Karen and Kathy Munro and Alexander Nguyen

Their stylish menus are enticing enough to attract a loyal clientele of discriminating diners, but no matter how expert they are, restaurant people like to take a break from their own kitchens for a taste of someone else's cooking


Karen and Kathy Munro run the Checker Bar in downtown Detroit, a place founded by their parents, Harry and Helen, more than 50 years ago. “When we’re looking for a special place to go, with fabulous and more exotic cuisine, we like to go to Asian Village,” Kathy says. “And we love the ambience and food at La Dolce Vita, especially in the summer. It makes you feel you’re in New York.” Other spots on the sisters’ dining track include Trattoria Andiamo, “always good and consistent,” and Tin Fish, where they like to dine outdoors beside the water with their parents. And when they want a steak, they head for one particular Outback Steakhouse, “the one on 12 Mile near Gratiot, our ultimate favorite, for the Outback Special, prime-cut New York strip, a great, consistent, affordable steak.” 

When Alexander Nguyen isn’t at his Madison Heights restaurant, Thang Long, dining on pho bo and other Vietnamese fare along with the guests, he admits to a fast-food habit. “I go to Burger King, KFC, and Taco Bell,” he says, “a little fat, but tasty.” For a more leisurely dining experience, he and his family like Golden Harvest in Warren, where they order fish maw soup, stir-fried squid with chives, and spicy Dungeness crab. The dim sum there is also a favorite. — Molly Abraham

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