I wish.

Troy is one of my least-favorite suburbs of Detroit, a place at odds with the things I cherish about the region.  Troy, for me, is the sterile corridor of Big Beaver pockmarked by pricey chain restaurants.  I realize they have some good points, including the Troy Athens High School (which did a really cool "Live ISS" encounter for students a while back) but overall, the place is not for me.

Especially now.

Let's see... in between the charming new mayor and the idea to scuttle a regional transit center that the governor and the Chamber of Commerce backed, the place looks more than ever like a magnet for the kind of people who would destroy Michigan to "save" it.  And save it from what?  Federal funding?  Poor people?

Screw the Somerset Collection.  I will not spend money again in Troy until the place gets a political cleansing.  And I encourage anyone with a shred of either civic decency or an interest in human dignity to do the same.
 So, Shearwater played their first-ever Detroit show at the Magic Stick tonight.  Awesome setlist, but Jonathan Meiburg's vocals were too low in the mix on a number of songs.  I don't care, though, because my most excellent spouse and I got to chat with Meiburg both before and after the show, geeking with him about birds and Pink Floyd and Detroit.  It was fantastic.  Shearwater's last three albums are three of my most favorite albums of this decade, and now I've talked with their songwriter/singer just like... regular people.  

Small crowd compared with the Cleveland show this April, though.  And I didn't like the opening act much.  Still... small details.
I dunno who the man, or corporation, behind Pizza Hut is or was, but Michigan is the home of two of the perennial also-rans of the pizza business: Tom Monaghan of Domino's, who wants to build a little Catholic paradise down in the Everglades, and Mike Ilitch of Little Caesars, who wants to rule the pro sports scene in Metro Detroit.

Domino's finally got the message that their pizzas were caca-in-a-box and have retooled the menu so their offerings are edible; I have not tried them myself but my friends tell me that the pizzas are indeed pretty good.  Caesars, which has never in my lifetime been about high-quality grub, is likewise embarking on a new course by reintroducing their old "Pizza! Pizza!" deal in Metro Detroit. Ten bucks'll net you one square pepperoni pizza, one five-topping Supreme pizza, both of them terrible.  I'd welcome the abandonment of the utterly crass "Hot-N-Ready" campaign except that they aren't.  I guess you now can have two shitty pizzas within seconds of walking in the door.

Ilitch has been a good owner of the Tigers and the Red Wings, but everything about LC's is obnoxious.  While other fast-food joints have been steadily backing away from the notion of "we have pre-made food waiting under heat lamps for hours," the entire Hot-N-Ready business uses that yucky idea as its selling point.  Add to that the people waving signs at you on street corners AND the simple fact that their crust, sauce, and toppings are vile... well, they are.  Seriously, I used to like Little Caesars when I was ten or so-- we were broke, so two pizzas for cheap plus the Crazy Bread seemed like a pretty good deal.  And either my taste buds weren't honed yet, or the ingredients were better in the pre-Hot-N-Ready days, because I can't even stand the Crazy Bread now. 

So, one of these days I might try the new Domino's recipe with its spicy sauce, even if the money is going to someone I don't like.  But Little Caesar's isn't getting my business unless they abandon the race to be "firstest with the crappiest" and concentrate on what's going into the actual food.

Note: The Canadian Pizza Pizza chain is not related to Little Caesars.  Really.

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athabasca

February 2012

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