I owed my daughter a trip to Detroit to search for her grade 8 graduation dress. In order to maintain my sanity, I insisted on lunch at Green Dot Stables. Green Dots Stables is a well known destination in Detroit famous for it’s $2 and $3 menu items consisting mainly of sliders with a few soups, salads and sides as well. In addition, there are a slew of beer and cocktails for under $3, including a few local drafts from Bell’s and other local breweries. Plus, I found it a bit nostalgic that California Chrome had just won the second leg of the triple crown, so lunch in a converted stable with jockey-sized burgers and a horse racing theme seemed fitting.
The monotony of a horse owner’s life of sipping mint julips and wearing ridiculous hats or other accessories while watching workers tend to the rolling green hills of their ranches is thrown into chaos for a month during the spring when the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes put their prized equines at the forefront. The four legged athletes with names like Dutch Delicacy or Hoof Him to the Curb are centre stage along with their 5-ft sidekicks who can “stand tall” and not worry about getting beat up despite the fact they are dressed up like pastel leprechauns.
I started with the $3 Chicken Tortilla soup. It was thick, spicy and hearty and was nicely garnished with slivers of tortillas and sliced hot peppers. The kale salad with quinoa, lemon and shallot was simple and delicious. I only had one bite before my daughter laid claim to the rest.
With the triple crown on my mind, I ordered a trio of slides which included the mystery meat (wild boar au poivre), fried chicken (with panko sage maple syrup) and a hot brown (Chicken, monray and bacon) for $3 a piece. Each of them were race winners. The liberal use of pepper, the sweetness of the fried chicken and the perfectly cooked bacon on the hot brown demonstrated the attention to detail put into the simple slider.
My daughter ordered le poutine which was quite true to form. Gravy and cheese curds modestly topped the skinny crisp fries to create a tasty $3 snack worthy of partnership with the sliders.
For the home stretch, my daughter went with the corktown smore (with cinnamon, nutella and fluff) while I went with one of my favorite comfort desserts, the ice cream sandwich ($3 each). The warm smore together with the cold sandwich was a blissful end to the meal.
Green Dot Stables is a Detroit icon and rightfully so. Cheap but delicious food and drink mixed with a trendy atmosphere and funky staff make for a great experience. Every slider, although simple, is carefully thought out and the product is a mix of sweet and savory smarts. Even the desserts are brilliant, especially the ice cream sandwich which screams local pride with the use of Blue Moon ice cream from the local Guernsey dairy farm stuffed between a Mexican tea biscuit. As I anxiously await the outcome of the Belmont Stakes, especially among the controversy surrounding the use of nasal strips by California Chrome (nothing like a good rumpus over performance enhancement among equines), I can’t help but wonder if Blue Moon might edge out Mexican Tea Biscuit by a nose at next year’s Kentucky Derby.