On last night’s Cooking Channel episode of “Chuck’s Eat the Street,” Chef Chuck Hughes visited Detroit, Mich. He was proud for the city that was on the comeback with new residents and people with staying power; a city with car culture, Motown music history and a love of food.
On Michigan Avenue, he visited Slow’s BBQ and met up with chef and owner Brian Perrone, who took a derelict building and turned it into a barbeque Mecca. Here Chuck helped Brian make St. Louis ribs with his famous rub and then put them in the smoker with Michigan hickory wood. Just about everything they serve goes through the smoker. Then they made potato salad that Chuck tasted as soon as it was ready and couldn’t wait for the ribs to be done. When the ribs were ready, Chuck got a Detroit thrill; the juiciest ribs ever!
At La Pita Fresh a Mediterranean restaurant specializing in mid-eastern cuisine and catering to a large immigrant Arab community, Chuck had a tough time pronouncing melokhieh, a Lebanese herb stew made with leaves that are brought in from Egypt. The leaves are similar to spinach, but have a distinctive minty taste. Chuck told chef Hassan Hamid, that the last time he saw herbs like that was in California; Wink! When it was done, Chuck feasted on his first ever taste of melokhieh topped with pita chips and swore to the chef that it will not be his last.
At the Mercury Bar Chuck met chef Ariel Milan, who makes the best of Detroit’s working-class favorites like their grilled bologna sandwich that contains a stack of fried bologna, grilled onion, Swiss cheese, served on an onion roll and topped with a “smosh” of Better Made potato chips. As the jokes continued to fly, Chuck watched the baloney being grilled and finally, they both got to enjoy the end result. A messy deliciousness that had fans salivating as they wondered just how far Detroit is from where they are watching.
In many parts of Detroit, a supermarket is over an hour away on public transit. So Peaches & Greens comes right to the people, and Chuck took a ride to experience just what it is like to distribute fresh food to the underserved people of Detroit. Unlike an ice cream truck, this truck brings something few people have a chance to shop for in the inner city.
Chuck made one more stop to the Hygrade Deli in an area where there are few places to eat or shop, this spot has remained open for sixty years serving the blue-collar auto workers located two blocks away. Chuck met with owner Stuart Litt, who showed Chuck how to make their roast beef packing house sandwich. They put the large brisket into the oven after lining the pan with carrots and celery, then adding water and covering with foil. After three hours, it was ready for the slicer. Then butter, three slices of rye bread, coleslaw, secret house made Russian dressing and Swiss cheese. Butter on the outside and over to the grill. When Chuck asked how secret the Russian dressing was; Stuart would have to kill him if he told him, even though he was a Montreal Canadians fan! Chuck said it was just the right amount of sloppy and so delicious on this episode of “Chuck’s Eat the Street.”
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