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The Beach Bar & Grille The Beach Bar's Radical New Menu Is Crazy Delicious

The Beach Bar & Grille

800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Price Level:   
  • Vegetarian Options
  • Live Music
  • Outdoor Patio
  • Cards Accepted
  • Pets Allowed

Tags: eat, downtown, Fountain Bistro, Campus Martius, drink, the-beach-bar-grille, sticky-bun, kimchi, pulled-pork

On warm, sunny afternoons all we want to do is jet off somewhere we can put our toes in the sand and take a dip in the water. Even if you can’t take the rest of the day off for a trip to the lake, we all can enjoy a midday refuge at the Beach Bar & Grille.

Located in Campus Martius, the Beach is a tropical oasis smack in the middle of all the downtown bustle. After a long winter hiatus, it re-opened yesterday, May 8.

If you visited the Beach last year, you’ll find a similar setup – colorful tables and chairs line the wooden deck overlooking a giant man-made beach filled with real sand and playful lounge chairs. There is lots more beach seating this year and more umbrellas (fantastic to keep from getting burned during sunny lunch hours). And the menu is radically different.

Chef James Henry, also the new executive chef at Fountain Bistro, is a culinary wizard weaving a magical spell of flavors. His succinct menu highlights sticky buns, which are a bit like an Asian taco (and not anything like a cinnamon roll). A round, flat “bun” is topped with meats and veggies, then folded in half for easy handling. The bun is softer and thicker than a tortilla shell would be. They’re are a popular street food in many Asian cultures, but you’ll be hard pressed to find another spot that serves them in Detroit.

The Beach’s handmade buns are made from a simple mixture of flour, yeast, sugar and shortening. Making homemade steamed buns is as delicate and temperamental a process as bread baking. But the result is worth it.

Their pork sticky bun is maddeningly delicious, with flavorful pulled pork and a housemade southern slaw. Also addictively good is the chicken sticky bun, made with marinated grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, and a sprinkling of Fritos which adds a wonderful crunch to the texture.

The Korean beef bun features perfectly tender beef that’s been marinated and grilled, and it’s topped with a spicy, sour housemade kimchi. The vegetarian sticky bun is packed with grilled veggies, kimchi, and fried wonton.

The buns cost just $3 each so they’re great for a happy hour snack or for lunch. Judging by the crowds on opening day, this is going to be a popular lunch spot all summer.

The Beach is also a nice spot to stop by for drinks with friends. Enjoy beer, wine, or signature cocktails like the cucumber fizz, made with cucumber vodka and lemon lime soda, or the seasonal cocktail which combines plum vodka, St. Germaine, and white cranberry juice.

Grab a lounge chair, dig your toes into the sand, and watch all your worries float away with the warm summer breeze.


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