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Grape Leaves Troy: New Construction, Same Delicious Cuisine

Grape Leaves Troy: New Construction, Same Delicious Cuisine

Grape Leaves Troy: New Construction, Same Delicious Cuisine

29
NOVEMBER 2019
BY HONEY MURRAY
LBN Community Series
Troy
Shawn London, a long-time Troy resident and a devotee of Middle Eastern food, never complained during the many months that the Troy strip mall in which the Grape Leaves restaurant was under now-completed construction.

“My whole family loves the food at Grape Leaves. My husband, daughter and I often meet up for dinner there after work,” London said. “And, when my schedule changed and I started working several evenings until 7 p.m., picking up chicken ghallaba for my husband — and crushed lentil soup for me — was a guilt-free and economical way to have a quick, easy, delicious, healthy dinner. How can you beat that?”

MIKE CHALHOUB

OWNER, GRAPE LEAVES RESTAURANT – TROY
“Yes,” London added: “I was willing to fight my way into construction entrances and through maze-like pathways to get that good food.”

So were lots of other Grape Leaves customers.

“The construction took so long,” said Grape Leaves owner Mike Chalhoub. “It was ongoing for almost two years. Unfortunately, some customers thought we were closed. They would call to see if we were open. It was really tough.”

“Thankfully,” Chalhoub continued, “so many of our regular customers continued to come by to eat here or to pick up carryout orders.

“We appreciate every customer and the loyalty they showed. They are great people, and we can’t thank them enough!”

Clawson resident Linda Smith works in Troy and often picks up lunch for herself and her coworkers, and she is thrilled that construction is now completed.

“Several of us in the office order lunch from Grape Leaves at least once a week,” she said. “It’s great to be able to pick it up so easily now. There is lots of easy parking.

“But if we can’t come to get it, they will deliver our group’s order. We all love being able to have such fresh and healthy sandwiches that are so affordable — like under five dollars. And I cannot live without their garlic spread!”

Chalhoub explained that the rich, fluffy, flavorful garlic spread is deceptively light and carbohydrate-free.

“Our recipe is fantastic. We do not use any starches, like some places, but only the pure ingredients of lemon juice, salt, fresh garlic, and olive and vegetable oils. And it keeps fresh for ten days.”

Peter Mulhaney, who works out at neighboring Planet Fitness, is thrilled to be able to maintain his health regimen by picking up freshly squeezed juices and salads with chicken breast.

“To be able to walk from the gym to Grape Leaves and grab a juice that is half the price of a juice shop item — and just as delicious — is a true bonus to being at Planet Fitness,” he said.

Mike’s brother and the Grape Leaves general manager, Brian Chalhoub, says his staff enjoys making fresh juices for carry-out and dine-in customers.

“We use California carrots, local apples, produce that we carefully choose each day from our suppliers. We can add ginger — whatever the customer would like,” he said.

Check Out This Week's Troy City News

“And every day, no matter what the weather,” he added, “people love our crushed-ice lemonade, which has a touch of orange juice. It is a healthy treat and really quenches the thirst.”

One of the staff members who might be making the juices, serving platters of kibbe or kabob dinners or arranging the individual loaves of freshly made bread (a customer favorite) is Mike’s son, 24-year-old Youssef, who is also a college business student.

“I’ve been working with my dad since I was 14 and, of course, it’s great to be able to eat anything I want during the day, because it’s all delicious,” he said.

“My other son, Mahdi, is nineteen. He studies business, also, and software engineering. I make him do the paperwork,” Mike Chalhoub said. “I hope I can give the business to them some day in the future. It will be nice that they can say, ‘Grape Leaves: Our family’s restaurant since 2004.’ ”

Customers, too, love the authentic Lebanese entrees and the rich aroma of baking bread, spice blends, grilled vegetables, roasted meats, simmering soups.

“When they enter,” Chalhoub said, “our guests always say how delicious it smells in here. And that hasn’t changed since we opened, or since the construction,” he said.

“They are also so happy that they can easily get to us again, from Maple or Coolidge Roads. Everyone loves the sleek, updated facades and the plentiful, convenient parking spaces,” Chalhoub said. “We like the new property owner, A.F. Jonna Development Co.”

 

“But mostly,” he said, “we like to be here for our loyal customers. It is a pleasure to serve them, always.”

“Yes,” his brother added. “It’s our pleasure to see them come hungry — and leave happy.”

Grape Leaves in Troy is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 9 p.m. Sundays. There is also another Grape Leaves location in Southfield.

2850 W. Maple Road
Troy, MI 48084
248.816.2000

grapeleavesrestaurant.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST TROY POSTS

Neo-Japanese Pastry Shop Opens to Raves in Clawson

Neo-Japanese Pastry Shop Opens to Raves in Clawson

Neo-Japanese Pastry Shop Opens to Raves in Clawson

27

NOVEMBER 2019

BY TIM SMITH

LBN Community Series
Clawson

It’s an almost other-worldly experience that greets customers at Clawson’s new White Wolf Japanese Patisserie.

The sights and smells inside White Wolf bedazzle those who visit the shop on 14 Mile near Main. Upon entering the recently opened bakery-café, patrons see a colorful display of treats and a wide-open food preparation area. Behind the counter, executive chef Doran Brooks sprinkles ground-up green tea over the popular Matcha Mille Crepes.

DORAN BROOKS

EXECUTIVE CHEF, WHITE WOLF JAPANESE PATISSERIE

White Wolf has drawn an increasing number of people from different cultures since a soft opening in September. Enthusiasm continues to grow, Brooks said, thanks to word of mouth and glowing reviews on websites such as Yelp. And, he emphasized, the best is yet to come – the full menu soon will be unveiled, when White Wolf moves from limited hours to a seven-days-a-week venture in December or January.

“Customer response has been outstanding,” said Brooks, who worked with parent company True World Group (which also owns the nearby Noble Fish) to take the White Wolf concept to reality. “People have been enjoying their time here. We get three, four, five hundred people through here on the weekends. It’s just been very, very good and we’re getting busier and busier every weekend, which is awesome.

“A big part of this was to do something in an area that wants this quality and this level of product but doesn’t quite have it yet.”

On a busy Saturday afternoon, Joe and Soo Kim of Sterling Heights came for the coffee and left with high praise — and a bag of the savory, not-too-sweet Japanese-French-style pastries assembled by Brooks and the kitchen staff using organic and fresh ingredients.

“Essentially, it’s a Japanese pastry shop,” Joe Kim said. “We like the fact that the desserts aren’t overly sweet. We tried some of the desserts today and it was fantastic.”

The Kims had slices of Matcha Mille Crepe with their medium-roast coffee.

“With cakes and stuff like that, it’s sometimes overly sweet with too much crème,” Joe Kim said. “But we realized that the Asian-inspired desserts are not as overly sweet and that’s something our taste buds appreciate.”

They said the location is perfect for the area’s large Asian population.

“I think it’s not only going to attract the Japanese,” Joe Kim said. “We’re Korean, and it seems like the dessert preferences are very similar. We’ve been waiting in line, and we noticed that there were more Koreans here as well. Just because we hear them speaking the language. And it’s very close to Troy. We know there’s a big Korean community in Troy.”

According to Brooks, whose global approach to baking was formed while working in famous restaurant kitchens, the concept for White Wolf was to “build something that was different and unique. A lot of food establishments in this day and age are driven towards high-margin, high-volume products. They are trying to make a profit.

Check Out This Week's Clawson City News

“We wanted to build something that was more driven towards customer service and value for the customer.”

Visitors to White Wolf can see Japanese Strawberry Shortcake or Kare Pan (a Japanese vegetarian curry in a deep-fried bun) take shape before their eyes.

“One of our core values here at White Wolf is transparency,” said Brooks, who was also classically trained in French cuisine. “So, if you look at the way that the whole kitchen is open, there’s a lot of glass, there’s not a lot of things hidden.”

Brooks said having the successful Noble Fish nearby provided a good jumping-off point in Clawson for White Wolf.

“Noble has such a strong reputation in the metro Detroit area for the best Japanese sushi. When this location became available it made perfect sense for us to move here,” he said.

Brooks underscores that White Wolf is a “neo-Japanese patisserie bakery and café” rather than a traditional one.

“We are taking the best part of what the Japanese approach towards those parts are (and) improving on, making them special.”

Also certain to be special will be the holidays, when patrons can pre-order (by calling or visiting the store) strawberry shortcake with Christmas themes.

“All the leavening’s incorporated by hand, so it’s a very light, very tender, very unsweetened, textured chiffon cake,” Brooks said. “And then we just use fresh whipped cream and fresh strawberries. That’s it, those are the main components. There’s no butter crème, there’s no fillers, there’s no chemical leavening agents or anything like that.”

Whether folks stop by for a coffee and a muffin, gluten-free macaroons or Melon Pan, they are in for a global culinary experience. Yet Brooks also wants to incorporate local input when tweaking his menu.

“There’s a lot of room for creativity, a lot of room to try things, to gauge customers’ response to it and help the menu develop with the customers based on their feedback,” he said.

He added: “If something is going really, really well then we’ll make more of that and more things similar to that. If people don’t really like something we’re doing then we’ll change it up.”

Judging by a jam-packed Saturday, Brooks won’t need to worry about that any time soon.

White Wolf Japanese Patisserie is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

31 East 14 Mile Road
Clawson, MI 48017

whitewolfbakery.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST CLAWSON POSTS

Warm Up to Winter with FireSide Hearth & Home

Warm Up to Winter with FireSide Hearth & Home

Warm Up to Winter with FireSide Hearth & Home

26

NOVEMBER 2019
BY REBECCA CALAPPI
LBN Community Series
Birmingham

On a blustery winter night with the snow coming down, sitting in front of a fire is the perfect thing to do. A fireplace that’s well done sets a cozy ambiance in a home and turns an ordinary wall into a focal point.

“Are you looking for heat and efficiency or ambiance?” asks Daniel Crank, store director for FireSide Hearth & Home in Royal Oak. “What are you looking to get out of it? Are you looking to bring down your gas bill or zone heating?”

DANIEL CRANK

STORE DIRECTOR, FIRESIDE HEARTH & HOME

According to Crank, a fireplace can be an efficient, helpful element in the home or a drafty energy suck.

“If you have an open fireplace, it is basically like an open window,” said Crank. “Direct vent is basically where our industry is at right now as far as trends go.”

FireSide Hearth & Home has been in Royal Oak for five years. It’s a family-owned company that has three other locations: Utica, Canton Township and Brighton.

“This used to be a pool hall,” Crank said of the Royal Oak store. “We started with Utica and purchased a Canton store. We were the third store to come on in a saturated market. Business is growing. We’ve been able to take the store and bring it right along with everyone else. To be part of that success is pretty awesome, just to be a part of a growing business.”

According to Crank, “We’re the only ones who can sell the best product in the area.”

The best product, said Crank, comes from Heat & Glo, the company that invented direct-vent technology. The only place in the Royal Oak area to see this product, and purchase it, is at FireSide.

In addition to selling fireplaces, the team at FireSide will measure, fit and install them.

“First we have you come in and pick your product. Then we send out our master installer to survey the project and make sure everything is correct,” said Crank. “The master installer makes sure everything is right, then we order the product and get you installed.”

Choosing a fireplace at FireSide can be a fun experience. At the Woodward Avenue store, cozy fireplaces in all styles and sizes line the walls. Some of the products look like art, while others have a practical purpose.

 

The stone samples customers use to choose the perfect stone hearth are plentiful and the fireplace inserts, tools and flame options can be dizzying. The store also has a section for outdoor fireplaces and grills.

Employee Jaye Anderson enjoys his work. “I’ve worked here for seven years,” he said. “I love associating with people. I love the aspect of fixing a customer’s house up, dressing their house up and making it their home.”

Check Out This Week's Royal Oak City News

Crank jumped in.

“I like everyone I work with. There’s not one person I don’t truly enjoy being around,” he said. “We go on trips together. I love the pride, and getting to design something for someone trusting us to make the focal point in their home is prideful.”

FireSide Hearth & Home in Royal Oak is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sunday.

30295 Woodward
Royal Oak, MI 48073
248.291.9050

firesidehearth.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST ROYAL OAK POSTS

Birmingham – November 25, 2019

Birmingham – November 25, 2019

Friends,

Last week, I took my first mom-cation. I went to Seattle, and for the most part, traveled around by myself. I had a wonderful time. Beyond the sights I saw and the food, I met some interesting people—Tony the bartender at Rocco’s, Richie the shoe salesperson at Nordstrom, the fish-throwing guy at Pike’s Place.

One of the best things of my profession is how it has made me so curious about people. I’ll ask anyone anything. Usually, I can get some great insight, and at the very least a telling response to my questions.

It was great to get away, but now I’m back and in the throes of the holidays. Thanksgiving in a few days, then we launch into “birthday season” at my house, and of course Christmas.

Be sure to check out Local Business News for some great holiday shopping ideas while you’re looking through the Black Friday ads, too.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Rebecca

School Millage Passes

 

On Nov. 5, the Birmingham Public School Operating Millage passed at 74 percent, helping secure funding over the next 10 years. This allows the district to collect more than $500,000 in revenue that would have been lost this school year.

 

Funds from the operating millage account for 43 percent of general fund dollars and support salaries and day-to-day operations.

 

 

 

Small Business Saturday

 

Downtown Birmingham shoppers will enjoy special incentives while supporting the local economy on Nov. 30. Kicking off Small Business Saturday, the community will welcome Santa to town during the popular Birmingham Santa Walk.

 

On Saturday, downtown shoppers will enjoy the following incentives:

 

Children of all ages (and their parents) are invited to attend the Birmingham Santa Walk at 9:30 a.m. Walkers will meet in the parking lot behind The Surnow Company at 320 Martin Street at the southwest corner of Maple and Bates. This event will welcome Santa to town during a celebration complete with ringing sleigh bells, stops at various stores with giveaways, and concluding at Santa’s home in Shain Park. Children who participate in the Santa Walk will have first priority to visit Santa at the Santa House.

 

Shoppers who prefer to leave their cars at home can take advantage of discounted Lyft rides to Birmingham. The promotion runs now through Dec. 31, or when promotion funds are exhausted – whichever comes first. Small Business Saturday shoppers are encouraged to take advantage of the promotion using the following codes: Type code BHAMDAY19 from noon to 5:59 p.m. to obtain $7 off a ride to downtown Birmingham. Type code BHAMNIGHT19 from 6 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. to obtain $3 off a ride to downtown Birmingham. Learn more at www.AllinBirmingham.com/Lyft.

 

Free parking at parking structures in downtown Birmingham.

 

Free two-hour valet parking (then $5 for each additional hour) at two locations: North Old Woodward at Hamilton, and South Old Woodward near Merrill in front of Vinotecca.

 

Complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

A chance to win the following Oakland County Prizes: $5,000; $2,000; $500 Southwest Airlines voucher.

 

 

 

 

 

Property Taxes Due

 

Remember, property taxes are due Dec. 2 and are payable through Feb. 14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birmingham Winter Markt

 

Experience the joy of the holidays at Shain Park as it comes alive with activity during the annual Birmingham Winter Markt. Enjoy European food and drinks, gift items, holiday greens, ice sculptures, live reindeer, warming stations, Santa House, horse-drawn carriage rides and live entertainment. The Tree Lighting Ceremony is Dec. 6 at 6 p.m.

 

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

citynewseditor@localbiznews.net
Royal Oak – November 25, 2019

Royal Oak – November 25, 2019

Friends,

Last week, I took my first mom-cation. I went to Seattle, and for the most part, traveled around by myself. I had a wonderful time. Beyond the sights I saw and the food, I met some interesting people—Tony the bartender at Rocco’s, Richie the shoe salesperson at Nordstrom, the fish-throwing guy at Pike’s Place.

One of the best things of my profession is how it has made me so curious about people. I’ll ask anyone anything. Usually, I can get some great insight, and at the very least a telling response to my questions.

It was great to get away, but now I’m back and in the throes of the holidays. Thanksgiving in a few days, then we launch into “birthday season” at my house, and of course Christmas.

Be sure to check out Local Business News for some great holiday shopping ideas while you’re looking through the Black Friday ads, too.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Rebecca

Coping with the Holidays

Claudia Been, MA, grief support manager at Hospice of Michigan, will lead a discussion on ways to cope with the holidays while honoring the memory of your loved one.

The holiday season can be a particularly bittersweet when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. The presentation is Friday, Dec. 20, at 10:30 a.m. It’s free to attendees but call 248-246-3900 to register by Dec. 13.

 

 

 

Age-Friendly Community Initiative

The Age-Friendly Royal Oak Initiative started gathering information about how to make Royal Oak more age-friendly. Residents of all ages are encouraged to take a survey to help collect information.

This survey focuses on aspects of our community that are important for the health and well-being of all residents. It also explores what might help residents age in place, or age in the community.

The findings will help show the strengths of Royal Oak and help identify opportunities for improvement.

 

 

Coffee Club

Have You Heard About the new Coffee Club? John Lindell Arena invites you to the new Coffee Club Skate for adults on Friday mornings from 10:45 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.

All levels welcome. This session includes a free 30-minute group lesson. Stay after the skate for coffee and donuts.

 

 

 

The Royal Oak Handbell Ensemble

The Royal Oak Handbell Ensemble returns on Monday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. to perform a variety of secular and sacred holiday music pieces. The ensemble showcases Schulmerich handbells with occasional use of hand chimes, percussion and other instruments.

Enjoy live music at the Royal Oak Public Library in the Friends Auditorium for these free performances, which run about 90 minutes.

 

 

Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

citynewseditor@localbiznews.net