Deep Fried Cheesesteak Roll

I visited a joint called Mocha Bistro in Dearborn, MI after seeing their stuff on Instagram for some time. They advertise themselves as Yemeni-American fusion and have a pretty solid social media game. As you go through their shares, they definitely focus on the sweet stuff – cheesesteak rolls, milkshakes, fruit cocktails and smoothies. The pictures make this side of the menu look delicious but I’m not interested in that kind of thing. If you scroll through you will eventually come to the Mocha Steak Roll.  The Mocha Steak Roll is a deep fried cheesesteak roll.  Here, let me write that in bigger letters to get your attention.

DEEP FRIED.  CHEESESTEAK.  ROLL.

Now that description alone is enough to get my attention.  It’s amazing to me that someone thought to themselves “You know, a cheesesteak is a pretty good sandwich — But what if we deep fry it?”.  Whoever that was, THANK YOU.

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The Mocha Steak Roll is sliced ribeye, grilled onions and peppers with Swiss and American cheeses all wrapped in a tortilla. It’s like a wonderful cheesesteak chimichanga hybrid. It also comes with “Mocha Sauce”, which appears to be a spicy mayo, and a green salsa. Both are delicious and give a different flavor friend to each bite. The textures are soft in the middle with a slightly crunchy, chewy tortilla exterior. It’s as close to perfect as a deep fried sandwich can get.

If you’re not a steak person, they offer a similar sandwich in a chicken roll and also a chicken shawarma. So far I have been there twice and haven’t been able to eat anything else other than the steak roll. Eleanor, on the other hand, had the genius idea to dip chicken nuggets in hummus.

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Mocha Bistro has TWO locations – 14456 Michigan Ave in Dearborn and 9335 Constant Ave in Hamtramck.

Brome Burgers & Shakes

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Before I give you my thoughts, I would like to share with you a few excerpts from Brome Burgers & Shakes’ website, as most of what I have to say is a reaction to their marketing.

We pledge 100% organic beef that only comes from grass-fed cows that lead comfortable lives. We pledge ingredients that are NON GMO certified so that what mother nature intended, is all that goes into our bodies. We pledge sustainable business practices that increase efficiency and reduce waste.

Every day we wake up and make a conscious effort to minimize the negative impact we have on our planet. It is our goal to set an example for everyone who comes into contact with us, whether by vendors, competitors, or customers. We work to encourage all food vendors to purchase from farms that responsibly raise their vegetables and animals.

We encourage our competitors to mirror our business practices to provide a higher quality experience for their guests. We encourage our customers to visit our website to learn how to live more efficiently.

Their website goes on to say that their burgers are 100% organic, 100% all natural grass fed, never fed animal by-products and no added growth hormones.  There’s a small section where you can read about the farmers and their cows and even see where they came from.

Now here’s the actual beginning of this post.  When you walk into Brome Burgers & Shakes, you’re treated to a menu offering ten different burgers, multiple types of fries, complex salads, milkshakes, hot dogs and other items.  It’s a very impressive menu that offers something for pretty much everyone.  The menu continues to go hard on the organic theme – cage free chicken sandwich, organic vegan patty, Kennebec fries and Artisan greens. It’s almost as if a Vegan purchased a space with the idea of opening a restaurant specializing in salads but upon arriving to said space, a squatter was living there and would only leave on the condition that burgers were added to the menu.

Let me get this straight, I’m all for the treatment of animals and I buy organic any time it’s discounted as a manager’s special at the grocery store.  I’m not trying to say that restaurants shouldn’t advertise the quality of their ingredients because it’s important to many people.  What I have a problem with is when restaurants use organic labels as a marketing tool.

When you step up to the counter and order your burger you will be asked this question: “Would you like to pay an extra $2 for an organic patty?”. I actually stalled during the ordering process because before arriving, their website beat me over the head with claims of quality in food processing and animal treatment.  I had noticed that their menu advertises two prices for each burger without specifying what the price difference is for.  I figured it was for a larger sized beef patty, which I was absolutely ready to accept.  What I didn’t realize was that Brome Burgers & Shakes wanted me pay more for everything they advertise.

I’m not trying to say this is misleading and/or false advertising, I just think it’s bullshit on a pretty large scale.  If you’re going to be an organic restaurant, go organic all the way.  Don’t offer people the sad cow meat and then try to upsell them to the happy cow meat.  That’s just kind of fucked up, in my book.  If your menu, website and mission statement say “We give a fuck about animals” then maybe you should go 100% in giving a fuck about animals.  I actually feel kind of bad for the non-organic beef that is probably kept in a separate walk in at a higher temperature and is stored in off-brand ziplock bags while the organic beef is kept in a temperature controlled walk in and stored in 100% USDA organic vacuum sealed plastic.

I guess what I’m trying to say, if you skipped all of that and are wondering where the hell the pictures are, is I think Brome Burgers & Shakes is a bit full of shit.  That being said, my burger was pretty damn good and no, I did not pay the extra $2 to make my patty organic which would have made my burger total $13.  This is “The Mex” which is topped with corn salsa, cheddar-jack Cheese Sauce, pickled jalapeno, avocado and chipotle mayo.  Brome is located at 22062 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.

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Gas Station Burgers

Eating burgers made in a gas station.  Gross, right?  Actually, completely the opposite.

Back around 2009 I preached that the Detroit food scene was completely underrated.  Not saying I’m Nostrodamus or anything but Detroit was recently named America’s top “unexpected” food city by NatGeo.  Now I’m here to tell you that the Dearborn food scene is killing it.  Not just with Middle Eastern cuisine but with different foods you would never expect like Italian bakeries and classic American food.  I have to question why anyone would want to emulate classic American food, but if they’re going to do what I’m about to tell you about I am completely for it.

Taystee’s Burgers is on Ford Rd. across from the Ford-Wyoming Theater and shares occupancy with a BP Gas Station.  This is a family venture, in that the owner of Taystee’s runs the burger joint and his grandparents own the gas station.  They serve burgers, chicken wraps, quesadillas, hot dogs, wings, about 6 different types of french fries, fried Oreos and other options.  Check their website for a full menu.

Now I’m a bare bones burger kind of guy.  I believe that if you get quality meat, season it with some salt and pepper, top it with American cheese and surround it between a quality bun and I’m golden.  That being said, if I’m going to put toppings on my burger I go all out.  Like, ridiculously all out.  Taystee’s spoke to me with Ali’s Notch-Yo Burger that has 12 TOPPINGS.  12!  I’m serious.  Here, I’ll list them:

Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Onions, Jalapeños, Cheddar Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Pepper jack Cheese, Nacho cheese, Beef bacon, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Mayo and Hot Sauce

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Now normally I would say twelve different toppings on a burger is overboard but somehow this works.  All of the flavors meld together to make one of the better burgers I’ve had in recent memory.  The roll is substantial enough to keep everything together and you can still taste the beef through the twelve ingredients stacked on top of it.

I am here to say this is the best burger I’ve ever had at a gas station.  In fact, it’s the only burger I’ve ever had at a gas station.  If you’re a little hesitant in eating a meal at a gas station, this place is impressively clean and everything is prepared right in front of you.  The best part of this whole experience?  My car needed gas so I filled up in the same place I got a great burger.

Go here.  NOW.

10419 Ford Rd. in Dearborn