Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Restaurant Review: Steak Hut, Detroit, Michigan

**Update: Steak Hut closed in 2013 or so. It's going to be replaced with something even more hipstery. Yay gentrification?

I'm feeling a bit of nostalgia for my old stomping grounds, so I thought, why not write about one of the restaurants there that I enjoyed?

Steak Hut
1551 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI

One thing I love about Detroit is its grit. That is a strange thing to love, but the grit is both physical and metaphorical. Detroit has been battered over the years but its magic is in its grit, for sure. I've seen and done things there that would not be possible anywhere else; that's a good thing. The grittiness both allows and encourages such a thing.

Remember, a bit of grit can turn into a pearl, given the right conditions. Steak Hut is one bit of grit in the clamshell that is Detroit. Ooh baby, if you want an awesome dive restaurant, here you go! Steak Hut of course has on offer plenty of fried foods, breakfast delights, and divey diner food.

The menu is reasonably simple and focuses on a diner staple: tasty breakfast. My friend from Hamtramck had been raving about the diner and said we had to go and eat what I heard as "Eminem" pancakes. I thought, how quaint is it that the diner named pancakes after Detroit's most famous rapper? Imagine my "oh, duh!" moment when I read the menu and realized that they were M&M pancakes! I really didn't think that such a thing was possible. Of course, I had to try one of these things. They usually are only sold as a stack but since I didn't really want to eat a heap of what basically amounts to candy encased in white flour, I politely asked if I could just have buy one pancake. The staff at the restaurant are quite friendly and were happy to let me have just one. Let me tell you, just one is more than enough! It's not that it didn't taste good; in fact, it was delicious, but I felt that I was slipping into a sugar coma after just one as it was quite a large pancake. If you want to eat something surreal, order one.

Their other breakfast food is good, too, and inexpensive; it's possible to order a breakfast platter for about $5 and it's cooked fresh in front of you. My fellow diners ordered various dishes during our trips there and were not disappointed.

The restaurant itself is in a somewhat desolate area, near a leather company. The restaurant is a small, unassuming brick building. Inside is a no-frills interior that of course could use a remodeling, but just accept it as part of the restaurant's charm. It's not dirty but it's not super clean, either. It's a small restaurant so keep in mind that it can get a bit cramped at times...or you can be the only one there. Such is Detroit!

Steak Hut isn't just about cheap, tasty food in a gritty neighborhood; it also becomes a community gathering place, especially on Sundays when there is free, live music. This isn't just some high school talent show of music, either; actual, recognizable bands have played, such as Black Jake & the Carnies. The last time I saw them, I was jamming along with 300 other concert goers in the stage at Wheatland; see below! How awesome would it be to listen to this music while eating a pancake stuffed with M&;Ms?

So, if you want to sample some of Detroit's grit, as well as some M&;M (or, heck, if you want to call them Eminem) pancakes, motor on down to the Steak Hut.

Black Jake & the Carnies, at Wheatland Music Festival

Whoa. Writing this post is making me feel just a tad homesick; I'm not going to lie.

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