Tag Archives: Royal Oak

café habana: breakfast overeasy

Arepas wholeIn Ferndale, my hands-down favorite breakfast place is the Fly Trap.  Problem is, it’s the favorite breakfast place of  many people, and on the weekends, the line usually spills out onto the sidewalk.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many other good breakfast options in Ferndale worth mentioning.  And please don’t say, “But what about Toast?”  Sure, they have cute décor, but mediocre food, abominable service and high prices, and after my last experience there (it was a Monday and the Fly Trap was closed), I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

So what’s a gal to do on a weekend morning when she doesn’t feel like cooking and is too hungry to wait in line?  Two words: Café Habana.

chimichurri breadCafé Habana is in downtown Royal Oak and is part of the Bastone/Vinotecca complex on the corner of 5th and Main.  It’s relatively small, yet is never full on weekends despite its tasty (and cheap!) brunch menu.  They score points over the Fly Trap and other breakfast places for ambiance- they have Cuban music on the stereo, and sitting amongst the exposed brick and wrought-iron chandeliers, it is a pretty pleasant place to relax and read the Sunday paper. The service is laid-back and friendly, not frantic, and you never get the impression they are trying to turn a table.

Flamenca horizontalIf you’re more the type to seek a “standard” breakfast menu with pancakes, eggs, bacon and the like, this probably isn’t the place for you. But for the more adventurous eater, Café Habana has some exciting offerings.  Marvin and I have eaten here several times and our favorite dish is the Huevos a la Flamenca.  The eggs are served in a tomato-based sauce that has little pieces of carrot and peas as well as ham and sausage.  It’s served with a potato croquette that is browned and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  Another dish I like is the Huevos Habana, two eggs with a pork and plantain hash and poblano hollandaise.  If I’m not in an eggy mood, I go for the Arepas (cornmeal pancakes), Marvin eating crop 1which you can either get sweet, with cream cheese and fruit, or savory, with herbed goat cheese, sautéed spinach and pico de gallo.   Coffee is above average here, but if you’re not a coffee drinker, they have a good freshly-squeezed limeade, or you can order drinks from the bar at the adjacent restaurant, Bastone.

Café Habana can also be recommended for lunch and dinner- I’ve had the Flank Steak with Chimichurri and it was pretty darn good- but for some reason when we end up there, it’s usually for breakfast.  Fly Trap, we still love ya, but on the days we sleep too late to beat the crowds, you can find us in a booth at Café Habana, divvying up sections of the New York Times and enjoying a leisurely meal.

sugar kisses needs your help! benefit show 12/11


Many of you in the Detroit area may be familiar with the bakery Sugar Kisses in Royal Oak- it’s an all-natural bakery specializing in vegan and gluten-free treats.  For any of you out there with these “special needs”, you can appreciate the niche this fills in our community.  And even if you choose to/are able to eat “regular” goodies, it’s nice to know that all-natural ingredients are being used.

The owners of Sugar Kisses just found out that the building they’re occupying (on South Washington in Royal Oak) has been sold.  The new owners are forcing them out before the end of the year, which is a logistical nightmare as well as disrupting their business at their busiest time of year.  Please visit their website to get more information and see how you can help. My band may take part in a benefit concert; stay tuned for details, and be sure to pass this info along to anyone you know who is vegan, has wheat allergies, or just likes yummy baked goods!

Update: My band, Scarlet Oaks, is participating in a benefit show for Sugar Kisses this Thursday Dec. 11 at the Woodward Avenue Brewery, located on the corner of Troy St. & Woodward in downtown Ferndale. Please come out and support this valuable asset to our community while enjoying some good beer, music, and treats from the Sugar Kisses kitchen!  The event starts at 9pm and there is a $5 suggested donation that will go towards helping Sugar Kisses finance their move to Berkeley.

bon voyage dinner

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