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Detroit restaurants

photo of Warda Bouguettaya crossing her arms.
Warda Bougettaya

Today, on Stateside, changes to Michigan’s election laws move through the legislature. Plus, one Detroit chef talks about seizing the moment to expand her business, and why she still makes time for the kitchen. 

pork chops on a grill
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With the long holiday weekend ahead, many of us are thinking about grilling and sharing a meal with loved one for the first time in more than a year. Today on Stateside, we start with food and drink. First, how one beloved Detroit barbecue joint has been surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. Then a contribution from the Cheers! team. Also, two writers discuss putting together a special fiction and poetry edition of the Detroit Metro Times. Plus, an award-winning poet reflects on exploring the nuances of love and pain for Black Americans.

Courtesy of Mamba Hamissi

Baobab Fare, a new restaurant launched amid pandemic-related capacity restrictions this year, has quickly caught Detroiters’ attention. The business offers sumptuous East African dishes like flash-fried fish with fresh corn salad, beef simmered with tomatoes paired with peanut-stewed spinach, and creamy dessert pudding made with avocado and passion fruit. Co-founder and CEO Mamba Hamissi, who came to Michigan from Burundi as a refugee less than a decade ago, said love is a key part of the restaurant’s menu and atmosphere.

The Detroit skyline as seen from across the Detroit River.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, with an influx of cash from the 2021 stimulus bill, Mayor Duggan has big plans for Detroit. We talk with a reporter about the proposed spending plan for a city in recovery. Plus, infrastructure week never ends. A new book by a Michigan journalist focuses on “bridging” the gap in a polarized America.

Nick Hagen / New York Times

Chef Kiki Louya’s had a hand in some of the brightest spots on Detroit’s food map. She co-founded Folk Cafe and Market and The Farmer's Hand, both in Corktown. In addition, she’s a writer, food activist, and restaurant consultant who’s been active in movements to eliminate tips in favor of living wages for servers and kitchen staff. She also just finished a stint on season 18 of the competitive reality cooking show, Top Chef.