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Detroit Restaurant Writers Recall Their Best Meals of 2018

Friends of Eater look back at the most memorable meals of the year

A meal at Flowers of Vietnam, which reopened in January and continued to impress local food writers all year.
Michelle and Chris Gerard
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

As is tradition at Eater, we closed out the year by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and publishing their responses throughout the week. Next up: What was your best meal of 2018? Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below.

Brittany Hutson, Contributor, Eater Detroit:

My most memorable meal was from Flowers of Vietnam. I can taste the caramel chicken wings every time I think about it. I also tried the Bò lúc lắc (“shaky beef”), which was recommended by my waitress. It did not disappoint. I also tried and enjoyed the Gὀi Ngũ Sắc (green papaya salad) and the Đậu Xanh (stir fried chinese long beans).

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

The original tasting menu at Albena was perhaps my most memorable meal of the year in Detroit, particularly the eggplant with okra “caviar” and corn pudding with edible flowers. Some of my other favorite bites were the pickled shrimp at Marrow, the candied beef at Bangkok 96 Street Food, the Szechuan noodles at Noodletopia, and more recently the roe and rice at Pursue.

Dorothy Hernandez, Contributor, Eater Detroit:

A glass of Nebbiolo, seafood crudo, beef carpaccio and amatriciana at SheWolf.

Nick Britsky, Host, Nick Drinks at Night:

The opening menu for Albena was a treat. It was a glimpse into a potential haute dining future for Detroit but with a laid back and relaxed atmosphere. I want more of this.

Serena Maria Daniels, Founder/Editor, Tostada Magazine:

Tacos from El Parian Loncheria. This fleet of taco trucks produces what I would say are some of the most flavorful meats in the city. Folded into warm tortillas, splashed with salsa and a unique accompaniment of cooked potatoes and caramelized onions, this is one of the best dishes in the city, hands down and it’s found in a neighborhood, not in the hype areas of greater downtown.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

Flowers of Vietnam in Detroit, where every dish topped the one that came before.

Melody Baetens, Features Reporter, Detroit News:

Rigato’s vegan tasting menu at Mabel Gray in late summer was flawless, as was the YumVillage meal chef Godwin Ihentuge served at his fundraising dinner at Mabel Gray in early December. I had an all-around perfect experience this summer splitting the Com Tấm at Flowers of Vietnam with friends (chicken wings, too, of course). The Aperol These Years cocktail at SheWolf made me start keeping Aperol and sparkling wine at home at all times. Most recently I had a plate of big, juicy fried shrimp at Caper’s that were dynamite. Was I supposed to just say one? Sorry.

All Year In Eater Coverage [ED]