Fried Chicken, Pasta, Cinnamon Buns: Exquisite Comfort Foods

By: Toni Cunningham | November 15, 2013

When the temperature drops, there’s really only one thing that can make you feel all warm and snuggly: comfort food.

Let’s be honest, comfort food is soothing 365 days a year, but its magic-like qualities are even more effective when there’s frost on the ground and a chill in the air. It’s snowing and you’re hungry? A dish of mac n’ cheese will make you feel better. Keep your stomach from growling by indulging in the following local comfort foods.

Mac n’ Cheese

Eight different varieties of mac n’ cheese await you at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor. They include: Roadhouse Macaroni & Cheese, Pimento Bacon Macaroni, Fried Chicken Macaroni & Cheese, Macaroni with Smoked Chicken & Monterey Jack, Macaroni & 3-Peppercorn Goat Cheese, Local Mushroom Macaroni, Andouille Macaroni & Cheese, and BBQ Chicken Macaroni. If you ask me, that just means one variation for every day of the week and an additional one for a snack.

The recently opened Rock City Eatery, 11411 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, serves its homemade mac n’ cheese in a Parmesan crust bowl. I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. Any time food is served in an edible dish, I’m all for it.

One of my favorite comfort mac n’ cheese dishes is served at the Town Tavern, 116 W. 4th St., Royal Oak, and it packs a punch. The Buffalo Chicken Mac is smothered with sharp cheddar cheese and bacon, then topped with a Bleu cheese crust. And, while not exactly cheap, it’s fantastic.

Chicken—Fried, Roasted and Waffle’d

You know what goes great with mac n’ cheese? Chicken. Fried or roasted, this is another ultimate comfort food. Beans & Cornbread, 29508 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield, prepares it both ways, and neither will disappoint you. B&C’s Fried Chicken can be served with waffles, and ordering the seasoned Roast Chicken gives you the option of home-style gravy or BBQ sauce.

For those of you who enjoy the chicken and waffle combo, New Center Eatery, 3100 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, has six different varieties on its menu. If I were you, I’d go for the Magnolia’s Country Special, which includes a fried chicken breast on top of a waffle drenched with gravy and topped with butter and strawberries. Because, of course, we still want to remain health conscious and include some fruit.

Should you have a family to feed and are looking for some seriously good comfort food takeout style, Chicken Shack, with several Metro Detroit locations, is calling your name. They’ve got every chicken meal you could possibly dream of, including a four-piece Chicken Dinner, Wing Ding Dinner, Tender Snack Meal and more.

Biscuits & Gravy

A popular breakfast staple and side dish item, biscuits & gravy are essential when it comes to comfort food. Mae’s Restaurant, 24060 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge, has perfected breakfast, especially the biscuits and gravy. Both the sausage gravy and flaky buttermilk biscuits are made from scratch in house.

Grilled Cheese

There’s no comfort food quite like grilled cheese. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it most likely brings you back to your childhood days. Dino’s Lounge, 22740 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, recently unveiled a seasonal comfort food menu, and Grilled Cheese Sliders are front and center. These tiny grilled cheeses are made with Swiss, American and Mozzarella, and are served with a side of tomato soup. While it’s listed on the appetizer menu, it sounds good enough to star as the main dish, in my opinion.

Detroit’s Green Zebra food truck serves delicious grilled cheese—all you have to do is track it down! The truck’s famous Bacon Tomato Jam Grilled Cheese is made with mozzarella, provolone and cheddar cheese, and slathered with Slow Jams tomato jam. They also have a Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese.

For even more grilled cheese goodness, take a look at our previous cheese-tastic article.

Noodles, Noodles and More Noodles

I eat pasta the way most people drink water, so I think I’m pretty well versed on this particular topic. Compari’s, 350 S. Main St., Plymouth, makes Lasagna that will change your life, and other succulent dishes like Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli, Fettuccine Alfredo and Pasta Compari (penne pasta with Italian sausage, peppers, onions and meat sauce).

Leonardo’s Italian Grille, 7575 Merriman Rd., Romulus, is another great place for comfort food, Italian style. The menu is packed with Italian specialties like Ravioli, Stuffed Shells, Spaghetti alla Carbonara and Stuffed Manicotti. You can also build your own pasta entrée by choosing the noodle, sauce, and additions like meatballs or Italian sausage.

Cinnamon Rolls

Comfort food doesn’t apply to just dinner entrees and side dishes. Start your day off with something soothing for breakfast and you’re on your way to a good day. La Petite Patisserie, 2026 Hazel St., Birmingham, makes a cinnamon roll with imported French butter. Not sure what imported French butter is? There’s only one way to find out.

Avalon International Breads, 422 W. Willis St., Detroit, serves Seriously Sticky Buns that are seriously delicious. These cinnamon rolls are made of brioche with cinnamon butter and brown sugar. You can order it one of three ways: plain, currant, or pecan. If you’re really serious about remaining fair, try all three.

Everything at Natalie’s Bakery, 31023 John R Rd., Madison Heights, is made with organic, all-natural ingredients. A large majority of ingredients are also sourced locally! This means that you can eat one of their glaze-covered cinnamon rolls and feel good about it. Right?

With this much comfort food at our fingertips, there’s no reason us Metro Detroiters won’t be able to make it through another cold winter without a smile on our faces. Get ready to dig in!