Annabel Cohen and Phillip Cooley

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

Caterer, food stylist, and writer Annabel Cohen says she’s all about ethnic food, mostly Asian. “Lately, I am addicted to Sunday dim sum at Shangri-La in West Bloomfield. I love the sesame balls, any sort of steamed rice paper packed with vegetables or shrimp, and the savory stuffed eggplant,” she says. Other favorites include the Thang Long Thai and Vietnamese restaurant in Madison Heights, where she orders a big bowl of pho (noodles in a seasoned, beefy broth). “And nothing is fresher than their rolls,” she says. Cohen often heads for the lunch buffet at Rangoli Indian Cuisine in Auburn Hills, where, she says, “For less than $10, I can fill up on all the wonderful and saucy dishes, many of them vegetarian, like palek paneer [spinach and homemade cheese]. I sop up the spicy gravies with a basketful of hot naan and I feel like I’m back in Rajasthan.”

“I eat out a bunch, so I could go on forever,” says Phillip Cooley, one of the proprietors of Slows Bar BQ in Detroit. Supino Pizzeria at the Eastern Market is one favorite, and Cooley knows his pizza. “I once drove 10 hours round trip to the birthplace of the modern pizza, Naples, just to try the pizza at Da Michele. I’m a nerd when it comes to pizza.” For something more involved, he likes Annam Restaurant Vietnamien in Dearborn. “I would eat there every day if it were in my neighborhood,” he says. Also on his dining map: two small Detroit restaurants, Le Petit Zinc and El Barzon, as well as Wolfgang Puck Grille, Roast, the Bucharest Grill and Motz’s Hamburgers, “a small joint that never gets mentioned for best burger because it’s off-the-beaten-path location at 7216 W. Fort St.

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