Sticking to the Basics: Spanish Rice Dish Paella in the D

By: Michael Fossbakk | December 18, 2017

Winter is here and it has made itself known across metro Detroit. Stepping outside can freeze you right to the bone, so what better way to warm up than with a hearty, filling dish with lots of essential foods?

I’d like to introduce you to a delicious Spanish dish known as paella. It gets its name from the dish that it’s cooked in. “Paella” comes from the Old French and Latin words for “pan” (“paelle,” and “patella,” respectively). It wasn’t until 1840 that a Spanish newspaper used the word “paella” to refer to the recipe, rather than the pan it is cooked in.

History lesson aside, however you like the dish prepared, there are some great spots in metro Detroit that serve this hearty Spanish meal and you should check ‘em out.

Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine

Vicentes-Paella

Photo courtesy of Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine.

Established in 2005, Vicente’s has been serving up authentic Cuban cuisine for more than a decade. That is thanks to owner Vicente Vazquez, front-end manager Maria Vazquez and executive chef Roberto Caceres. Right at the top of the menu, you’ll find four styles of paella. Almost all of them, save for the vegetarian paella, combine seafood, rice and vegetables. But, each one has a distinguishing ingredient, such as Spanish sausage or chicken, that sets them apart from each other.

Detroit Seafood Market

Garridos-paella

Photo courtesy of Garrido’s.

A staple place for fresh seafood in downtown Detroit, Detroit Seafood Market has an alluring ambiance that’s good for grabbing drinks and a bite after work, a romantic evening or a planned party. Given its name, it should come as no surprise that DSM serves up one kind of paella and one kind only. A half or full order of the seafood paella will pair nicely with a glass of wine.

Garrido’s

Combining a European restaurant concept with Latin American cuisine, Garrido’s, while known for its arepas (Venezuelan sandwiches wrapped in a round, corn flatbread), also serves a paella dish containing saffron-rice, chicken, shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels and extra virgin olive oil.

Sterling’s Bistro

Sterlings-Bistro-Paella-Valencia

Valencia Paella from Sterling’s Bistro. Photo courtesy of Tim Edwards.

Located in Sterling Heights, Sterling’s Bistro combines a welcoming atmosphere with fresh seafood and great drinks. The “Paella Valencia” combines white shrimp, mussels, scallops, chicken, chorizo and andouille sausage and is simmered in garlic-infused saffron broth.

As you can see, Detroit-area paella is a hit with seafood lovers as most places prepare it with lobster, mussels, calamari and more. If you’re not into seafood, we recommend asking about a vegetarian option or simply substituting the seafood for chicken or other meat. How do you like your paella?