It’s that time of year, folks! The Woodward Dream Cruise is upon us once again, bringing over a million visitors to the area and showing off over 40,000 custom cars.
The Woodward Dream Cruise will take place on Saturday, August 17 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. In case you’ve never been, the Cruise takes place along, you guessed it, Woodward Avenue, winding through eight different communities and spanning 16 miles.
While the main event is obviously the cars, it’s also quite apparent that you’re going to need to eat at some point within that 12-hour window. And while you could partake in the spirit of all things cars by gliding through a drive-thru, that would be both an insult to the area’s wonderful cuisine and your insides.
Instead, take a look at this city-by-city guide and visit the best restaurant in the area. You (and your stomach) can thank me later.
The Fly Trap, 22950 Woodward Ave., has about a dozen different egg dishes, several unique burgers (including a Tempting Tempeh and Red Chili Salmon burger) and noodle bowls that have been made famous by The Food Network. If it’s good enough for Guy Fieri, shouldn’t it be good enough for you?
Mae’s, 24060 Woodward Ave., serves breakfast and brunch all day, including custom, made-to-order omelets, skillets, breakfast sandwiches, and (wait for it) Coffee Cake Pancakes. If that doesn’t sound like the best breakfast item ever made, I don’t know what is. If for whatever reason that doesn’t appeal to you, lunch is served after 11 a.m. and includes 15 different sandwiches, as well as burgers and salads. Oh, they also have Deep Fried Oreos for dessert.
The Panini Press, 28983 Woodward Ave., prides itself on creating simple sandwiches with fresh, local ingredients. The menu includes signature and gluten-free sandwiches, and styled to look like a newspaper, while the sandwiches are named after publications (get it— PRESS?). Paninis include The Traverse City Times (with black forest ham, brie, granny smith apple and sweet mustard sauce), The Philadelphia Post (with shaved roast beef, caramelized red onions, provolone cheese and smoky BBQ sauce) and The Tuscon Tribune (with grilled chicken breast, grilled onion, bell peppers, pepper jack cheese and southwest spicy mayo). Side items like chips, coleslaw, salad and soup should round out your meal perfectly.
Red Coat Tavern, 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak serves my favorite cheeseburger in all of Metro Detroit, so it would be a shame to pass this one up. The Original Redcoat Special Hamburger is the main item on the “Bill of Fare,” and you surely won’t regret ordering it. They’ve got other sandwiches and entrees on the menu, but ordering anything besides a burger here should be against the law.
Peabody’s Restaurant, 34965 Woodward Ave., is a little more upscale, in terms of both menu items and ambiance. If you’re in the mood for a 6 oz. filet mignon for lunch, this place is calling your name. I’d rather chow down on Apple-Jack Baby Back Ribs, Lobster Mac n’ Cheese or Cranberry Sage Chicken for dinner as opposed to mid-day, but the choice is yours. The Oven Roasted Prime Rib Sandwich or Birmingham BLT sound more reasonable for lunchtime.
The Moose Preserve Bar & Grill, 43034 Woodward Ave., has a selection of unique menu items for those of you adventurous foodies out there. Wild game menu items include a Roadkill Grill plate (complete with venison, quail and boar sausage), Buffaloaf (a buffalo meatloaf) and BBQ Buffalo Ribs (drowned in Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce). There’s also a Prime Rib Saturday special, and more traditional barbecue items for those not sold on the Wild Game portion of the menu.
Motorcity Burgers & Co., 44911 Woodward Ave., is another great place for a burger, and stays true to the weekend’s automotive theme. The diner is decked out in car décor and serves burgers that will keep you full all day long. Pair that with a side of onion rings and/or fries and your stomach will thank you.
The Woodward Dream Cruise is an event you don’t want to miss, and you certainly wouldn’t want to experience it on an empty stomach. Whether you’re participating in the parade, watching the cars go by or running the Cruise in Shoes 5K, you can now find a restaurant with ease!