There are certain aspects of my personal life that are filled with regret, specifically when it comes to relationships. I have allowed some of the best women in my life get away. They’re now happily married with children. I’m happy for them but admittedly feel a bit of self-loathing. As disappointed as I am, I’m also filled with fond memories and optimism that a God given lady is waiting and we’ll eventually connect to share a joyful life journey together.
That TMI moment was brought to you courtesy of The Turkey Grill located at 8290 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202. Like the ones that got away, Turkey Grill and I had some fond memories. So much so, that I wrote a beautiful ode to our relationship way back in 2018 found here: https://www.thehungryblackman.com/2018/05/02/detroit-eatery-frying-turkey-so-good-i-literally-bit-my-fingers/.
Unfortunately, a recent visit revealed that what we had is no longer there. The deliciousness that made up for the downright awful customer service decided it no longer wanted a relationship with me. What hurt the most was the abrupt departure with no notice. No call. No text. Not even a DM. I went back to Detroit eager to see my lady, I mean, Turkey Grill, hoping to rekindle what we had together, but I got something else instead.
When we ordered the Heart Smart Wings in 2017 and 2018, they were amazing, boasting fragrant spices, cloves and other flavors manifesting a beautiful taste that made you completely forget about the fried version. Juicy and tender with the flavor all the way to the mofo bone, my heart and belly were happy. The 2022 version was an entirely different story. The Heart Smart Wings were still the most flavored selection compared to fried versions, but paled significantly in comparison to previous glory years. The seasoning was doing its best to compensate for the lack of flavor, but simply could not suffice. The marinade was either too weak or they removed the bird from bath too soon. Either way, the turkey was a pale version of its former self.
Next, we moved to the classic Turkey Wing Bites seasoned with a special Cajun homemade rub and the Honey BBQ. This pair, had to be the largest letdowns of the meal. My palate memory was so prepared for a reunification with the amazing smell, texture, and flavor that I was low key salivating. I knew something was off as soon as I opened the box. The aromatics I remembered were no longer there – just dried out looking turkey cutlets drenched with seasoning and sauce. The taste was so ghastly, my sheer shock had me mentally sobbing.
I couldn’t believe this was the woman, I mean, turkey I once knew. There has to be some explanation that caused this massive tumble. My goal with this review is to enlist the support of all Detroiters who loved this space to join me and ask management and ownership to please bring back out beloved Turkey Grill. We deserve it and they deserve our support and dollars in exchange for the beloved bird.
We tolerated the rude women in the windows, we tolerated the bullet proof glass, we tolerated those bizarre figurines, Sanford and Son style dining and that weird bathroom. We didn’t care about any of that, because we knew who you were on the inside, a delicious, seasoned, tender, turkey, Now, that’s gone. Now all we see are your flaws, which is not fair.
Other menu items were let-downs, too. The collard greens were nasty. They tasted more like a misguided collard green soup flavored with a Miami corner store sausage with way too much collard green liquid creating a monstrous broth. The mac and cheese tried to bring back the old days with its Black version of Kraft Mac and Cheese vibes strong. I enjoyed it and ate the entire case. The rolls also remembered our good times and tried their best to take up for the turkey with their baked and fluffy goodness, but alas, the turkey hurt was just too much for mac and bread roll to compensate for it.
Because we’re still hopeful, we look forward to returning this month and again in the bitter cold of winter to see if you still want me. I want to know if you remember the good times with me hearing gun shots in the distance and not giving af because you made me feel safe. You had me stand in the cold and wait for the doors to open because I couldn’t get the taste of you out of my mouth. Your lingering smell had me smiling nostalgically in the airport remembering how we rode around Detroit with each other, keeping each other warm. I loved and still love you Turkey Grill, but do you love me back? I need you to be who you were in 2018. Please.
Yeah, let’s recapture that. Detroit, please help us by giving them a call and just asking them to PLEASE GET BACK TO WHERE THEY WERE! We still love you and want to see you happy, WITH US! You can reach The Turkey Grill at (313) 872-4624.