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5 Winter Food Popups That Are Making Our Mouths Water

We can't wait to scarf down these hearty, comforting dinners

Kat Rembacki

Kat Rembacki

Storyteller at Core Detroit
Dance party crasher; wordsmith; downtowner;Disney geek; whipped cream junkie; die-hard Tigers fan. Join me on on my epic quest for the perfect turkey reuben.
Kat Rembacki

The weather can’t seem to make up its mind this week. One day it’s warm and rainy, the next day it’s cold and icy. We can’t figure out if we’re supposed to be wearing galoshes and a trench or covering our entire body with scarves and hand warmers. That’s Michigan for you.

One thing we can all agree on is that the best part of winter is sitting down to a warm, hearty meal of our favorite comfort foods after coming in from the cold and the snow. Thankfully, there are a bunch of tasty winter food popups, well…popping up…all around Detroit this month.

Read on for five popups that are making January more delicious.

Dr. Sushi will trade their usual Japanese menu for a South Serbian feast at Detroit City Distillery. Photo by Dr. Sushi via Facebook.

  1. Old New Year

Dr. Sushi is trading in their seaweed and sashimi for sauerkraut tomorrow night in a South Serbian homestyle popup at Detroit City Distillery. The popup dinner honors the Old New Year: it’s an informal holiday still observed in eastern European countries like Serbia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Georgia and Russia. Some families refer to it as “Little Christmas”, and it’s often celebrated with a great feast.

Dr. Sushi and DCD are celebrating with a hearty lamb stew, loaded up with spinach, onions and garlic and served with a dollop of Greek yogurt. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into one of their potato burgers (yummmmm) and sauerkraut leaves stuffed with rice, walnuts and onions (think of them like the Eastern European answer to stuffed grape leaves).

Also on the menu are Urnebes, a feta cheese spread with garlic and paprika, sauerkraut salad – a must-have winter dish in the Balkans – and Gibanica, a phyllo pastry with leeks. The popup dinner runs from 5-10 p.m.

Katoi will go from Thai to Italian for their Dinner for Strangers popup this weekend.

  1. Dinner for Strangers

Katoi’s Thai menu will transform into an Italian bill of fare this Sunday, Jan. 15 as Thomas Knodell and Armond Joseph take over the kitchen. Thomas was raised in Northern Michigan before moving to New Zealand in high school, where he learned about farming and developed an appreciation for really good ingredients. He currently cooks for Selden Standard, and has also worked at Midtown’s La Feria. Armond left his position at Selden Standard to travel Europe and get first hand experience in kitchens abroad. He sharpened his cooking chops in the kitchens of Katoi and the Beverly Hills Grill.

We’re not sure exactly what will be on the menu yet, but we know it will be scrumptious. Dishes will be available a la carte.Andreas Joseph of Two James Spirits will be slinging drinks behind the bar. Stop by between 5-10 p.m.

Cozy up to a warm bowl of soup inside the New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck. Photo by NDL via Facebook.

  1. Souper Tuesday

There are few things more comforting than a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day. So we’re heading over to New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck on Jan. 24 for a Souper Tuesday popup with Don Durr. They’ll be serving up three types of soup, each served with freshly baked bread. Choose from loaded potato, smoked cheddar broccoli, or a vegan roasted tomato basil.

At just $4 each, you could slurp all three and still leave with a reasonable bill. Dessert will be available to end things on a sweet note. Stop by between 7:30-11 p.m. for the eats.

Dr. Sushi will take over the kitchen of Nancy Whiskey for Izakaya Night. Photo by Nancy Whiskey via Facebook.

  1. Izakaya Night

If you are missing your Japanese fix from Dr. Sushi, head over to Nancy Whiskey next Sunday, Jan. 22 when this neighborhood Irish pub goes Izakaya for the night. Dr. Sushi will be serving up Nikujaga, which is like the Japanese version of meat and potatoes, and it’s the perfect wintertime dish. Sometimes made with onions and root veggies, all the ingredients are stewed together in a sweetened soy sauce. You can also gobble up fried skewers with potato salad, Chashu sliders – made with braised pork belly – and assorted Japanese style pickles. Be sure to bring cash. And an appetite.

Burgul-lentil pilaf, topped with onions and served with cucumber yogurt salad. Photo by Kitchen Ramarj via Facebook.

  1. Mina’s Liberian/Mediterranean Pop-Up Dinner

Kitchen Ramarj is returning to Brooklyn Street Local on Sunday, Jan. 29 for an exotic feast highlighting the recipes of West Africa and the Mediterranean.

Start off your meal with Kala, a Liberian style donut commonly found in the street vendors of Monrovia. There’s also lentil soup – homemade from a family recipe – or diced plantains with a special sauce.

We are definitely going to be sticking our face into a big bowl of peanut butter stew, cooked with perfectly seasoned chicken and served with white jasmine rice. You could also opt for chuck rice with tender, seasoned beef and plantains, or burgul-lentil pilaf: a humble dish of wheat and lentils topped with caramelized onions and served alongside a cucumber-yogurt salad. Dessert includes your choice of coconut candy, coffee cake or banana balls.

You’ll need to snag tickets for this popup in advance if you want in on the deliciousness. Tickets cost $25 and include two appetizers, one entree and a dessert.

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