Last Thursday, Lisa, Birgit, Mike, and I hit up Slow Foods' Local Food Awards and Coming Home movie premier at the Michigan Theater.
The event started at 6 pm with local snacks, including super delicious toasts spread with smoked salmon salad, trout salad (which I spread on bread), cous cous salad, meats and cheeses, and apple cider. We'd only paid a $5 admission, so the food alone was worth the money. There was also a table for, well, The Local Table. Here we got local passports to track our visits to local restaurants and vendors -- if we hit 10 places (the event counted as one!), we get a free teeshirt. I like free stuff. Also snaggable at the table were free chicken buttons. Who can pass up a free chicken button?
Onto the theater we moved, where Frog Holler won the first Local Hero Award (visit them at the AA Farmer's Market!). Then it was time for a showing of Coming Home about the reinvention of the local economy. I think we expected something more along the lines of Food Inc and instead were presented with what was more like a 40-minute infomercial/school filmstrip. It certainly had some interesting information, but a lot of the economic detail was over my head and I couldn't relate it to the real world. Much of the film focused on a community's development of fake local money, which seems like a real nightmare to monitor. The camera work and editing were pretty shoddy, the narration was way over the top, and the interview subjects weren't very eloquent. Let's just say, when the movie was over, we hightailed it out of there instead of sitting through another hour of discussion, about the movie! Eep! Rather, we hit the planned after party early.
As luck would have it, the after party was planned for The Grange, so it gave us an excuse to finally (well, finally for some of us) check the new place out. Downstairs is the main dining area, while upstairs is a small bar area (small means small). We managed to snag a few seats at the bar and settled in for a few drinks and some snacks, and Sarah was able to meet up with us, as well.
Drinks first, of course. And the drink menu is super interesting with lots of yummy-sounding signature cocktails. Birgit, Mike, and I ordered up the back porch lemonade.
The silly menu won't open up online right now, but it included something like ginger syrup, vodka, I'm guessing lemonade.... haha So something like that. Either way, it was DELICIOUS. And certainly quite reasonable given the gigantic glass. I had two. I typically avoid lemonade because of the acid, but it was tempered well and I didn't have any issues. Other than, you know, the spins.
Next up, snacks. And Mike convinced the (other!) girls to try scotch eggs with him. Hard-boiled eggs wrapped in bacon and deep fried (or something like that), served with a mustard sauce.
Normal me probably would have tried it, but because of the bacon I passed. They seemed to be a hit, though, with Lisa even enjoying the mustard despite not being a mustard fan. Definitely a good boozy snack.
After a while, I needed some food, too. And luckily I was able to order the fried egg sandwich minus bacon (and with runny yolk, mmm) because it sounded delightful. And guess what? It looked delightful, too!
I was surprised to find the bread not toasted, but it was a pleasant surprise. Everything mixed so well together. The runny egg, the soft bread, the spicy mayo (that I'd forgotten about and was taken aback by at first -- I couldn't figure out how an egg could taste quite like that, ha!). I gobbled it up and have been thinking about it ever since. Somehow something so simple can really taste that much better with fresh, high-end ingredients. (Mike ate the fries cooked in duck fat -- thanks for the help!)
For now, I don't know that Brad and I will hit the restaurant proper for a full-on meal (it's definitely a special occasion place), but I'm looking forward to taking him back for a light meal and some drinks in the bar. But on a random weeknight -- that place is small, and busy!
Overall, a super duper fun and local night!