Hit particularly hard by the economic downturn, Flint in Michigan has gone through a rebirth of sorts. The downtown area is being revitalized, the arts and culture scene is growing and new businesses are opening up, including several tasty restaurants. From BBQ to burgers to crepes and everything in between, here is a list of some of the delicious culinary experiences waiting for visitors in Flint.
501 Bar and Grill is a stylish, lively downtown venue reminiscent of a Manhattan martini bar, complete with art deco and modern accents. Established in 2009, this grill originally served small plates but has grown to include regular entrées, all of which will suit a variety of tastes. The eclectic menu includes options such as steak and gravy fries with flank steak, house-cut fries, blue cheese plus a green peppercorn-brandy sauce and the portobello burger topped with roasted red pepper, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella and pesto aioli. The full bar features an array of craft beer, wine and tantalizing cocktails.
With a background in the restaurant business, Frank and Cenobia Molina decided to follow their passion and opened Anacelia’s, a family-owned and operated restaurant specializing in authentic Mexican cuisine. Named after their daughter, this restaurant provides a friendly atmosphere, complete with great customer service and a menu that is full of flavorful options sure to satisfy. The menu is large with highlights including fajita nachos, chips and beans topped with grilled veggies, choice of protein, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and jalapeño, and the taco dinner with three corn tacos (soft, medium, or hard) filled with beef or chicken plus lettuce and tomatoes. They also serve Jarritos, a popular soft drink from Mexico.
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Café Rhema is a vintage downtown space that’s the perfect place to meet friends and have great conversations over drinking coffee, bubble tea and sampling American fare. For a real jolt of energy, try the ‘swift kick to the head’ with six shots of espresso, white chocolate and caramel plus a shot of cold half ‘n half. As for food, guests can choose from a variety of sandwiches and wraps, including the turkey hummus wrap, as well as pastries, bagels and muffins.
Located in the heart of downtown inside a renovated bank building, Cork on Saginaw is a wine bar and bistro featuring New American cuisine within a sleek, contemporary, laid back space. The wine bar has about 100 bottles of wine, which come from around the globe. The bistro’s menu is comprised of innovative choices, which include the butternut squash lasagna with layers of squash, garlic béchamel plus imported Italian cheeses, and the grilled duck breast with a rose wine-Michigan cherry sauce accompanied by sweet potato galette and fresh vegetables.
Established in 2008 as a food cart, the Flint Crepe Company opened a downtown brick-and-mortar shop in 2011 specializing in crepes, espresso and tea. Procuring the freshest, seasonal ingredients from local sources where possible, the culinary team makes everything from scratch and has something to suit every taste, including vegans and gluten free options. Within a 1920s-styled interior, guests have a host of tasty savory and sweet crepes to choose from, including the monte cristo with ham, Vermont cheddar, baby Swiss, Michigan jam and powdered sugar, or the marshmallow fluff with house made marshmallow crème, cinnamon sweet potatoes and pecans. Diners also have the option of building their own crepe.
Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers is a modern fast-casual restaurant featuring, as the name implies, juicy burgers. Using top quality ingredients, including Certified Angus beef ground to bring out the best flavors, burger lovers have a choice between 12 gourmet options, or they may build their own burger and choose from 44 different toppings to create something of their own. Highlights include the drunken mushroom burger topped with portobello and button mushrooms that have been sautéed in a red wine reduction, Swiss, mayo, lettuce and tomato, and the olive burger topped with American cheese, green olive tapenade and red onion. Side dishes, including sweet potato fries and regular fries, salads, and chili, are also available.
Tucked inside a restored 1928 art deco-style building in downtown, Hoffman’s Deco Deli and Café is a friendly restaurant featuring a delightful array of sandwiches, wraps and salads. They also offer coffee drinks, smoothies and breakfast items. Seeking out the healthiest ingredients for their dishes, the culinary team also bakes its own bread. Highlights include the wolverine sandwich made with pot roast slow roasted in Guinness beer with red onions and carrots and topped with aged sharp white cheddar and horseradish on multigrain bread, and the green thumb with garlic hummus, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, leaf lettuce, tomato and seasonings. Guests can sit in the welcoming interior or, weather permitting, on the lovely patio.
The Lunch Studio is a popular downtown establishment serving tasty and healthy breakfast and lunch items to hungry locals. With exposed brick walls and wooden floors, the interior is a warm and inviting space perfect for a relaxing meal with family and friends. The menu has many options, including soups, salads and sandwiches that will satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians. Sandwiches to note are the French onion grilled cheese with Swiss cheese and sautéed onions on sourdough bread; the vegan pita with hummus, tomato, cucumber, onion and organic spring mix and the studio tuna with albacore, chutney, water chestnuts, almonds and mayo. Sweet treats are available as well, including cookies and brownies.
Open daily for people’s dining pleasure, Redwood Steakhouse and Brewery features an eclectic menu filled with American, Asian and Italian dishes plus award winning beer. Offering an upscale dining experience in a comfortable lodge-style environment makes this venue a great spot to celebrate a special occasion or to enjoy a relaxing night out with friends. Must try dishes include the signature pot roast served with braised root vegetables, white cheddar mashed potatoes and roasted gravy; tuna, cucumber and avocado Napoleon layered between wonton chips with spicy sweet soy sauce; and the mac and cheese pizza topped with pasta, bacon, jack cheese and alfredo sauce. In addition to beer, the bar features wine and handcrafted cocktails as well.
Table and Tap is a downtown venue offering 30 Michigan craft beers on tap, bourbon, and a menu featuring mouthwatering BBQ dishes. A big supporter of local purveyors, this venue seeks out the best ingredients the area has to offer and includes the source company names on their menu so that guests know exactly where their food is coming from. In a vibrant environment, complete with a colorful graffiti-adorned wall, guests can choose from a menu that includes a pulled pork sandwich topped with house-made slaw and smoked taphouse ribs, served with fresh cornbread, slaw and choice of side, including BBQ beans.