Quesadillas, Sliders & Nachos: Bar Hop Your Way Through Metro D

By: Toni Cunningham | October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween, Metro Detroiters! Whether you’ve got a costume ready or not, tonight calls for a celebration. If you’re not particularly fond of Halloween parties (we definitely wouldn’t be very good friends), it’s time for one thing: bar hopping! And not just any ol’ bar hopping; bar hopping at establishments with excellent bar bites and drink offerings.

Grab a few friends and head to one of the following areas for an evening complete with tasty appetizers and thirst quenching cocktails.

Plymouth

Ironwood Grill, 840 W. Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, is a trusty standby when it comes to barhopping, drinks and appetizers. The spinach artichoke dip here is phenomenal (I’m a huge fan and a hard marker for this dish), as well as other starters including Cajun Tenderloin Steak Tips, Pepperoni Cheese Bread, Chicken Quesadillas and BBQ Smoked Sausage and Peppers.

Order enough to share with your friends and wash things down with a Sam Adams Oktoberfest or Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream draft.

Hermann’s Olde Town Grille, 195 W. Liberty St., Plymouth, is a great place to grab a Michigan-brewed Soft Parade, or glass of Bower Harbors’ Riesling if you’re more of a vino person. Order a few appetizers for your table, from choices like Firecracker Sticks (seasoned chicken “firecracker” wraps served with chipotle ranch), Pub Pickles (battered and deep fried!), Pepper Jack Bites or OTG’s Famous Calamari.

336, located at 336 Main St., Plymouth, is known for its selection of crazy cocktails, including the Purple Haze martini (with Skyy Grape vodka), John Daily (sweet tea vodka and lemonade) and Salted Caramel Apple (salted caramel vodka with Apple Pucker).

With all that booze going on, don’t forget an appetizer of Caprese Skewers, Sausage and Cheese Platter, Tuna Sashimi or Salsa con Queso Dip.

Ferndale

Rosie O’Grady’s, 279 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale, is an Irish pub with several Metro Detroit locations. The one in Funky Ferndale has plenty of sharable apps on its menu, including Jalapeno Cheese Balls (breaded, deep fried cream cheese/jalapeno bites served with ranch dressing), Garlic Parmesan Pretzel Bites and Chips Trifecta (tortilla chips served with salsa, chile con queso and guacamole).

Get there just before 11 p.m. on Fridays and you can enjoy $3 u-call-its until midnight. Saturday night features different shot specials every hour on the hour beginning at 10 p.m.

Dino’s, 22740 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, promises to be “upscale not uptight,” and the appetizer menu reflects that ideal. Small plates include Crunchy Fried Chicken Sliders (topped with lettuce, pickle and mayo), Crab Cakes de Bocco (served over a blend of roasted corn and peppers with lemon caper remoulade) and Roasted Garlic Platter (a roasted bulb of garlic served with roasted red peppers, Boursin cheese and baked herb crostini).

Don’t forget that Dino’s has a special late night menu featuring items like Open Faced Braised Chicken Tacos, Easy Peasy Porky Ciabatta and I’m Hip with Hummus every night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pair any of the above with a Michigan brew or your favorite cocktail and you’ll be one happy guy or gal.

Twisted Tavern, 22901 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, replaced the area’s beloved Boogie Fever. Don’t fret, because the small plates here are sure to satisfy any sophisticated palate. Try the Fried Brussels Sprouts, Polenta Fries (served with red pepper aioli), Risotto Balls (stuffed with prosciutto and served with tomato jam and truffle aioli) or Vegetarian Sliders.

House wines, draft beers and well drinks flow until 2 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights, while the kitchen stops serving food one hour before closing time.

Detroit

Detroit Beer Company, 1529 Broadway, Detroit, has plenty of selections that are brewed in-house to choose from, including Local 1529 IPA, The Detroit Dwarf, Baseball Beer and Detroit Hefeweizen. Take a peek at the website to see what is currently on tap before your visit!

Appetizers include Asiago Cheese Dip (garnished with tomato and served with tortilla chips), Brewer’s Bread (pizza dough topped with basil, red pepper flakes, mozzarella cheese and garlic butter), Buffalo Wings and Blarney Stones (breaded and deep fried corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut bits served with a dipping sauce).

Bucharest Grill, 2040 Park Ave., Detroit, is a great establishment for a gathering and more than suitable for a crowd. The numerous taps provide you with a great beer selection, and there’s enough liquor to mix up whatever cocktail your heart desires. The food is what it’s really about.

You’d have to be insane to go here and not order the Garlic Spread (served with pita). To round out your appetizer fest, try the Cheese Pie Turnover (pastry with feta, Asiago and Muenster cheese inside), Eggplant Dip (pureed with spices and garnished with tomato and onion) and Chicken Bites as well.

Rub BBQ Pub, 18 W. Adams Ave., Detroit, makes some of the best barbecue in southeast Michigan, but that’s for another story. This place also has a Michigan beer selection like no other. Kick back with a Dragonmead or New Holland brew and get ready for some flavorful appetizers that will blow you away.

“Pre-game” items include BBQ Nachos, Perfect Pretzel Sliders (with your choice of the Traditional Castle Burger, Texas Beef Brisket, Tennessee Pulled Pork or Pulled Chicken), Cabrera Quesadilla (with your choice of pulled pork, pulled chicken or brisket with shredded lettuce, jalapeno, sour cream and pico de gallo) and Smoked Andouille Sausage.

Northville

Brick’s of Northville, 133 W. Main St., Northville, has everything you could want under one roof: beer, food and music. DJs start spinning at 10 p.m. on Fridays, while live bands hit the stage at 9 p.m. on Saturdays. The draft beer list is about a mile long and features plenty of Michigan brews, including Greenbush Anger Black IPA, Hideout Tommy Gun Red Irish Ale and Liberty Street Clementine Lemon Thyme.

Order up a round of small plates, like Blackened Steak Tips, Shanghai Shrimp (served with sweet Thai chili dipping sauce), Crispy Battered Chicken Fingers and Loaded Pub Chips (topped with melted Cheddar cheese, bacon and chipotle sour cream).

Poole’s Tavern, 157 E. Main St., Northville, has been voted best sports bar in the area, so know that I am steering you in the right direction. Starters include Mini Tacos, Rib Teaser (slow roasted ribs served with the restaurants’ Famous Sauce) and Northville’s Trifecta Basket (with Mini Chicken Tacos, Chicken Fingers and Cheese Stix).

Poole’s Bak Bar is connected to the main tavern but has a cozier atmosphere, where you can kick back with a cold beer or your favorite cocktail.

Northville Sports Den, 133 W. Main St. Suite 102, Northville, has two-dozen different beers on draft, as well as plenty of bottles to choose from. Items on the Starting Line Up menu include TC’s Roasted Garlic Hummus, Carlini’s Calamari, Muchacho’s Nachos and Buffalo Chicken Chunks.

Now that you have a few cities’ worth of ideas mapped out, go forth! While I would have loved to include a few other areas (Commerce, Ann Arbor, Milford, Rochester, etc.), I can only cover so much in one article. Enjoy your drinks and snacks out on the town, and as always, remember to indulge responsibly!