahead.

King strongly emphasizes that everyone will be welcome at The Woodward Imperial. “Our food is extremely affordable, and our prices are consumer-friendly. We are not highfalutin at all!” -Heidi Press is a Detroit-area writer & editor.

 

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most essential aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.