Michigan restaurant chains celebrate big milestones

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

There are several foods that are quintessentially Michigan. Some foods like Buddy’s Pizza and Chicken Shack — both celebrating big anniversaries this month — are only available in-state.

As part of its 70th anniversary celebration, Buddy’s Pizza is asking customers to participate in their “Growing Up Buddy’s” campaign. Those with warm-and-fuzzy memories of the pizza chain can visit buddyspizza.com and share their thoughts. Some submissions will be shared on Buddy’s social media outlets.

This is all in anticipation of Buddy’s Pizza Day, June 23. On that day pizza-lovers can snag a customer appreciation card from any of the chain’s 11 locations. That card is good for a one-topping, eight-piece square pizza per month for a discounted price of $7. The appreciation cards can be redeemed monthly, but you can only pick one up through June 30.

Buddy’s has nine sit-down restaurants in Metro Detroit and carry-out-only spots in Royal Oak and Bloomfield Hills.

Another Metro Detroit institution, Chicken Shack, will celebrate 60 years of poultry passion this month.

Chicken Shack serves crispy broasted chicken and chunky potatoes, among other foods. The original Royal Oak location was founded in 1956 by WWII veteran John Sobeck and his wife, Iola Sobeck. John still sits on the board of his chicken empire, and Iola is treasure of the company.

The 20-restaurant chain, which is known for its catering and carry-out business, is celebrating its 60th year with throwback pricing. A coupon at chickenshack.com offers a wing dinner at 60 percent off with the purchase of a wing dinner.

Chicken Shack also has a contest to give one chicken-lover a free four-piece chicken dinner each week for 60 weeks.

Deliciously brief

■Last month the Mean Weenie food truck opened a brick-and-mortar location at 1708 Livernois in Troy (formerly China Gourmet). Mean Weenie serves gourmet hot dogs (and vegetarian soy dogs) with toppings like the classic chili and cheese to wild stuff like mac and cheese, wasabi ginger cole slaw and apple cider braised leeks.

■Center Street Grille opened recently in downtown Northville at 135 N. Center. Besides the standard appetizers, burgers and salads, the new spot has pizza and cast iron mac-and-cheese entrees. Center Street Grille is also infusing booze in-house. Check out their margarita made with strawberry, mango and lime-infused tequila.

■Forest restaurant in Birmingham recently added Saturday brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. A limited brunch menu will continue until 5 p.m. when dinner starts. The new menu will have the usual brunch offerings like biscuits and gravy and eggs Benedict, but will offer a lamb sandwich, feta and Brussels sprouts and a dish called Hashwi Hash with egg, lamb confit, onion and cheddar cheese. In February, Forest chef Nick Janutol was a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: Great Lakes” category. Forest is at 735 Forest in Birmingham. Call (248) 258-9400 for reservations.


(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens