SIDE STREET DINER:
Cousins Meghan Spicer and Sheila Taylor have steadily improved their friendly and unpretentious spot, adding a beer and wine list that’s in keeping with the small dimensions and affordable price structure of the place. The duo preside over a menu of classic American diner dishes, including sandwiches, salads, oven-roasted turkey, meatloaf, and notably good soups, from chicken noodle to beef barley. Old-fashioned layer cakes line the counter.
630 St. Clair, Grosse Pointe; 313-884-6810, sidestreetdiner.com. B, L & D Mon.-Sat., B & L Sun. $12
The balconied space in Papa Joe’s Plaza has a sophisticated ambience and subtle color scheme as a setting for a menu of beef, lamb, and pork that’s natural and free from antibiotics. It’s the second outpost for proprietor Luca Gjonaj, whose original is in Grand Blanc. A plus for both of his restaurants are the prices. Even the biggest cut — the 24-ounce porterhouse — is well below $40, with a 6-ounce filet at $25. In addition to red meat, there are pasta choices, as well as a list of sandwiches at lunchtime. Service is emphasized.
6870 N. Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-266-6370, lucaschophouse.com. L & D Sun.-Fri., D Sat. $24