The Detroit Hot Spot With Dual Personalities

Part restaurant, part night club, we explore the many facets of Sweet Soul Bistro


Published:

A while back, the Hour Detroit staff traveled metro Detroit “mile by mile” from Fenkell Avenue up to M-59. While driving a stretch of McNichols Road, I noticed food-related spots from carryout joints like The Pasta Bowl to stores like Piquette Market, which has been around 50-plus years.

But the most crowded spot was Sweet Soul Bistro near Schaefer Road. On a recent late Thursday afternoon, I finally got a chance to find out why.

During the day and into dinner, the bistro proves you don’t have to go downtown to get a nice meal in the city. At night, it transforms into a club with either live music, karaoke, comedy, or trivia nights.

The fairly large menu includes homages to several Detroit musicians, from Stevie Wonder Wonderful Wings and Aretha Franklin Catfish Bites to the Anita Baker Bacon Cheeseburger and Smoky Robinson Smoked Ribs.

The names are owner Toya Green’s homage to Motown and pair well with the entertainment theme. Plus, she says, “you can go anywhere and get wings.” The names are more fun.

Most recipes coming out of the kitchen are Green’s. She had no “formal” training as a chef, but when a cook walked out of an establishment she used to own, she vowed never to get caught shorthanded again. 

My dinner companion opted for the crab cakes (right), which came attractively plated on a butcher board. Entrées come with sides, such as sweet potato fries that arrived barely shy of burnt (but in a good way) with a coating that had just enough of a hint of heat. The remoulade drizzled over the crab cakes also packed a nice punch.

Other sides include mac and cheese, sautéed garlic spinach, steamed broccoli, rice pilaf, and smothered potatoes. We also opted for a fried chicken sandwich and an order cheesy — but not too thick — lobster mac and cheese (above) served bubbling in its own skillet. Specials include $2 Tuesdays for appetizers like lamb chops, and a Thursday lobster and steak night.

Business is so good, Green is expanding the Detroit location with a patio. And at press time, she was also readying a new location on the Oak Park side of Eight Mile. Plans are to carry over some of the bistro’s recipes, plus include breakfast and more vegetarian options.

For now, we’ll head back to the McNichols location — perhaps for lunch. After all, with prices like a pork chop or catfish sandwich for a mere $5, or chicken and waffles for $8, Sweet Soul Bistro deserves an encore.

13741 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit; 313-862-7685. L & D daily. $12

 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Designer Taste

A quaint Ferndale shop sells exotic cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie

All-Day Breakfast at Troy's First Watch

A Lebanese Take on Classic American Favorites

A Taste of Paris

Cannelle Patisserie chef Matt Knio’s baked goods are turning up in restaurants and markets across metro Detroit

Mission BBQ Opens in Troy

A new restaurant serves summer favorites with a side of patriotism year-round
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  5. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  6. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  7. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  8. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  9. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission