Hey, unless you have something heavy-duty like a greenhouse to spare you from these April cold snaps, you’re probably not ready to plant anything outside yet. But are you so eager to get to work that you’re down in the shop sharpening your spade?
Norpro Asparagus Stainless Steel Cooker, $20
We hadn’t even realized that there was any such thing as a steamer built solely for asparagus, but for those who are really serious about this versatile culinary vegetable, and its role as a healthful spring staple, you might want to consider dropping a Jackson on this device. This 3-quart stainless steel steamer comes complete with a spear-friendly rack and a vented lid made of tempered glass. It can also prepare seafood and sauces when fresh asparagus isn’t available.
In early spring, nothing confirms that we’ve survived another winter like the taste of freshly cooked asparagus. Whether it’s blanched, marinated and grilled, ground and turned into soup, this is the real thing, and many asparagus lovers argue that it loses its awesomeness quickly, so chances are you’ll get best results from area greenmarkets.
A quick shout-out to 8 Degrees Plato, the wonderful Ferndale beer store our readers selected as having the Best Beer Selection in Oakland County. We blew it in our print edition, accidentally giving the award to Western Fruit & Meat Market as well (that would be Best Wine). Sorry about that. Drop in and sample their sublime suds at 611 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-808-6477.
Market up — There’s a new grocery in town. It’s called Parker Street Market, and it’s located in the West Village area that’s already home to Detroit Vegan Soul and the popular Tashmoo Biergarten. The owners are excited to report that their recent opening day was a huge success. Feel free to drop in on them at 1814 Parker St., Detroit; 919-272-7368; open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
After 17 years of the same ol’ things, Woodward Avenue Brewers, a staple in metro Detroit’s dining scene, has changed its menu from traditional tacos to pizza bliss. The menu, which was created by WAB chefs Brent Foster and Courtney Witter, has options for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free pizza lovers. All of the uniquely named, thin-crust pizzas on the new WAB menu are fired in their new woodstone pizza oven, and the majority of ingredients used in the pizzas are locally sourced and are smoked in-house. Among the new pizzas is the Wabanh Mi, a Vietnamese inspired pizza piled high with smoked pork belly, caramelized onion, pickled vegetables, jalapeño, cilantro and kalbi sauce, topped in a sriracha drizzle. Also available on the menu is the vegetarian Optimus Primavera, a traditional pizza called the Usual Suspects, and the build-your-own option, Choo Choo Choose me. In addition to the pizza menu are soup, salad and panini menus — each with vegan and gluten-free options, and a beer menu that is always on rotation. “We’ve seen a lot of new faces [with the new menu],” Chef Brent Foster said. “People are stoked.” Have a taste yourself at 22646 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3696; wabferndale.com.