Posts Tagged ‘Detroit’


Trader Joe’s recently opened in Buffalo!!  This is great news for foodies like me. Naturally I had to stop enroute back to Toronto from Greenwich Conn last week.

I’ve been a fan of Trader Joe’s ever since I went to visit their store in Detroit. Lot’s of amazing products with pretty good prices too. Definitely not your average grocery store.

When you walk into the new Buffalo location, you are greeted by this mascot!!

tj - buffalo

Then the fun begins as you walk thru the aisles looking for goodies to buy!! Here are a few items that went into my grocery cart.

1. Ginger Miso Broth: at $1.99 a box! So I bought two. The other night I used it and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy 6. Arghhhh.

tj - miso

2. Dried Kimchi: Haven’t tried it yet but it intrigued me.

tj - kimchi3. Milk Chocolate Covered Toffee Popcorn: I served this the other night with on a cheese platter and they were inhaled.

tj - popcorn4. Speculoos Cookie Butter: Described as “A deliciously unusual spread reminiscnet of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits”  I spread some of this on a cracker and even though it was sweet – I enjoyed it. Basically, I’m a sucker for anything with the word gingerbread in it.

TJ - spookybutter5. Soap. ..that’s right..Soap!!  I bought one bottle on my last trip to Trader Joe’s in May and this time I bought 3 bottles. I’m getting smart!!

TJ - soap

Definitely worth visiting!!

For More Information:

Trader Joe’s (Amherst) 1565 Niagara Falls Blvd. 716 833 4687

Hours : Monday to Sunday 8 am to 9 pm.

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I’ve just returned from a trip to Hartford Connecticut. I had the chance to hang out my amazing cousins at a bar mitzva AND I had  a chance to visit Trader Joe’s. The last time I went to a Trader Joe’s was in March 2012 while visiting Detroit.  Go figger that this is how I like to spend my spare time while visiting a city I have never been to!

Here’s a sample of my purchases:

Shelf Stable Whipping Cream ($1.29) – Never know when I might need Whipping Cream last minute, right? Can’t wait to do a taste test and compare this product to refrigerated whipped cream. Stay tuned.

trader joes - whipped cream

Trader Joe’s Guacamole Kit: I coudn’t buy this kit due to restrictions about bringing in veggies over the border. But, don’t you think this is a brilliant idea? This contains all the ingredients you would need to make fresh guacamole. LOVE IT.trader joes - guacomole kit

Trader Joe’s Chile Spiced Mango:  ($1.99) I have no idea what I want to do with it but I know that I haven’t seen this type of dried fruit in Toronto. Right?

trader joes - chili spiced mango

Trader Joe’s Savoury Popcorn. ($1.99) This totally appealed to me as I’m all about flavour. Can’t wait to try it.

trader joes - popcorn

More items that I bought included: Beer $1.50 a bottle, a super amazing kitchen towel ($3.99), Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce $1.99, Crunchy Curls ($2.69), Chocolate bars (99 cents), Cheese and More. My bill was $81.44 to be exact. …so trust me, I did OK.

After my visit to Trader Joe’s, I sat at the pool at the Ramada to enjoy some sunshine. Also wanted to share with you that I purchased my hotel night using Hotwire and selected the Secret Hotel Optionl. I’ve done this only once before and had such a great experience that I did it again. Did I score? You Bet.  I scored a 3.5 star hotel in DOWNTOWN Hartford with a $63 a night room rate. #happiness

ramada - pool


Next weekend: I’m off to Ottawa  to:

a) Celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom

b) See the Tulip Festival

c) Hang out at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market  on Sunday.

Can’t wait. So much to see – so little time!

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Visiting a Trader Joe’s was on my bucket list for 2012 but I’m proud to say that as of last week, I can now tick it off. I finally went to a Trader Joe’s on my visit to Detroit last week.

I will repeat this story again because I think it’s the coolest story ever: When I was in Trader Joe’s, I approached a random sales person to guide me around the aisles and said: “Hi I’m a food blogger from Toronto” and he replied “Are you Mom Who Runs? we have been chatting on twitter”. Naturally we became fast friends, cameras were whipped out and photos were taken of me and @JoeFoodie.

Here’s what I bought:

Item #1:

Buy Me. I did.

This chocolate bar was 99 cents. Thats right..99 cents. I bought 4 of them and should have bought a dozen!

It was NUTS how good these taste!!

Items #2 and Item #3: Marcona Almonds with Rosemary and Rosemary Pecans and Cranberries, that are too good to describe, so I won’t.

More Goodness

More items: @JoeFoodie suggested I buy these Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cookies and he was bang on with this suggestion. Definitely not an Oreo. As for the Gorgonzola crackers…I bought them because one of my facebook friends told me to buy them. (I’m easily convinced…can you tell?)

chips and beer - the best combo

@JoeFoodie suggested I buy these quinoa and black bean tortilla chips plus these beers. Again – I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy more.

This happens every time I shop in the States…I simply don’t buy enough!! Why can’t I get it right?

The good news: I will just have to return to Trader Joe’s. I hear they are opening up on in Rochester so perhaps it’s time to eat my way thru Rochester. Road trip anyone?



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Day two of our trip to Detroit was as successful as Day 1. We scored…. as we discovered some really cool “local” places that were definitly off the beaten track.

For example:

We went to a restaurant that served “Soul Food” called Connie and Barbara’s (13101 W. Mcnichols Road) Here’s proof that we were off the “beaten track”. You certainly don’t see signs like this in Toronto.

But let’s talk about the food!!. We were in heaven. Our lovely waitress Donna was even from Toronto and understood our needs to “sample” a little bit of everything and to try items that we couldn’t find in Toronto. We started off our meal with a Caribbean Kool Aid.

Gorgeous. A Bit Sweet...But Gorgeous

Then we ordered items like grits, cornbread, collards and pinto beans.


It was truly an experience and I would certainly return.

Then we went to Dutch Girl Donuts (19000 Woodward Avenue) as I had read that this was an Detroit Institution. We sampled hot donuts that were SO fresh and SO perfect. I now understand why this place is a Detroit Institution. i.e it’s been around for 63 years.

Our next stop we discovered because of our fast friendship with our blogger friend, @JoeFoodie (who we had met at Trader Joe’s on Day 1).  He told us to drop by MOCAD for a pop up restaurant called Anthology Coffee. We would have never heard of this, if we hadn’t met Joe! We dropped by to check out the coffee and we weren’t disappointed.

For some reason, we also stumbled across Elmwood Market and even though it was a weekday, we still took a stroll around.

Then we went to the Heidelberg Project – which was NOT a food event. SHOCK. I know!! This was one cool public display of art and we absolutely loved every exhibit.

But then it was back to FOOD. LOL.

En route to Target, I noticed this DRIVE IN  called Sonic and HAD to stop. It was a blast from my past complete with waiters who brought your  food to your car on roller skates. Just look at my smile …I felt like I was 5 all-over-again.

Our last meal of the day was Traffic, Jam and Snug which is a 22,000 sqf restaurant that brews their own beer, makes their own ice cream and makes their own cheese. Talk about an achievement!! We invited @JoeFoodie to join us and he invited the owner to join us as well. What a treat!! We were given the royal treatment complete with a tour, a gazillion appetizers, beer samples, mains and desserts PLUS a gift bag to take home full of baked goodies. We were overwhelmed but at the same time, totally grateful for the hospitality we received. Here are three highlights.

I also fell in love with this most unique salad that featured “hot sauce jelly beans” which made a normal salad something very special.

A special salad!

However it was this dessert that really blew us away. It’s called Carlotta Chocolatta Ice Cream Cheesecake described in the menu as:  Double Chocolate Cheesecake wrapped in a coffee  ice cream, coated with bittersweet hot fudge and sprinkled with ground espresso.

Enough said – look at this photo (thanks to @JoeFoodie)


Once again, we returned to the Hilton Garden Inn located in downtown Detroit, totally full and totally happy!!


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I’ve finally crossed another item off my Bucket list. This past week, I went to Detroit so I could finally visit a Trader Joes. That’s right – I had never been to a Trader Joe’s. I travelled to Detroit with my foodie friend @pronosher, who didn’t mind joining me so we could “eat our way thru Detroit”

Here’s a break down of Day 1 in Detroit.

9:00 a.m to 1:oo pm – travelled to Detroit. Quick check-in to the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Detroit.

1:30 -2:00 p.m. – visited “GreekTown” which was a lot smaller than what we expected. Sadly we didn’t discover anything particular unique.

2:30 – 3:30 pm. – dropped into Honey Bee Supermarket which is in Mexcian Town and not to far from downtown. I scored. I found spiced cajun boiled peanuts and scooped up a variety of other goodies as well. Thanks to @theChefUpstairs for recommending that we visit this unique supermarket.

Hard to find I bought 6 cans

4:00 – 4:30 – a quick visit to Taqueria Mi Pueblo. We knew we scored when we discovered we were the only caucasians in the restaurant. Inhaled a taco and tried hard not to eat the complimentary nachos and salsa. Operative words: Tried Hard. By the way, we went to this restaurant as a result of talking to a random stranger at Honey Bee Supermarket.

perfect taco

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – took advantage of happy hour  at Roast so I could sample a variety of local Michigan Beer and eat Brussel Sprouts (thanks to @clickflickca for this recommendation). I sampled the following beers: Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, Jolly Pumpkin Bam Beer, Founders Brewery Dirty Bastard, Shorts Brewery Co Uncle Steves Dry Stout. Sadly no room to try one of their desserts that really appealed to me. Think: Beer and Pretzels.

Too Good to Describe

7:00 p.m – Trekked out to  Cadieux Cafe to take a peek at “feather bowling”. This establishment is the only one in NORTH AMERICA that has this sport. Pretty Cool. It was worth the trek.

7:30 – 8:30 p.m. This was the highlight of my day…..We went to Trader Joe‘s. But the visit got really interesting, when I introduced myself to a sales person. I said  – “Hi Im a food blogger from Toronto and I’m wondering if someone could take me around the store to show me interesting items”…he then replies “are you momwhoruns? we have been chatting on Twitter”. How totally cool is that? I mean..what are the chances!! We took photos and then @JoeFoodie walked thru the aisles suggesting items I should buy. (which I did…LOL). I will blog about my “Trader Joe’s” products in another blog post. Promise.

@momwhoruns with @joefoodie

9:00 p.m. Went to Slows as I had read that it was a really popular spot. It was true. We were pretty lucky to have found 2 spots at the bar otherwise it was going to be a 45 minute wait. I tried the split pea and okra fritters and loved the fact that you could see chunks of okra in this dish. Certainly not something I could find in Toronto.  I also shared a Rogue Chipolte Ale, which I’ve had before but hadn’t had it in years, so I was thrilled.

a unique dish.

10:00 p.m  We stumbled across Sugar House as we were walking back to the car. I was too full to consume one of their craft cocktails but @pronosher managed to drink a beautiful cocktail. This place reminded me of Bar Chef – great atmosphere and sophisticated unusual cocktails.

11:00 p.m – Finally back to the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Detroit so I could collapse into this ergonomical Mirra Chair designed by Herman Miller to write a blog post. I not only loved this chair but was delighted to stay in this hotel due to the great location and the amazing service. Plus there was a fridge in the room and not a mini bar – perfect for foodies.

Nothing beats a good chair at the end of the day!!

To Be Continued…..


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