Food and Drink

Popular New Center restaurant Baobab Fare plans second spot on east side

The building at 16900 E. Warren Ave. where Baobab Fare aims to open a second location. Photo: Courtesy of Hamissi Mamba

Baobab Fare, a nationally acclaimed East African restaurant in New Center, is planning a second location.

What's happening: Married co-owners Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Nijimbere are looking to buy a building at 16900 E. Warren Ave. in East English Village from the city for $145,000 and renovate it, per city documents.

  • The purchase still requires city council approval.

Between the lines: Baobab Fare opened in early 2021 and has had two successful years, Mamba tells Axios. The owners have been thinking about a second location since last year and originally got an offer to open in Ann Arbor.

  • But they ultimately decided to stay, grow and contribute in Detroit.
  • "We started everything from here," Mamba says.
  • The building in the growing East Warren corridor, he says, was an opportunity to bring needed restaurant options to the east side area.
  • It also allows the restaurant to expand to space much larger than its small spot at Woodward and East Grand Boulevard.

What's next: The co-owners are still early in the process. They plan to start construction on their new space around October and open around next summer, with a build-out cost of around $1 million-$1.2 million, Mamba says.

  • The spot will have a similar concept and ambience.

Of note: The co-owners are semifinalists for this year's James Beard restaurant industry awards. Mamba also recently won the Food Network competition "Chopped."

Go-to breakfast sandwich in downtown Detroit

Brioche egg sandwich from Iggy's Eggy's

Brioche egg sandwich from Iggy's Eggies. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Hi, it's Sam! Each morning I'm faced with a pivotal dilemma: Make breakfast at home like an adult or go out for a specialty breakfast sandwich.

What's happening: I went with the latter yesterday and ordered the brioche egg sandwich from Iggy's Eggies downtown.

The Red Hook opens a Midtown location

Midtown Red Hook's baked goods.

The baked goods are on point at the Red Hook. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

A familiar coffee shop with amazing baked goods has a new Midtown location.

Driving the news: The Red Hook opened last week in the former Great Lakes Coffee location on Woodward, expanding beyond its other Detroit and Ferndale locations.

Sourdough sandwich art at Rose's Fine Food

Two toasted sandwiches are shown on brown paper.

Mushroom kimchi (with a cinnamon toaster pastry in the background) and grilled cheese sandwiches. Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

👋 Annalise here. The toasted, buttery, fluffy sourdough bread at Rose's Fine Food & Wine is a bona fide star.

What I ate: I shared two sandwiches with a friend at the popular little diner on the east side: mushroom kimchi ($12) and french onion grilled cheese ($11).

Dearborn Restaurant Week has new eats this year

 Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud's recreation of Drake's Take Care album cover inside Al Ameer to promote this year's Dearborn Restaurant Week was a hit on social media.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud's recreation of Drake's "Take Care" album cover inside Al Ameer to promote this year's Dearborn Restaurant Week was a hit on social media. Photo: Courtesy of the city of Dearborn

The annual Dearborn Restaurant Week kicked off over the weekend.

The intrigue: More restaurants than ever are taking part this year, some in places across the city that may have not been included before.

Friday fish fry at institution Scotty Simpson's Fish & Chips

Fish, shrimp and chips at Scotty Simpson's.

The fish, shrimp and chips combination at Scotty Simpson's. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

Lent's arrival means it's peak fried fish season, as those who observe don't eat meat on Fridays — and there are plenty of options around town.

Brush Park's best oysters

Half dozen raw oysters from Empire Kitchen and Cocktails. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Half-dozen raw oysters from Empire Kitchen and Cocktails. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

👋🏽 Sam here. I walked over to the recently reopened Empire Kitchen and Cocktails on Woodward last week and had some pretty strong oysters.

The intrigue: The half-dozen oysters I shared were not only delicious, but they weren't super small like the others I generally come across in Detroit.

MSU students ate for free at Midtown restaurant Pho Lucky

MSU students ate for free at Pho Lucky on Wednesday. Photos courtesy of Pho Lucky

It felt like East Lansing inside Pho Lucky on Woodward Ave. this week, as Spartans ate for free following the mass shooting that killed three students and left five others injured.

Driving the news: The Midtown restaurant offered a complimentary bowl of pho to Michigan State students all day Wednesday.


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