Have you ever heard the word “intergenerational”? It should be the motto at Club Celebrity, located at 14421 Plymouth Rd, Detroit, MI 48227. For nearly 30 years, this eatery/nightclub has churned out incredible soul food to three generations of patrons.
Picture this: Grandma was in the corner sipping some yack with Mr. Willie, her daughter rushes to the take-out window to grab dinner for the kids while grandbaby was getting ready to turn up after 10 p.m., when the restaurant/bar dissolves into a Lil John video.
The transformation includes a drastic shift in the atmosphere. During the day, it’s a typical restaurant/bar where you eat, listen to great music, grab a drink, and see Chef Max Hardy and other culinarians enjoying the scene. In the evening, the place is a mix between a 19th Century Saloon, a Hood Miami Strip Club, and a delicious side of the road eatery all wrapped into one.
I literally saw bouncers take a guy and throw him out of the club after he became too intoxicated. The scene was hilarious and looked staged but was quite real, which actually made me feel safe because, after kicking him out, staff helped the guy get an Uber.
I spoke with Mr. Courtland, the restaurant manager and his mentee and executive chef, Debierne about how the place became a local staple, and soon to be, out of towner destination. They both agreed the secret is in the amazing food, atmosphere, and drinks. I couldn’t agree more.
Our culinary journey started with their patron acclaimed Baked Chicken with collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and of course a cornbread muffin. The chicken was so flawlessly good it tasted like it had been loved by the cook and cared for like a prized heritage bird. Baked chicken may seem easy, but it’s much more to it that just seasoning and tossing it in the oven. This chicken was roasted with a persistent flavor beginning at the crisp skin and unctuous fat that deepened into the meat all the way to the bone for a bite that would be remembered in the same fray as Auntie and even Grandma’s cooking. Our sides were on point with the creamy mac and cheese, the perfectly baked cornbread muffin flanked by America’s favorite dark leaf greens.
Next, I ordered the Beef Ribs with a side of String Beans and Black Eye Peas and Rice. The ribs were probably braised, so instead of a smoky flavor, the taste resembled a nicely seasoned succulent pot roast. Accompanying the ribs were some off the chain Black-Eyed Peas and rather pedestrian string beans. Stick with the cabbage or collard greens.
Last but not least, we ordered the most talked about dish, The Surf & Turf, featuring a Fried or Grilled Lobster Tail with Braised Lamb Chops. Letting Jesus take the wheel was the best decision I ever made, because him driving my ass to this place was nothing short of divine intervention. Why in the world were those Lamb Chops so good? The kitchen created a secret sauce that I used to dip each chop in, and it sent me into a complete frenzy. I wanted to pour that sauce on everything. Because they said I could only have two, I checked freshly abandoned tables for unused sauces to take back to Miami, to no avail.
You simply must have this sauce on top of the Surf and Turf. The Lamp Chops were seasoned well and were succulent and juicy, the Fried Lobster was tender with a flavored crispy exterior entrapping the juicy lobster flavor that bursts out with each bite. I must say, this place is unassuming and low key, but it represents true Detroit in a way you simply can’t replicate with downtown eateries or any of these other new swanky spots.
It’s a no frills, down home, southern hospitality spot that plays good music, serves strong drinks, and has amazing food. They have specials throughout the week and even crazy days like .25 cents shots, $12 Surf and Turf Days, and Happy Hour Specials daily. The bar is always packed and you can watch just about anything from the NBA Finals to Scandal on their gigantic televisions throughout the restaurant. A large dance floor and human sized dance cages await you at Club Celebrity. You can reach them at (313) 934-0422. Ask for Courtland and tell him The Hungry Black Man sent you!
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