Throughout the year, Restaurant Editor Bill Addison will travel the country to chronicle what's happening in America's dining scene and to formulate his list of the essential 38 restaurants in America. Follow his progress in this travelogue/review series, The Road to the 38, and check back at the end of the year to find out which restaurants made the cut.
Gallic settlers first arrived in the area between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie that became known as Detroit (le détroit is "the straight" in French) in the early 1700s. Hearty Germans arrived at the small colony in the 1820s. But at the dawn of the twentieth century, when Detroit became an industrial capital brimming with factories and Henry Ford opened his automobile company, immigrants began arriving from all over the world seeking work. Their deep-rooted communities still support the restaurants that make up the fabric of Detroit's enduring dining scene. Among several paragons, there was only one highly trafficked but noteworthy disappointment.