Since the Friday crowds and masculine male meter maids chased me away from downtown Birmingham (Tallulah, Luxe, etc.) last night, I ended up at Sweet Lorraine’s (http://www.sweetlorraines.com/) in Southfield, for the first time in years. S.L., on Greenfield just north of 12mile, is tightly boxed-in between an electrical station, a Wendy’s, a dollar store and a row of $40,000 homes already bearing their garbage for Saturday morning pick up. Regardless, it seems to be a favorite dining spot for well-to-do Democrat types, and serves “world beat cuisine.”
Dinner menu prices (mp’s) run about $20, but soup/salad are extra and there are no bargains on the adequate wine list. This pricing, fairly or unfairly, caused me to have tough expectations during my long-past visit, and I hadn’t been “blown away.” Last night, however, I cut S.L. a little slack, and this allowed me to absolutely enjoy myself.
My family was seated immediately (even at 7:45PM Fri). Our server Ashley was very hard working and, well, would be daughter-in-law material if my kid was 20yrs older… We were then provided nice fresh corn muffins and some fantastic pan bread (focaccia-ish?) which was peculiarly paired with a tasty side of chilled house marinara.
My Pre K kid was hungry, so I was fortunate that a bowl of quality mac-n-cheese was rushed out. Soon after, arrived a sort-of kid’s Amish chicken homemade schnitzel, with a side of five grain rice substituted for fries. We felt deeply happy that our kid ate healthily—not an easy task when ordering from a kid’s menu in America!!!
My wife had an “avocado crabcake aioli BLT” with a side of perfect sweet potato fries. It was certainly good, but with ingredients like that, one could nearly replicate the unrefined results by going to Costco and compiling boxed frozen crabcakes, bulk bacon, hamburger buns, mayo, guacamole spread and corporate lettuce/tomatoes.
In other words, S.L.’s version may have been made by a trained chef using quality ingredients, but who could tell(?), since everything was such a big and rich mishmash. Sure, we finished every bite. But I’ve also pigged-out on a chili-fries-cheeseburger, in my day.
I ordered scallops and shrimp sautéed with fresh julienned veggies, in a creamy ginger dill wine sauce (served with rice pilaf). It was truly flawless, even if it didn’t take me to a place I’ve never before fathomed. I enjoyed it with a choice of several nice Michigan beers which were quite easy on the pocket book.
Well, after giving this place a second run, will I soon again be willing to spend mp $20 for healthy and EXCELLENT $17 food, that additionally is served in a personable, comfortable, hassle-free place, owned by a local* woman entrepreneur doing business here for over a quarter century (who is in to “ecology” and “sustainable agriculture,” “animal welfare,” starving artists, etc.)? Ummm, HECK YES!
*I was hoping owner Lorraine was a Wolverine but, alas, she was a Spartan.
My next report will be on the S.L. weekend breakfasts, which come highly recommended by CH’s Coney with Everything. Cheers