It’s important to have a little fun when giving a gift — and there’s really nothing more fun than celebrating with some good food. That’s what this gift guide is all about. Eater Detroit rounded up some of the best tasting treats, the sturdiest gear, and the sharpest tools to make time in the kitchen and around the dinner table better this season. Explore the list for outstanding locally-made drinks, divine pies, and the cutest restaurant merch in town. With just a few clicks, you could be wrapping up that list of holiday party hostess gifts and white elephant presents.
Lush Yummies Pie Company’s Lemon Butta Pie
A pie that puts other desserts to shame. It really doesn’t get much better than the Lemon Butta Pie from Lush Yummie’s Pie Company. Based off a treasured family recipe, these lovingly made pies feature tart lemon filling with a creamy, almost custard-like texture imparted by a whole lot of butter. It’s setup inside a crumbly graham cracker crust that will make you want to savor every last bite. Ship this to someone with a taste for citrus and a serious sweet tooth.
Price: $25 (ships to Midwest and East Coast)
Mongers’ Provisions Cheese and Chocolate Club memberships
The club that everyone wants to join. Mongers’ Provisions brings together two of life’s greatest pleasures — chocolate and cheese — under one roof. While anyone can sample the goods as they pick up a chunk of Rogue River Blue for the road, the Mongers’ chocolate and cheese clubs are for serious fans. Each month, members receive three different cheeses with tasting notes and recipe suggestions. The first box also comes with a lovely wood-handled Boska cheese knife and a journal. The chocolate box features four different chocolate bars based on a monthly theme.
Price: $135 for a three-month subscription
Detroit Vineyards Wines
Bottles from Detroit’s only winery. Shore up a home wine collection with a bottle from Detroit Vineyards. This local winery made a splash with the opening of its Eastern Market area tasting room this spring. While Detroit Vineyards sources its grapes primarily from northern Michigan, it makes wine, ciders, and meads out of the former Stroh’s Ice Cream Factory building along Gratiot.
Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables
A cookbook that celebrates vegetables. Vegetables get their due in this stunning volume from chef Abra Berens of Granor Farm in West Michigan. Ruffage divides and conquers a bounty of 29 Great Lakes-grown greens and roots with accessible recipes ranging from hearty kohlrabi potato gratin to poached radishes with roasted chicken and celery salad. This is the cookbook for someone with a big Midwest vegetable garden or that person who simply worships carrot season.
Rose’s Fine Foods merchandise
A sought-after sweatshirt. East side diner Rose’s Fine Food is a neighborhood charmer that also happens to have some of the cutest restaurant merch in town. This fall, the restaurant teamed up with Art Problems Studio in Detroit to create the decoupage-style design for its powder pink sweatshirts and t-shirts. Both versions are incredibly soft and the pullover is perfect for keeping snug in the winter.
Alexandrine & Cass knives
Not just sharp but sharp-looking knives. Detroit startup Alexandrine & Cass designs knives that are as pretty as they are functional. Manufactured in Spain, the knives each feature a sharp and balanced full-tang blade with a curved heel and a gorgeous olive wood handle with red inlays. For someone who prefers an even more customized experience, Alexandrine & Cass offers a “One to One” option where customers can select from a variety of handles.
A very serious apron. Expertly avoid kitchen splatter in this heavy duty apron from Carhartt, a local outfitter known for its workwear. The brand is functional and trendy, which is perhaps why this signature brown apron occasionally makes an appearances in restaurants like Smith & Co. Made from super sturdy cotton canvas with plenty of pockets and zippered pouches for storing a wooden spoon, it’s the type of gear that’s suitable for grilling as much as for woodworking.
Hell Fire Detroit Hot Box
A package that packs heat. Hell Fire Detroit founder Don Button got his start making fire-roasted hot sauces as Christmas gifts for friends who simply couldn’t get enough of the spicy vinegar flavor. Today, these little bottles of heat have a serious following among hot sauce connoisseurs. There’s a lot to like about Hell Fire. Beyond the selection ranging from the mellow poblano to face-reddening habañero, the packaging has an appealing simplicity that puts the Scoville units for each pepper right on the front of the bottle.
Yemeni coffee from Qahwah House
A strong cup of coffee with a story. Coffee culture traces its roots back to Yemen’s Port of Mokha, which shipped beans internationally beginning in the 1400s. However, today Yemeni coffee is relatively difficult to source due in part to an ongoing civil war. At Qahwah House in Dearborn, owner Ibrahim Alhasbani imports and roasts beans from his family’s farm in Yemen. The coffee’s floral and slightly spicy notes are often complemented by cardamom and Yemeni sweets topped with sidr honey. Bags are available in medium, dark roast, and special blend as well as green whole beans for coffee nerds who want to try roasting at home.
Casamara Club amaro sodas
So much better than sparkling water. Detroit-based soft drink maker Casamara Club is quickly earning a following for its herbaceous, non-alcoholic drinks. The company bases its four flavors on amaro, an Italian digestif that uses botanical ingredients. These sparkling beverages blend together flavors like allspice berry, rhubarb root, and orange blossom for clean, not-too-sweet drink with loads of character.
Price: $36 for a 12-pack
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