Although it’s been a bit of a rough start to the season for the Pistons, the good news is that the season is a marathon and there are plenty of games left to turn things around. It is important to still support your local team when it is struggling—it is easy to cheer for your team when it is doing well—true fans stick around through the hard teams as well. Besides, when the Pistons start performing better, do you really want to jump on the bandwagon with everyone else? Detroit fans are loyal, though. We should keep that up this basketball season.
If you are, in fact, headed to the Palace in the near future to watch the red, white and blue, then you’re probably interested in places nearby to grab some food and possibly beverages of the alcoholic variety. The Auburn Hills restaurant scene is something to admire. It offers a lot of variety, great food and spectacular drinks.
Miyako Japanese Steakhouse, 4382 Baldwin Rd., Ste. 625, Auburn Hills (in Great Lakes Crossings), is as you’ve probably guessed, a Japanese Steakhouse and seafood restaurant. Miyako is less than five miles away from the Palace. The hibachi chefs cook right at your table, providing a fun atmosphere and engaging experience for all patrons. The menu includes several entrees, including teriyaki chicken, hibachi filet mignon, vegetable delight and more. It also includes several combination plates, appetizers, and sushi, to name a few items. Don’t forget about the awesome cocktails. The Happy Buddha consists of rum, triple sec and pineapple juice, while the Miyako punch is a mix of fruit juices, lemon and rum “with a touch of genius.”
Palm Palace, 2065 N. Squirrel Rd., Auburn Hills, is about a three mile drive to the game. This place is great for those of you looking for a Mediterranean-inspired taste. The authentic Mediterranean cuisine is matched perfectly by the style and atmosphere of the restaurant. It has won awards on WDIV’s “Vote 4 the Best” contest, as well as Hour Detroit Magazine’s “Best of” contest. Entrees include shish tawook, shawarma plate, lamb chops and more. Sandwiches offered are falafel, chicken shawarma and shish kabob to name a few. You can view the full menu to see what you like. Of course, no Mediterranean dining establishment would be complete without hummus. There is plenty of it here. There are locations in Ann Arbor and Clinton Township as well.
O’Malley’s Tavern, 1500 Opdyke Rd., Auburn Hills, another very short drive to the Palace and a great option for some pregame or postgame shenanigans. Get there early and enjoy happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There are drink specials and plenty of local Michigan brews to choose from! The menu is pretty extensive. Get in the Irish spirit with Irish bangers and mash, or Irish beef stew. There are also several steaks, ribs, half-pound burgers and pizza styles available.
Hoops, 705 Lapeer Rd., Auburn Hills, is a mere two miles to the Palace. If you had one too many drinks, Hoops also provides a shuttle for a few dollars. Hoops has been an Auburn Hills favorite for more than 20 years, and is a great place to stop at before Pistons games, or before an event at DTE Energy Music Theatre or Meadowbrook Music Festival in the warmer months. The mixed grilled wings are always a great choice, or the Hoop burger—a classic half-pound burger with lettuce, tomato and onion and your choice of several cheeses (add bacon for $0.95). The chipotle grilled salmon sounds like a solid choice as well. Of course there are drinks flowing all night. If you’re really a fan of Hoops, you can get your event catered by the establishment.
Red Ox Tavern, 3773 E. Walton Blvd., Auburn Hills (there is also a Utica location), is in prime position to be your pregame or postgame spot—a mere mile and a half separate the two venues. There is always something going on here—trivia, live music, karaoke, drink and food specials, etc. It also houses more than 50 high-definition televisions. According to its website, it was also voted as “Favorite Sports Bar” in Oakland County. The menu includes all your favorites, such as burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas, but it also features several Michigan breweries on its beer selection. In terms of food, sesame Dijon crusted Atlantic salmon fillet sounds incredible. The specialty cocktails are nothing to take lightly either.
As you can see, Auburn Hills has marvelous options for dining out before (or after) watching the Pistons compete. This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. The area offers many other great restaurants and bars. It’s up to you to find your favorite. If you are drinking, please make good decisions and have a designated driver. Go Pistons!