About Me

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Lansing, Michigan, United States
I am a Lansing townie, lawyer, and restaurant reviewer for the City Pulse. I love traveling, reading, yoga, and baking, but my favorite hobby is stuffing my face.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rock City Eatery

Yesterday a foot and a half of snow fell on Lansing, Michigan. After my morning exercises of both the spiritual and physical nature, I hunkered down and stayed inside. Much much later that evening I made brownies and popcorn and fed the friends who had gathered to watch the season premiere of Downton Abbey. Today I had a brownie for breakfast, but I better watch myself because the gym is closed today, on account of weather.

Since I can't go anywhere, I can't eat anything new. So I'd better tell you about my trip last week to Rock City Eatery, the first of my list of Young Guns restaurants to visit. The restaurant is in Hamtramck, which is a city that is completely separate from, and completely enclosed within, the city of Detroit. I don't get it either.

The place is decidedly hipster. I don't mean that as a slight, I just mean that, amongst the rock n' roll artwork, mismatched chairs, and patrons sporting thick beards, ironic tshirts and holiday sweaters, and mohawks (and I don't mean mohawks on the men), I was a bit of a sore thumb. But I guess I can eat just as well as they can, so I'll just put on my cardigan and close my yap.

I waited for my friend Andy and ordered the Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Thai basil/peanuts/scallions/smoked tomatoes/lime/chile. I eat a ton of Brussels sprouts, and the Thai-influenced preparation was something I'd not thought of before. I liked it, especially the basil.
We had both read about the Rock City Eatery macaroni and cheese, and that was next on our agenda. The menu offers little description but I'd heard rumors that the stuff is served in a bowl made of cheese.

Let me remind you, and myself, that cheese is not my bag. I don't eat pieces of cheese. I don't lose my mind over macaroni and cheese, and I would never order it if left to my own devices.

However, I am an idiot.
That corkscrew pasta sure enough is in a bowl of fried Parmesan. Suffice it to say that I ate the lion's share of this while contemplating how I can learn to make bowls of cheese and what I can put in them. (Popcorn in a cheese bowl. Can you even imagine?)

We were just getting warmed up, and I ordered the RCE cheeseburger, at this point having clearly forgotten my aversion to fromage. I added bacon and an egg. I wondered where my self-control had gone.
The fries, while acceptably crispy and salty, remained largely untouched on my plate. I focused my attention on the massive burger, the size of which forced me to delicately nibble around the edges when what I really wanted to do was unhinge my jaw and take the world's biggest bite. The container of thin napkins on the corner of the table stood no chance- what I really needed was a drop cloth.

The bun was a little flimsy, but maybe that's because I had all of the world's toppings on this burger. I eventually got rid of the bun and ate the burger and toppings with a fork. I'm an animal.

I can't tell you what Andy ate, because I had burger all over my face and wasn't thinking about anyone but myself. I was thinking about what kind of pie I was going to eat, just to make sure that I was fully stuffed to the gills for my drive home.

The owner of RCE is known for his pies, which he used to sell at a market in Ferndale. Obviously, we would be ordering pie, and when the waitress told me that they were offering three varieties that night I requested a slice of each of them.
The white trash pie. I was introduced to white trash candy this year, but I still don't know what it is. Some kind of candy, covered in white chocolate or powdered sugar or Karo syrup? I wasn't into this pie. The pretzels had become soggy and this was my least favorite of the three.
Sweet potato pie, which to me is reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie never hurt anybody, but it's not one of my favorite desserts. I liked the texture of this, it was very smooth and creamy. I won't lie to you and tell you that we didn't eat it, because we absolutely did.
Cherry whiskey pie. Now we're talking. I didn't even care that this was what it looked like when the waitress brought it to our table. It was delicious- the fruit was tart, the crust was sweet and tasted like a crumbly, slightly spicy cookie. I'm not saying that I would drive clear to Hamtramck just to buy one of these pies and then eat the entire thing, but yes that is exactly what I'm saying.

By the by, the prices at RCE are insanely reasonable. I could almost eat a meal there on what my dad used to give me for allowance every week. Put on your black tshirt, go heavy on the eyeliner, and get thee to Rock City Eatery.


BF Mom said...

You didn't comment on the plates. They look like fine china. I would expect melmac.

GCJ said...

I had to Google what Melmac is, and if a restaurant served me on those dishes, I would consider leaving. I probably wouldn't, especially if they were working with that caliber of cherry pie, but I would strongly consider it.

Maybe they should just serve everything out of Parmesan bowls.