Restaurants & Bars


Roma Cafe in Detroit


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Roma Cafe in Detroit

Pamela | Jun 26, 2006 02:31 AM

I did a search, both via Google and chowhound, for restaurants in the Detroit and Canton areas. Roma Cafe in Detroit consistently received excellent reviews. In fact, I don't recall reading any negative reviews of Roma Cafe. Most of the reviews received 5 stars (out of 5 stars max) or at least 4.5 stars. Given the outstanding reviews, I knew I had to visit Roma Cafe during my brief time in Detroit. I was not disappointed. The service was excellent. It is a rather upscale establishment but most of the patrons dressed somewhat casually, given the warm afternoon. I am embarrassed to say that I was dressed the slobbiest, in walking shorts and a t-shirt (I did call ahead of time to inquire whether shorts and t-shirts were acceptable, though). Nonetheless, the staff at Roma Cafe provided excellent service.

I had heard about the salads on chowhound, so I knew I had to get a salad. The server was surprised we were ordering so much (two entrees and a salad), and warned us that the salad was big. We told him that we were going to share it as an appetizer. Boy, he was right! The salad was large. He graciously divided the salad into two plates, but each plate resembled a full salad! The salad we had was a lunch menu special: a chopped garden salad with turkey, ham, and cheese. The dressing was divine, and the salad, overall, was one of the best salads (if not the best) I've had.

A few reviewers raved about the veal, and apparently Roma Cafe specializes in veal. I don't eat veal, but indicated to my brother that the veal was highly recommended. There was only one veal on the lunch menu (a breaded veal with mushroom sauce), but the dinner menu contains maybe 1/2 dozen to a dozen different types of veal dishes. The veal entree came with a side of spaghetti and meat sauce and green beans. My brother said the veal was excellent.

I ordered the ravioli with Italian sausage. The quality of the ravioli was top notch. The sausage was spicy, and contained a lot of herbs. I'm afraid I was disappointed by the meat sauce (red), which I thought was too salty.

I was also disappointed by the bread, which was cold.

After the main courses, we ordered espresso, which was excellent.

I really wanted to try the desserts, but I was so stuffed, I didn't have room. (After eating 1/2 of the salad, I could not finish my ravioli and Italian sausage).

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Roma Cafe. The food was excellent, as was the service.

What's also great is the location: Roma Cafe is just next to the Eastern Market (or it's actually in the Eastern market), an area that contains a market of sorts for fresh plants and vegetation, fresh fruit and vegetables, and various meat sellers. We even found a restaurant that cooked (grilled/barbecued) meats outdoors. We could not believe the size of the sausages, hamburgers, and other meats they were cooking. (I think this was a soul food establishment.) We had just eaten at Roma Cafe, but the sight and smell of the meats cooking on the open grill was certainly a feast in itself.

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