If you ask Jacques Driscoll , Green Dot Stables — his Corktown slider stand-turned-local-restaurant-of-the-moment — is not really a greasy spoon.
"I never really considered us a greasy spoon," Driscoll said in an interview with Eater Detroit. "My thoughts on greasy spoons are you gotta have a kitchen that hasn't been cleaned in three months. You still get, you know, some delicious food, but you also might be afraid of what's coming out of there."
That fear and stubborn appreciation of the value of the greasy spoon helped lead to the creation of Green Dot, Driscoll said. He talked his picks for the city's best bets on greasy spoon eating, why Green Dot is merely just the kind of place he'd want to eat at himself, and where the restaurant fits in the city's mildly booming restaurant landscape.
When looking at the city's restaurant scene, Green Dot fits squarely in the middle, Driscoll said. "I saw a lot of upscale dining in Detroit, and a lot of coney-esque dining in Detroit," he said. "There really just were not a lot of places doing a kind of middle-ground — you know, go get late night food but eat well as well. I wanted to be on the affordable side but also make it good."
That aim is why Green Dot features a rotating list of locally-sourced sliders and fries, and why the food is so absurdly inexpensive. (During a recent visit, a waiter kindly informed a man searching for Happy Hour specials that "We don't do Happy Hour, but as you can see, everything is really cheap, so there you go.") "I wanted a place that I wanted to go — cheap beer and good food," Driscoll said.
While Green Dot Stables is currently the king of sliders in the Motor City, Driscoll said he hopes their niche middle-market success inspires other local restauranteurs to jump in and take a bite out of their hungry clientele.
"I would love to see it," he said. "I think we're in a pretty cool time — there's a lot of stuff going on, a lot of things in the works. It's definitely an exciting time and I hope people see our success and think twice about coming to Detroit. We didn't know it was gonna work. But I thought it was a good idea when we started, so who knows?"
For your standard end-of-the-line Greasy Spoons Week suggestions, Driscoll recommends the Two-Two-Two special at Steak Hut ("two pancakes, two sausage and two eggs, for like $2.56, it's always solid I always get it"), ham and eggs at Mike's Famous Ham on Michigan Ave. and corned beef hash from Farmer's Restaurant in Eastern Market or at Hygrade Deli in Southwest.
Driscoll also suggests would-be Greasy Spooners just hop in their car and drive around the city. "When I get outside of downtown, I see all these little places," he said. "They could be amazing — the sign hasn't been painted in 30 years, but it's so hit or miss. It could be the best thing you ever had, or a disaster."
· -All Greasy Spoons Week Coverage on Eater Detroit-