Detroit’s southwest has long been a destination for exciting Mexican dining. From outdoor patios to salsa dancing, southwest Detroit is definitely a hot bed for entertainment and good food. While most patrons typically take in Xochimilco, El Zocalo and El Barzon, there are a handful of other hidden gems in the southwest neighborhood that are often overlooked. From a not-so-hidden coney island to a traditional El Salvadorian restaurant, southwest Detroit has its fair share of interesting cuisines. So let’s take a look at some of southwest Detroit’s off-the-radar restaurants.
Roll out the red carpet and polish that gold statue, because the 86th annual Academy Awards are this Sunday! Whether you’re hosting a viewing party, attending one or planning a quiet evening at home, you’ll need food. Lucky for you, we’ve got a list of recipes inspired by this year’s Best Picture nominees.
Set in the 1970s, “American Hustle” is the story of two con artists who get involved in a high-stakes crime. If you’re not sure how to incorporate the tale of two con artists into your awards party menu, look no further than your microwave. The microwave, or as the characters refer to it, the science oven, plays a key role in several scenes. Make a few batches of science oven caramallows (caramel marshmallows!) in your microwave and set them around the house for guests to munch on as they please.
“Captain Phillips” is based on the true story of the Somali pirates’ attempted hijacking of a U.S. cargo ship in 2008. For your Academy Awards party menu, you can serve sambusas, triangular pastries stuffed with meat or vegetables, which are traditional in Somalia.
Dallas Buyers Club
“Dallas Buyers Club” is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, who is diagnosed with HIV and given only 30 days to live. With few approved HIV medications available in the U.S., Woodroof begins smuggling new medications into the country from Mexico. Interestingly, he uses the names of Dallas Cowboys to write fake prescriptions for others looking for these unapproved treatments. You can pay homage to the film, and southwest flavors, with Dallas cowboy caviar! Your guests will be asking for the recipe for this delicious fresh bean salsa.
The anxiety-producing space thriller “Gravity” is also up for Best Picture. There’s no real “food moments” in this film, but with outer space as the setting, there are unlimited possibilities! Try out this recipe for space rocks – which are actually delicious garlic potatoes! They look like stones, kind of like the meteors that cause the disaster which ultimately sends Sandra Bullock on her space odyssey.
“Her” is the story of a man, Theodore, who falls in love with his smartphone operating system, named Samantha. On a date between Theodore and Samantha, Samantha has Theodore close his eyes and hold out the phone so she can tell him where to go. She leads him to a pizza stand where he orders a piece of pizza. To tie your menu in with the movie, you can create your own pizza at home. If you want your guests to be able to customize their own pizzas, create a pizza bar: make the dough and provide a selection of toppings for your guests.
In “Nebraska,” a father gets a letter saying that he won a $1 million sweepstakes award. Thinking that he’s become rich, the father convinces his son to drive across the country with him to claim his prize. For a film set in the heartland of America, you need a dish that is hearty and comforting, like these blue cheese popovers! Who doesn’t love a good popover?
Based on the 2009 book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, “Philomena” is the story of a teenage woman who gives her son up for adoption. Year later, the woman, Philomena, is introduced to Martin Sixsmith, a freelance journalist, and the two set off on a journey to find her son. Food abounds in this film, so there are tons of options for your party menu. We suggest mini omelets as an ode to the scene where Philomena talks to the staff at the hotel omelet bar about the differences between the food in America and the food in England.
12 Years a Slave
Steve McQueen’s heart-wrenching portrayal of Solomon Northup’s journey from free man to slave in “12 Years a Slave” has made waves in the film world, winning the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in January. While enslaved in the south, Solomon attempts to write his family a letter using black berries and a stick. Celebrate the film and its story with blackberry dumplings that everyone will love.
Wolf of Wall Street
“The Wolf of Wall Street” is the story of a successful New York stockbroker who is involved in rather illicit affairs and lives the high life. From top-shelf champagne to enough lobster to have a food fight with, the film has no shortage of pricey food. If your budget isn’t lobster friendly, we suggest making your own sushi – all the class, half the cash.
Now you have a complete menu for your Academy Awards party. Which recipe is your favorite? Do you have other ideas inspired by the nominated films? Let us know in the comments section.