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Cheers: Great Lakes goes nuts with new menu

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Now in addition to lavender lattes, wine, craft beer and cocktails and shots of espresso, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company has recently expanded the food menu at its Midtown cafe.

There’s the standard coffee house munchies like bagels, yogurt and sweets, but beyond that it gets really fun. Before noon try a ricotta waffle or “the Standard,” a breakfast sandwich on a brioche bun.

For lunch, go out on a limb and order the James, one of three peanut butter sandwiches. James comes with Rocky Peanut Butter, kimchi and sweet-hot pickles. It’s a protein-packed vegetarian treat with great texture and surprisingly well-matched flavors. The lightly toasted white bread sandwich comes with a pickle for $6.50. There’s also the Rodrigo —peanut butter, jalapenos, basil and cherry preserves — and the Elvis, which has cream cheese, strawberries and hibiscus preserves along with the obligatory banana.

For a heartier sandwich, try the Beefcake with Sy Ginsberg’s top round roast or the cafe’s take on a reuben, named the Rubenesque. There are also soups (from Mudgie’s in Corktown) and salads.

The list of small plates is good for later in the evening when Great Lakes transforms from more of a hang-out-with-your-laptop coffee house and into a social setting when the alcoholic drinks start flowing. (Customers order at the counter and seat themselves before 4 p.m.; after you can get a table service.) Pair one of many craft beers with a cheese or charcuterie plate, hot nuts, Castelvetrano olives or smoked shrimp and guacamole tacos.

Great Lakes Coffee is at 3695 Woodward. Visit

Food & beverage events

Dine out for Hunger at Trattoria da Luigi: Dining profits will be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank’s 2015 Hunger Free Summer, and Citizens Bank will double the fundraising effort. It’s also the restaurant’s two-year anniversary. 4-8 p.m. Mon. 415 S. Washington, Royal Oak. (248) 542-4444.

Ribs and R&B Music Festival at Hart Plaza: Celebrating 20 years this summer, this annual event brings barbeque experts from across the country to compete for the titles of “Best Ribs” and “Best Sauce.” Aug. 7-9. Free. Jefferson at Woodward, Detroit.

Sarap at Yemans Street: Five courses of Filipino street food including kinilaw tacos, summer salad bulalo (roasted bone marrow), sisig (pork shoulder) and halo halo (dessert). 7 p.m. Aug. 8. $55 and up. 2995 Yemans, Hamtramck.

Vegan food and wine pairing at Cacao Tree Cafe: This raw food cafe in Royal Oak is teaming up with the Clean Plate club for a multi-course tasting of vegan dishes and wine. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 17. $40. 204 W. Fourth, Royal Oak. (586) 843-3690.

Cider Dayze Festival at Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill: This first festival features some of Michigan’s best hard cider makers, plus craft beer, bands and games like barrel races, apple bobbling, beer stein hold and more. Aug. 29 and 30. $30 one day, $45 both days (price goes up $5-$10 after June 29). $5 shuttle from Ferndale available. 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada.

Grape Expectations for Kids at Colony Club Detroit: A wine pairing dinner and fundraiser for Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center. There will also be live entertainment and a silent auction. 6-9 p.m. Sept. 24. $125, $800 for a table for 8. 2310 Park, Detroit. (734) 785-7705 ext. 7087.

Melody Baetens