Food, Reviews

Restaurant review – Vinsetta Garage

July 2, 2013

Built in a former service garage of the same name, this is the latest restaurant venture of Curt Catallo and Ann Stevenson who operate the Clarkston Union and the Union Woodshop. Both are deservedly popular places that got even more so when featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, thanks to the glowing review of Detroit’s own Kid Rock. So I had high expectations of what I would find here.

The Vinsetta opened to service Model Ts and other vehicles in 1919, before the road that became Woodward Avenue was even paved. The last owner to operate the full service garage decided he needed a career change and when none of his employees were able to take over the business, he chose to liquidate. Luckily before this iconic spot could be parted out, it was picked up by KC Crain, who still co-owns the building. It briefly became the backdrop for a Velocity TV show, before being converted to what it is today. They did an amazing job of keeping the history and feel of “the oldest garage east of the Mississippi” without feeling overboard or cheesy that some kitsch restaurants can.

From the outside only the patio dining area tells you that this is no longer a working garage.

The little details were great – like the shop towels for napkins:

But on to the food! Atmosphere can only do so much for an empty stomach.

I started with one of their Grownup Milkshakes – “The Dude”

It was rich and creamy and I hope this Dude abides.

We split an order of Disco Fries – which were like a slightly spicy Detroit version of poutine:

House-cut fries, Ellsworth cheese curds, whole grain mustard gravy, chili flakes, scallions

Then I ordered a burger: The 3 A.M.

Angus patty, Swiss, MI maple bacon from the Woodshop, topped with a fried egg & crispy fried onion strings, Sriracha mayo and a side of battered onion rings

Chris opted for a hotdog: The Yeti Dog

Bacon-wrapped & deep fried, melted pepper jack, chopped tomato, shredded romaine, mayo and a side of that famous mac n cheese

Everything was excellent. The disco fries were refreshingly different with the mustard gravy. It was very light, and was tasty right to the last fry. My burger was a monster and I couldn’t finish it. Chris liked the hotdogs but eyeballed my burger the whole time as well. :rotfl: The onion rings were perfect and I had to push them away to stop nibbling after I was full from the burger. The mac & cheese is tangy and crunchy and everything delicious just like at the Union.

The place was super busy even at 3pm on a Sunday, and I hope to go back on a quieter day to really show off the interior. I highly suggest checking it out for yourself in person though, just go easy on the milkshakes if you’re driving. ;)

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