Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is an annual Detroit tradition whether you have Irish heritage or simply enjoy honoring the contributions this culture has brought to the city. Perhaps the best way to enjoy St. Patty’s is through food – and Detroit definitely has that covered.
For the first stop of the day, check out Birmingham hot-spot Hazel, Ravines and Downtown. The new restaurant named after the neighborhoods where it is located has developed a well-respected menu that highlights comfort foods, new trends and its well-traveled owners, including Executive Chef Emmele Herrold.
Herrold created her version of the Full Irish Breakfast for the “well-traveled” section of the menu, and it’s become a customer favorite. You don’t have to pair the hearty, protein-packed dish with an Irish whiskey or beer, but you are certainly welcome to do so because the fully stocked bar is prepared.
The Fully Irish Breakfast includes homemade baked beans, Kielbasa, ham, eggs, potato, grilled tomato and toast. Herrold’s typical choice is to serve Dearborn-brand sausage, a nod toward the beloved company and because it is a great balanced to the rest of the plate’s ingredients, she said.
“It is a very traditional Irish breakfast except we knew that the blood sausage that you might see if you were in Ireland might not be as well received here,” Herrold said. “One of my favorite things about cooking is putting a spin on (traditional) cuisine and adding my touch to it.”
For St. Patrick’s Day, Herrold said the menu also includes corned beef hash, made with a brined brisket that is sure to satisfy anyone who is Irish or just like to say they are once a year. Known as HRD to its fans, Hazel, Ravines and Downtown serves its Irish- and English-style breakfasts all year long.
In Redford, Ackroyd’s Bakery has added several new items for March and particularly for St. Patrick’s Day. You could try one or dive into them all through its new St. Patrick’s Day Starter Pack, which includes four Irish Stew Pies, four corned beef and cabbage pasties and one loaf of Irish Soda bread.
Like HRD, Ackroyd’s adds its twist to the traditional. Its corned beef and cabbage pastie features all of the components of the well-loved St. Patrick’s Day meal: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onion in a handmade puff pastry. The Irish Stew Pie has ground beef, potatoes, carrots, peas, pickled onions and gravy. And the Irish soda bread is packed with buttermilk and golden raisins.
Ackroyd’s is a third-generational bakery that specializes in made-from-scratch meats and baked goods. Owner Megan Ackroyd says this time of year is especially exciting for the store and gives them a real sales boost – plus, it is fun to see everyone try a traditional Irish dish and honor this culture.
All of these dishes are perfect to pair with a pint of your favorite Irish ale or whiskey. Pretty much every Metro Detroit bar or store will say it is Irish for St. Patrick’s Day. But one place to check out is Oxford Beverage in Grosse Pointe Woods – the Mack Avenue store that specializes in Harp lager, Smithwicks Red Ale, Guinness and other favorites is selling “Irish Flu Shots,” or tiny little bottles of Jameson for people coming by.