Ferndale announced it was having a Restaurant Week, and since I only had time for one place during Detroit’s food showcase, I was determined to visit one of these places just a few towns north.
Of all, the menu at One-Eyed Betty’s in particular caught my eye. In the future I’d like to see some of the other places with larger offering and or multiple choices for items but other than that it was a good start to a new tradition for the city.
When we got there it was hopping – it’s very much a destination for those who like beer, and on top of that the Tigers were playing and the crowd was pumped to watch. The bank of TV’s are a top feature, and the place is kept dark to make it easy to see them, so my photos are on the darker side. I avoid flash as no one wants to be repeatedly blinded while eating – but I may have to come up with a small diffused flashlight I can start bringing to my night reviews to combat the hard to capture food.
Amusingly after getting ahold of the standard menu, I changed my mind on trying the special prix fixe, and decided to order one of everything. If only I were joking as much as you think.
We started with an order of Poutine, Brussels Sprouts, and soup.
Poutine – excellent. A little salty but not badly so. The poached egg was a new twist (we’ve had about 5 different styles of poutine at various places now), but the creamy yolk balanced the pork well and was very tasty.
Not pictured – un-photogenic brussels sprouts. Seriously, imagine fried and wilted sprout leaves (individual leaves, not heads) in a giant bowl.
Sprouts similar to Roast in preparation, but the leaves were separated completely and I found them overwhelming in flavor. When I dug out some thicker pieces (and there weren’t many) it was awesome, but I wouldn’t order again unless they changed the recipe a bit. Anyone ordering a bowl of brussels sprouts obviously likes them, so give me big meaty hunks of the things to chomp on.
Chris ordered the Beer Cheese soup – lots o cheese here (even a layer melted on top like french onion soup!) but good. Mild in the beer flavor, so it didn’t overwhelm the cheese. I wouldn’t get this and the poutine unless you’re REALLY into cheese, hah!
I got the Mussels and Shrimp Gumbo. They were super generous with the seafood, and I was happy to see the shrimp were a good size. So many places try to skimp and throw in some little teeny salad shrimp. It had an excellent broth wasn’t too tomato heavy, nor too spicy. There was also okra, onions, celery, and a scoop of rice on top.
Chris went for the Betty Burger. He felt the bacon was a touch underdone for his taste, but the patty itself was cooked as requested (a burger made properly medium rare is a difficult thing to get we’ve found) and had superb seasoning. Salt was a concern by the end of the meal, (which was admittedly heavy between all the things we got) even for my salt-lick loving hubs.
Of course I had to get the Mussels and Shrimp Poboy. Chris laughingly commented that a normal person would be worried about getting a shrimp and mussels sandwich after the shrimp and mussels gumbo but I’m not normal about my seafood
It was very tasty and I loved the shrimp but not the mussels as much. They had a different breading from the shrimp, and I felt there was too much spice and the cornmeal was a bit coarse. The bread I expected a nice soft interior and crusty outside, a really tasty French roll, but to me it tasted dry and generic. I would have thought they’d be getting them in from Avalon or another well-respected bakery nearby and it just didn’t taste fresh. I would get this again, but with just the shrimp.
The onion rings were very different, and I am picky about my onion rings. I want a crispy thin batter and onions that will bite off easily. Too often it’s thick and gummy inside, so I was a little concerned to see how large and poofy these were, but it was unjustified as the batter was airy and cooked all the way through. It took a few bites (and handing it to Chris to test) to figure out what they reminded me of. Doughnut batter!! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a style of onion ring, but I was sad that I was getting so full and couldn’t finish them.
At this point we had the food high going, and we laughing until we cried about every little thing, including how much dang food we ordered. Despite our groaning bellies, I was determined to try the doughnuts that were featured.
We have, from left to right: Maple bacon, Cinnamon sugar, and Sriracha
These were so promising, but instead of a light fluffy doughnut it was dense and chewy, and we decided nearly at the same time – they tasted like they were made with pretzel dough. They were thick, and chewy, and dense, and other than what was on them had no real flavor. As far as the toppings I was most surprised by the Sriracha and peanut butter. I’m not a hot sauce fan (Chris is) and this combined well, much like a satay. Sadly, I don’t think I’d try them again unless they got a different recipe.
Even with ALL that food, the bill wasn’t much more than if we’d both gotten the prix fixe, so I was quite pleased with that. I’d happily go back.
It’s not often that a place highlighting beer has a great enough menu for me to deal with the dim light, noise (a problem with almost every restaurant these days, thanks to high ceilings and industrial inspired spaces), and drink happy crowds. This is one of the pleasant exceptions.