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Rock City Eatery Here's every dish we can't stop eating at this new Midtown spot

Rock City Eatery

4216 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201
  • Neighborhood: Midtown
  • Price Level:   
  • Has weekend brunch.
  • Vegetarian Options
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: midtown, rock-city-eatery

It’s really tough deciding what to order at Rock City Eatery.

The diverse yet meticulously curated menu reads like an unholy description of every food porn-worthy ingredient we know we probably shouldn’t eat, but secretly love so much we don’t care what their “recommended daily allowance” may be.

And it doesn’t just look good on paper. RCE delivers on flavor.

RCE was a popular Hamtramck before moving to its new digs in Midtown, where it reopened in September. Inside their new dining room, you’re greeted by shades of jet black, charcoal and tan, punctuated with orange accents and rock ‘n’ roll artwork.

One glance at the menu makes us want to trade in our apartment and just move into a corner booth. The bill of fare is divided into plates and pizza (abbreviated as “ZZA”), along with a selection of tacos available at lunchtime. The ZZA is new to their menu since moving to Midtown, and it’s a welcome addition to the party.

Rectangular, bubbly baked pies get loaded up with topping like roasted pork, ham, pickles, swiss cheese and fire roasted peppers over a dijon cheese sauce (if you’ve ordered the Cubano). The Italian is also very nice, heaped with grilled chicken, oregano, mozzarella, smoked provolone, confit tomatoes, arugula, balsamic vinegar and onions over a lovely pesto sauce.

But pizza isn’t the only temptation at RCE. There are many other dishes that make dining here a food lover’s dream. First, there is the mac and cheese. It is incredible. We cannot stress this enough. Curly cavatappi noodles are smothered with an aged cheddar cheese sauce then baked in their own little own parmesan bowl. The sauce is a creamy, smooth, wonderfully tangy delight and the overflowing portion of noodles are heaped onto the parmesan bowl, flopping over the sides with cheesy abandon. At lunchtime you can add mix-ins like pickled jalapenos, wild mushrooms or roasted broccoli.

It’s also difficult to pass up a plate of poutine whenever we’re at RCE. A beautiful mess of duck fat fries are smothered with duck gravy and cheese curds, sprinkled with scallions and  caramelized onions.

At lunchtime only, tacos make a grand appearance on the menu, thwarting our carefully laid plans to split a pizza and some mac with a friend. Each taco sounds tastier than the next. Thankfully, tacos are available a la carte, so you can order like one taco to accompany your pizza when you’re feeling indecisive. Then, your only problem is choosing whether your one taco should be the caramelized al pastor with charred poblanos, skirt steak with roasted corn and black bean salsa, the roasted cauliflower with avocado puree and salsa negra, or any of the seven other yummy options. Better to order two, just in case. Maybe three.

Despite all this deliciousness, RCE never takes itself too seriously, as evidenced by playful dishes like Ants on a Log which combines caramelized celery with peanut butter, roasted grapes, a raisin puree, peanuts, moss, ants and macha. The grownup version of a childhood favorite.

Even still, your options don’t end there. A cavalcade of delectability rounds out the menu: pancakes stuffed with duck sausage and slathered with bone marrow butter, spicy roasted brussel sprouts, crab cakes topped with avocado and coconut whipped cream, seared tri-tip steak served on its own mini charcoal grill. They’ve got it all. And we haven’t even touched on their craft cocktails yet. We’ll save those for another day.

Until then, eat well and rock on, friends.


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