Queso, Buffalo Chicken & Black Bean: Delicious Dips in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | November 21, 2014
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The holiday season is upon us once again, and you know what that means. Yes, it’s time to really sit down and recognize everything we cherish and hold dear in our lives. But it’s also the time in which the waistband on your favorite pair of jeans inevitably becomes a little tighter, your belt loops must loosen a few notches, and overeating becomes somewhat of a hobby.

As we approach Thanksgiving week, you’ll likely find yourself reuniting with out of town friends and family before the big holiday meal, and many of those get-togethers could very well take place at a local restaurant. When you’re dining out with a group, it’s hard to keep everyone happy when it comes to ordering appetizers for the whole table. But one thing that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser? Dip.

Whether you’re dining out with that purpose in mind, or just going out with your sweetheart this weekend (perhaps to escape some of that pre-holiday family togetherness), start your dining out experience off right by ordering an excellent dip appetizer at one of the following restaurants that will set the tone for the rest of your meal:

Town Pump Tavern, 100 W. Montcalm St., Detroit, is located in downtown Detroit’s entertainment district, so it’s right in the middle of the action. If you find yourself in the area, you’ll want to stop in for a variety of dip starters, including The Pump’s Spinach Artichoke Dip (a blend of cheeses, spinach, artichokes and spices, served with tortilla chips and slices of baguette).

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Queso Blanco (a smooth and creamy dip with Pepper Jack cheese, cream cheese and green chili) provides plenty of kick, and is served with your choice of tortilla chips or veggies. If you’re looking for a little something extra, try the Queso Supreme, which adds tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and cilantros to the original Queso Blanco dish, as well as your choice of grilled chicken or chorizo. With an app that hearty, who needs the entrée?

Nassau Grill & Bar, 15095 Sheldon Rd., Plymouth, has been around for over 15 years and is one of my personal favorites for bar food. Dip starters here include 8 Layer Dip (including taco meat, beans, cheese sauce, green onions, jalapenos and more), which is served with a side of sour cream and tortilla chips.

If you’re a fan of hot wings or anything spicy, you’ll love the Buffalo Chicken Dip—a mix of chicken, hot sauce, sour cream, bleu cheese and celery. The dish is topped with chives and served with tortilla chips for dipping.

Beirut Restaurant, 7650 Merriman Rd., Romulus, is a Middle Eastern Restaurant that does dine-in, carry out and delivery, so you can dip no matter how you choose to dine. Start off with the Hummus with Veggies, served with carrots, celery, green pepper, tomatoes, cucumber and broccoli for dunking.

This may not be your traditional “chips and dip” type starter, but I had to throw it on there because a) hummus is both healthy and delicious and b) you need at least some veggies in your diet, right?

Ashley’s, with locations in Westland and Ann Arbor, went an undiscovered secret to myself up until recently. I didn’t know what I was missing out on all these years! If you’re reading this and you’ve never been, please move Ashley’s to the top of your Metro Detroit restaurant bucket list immediately!

In terms of dips, Ashley’s offers a few different Fry Dips, which are excellent alternatives to the classic ketchup. This time around, experiment with Sundried Tomato Basil, Wasabi Ginger Sriracha or Bourbon BBQ. You can also begin your meal with a pub bite of Cheddar Ale Dip, which is made with ingredients including Smithwick’s Irish ale and Dijon mustard. It’s served with tortilla chips and is safe for you vegetarians out there.

Round House BBQ, 2760 W. Jefferson Ave., Trenton, has a menu full of amazing entrees (I’m looking at you, Ultimate Mac & Cheese), but the magic starts with the appetizer section. While Smoked Trout Dip (served with toast points and crackers) may sound like an odd and perhaps acquired taste, if there’s anywhere to try such a thing, it’s probably a barbecue joint slash smokehouse known for making magic with meat. Right?

Hermann’s Olde Town Grille, 195 W. Liberty St., Plymouth Twp., is located in Plymouth’s Historic Old Village, and the bar and grill is a great place to relax with friends. Try the Bleu Cheese Dip, a blend of sour cream, bleu cheese, bacon and green onions, served with all-natural chips. There are plenty of other dip-able snacks on the menu, too, including Chips and Salsa, a Hummus Platter and Pretzel Sticks served with queso.

Armando’s Mexican Restaurant, 4242 Vernor Hwy., Detroit, offers a variety of Mexican classics, including a perfectly seasoned Black Bean Dip appetizer topped with queso fresco. Paired with tortilla chips, it’s perfect for dipping. Other dips on the menu include guacamole and a nacho cheese sauce.

Whether you like plain and simple or something a little more complex, from Spinach Artichoke to Queso, all of the above dips are a great way to start off a meal out in Metro Detroit and keep everyone happy. Enjoy!